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Avalanche probes aren't glamorous. Sure, you have choices between different materials like steel, aluminum, and carbon, but they're basic compared with other avalanche safety gear in your kit. I mean, when is the last time you were hyped on the release of a new probe? For most backcountry users, the probe simply lives in the pack, serving only as an emergency tool for locating a buried victim under the snow. But, aren't you just a little bit curious about what else your probe can do? For instance, why does it have a color coded mark at 30cm or a change in color at...

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Dustin Byrne is a silent sender who guides in Washington, Nevada, California, Utah, Colorado, Alaska and Canada. He is a seasoned AIARE instructor, a Leave No Trace Master Educator and an AMGA Certified Alpine Guide. In his off time he enjoys climbing, skiing, and writing. @dustinbyrne This is his typical kit for a day of backcountry skiing in the Cascades: Mammut Alugator Light shovel - I always use a lightweight metal shove for touring. Works for avy rescue and building shelters in a pinch. Sometime if I know I am snow camping I may take a slightly bigger one for moving snow more...

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The key to comfort and ultimately the success and safety of any backcountry outing comes down to having the right clothing to keep you protected from the elements as well as keep your body at a comfortable temperature. The human body has a narrow temperature range that it needs to stay within to work at its optimum level. If it gets too cold or too hot, its efficiency decreases and ultimately hypothermia or over heating and sweating can become a problem.

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Picking the correct gloves for your climb is essential for the comfort and well being of your hands when dealing with changing weather conditions and applications. With so many brands, styles, and fabrics on the market, finding the best pair of gloves can be a daunting task. The reality of choosing the perfect glove is that there is no one perfect glove. 

 

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With our last summer trip in the books and a beautiful weather window in the forecast, we decided to close the Equipment Shop for a few days and explore our own backyard. If you've ever driven the Mt Baker Highway, you've surely seen the Twin Sisters range and taken awe at it's jagged ridges and [in winter] snow capped peaks. The objective on this day would be the North Twin's west ridge. At 6640ft, the North Twin rises over 5000ft from the Nooksack river valley below, at less than an hour drive from Bellingham. The approach is most often done by biking...

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