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"I lost a boot!" "What do you mean?" I shouted back. "My ski!" Mallory exclaimed. "It must have popped off when I fell." "Shit," I thought to myself.  We had just spent the last 5 hours skinning out to Barometer Mountain, two ridges over from where we had parked our car. Due to the stormy week and freshly fallen, unconsolidated snow, it had taken us longer than expected to break trail out to our destination. On the summit ridge, the easterly winds were lashing at our faces, and beckoned us to quickly transition and begin our downhill descent. We had originally planned...

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Cirque 35 (left) and Cirque 30 (right) As backcountry skiers, we carry a variety of things in our packs. There's the standard, beacon, shovel, and probe, but there are also extra layers, water, a repair kit, first aid, and the list goes on. While requirements vary by user, I think we're all in agreement that an ideal pack fits and functions well, with lightweight and durability as added bonuses. While I've only had the Cirque 30 pack from Black Diamond a few months, so far it checks the boxes of fit, function, and lightweight. I'll give you a durability report in a...

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