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.

Having been a huge fan of Hayes hydraulic disc brakes for a long time, I was a bit reluctant to try anything else. Hayes brakes are powerful and offer a familiar level of stopping power. Well, now there’s plenty of hydraulic disc brakes on the market and the ones generating the biggest buzz aren’t filled with sloppy fluid — they’re powered by the familiar braided steel cables found on mountain bikes for years. Avid mechanical disc brakes are by far the most powerful mechanicals on the market. Heck, they’re one of the most powerful set of stoppers money can buy.…

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Many times, I’d driven through Grand Junction and Fruita, CO en route to Denver, but never stopped. I’ve always looked around and felt like there was something there that I needed to discover. I’ve felt some sort of pull to the area. Now that Fruita has well become the latest mountain biking Mecca, I decided I needed to find out what all the stink was about. It all started in July when I found out that an old friend of mine was getting married at Powderhorn Ski Resort just outside of Grand Junction. The wheels in my head began to…

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Turner Bicycles is one of the original full-suspension frame manufacturers out there. David Turner has been an innovator in mountain bike suspension design since the suspension craze began over 10 years ago–and continues today. The famed “Turner Burner” is still heralded as one of the finest full-suspension bikes ever. Turner’s attention to quality is evident with beautiful welds and immaculate paint quality. The addition of grease ports at all pivot points eases pivot maintenance and prolongs the natural life of the surprisingly-supple bushings. Naturally, this kind of attention to quality does come with its price–you have to wait. The fabled…

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A Summary of the Red Bull Snowthrill of Alaska, March 21-30, 2002 by Leslie Anthony (used by permission) On March 29, 2002, the wan, afternoon light flooding the main intersection of Haines, Alaska, illuminated a Feliniesque diorama of art imitating life, life imitating art, and a cast of international athletes and image-makers imitating … well, themselves. POWDER magazine’s David Reddick lined up a shot of a shaggy, somnolent mutt guarding a chainsaw in the back of a pick-up; steps away, European sequence-king Jean-Marc Favre shot Canadian sensation Pierre-Yves LeBlanc lounging beside a wooden raccoon; Austrian Ullrich Grill snapped off Abbey…

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“We better leave home at 5:00 AM at the latest.” Those words were stuck in my head. I couldn’t believe we were going to see the Ladies Olympic Downhill, but I also couldn’t believe we would have to leave home at 5:00 AM. Monday, February 11 I managed to roll out of bed pretty easily and get on my way. I was tired. As I was making my way up Provo Canyon, I slipped U2 into the CD player–stoked to be going to an Olympic Downhill. Over and over, I kept reminding myself outloud: “I’m going to an Olympic Downhill!…

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March 2, 2002, 24 freeskiing pros will face again a unique challenge on the Krippenstein, Austria together with 24 “local heroes” from the alps. Freeski-world champion against “Mr. Nobody” from the local scene, this is what goes to making up the 2nd “Red Bull White Rush”. In 8-man heats International greats and “local heroes” will compete against each other in a spectacular off piste SkierX competition in an exciting location. In informal surroundings experiences should be exchanged, new friendships and contacts established all of which are shaped towards one goal – to master the difficult course on the Krippenstein. In…

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February 6: Whistler, British Columbia From the Fairmont Chateau Whistler I woke up an hour before my alarm clock was set to go off. The only time this happens is when I’m going skiing and know it will be a sick powder day. It had snowed 28 inches in the last 36 hours and today I was going helicopter skiing for the first time in my life with Whistler Heli-Skiing. Not only was the powder going to be deep but I wouldn’t have to fight 6000 other maniacs for the goods. It was shaping up to be an epic day…

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February 5: Whistler, British Columbia From the Fairmont Chateau Whistler I awoke early on Tuesday morning, still a little tired after the 24-hour drive from Park City to Whistler, but eager to start the skiing part of this road trip. It had snowed all night and was still dumping when I boarded Blackcomb’s Wizard Express chair with journalist Rob Reed and snowboard model/television producer Lisa Podosin. Rob writes for Elite Traveler Magazine and is responsible for luring me to Whistler. With the help of Tourism Whistler, he promised a week of epic snow conditions, great food and jumping nightlife. What…

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We all know the Greatest Snow on Earth lives up Little Cottonwood Canyon outside of Salt Lake City. Little Cottonwood is home to the legendary Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Resort. Both offer the same snow, right? Both offer the same pitches right? Well, not exactly. According to many, Snowbird, with it’s high-speed lifts and the flying dumpster, rules. To others, the moniker “Alta is for Skiers” is tatooed on their very souls. For these three believers, it gets even more personal. Let’s get it on! ALTA – The thirst quencher of my Soul Ahhhhhh, the age old argument of…

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February 2: Park City, Utah The world is coming to Park City next week in search of Olympic medals and memories to last a lifetime. I wish the athletes much luck but am afraid all the tourists will find are mile long traffic jams and weak Utah beer. For many visitors watching an Olympic event is the dream of a lifetime but my skiing dreams don’t include icy racecourses. They revolve around untracked powder, helicopters, uncrowded runs and the only ice is in my glass at the end of a bluebird day. So when the world arrives in Park City…

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Submitted by guest writer, Tracey Hughes “I’m so over this” said my friend May Eynon, who happened to be skinning next to me in a sub-zero gale wind as we made our way over the endless, wind-blown white swatch of Taylor basin to Taylor pass. I was over it, too. My partner Bart pressed on in front of us, bracing against the gales that pounded us constantly. I found it absurd that a) we were doing this race again b) May, a tough-as-nails diehard girlfriend I had known from various punishing events, was as sick of it as me and…

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We all know the Greatest Snow on Earth lives up Little Cottonwood Canyon outside of Salt Lake City. Little Cottonwood is home to the legendary Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Resort. Both offer the same snow, right? Both offer the same pitches right? Well, not exactly. According to many, Snowbird, with it’s high-speed lifts and the flying dumpster, rules. To others, the moniker “Alta is for Skiers” is tatooed on their very souls. For these two believers, it gets even more personal. Let’s get it on! Counterpoint: Alta is for Skiers We live in the age of logic, when reason…

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The snowpack this year has been, well, unstable to say the least. Anything that can slide already has at least once, if not twice all on it’s own. Many, typically tantalizing slopes are so sketchy it almost makes me sick to my stomach. On New Year’s Day, Kendall Card and I ventured into the South Backcountry just outside of The Canyons Resort. What was a routine trip into the backcountry ended up being a lesson in how dangerous the backcountry can be. 9:00 AM: Saddleback and Toombstone Lifts Kendall and I hooked up with The Canyons photographer, Erik Seo to…

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Ahhhh… Northwest-style skiing. Low passes, heavy precipitation, fir trees galore and sick, coastal terrain. This is home. The Cascade Mountains of Western Washington were my playground; where I learned to snowplow, where I learned to tuck and where I learned to ski–no matter the conditions. Northwest skiers know what it’s like to ski in the rain. And they really know what it’s like to ski on ice… the blue kind that’s more at home in your icebox. Conditions vary in the Cascades from heavy, rainsoaked slop to “light,” deep fluff. On sunny days, the views are spectacular–miles and miles of…

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Salt Lake City, Thanksgiving day, 2001… rain, all day long, then snow… all night long. Park City, Thanksgiving day, 2001… snow, all day and night! Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons, Thanksgiving day, 2001… SNOW… PUKING SNOW, all day long and into the night… continuing into the next day! After all was said and done, the Wasatch Mountains in Utah got pummeled! Enough to go from 0-inch base to 50-inch base in 3 days! Little Cottonwood Canyon, home to Alta and Snowbird ended the storm with 50-inches of new… and it’s still coming down! All-in-all, Utah has been hurting for snow,…

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The mountain bike community eagerly awaited an event that combined the technical advances in the sport of mountain biking and the skill of free riding. Finally, with the help of Global Event Management, Josh Bender, and Bike Zion, Red Bull provided the perfect opportunity for this contingency of 22 free riders. Destination: Virgin “One of the challenges that faces the free ride community is finding the right location”; Wade Simmons, the winner of today’s event, recognizes the difficulty of seeking out an accessible, yet credible event site. Well-known for its pristine parks, its array of ridges, drops and technical lines,…

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As a long-time Marzocchi Bomber fan, I’m anxious to see the new forks from Manitou, the Sherman line with the OnePointFive steerer. Though much debated, the benefits of a larger steerer tube are obvious, yet painful at the same time. Nobody wants an out-dated frame or feel they must upgrade their most expensive piece of bike equipment–their frame! Hopefully both 1.5 and 1 1/8 inch steerers can co-exist… at least for a time! Dual-crown forks truly don’t need a larger steerer, but then again, why not? Some frame manufacturers are already embracing the new 1.5 steerer: Intense, Ellsworth, Cannondale and…

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Of all of the bikes I wanted to test, the Intense Uzzi SLX was on the top of the list. Primarily because it has been nearly impossible to get a hold of — especially fully built up. Intense has arguably the best customer service and warranty in the business with an impeccable reputation for taking the Specialized rear triangle and making it the winningest suspension design on the planet. The M1 is legendary in downhilling. You’ll find more top racers straddling an Intense M1 to the podium than any other frame. The Uzzi SLX replaces and improves upon the monocoque…

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This year, Ellsworth scrapped the Aeon brand for their single-pivot sister bikes: Joker and Isis. Both the Joker and the Isis are now officially Ellsworth bikes. The Joker competes directly with the Santa Cruz Bullit in the big hit, single-pivot market — where it excels is in its stiffness and surprisingly light weight. The single-pivot design uses what’s called Anti-Torsion, Lower forward pivot, Active Suspension or ATLAS. The Anti-Torsion refers to the beefed up swingarm pivot that eliminates any torsional movement. The Lower forward pivot is where the pivot is located, thus finding what Ellsworth feels is the ultimate placement…

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Ellsworth is one of the premier US mountain bike manufacturers. Everyone drools over their aluminum works of art, and on the trail, you just about have to beat away onlookers with the bar-ends you keep in your back pockets for just such an occasion. The Id is a brand new bike, splitting the difference between the super-solid Dare, DH machine, and the Truth, a svelte cross-country racer. Using the same rear triangle technology, the Id accomplishes near-zero bob for efficient climbing, yet remains active enough to help you motor up difficult sections. Going downhill it is just as capable, with…

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