Author: Jason Mitchell

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

DaKine has long been a leader in outdoor gear. Starting in 1979, DaKine began making surfing accessories. It wasn’t until 1993 that DaKine first entered the winter glove market. Now, 12 years later, DaKine has the glove market nailed with over 70 different gloves. Dedicated to high-quality, durable soft goods, the DaKine Bronco GT gloves are a great example of the type of products DaKine makes. DaKine Bronco GT Details The DaKine Bronco GT gloves represent all of the best features you could want in a technical glove. Using a low-profile design with perfectly articulated fingers, the Bronco GT’s fit……

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With the addition of the Empire Canyon Lift at Deer Valley prior to the 2002-2003 ski season, Deer Valley skiers are now treated to some of the steepest inbounds runs in the state. Standing in stark contrast to the plethora of corduroy that’s dished up on the rest of the mountain, the Daly Chutes hover over Empire Canyon like sentinels. And, as sentinels, they also guard the best steeps, trees and untracked lines on the mountain. Riding up the Empire Canyon Lift, the Daly Chutes stare you in the face and just beg to be skied. Consisting of eight steep,…

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Park City Mountain Resort has long been the local’s mountain for those that call Park City home. Amidst the many tourists that are attracted to Park City’s slopes each year, you may be lucky enough to ride the Jupiter Lift with a long-time local. Ask them about powder days in Jupiter. Chances are they’ll have more stories than the ride on the old-style two-person Jupiter Lift would leave time enough to tell. With all the Jupiter ski lore floating around town, it was time we checked it out for ourselves. Checking the Ski Utah snow report revealed that Jupiter was…

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Moonstone is well known in the industry for their sleeping bags, but their other products have been overlooked for some time. In my opinion, the time to think of Moonstone for more than just stellar sleeping bags is now. Re-organized under the Pacific Trail umbrella, Moonstone has more energy and is dedicated to providing highly-technical outerwear, sleeping bags and other gear at affordable prices. In a world where jackets can cost $600 or more, sub-$300 price points for every jacket in the line except one (Exposure Jacket is $350) is a breath of fresh air. The Nordwand is the top-of-the-line…

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We were first introduced to Indigo Equipment in 2002 just before Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. PR guru, Mike Geraci, was all over their packs and we were treated with an Indigo Elvn to go head-to-head against the best backcountry skiing packs of the day. With streamlined styling and design that allowed you to carry all your backcountry gear (shovel, probe, etc.) inside the pack, the Elvn was ahead of its day. As it turns out, it was ahead of the competition in overall weight too. Well, not any more. For the 2005-2006 season, the entire line of Indigo backcountry skiing…

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As one of the most experienced ski manufacturers in the world, Karhu has been building skis since 1916. Though metal-edge ski production didn’t begin here in North America until 1976, which still represents a senior position in the market and an unsurpassed understanding of how to build durable backcountry skis. Until the dawn of the modern alpine touring binding (Fritschi and Naxo), Karhu skis were primarily skied by the telemark set. Well, thanks to these new touring bindings, Karhu skis have made serious inroads into the progressive telemark and alpine touring markets. Look for a totally revamped backcountry ski line…

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Granite Gear has consistently focused on doing one thing… building bombproof gear that’s durable and functional. We’ve tested a few Granite Gear products over the years and have found their packs to be simple, functional and durable in the backcountry. This year, Granite Gear has moved away from some product lines like gloves to focus their pack line. Founders Jeff Knight and Dan Cruikshank are passionate about gear and love to show off the new product at Outdoor Retailer. All Granite Gear products are backed by a no-nonsense guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. These guys believe in their products! Quick…

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Granite Gear has consistently focused on doing one thing… building bombproof gear that’s durable and functional. We’ve tested a few Granite Gear products over the years and have found their packs to be simple, functional and durable in the backcountry. This year, Granite Gear has moved away from some product lines like gloves to focus their pack line. Founders Jeff Knight and Dan Cruikshank are passionate about gear and love to show off the new product at Outdoor Retailer. All Granite Gear products are backed by a no-nonsense guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. These guys believe in their products! Pileus…

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A decade after G3’s first product emerged from a basement, the company has come out of the shadows and into the mainstream with a new ski line and improved products throughout. These guys are passionate about creating bombproof gear for backcountry use. The idea is to make every product they make “guide worthy.” What’s meant by that? Well, think of all the mountain guides you know. Now, think of how much they abuse their telemark bindings, avalanche shovel, skis, pack and other gear. Every guide I can think of has more duct tape than your local Home Depot. Well, G3’s…

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A decade after G3’s first product emerged from a basement, the company has come out of the shadows and into the mainstream with a new ski line and improved products throughout. These guys are passionate about creating bombproof gear for backcountry use. The idea is to make every product they make “guide worthy.” What’s meant by that? Well, think of all the mountain guides you know. Now, think of how much they abuse their telemark bindings, avalanche shovel, skis, pack and other gear. Every guide I can think of has more duct tape than your local Home Depot. Well, G3’s…

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Have you ever had a pair of skins stuck together so bad that you and your buddy had to re-enact the World’s Strongest Man Competition just to un-stick them from each other? Or, have you ever had your skins refuse to stay on in cold conditions? If you haven’t, then either you don’t get out much, or you’re using G3’s Climbing Skins. At OR, Sally Carmichael, showed me the consistent tackyness and pull of the G3 glue. These skins pulled apart easily and consistently, yet still provide enough sticky to stay on your skis no matter the temperature. After a…

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Solitude Mountain Resort continues to be the sleeper of the Wasatch. Located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, just next to Brighton Resort, Solitude caters to those looking for an escape from the big crowds and long lift lines found at other resorts during peak times. Solitude does offer, well, solitude, but there’s more to Solitude than that. Hiding behind the peaceful facade is an expert’s paradise–Honeycomb Canyon. In recent years, Solitude has built out a solid base area with top-notch accommodations with the Inn at Solitude. The front side slopes are groomed to perfection with uncrowded terrain that winds through trees,…

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The seesaw battle for luggage box supremacy goes back and forth between Yakima and Thule. Each company is in a constant battle to trump the other. This time, Yakima has put a shot right across the bow of the Thule battleship by introducing a flexible and functional luggage box in the all-new Platinum Pro 16S (“S” is for short). This new box design is built to fit on shorter rooflines of mid and compact-sizes SUV’s and wagons without interfering with the rear hatch. Cargo boxes are a necessity around these parts, and the Yakim Platinum Pro series is making headway…

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Maybe I’m just getting old and tired. Or, maybe I’m just getting tired… tired of pedaling a 45 lb. bike up 2000 vertical feet of singletrack. Maybe I’ve got this hope deep down inside me that someday, somehow, mountain bike manufacturers will team up with shock manufacturers to create bikes that are plush, light and good pedaling. I mean, can’t they just come up with innovative new suspension designs using the latest shock technology from Fox, Progressive, Manitou and Romic? Somebody pinch me and pinch me hard because those daydreaming days are over–bike manufacturers are listening to the masses. They…

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Utah ski resorts boast some of the best accessibility of any group of resorts in the world. With seven resorts within a 45 minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport, you can take off from Boston in the early morning and be skiing by early afternoon. To showcase this ease of access and proximity of all the resorts, Ski Utah provides the Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure Tour. This tour combines resort skiing with guided backcountry experiences between each mountain. The result is an adventure-packed day on a whirlwind tour of some of the best terrain and snow in the…

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Backcountry Ski Poles If you haven’t heard of or seen Indigo Equipment backcountry products, then you’re missing out on one of the most innovative companies in recent years. Their pack line has revolutionized the backcountry travel market by being the first to mass-market a fully-enclosed design using their “Tool Box System.” Not content with just packs, Indigo Equipment has branched out into other core backcountry products. Back for a sophomore season, the 2005 Indigo Equipment MoJo adjustable ski pole is one of the best backcountry products we’ve seen in years. Backed by some of the most down-to-earth folks in the…

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Though Utah is home to a collection of the most family-friendly ski resorts in America, there’s plenty of terrain that can send you whimpering back to the chairlift with your tail between your legs. We want to pull the wraps on some of the finest expert terrain in the state and give you a glimpse of just what run will kick your butt the next time you hit the slopes. Some of this terrain may require hiking, while some will just require plenty of gumption. Either way, here are some of the finest expert-only areas within some of the finest…

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We’ve been long believers in Balfa–a growing high-end bike manufacturer our of Quebec, Canada. The people at Balfa believe in their products 100% and are dedicated to pushing the limits of design to produce a high-quality, handcrafted bike. We also believe in the boys at Balfa and can vouch for their craftsmanship and dedication. One of the quirky things about Balfa, but also one of the most progressive is their mixing of old and new materials. They use modern aluminum tubing for the front triangle, but stick with tried and tested chromoly rear triangles. The result is a ride like…

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Special Report: Making Turns in New Zealand For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, welcome to the New Zealand. It’s more or less as close to the equator as you, but stuck underneath the table instead of on top of it. The snow season has arrived in the happily hip, yet cold mountain town of Queenstown and provided an opener for its inhabitants to drink about. Housing is tough as the season cranks up, with lines up to the door of the local zine every Thursday afternoon ready to pounce on whatever cubic metres are available. The Gonzo field…

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And it was. A season where many claimed their’s on grey mornings of new snow and early coffees. A record number claimed the goods this year due to one undeniable string of storms that constantly commanded attention. The hyperactive southwesterly weather came in for 6 weeks before a cosmic shot of Ritalin calmed things down a few weeks ago. The snow was there for certain, but it came bundled with punishing winds and prescription visibility limits. The town hype kept pace with the weather and served up new rounds of ex-pat DJs and rail comps in downtown Queenstown. The lingering…

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