Backcountry Gear Stats – Continued

Post by blogger | February 11, 2005      

More backcountry skiing statistics. Craig Dostie of Couloir Magazine shares in the Couloir Forums that:

We [Couloir Magazine] have been following this trend for years and have documented the shift in backcountry trends since 1993 in our current media kit (available online). Based on reader surveys–we believe that our readers (you) are representative of the entire backcountry ski/snowboard population–the percentage of readers that participate in each discipline, by year is as follows:

Discipline ’93 94/96 98/01 01/03
Telemark 65% 79% 69% 61%
AT/Rando 45% 36% 32% 50%
Snowboard 2% 14% 22% 25%

You’ll notice that the total percentage is always more than 100%, which we take to mean that there is an increasing percentage of switch hitters. About 1% do all three, most switch between Tele & AT.

I don’t think the above relates directly to the SIA “14% telemark increase” number covered below, but it does show that lumping Randonnée with telemark, then calling it “telemark,” could be misleading (they should call it backcountry skiing). That said, because Couloir magazine is targeted to core backcountry skiers, the mostly in-area telemarkers might not be well represented in Couloir’s numbers, meaning the “50%” randonee figure might be a bit high if used to draw an opinion of gear use across the full spectrum. And, if this sounds like statistical brain death, IT IS! As someone somewhere told me once, “Dawson, shut up and just go skiing.” Okay. Uncle.

McLean backcountry skiing wedding: The happy couple is off on their backcountry skiing honeymoon. Look for a feature in the New York Times society pages this Sunday (I just got off the phone with the Times — they were doing some fact checking). Let’s see what those pavement loving paparazzi came up with in their global tabloid! Should be fun!


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