DEEP: The Future of Snow: Big Sky

Upside down snowpack, bankrupt resorts, and the future of farming in Montana

Days 6: Big Sky
Snow. High near 36. West wind 11 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

It’s President’s Day weekend and all of the parking lots at Big Sky are full. We walk 10 minutes to the base area and meet Kipp Proctor, the media relations and community manager at Big Sky. He’s been skiing all morning and says it’s deep at the summit of 11,116-foot Lone Peak. Two long, slow lift rides leaves us at the tram, which zips us to the top of the largest ski area in America. Next door is Moonlight Basin and the posh, private Yellowstone Club. The snow has been stickier and wetter this year, Kipp says, helping to cover up the razor sharp rocks Big Sky is known for.

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FWT Kirkwood Highlights

Jackie Paaso and Lars Chickering-Ayers won on the Cirque

“Choppy, variable, icy, everything you could want.”

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Week In Review March 3rd

Backcountry legislation, horizontal rocker, and new hut systems

After only a week spent considering a proposed bill that would fine skiers and riders $500 if they get lost skiing out of bounds in Vermont ski areas and require rescue, the state senate decided to shelve the bill. The measure was proposed in response to the ridiculous number of backcountry rescues needed this winter, especially at Killington, where 40 people got lost in the woods over one Christmas weekend. “If we start criminalizing what we all think is dumb, we’d have an endless avalanche of legislation,” said one senator.

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What I’ve learned on the FWT: Sean Collin

On line choice, getting psyched out, and trying to odl down his day job as an accountant

Twenty-five-year-old Sean Collin is one of only ten Americans competing in the 2013 Freeride World Tour. The Truckee, CA, native grew up skiing at Squaw Valley. A former freestyle skier, Collin used to compete in halfpipe competitions including the U.S. Open and the Dew Tour, but he also qualified for the 2013 FWT by taking 2nd place in the 2012 tour stop at Kirkwood.

Last year was his first in big mountain competitions, this year he’s been mixing it up in freeskiing’s main event with the up-and-comers and legends of the sport. Prior to the Kirkwood event this year, Collin’s best performance was in Chamonix where he placed 14th. He took 6th place on the Cirque at Kirkwood, and moved himself up to 15th place in the overall standings. On March 9th, Collin will compete in Fieberbrunn, Austria with the hopes of earning himself a spot in the FWT’s grand finale in Verbier, Switzerland.

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DEEP: The Future of Snow. Day 5: Stevens Pass to Bozeman

Driving through the storm

Day 5: Stevens Pass to Bozeman
Snow showers. High near 35. West wind 8 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

The ridges around Leavenworth are hidden behind fog in the morning. We have 600 miles between us and Bozeman and a day to cover it in. The sun is shining further down Route 2 as we make our way over the eastern plains of Washington to I-90. There are orchards here and a few vineyards, a steady stream of traffic moving southwest.

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Week in Review: February 24

puppies, pow, and hydroponics

A Vermont senator has introduced legislation that would make it illegal to use the “facilities of a ski area to access terrain outside the ski area’s open and designated ski trails (if) as a result, (the skier) must be rescued by a rescue organization.” Which means that should you ski out of bounds, get lost, and need a rescue, the state’s gonna slap you on the wrist to the tune of $500. Get ready to pay up, idiots.

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Backstage at the PVAs: Best Jib

Clayton Vila talks about hitting the rainbow rail and how the Superbowl helped him do it

Clayton Vila talks about hitting the rainbow rail and how the Superbowl helped him do it.

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DEEP: The Future of Snow. Days 3-4: Mt. Hood to Stevens Pass

Looking at climate change in Washington and Oregon

We hit the road after breakfast and coast down Highway 35. The roads are wet with two inches of sand covering the double yellow line. The Prius charges its batteries as we arc around corners and glide over glacial moraines. The snow thins the further we descend, hundreds, then thousands, of feet to the Hood River Valley. There, the skeletal apple and pear trees of the valley’s myriad orchards edge the road in perfect rows. The leaves and fruit are gone but the grass around them is green, as is most of the landscape.

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Tween Dreams

An adorable Q&A with Kelly Sildaru

For Powder’s February feature listing the top 20 skiers 18 and under, we quizzed each of the Young Bloods. The most adorable answers? That’d go to No. 20, 10 year old Estonia native Kelly Sildaru.

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Backstage at the PVAs: Best P.O.V.

Topher Plimpton (a dude with a desk job) and Corey Felton win

Might want to rethink the day job.

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