Alex Taran’s South American Beacon Project

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Disproving Avalanche Myths and The South American Beacon Project:

House Rider Alex Taran Sets Out to Make a Difference

Avalanches do not affect people in Chile*. “Gringa no tenemos avalanchas en Chile…” a group of my friends told me before they dropped into a path without avalanche gear, but with 50cms of fresh snow. (*Later that year, in that same path, an avalanche closed the road for 3 days and, in a separate incident, killed a young man).  When something like an avalanche happens it may be deceiving. It is actually not an avalanche*. (*One Patagonian avalanche related death was blamed on “glacial movement” while another death outside of a well known ski area was not deemed an avalanche, rather just a “delizamento de nieve (loose snow sliding)”…. wait isn’t that an avalanche?) Avalanches happen but don’t affect us *(*one patroller reassured me not to worry, all the avalanches in their area happen between 2-6 am, no one is around to get caught). PHEW!

The South American Beacon Project548513_260307954062584_1266026143_n is a movement we started in 2010. We identified two things missing in Chile: an atmosphere where the need for avalanche education is recognized and providing rescue tools for workers. The lack of proper equipment is not due to Chileean Resorts being too poor to purchase rescue tools; quite the opposite. Discussions about avalanches are not present anywhere near mainstream culture. It is just not accepted. Avalanches are a myth. That’s where The South American Beacon Project comes in.

The SABP reuses fully functioning beacons after testing for distances (search and send) as well as flux line drift. These beacons go into the hands of workers following an introductory class on basic avalanche mechanics and partner rescue. We also facilitate outreach avalanche education through presentations, as many avalanche centers in North America do, as well as more detailed beacon classes. Since The SABP was founded we have placed over 160 beacons and taught students in 21 communities in Chile and Argentina.

Volcan-VillaricaBut this is only the beginning. This year we are working on launching the closest thing to an avalanche center that Chile has ever seen. We are building a website where people find the majority of classes available, a history of accidents, current snow observations, and weather links. We are trying to change this atmosphere, disproving the myths through outreach and resource distribution.

This is not only our movement. This is a movement for everyone in the ski community. The key is our sense of community and togetherness. Whether you’re a skier in the northern or southern hemisphere, Europe or Asia, a beginner or an expert, we are all human and we all share the love for this sport and lifestyle. If you have an interest in getting involved, disproving these myths, and sharing this love please visit our website: WWW.SOUTHAMERICANBEACONPROJECT.COM. See you in the mountains!

By: Alex Taran

House Rider Alex Taran is enjoying the fresh coat of white in the Southern Hemisphere. Follow her Chilean Ski Adventures on Instagram: @alex_taran and @thehouseboardshop and follow updates on The SABP @southamericanbeaconproject and #southamericanbeaconproject

Sneak Peek 2015 Dynastar Cham Skis

 The phrase “CHAM wow” echoed more frequently at the 2014 SIA Trade Show in Denver, Co., than the reverberated sound of footsteps at the local buffet. No, the blissful oralation didn’t stem from the famous towel that soaks up everything, but rather from the adulation surrounding Dynastar’s award-winning CHAM series.  As like its phonetic twin, The CHAM wowed the crowd after it had soaked-up all the liquid stains [euphemism for competition].

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The CHAM is one of the most versatile freeride skis to hit the freeride market. In fact, Dynastar set-up a specialized R & D lab in Chamonix [hence the CHAM] to ensure the CHAM parallels the demands of freeride skiing. The result: multiple Freeride World Tour podiums and Outside claiming the 97mm “Outside Gear of the Year.” But something’s still missing in the series? It’s sorta like not having a gap wedge in your golf bag. Hmm? Amid all the hype, Nick, Dynastar’s version of Paul Revere, delivers an announcement so groundbreaking that even E.F. Hutton stopped to listen.  “A star is born!”

Dynastar has added the 117mm to the CHAM FAM to bridge the performance gap between the 107 and 127. CHAM’s award-winning technique of fusing rocker and 5-point sidecut with a paulownia wood core allows the 117 to transition seamlessly from playful freeride skis to fall-line crushers. Now that’s versatile! Dynastar has also mellowed the rocker in the tip to increase contact area and to eliminate tip deflection so you can track like a ballistic missile while maintaining predictable control. With the addition of a new rockered pintail design, your 117s will float on deep powder like a ghost on nitrous oxide yet maintain power, stability and speed on all terrains and in all conditions. Ride the revolution! CHAM 2.0 is here.

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Sneak Peek 2015 Rossignol Experience Skis

 

Rossignol Rossignol brought plenty of radical Experiences, literally, to this year’s SIA Trade Show in Denver, CO. The newly super-tech-injected Experience series is Rossignol’s attempt at monopolizing the all-mountain ski market. Proof? The Experience’s SIA booth produced longer lines than at a clinic after the Burning Man festival. For over 100 years, pow junkies have been conditioned to salivate from the mere mention of Rossignol, much like Pavlov’s canine bestie. So whether you prefer the small-waisted 74mm or the hefty-midsection of the 98mm, the Experience will outperform your expectations on-and off-piste or from just resting atop a ski rack.

experience 88“So how can I ski better with this new technology?” Well, this multi-award winning all-mountain ski charges-harder down corduroy, floats much better over deep pow and carves more predictably through off-piste obstacles. It’s kinda like old-school power meticulously integrated with new-school tech. Mouth watering yet?

Nick, Righteous Rossi Rep., shocked and awed powder bombers with the series’ new refinements. The most impressive upgrade is the introduction of Air Tip tech. This revolutionary tech, also available in the 7 series, lightens swing weight, generates faster turn initiation, and maintains tip flotation even in variable snow conditions. With a refined rocker profile, you’ll be able to bash through crud without your skis needlessly flapping like your mother-in-law’s jaw. The AutoTurn Rocker profile allows you to carve snow like a Porsche on hot pavement. The Experience is  hard-charging, nimble and lightweight ski that you can pin it to win it!

Rossignol has been steeped in pedigree for over 100 years, so it’s no surprise Rossignol has once again set the standard for which all other skis are being  judged. Why else would Ski Magazine name the Experience its Ski of the Year, two years running?

 

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2015 Rossignol Air Tip Technology

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Air-TipRossignol’s patented Air Tip floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee  throughout this year’s SIA TradeShow in Denver . Muhammad Ali would be so proud! Imagine a skisperience where tip floatation mimics a butterfly’s graceful flight and every turn stings like a wasp during his last days. For over 100 years, Rossignol has become synonymous with industry-changing technology and has yet again manifested a technology so revolutionary that freeride skiers will metamorphosize their skills far beyond what they thought possible. Welcome to the world of Air Tip.

 New 2015 Rossignol Experience Series

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604b41e7618fece7ff58942ef39cde3e8d66356b34fcd1c2f2bc5705428f1a6d330b65ec4e824bd3f7b5df04b593bb312d925e26b0c010f4d275c17de972688aNick, Rossi’s version of Nostradamus, refutes the notion that Air Tip tech is just some” flashy fishing lure” that simply dangles in front of the powredator, providing no actual value.  So what is Air Tip? It’s a honeycomb pattern device that traps air in the tip of the ski, much like a parachute, to lighten swing weight, increase strength underfoot and maximize torsional rigidity. “What does that do for me?” You ask.  The Air Tip moves your center of mass underfoot so you can get into the turn quicker and maintain tip flotation in variable snow conditions; thus,  eliminating tip flap and dive while enhancing the rocker construction.  The end result:  unprecedented maneuverability and predictability. Your pain points are eliminated! And once you go Air Tip, you’ll never go back.

 

 2015 Rossignol 7 Seriers

 

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“The rocker revolution is here! This isn’t just a profile; it’s now a construction,” says Rossignol.  This tech is available in the 2015 Rossignol’s Temptation, Experience and 7 series (Squad, Super, Soul, Sin). The next revolution of freeride skis is here!

 

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Top Ten Skis for 2015

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Next Years Best Planks Range from Park to Powder

At the close of the 2013/2014 season, as I put skis and boots into storage for their summer slumber, even as I prepare for the river, for hiking and biking trails, for camping and backpacking, I can not help but to look longingly into the future toward the turns that await next ski season. Luckily, I spent a lot of time this season chatting with ski designers and engineers as well as some QT on 2015 skis. Here is my list, in no particular order, of the Top Skis for the 2014/2015 Ski Season.

 

The One to Rule Them AllThe 4FRNT Devastator

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The New Seth Morrison Pro ModelThe K2 Annex 118

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The New JP Auclair Pro ModelArmada JJ  2.0

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The New Wiley Miller Pro ModelThe 4FRNT YLE

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The All New SeriesThe Line Supernaturals

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The Biggest SurpriseThe Nordica Helldarado

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The Weapons Salomon Q Series

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The New F*ckin’ Bobby Brown Pro ModelThe Salomon NFX

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Ongoing DominationRossignol 7 series 

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The New Look for Jossi Wells’ Pro ModelThe Atomic Infamous

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By: Paddy O’Connell

Exclusive Sneak Peek at 2015 K2 Annex Skis

K2 peaked at the SnowSports Industries America (SIA) trade show in Denver when it captivated the audience with the Annex series. The scene was almost Pied Piper’ish. Annex is a directional freeride ski for the aggressive powder-crusher looking to charge harder than a rhino on Red Bull. K2 has mastered the art of ski making and has taken innovation and design to the next level.

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2015 K2 Annex Skis

The K2 Annex 118 (Seth Morrison’s pro model) is the  pinnacle of the line. This wide platform ski is great for powering through knee-high pow and also holding a great edge on hardpack crud. Greatness lies in the Annex line through drawn-back taper tip and traditional box tail, which minimize chatter and hold power through the apex of the corner. If you’re not skiing K2, you’re not skiing… period!

 

 

Sneak Peek at 2015 Lange XC 120 Ski Boot

Lange (manufacturer of all out awesome alpine boots) embedded an indelible bootprint on the industry at this year’s SnowSports Industries America (SIA for newbies) Trade Show in Denver. From the corn-soaked fields of Dubuque, Iowa to World Cup podium domination, Lange has had many firsts in the alpine boot industry and has amassed an unparalleled resume. However, Ski boots are often viewed as the middle child of the ski family: constantly overlooked and rarely impressionable. But Lange did make an impression, even with the skeptics, when it unveiled its new XC 120 AT boot. The reinvented freeride boot is here and it’s Lange’s gift to all you seekers of adventure.

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2015 Lange XC 120 Ski Boot

Set to make its off-piste debut in 2015, the XC 120 is a hiking-capable, high-performance 102mm freeride boot designed for a wider foot without relinquishing comfort and fit. The vastly improved Power V-Lock— scraped from the XT model–delivers optimal range-of-motion so you can hike with the agility of a mountain goat. Who wouldn’t love to be G.O.A.T?  The revolutionary grip sole gives you traction when scaling the mountain side. No more summit tumbles. Nick, the Rain Man behind Lange, defuses the myth that AT boots become “fishy” after time. He explains that there are no gaps where the upper and lower come together, so the shells interface powerfully like in a traditional boot. The XC will come in 3 different models for both men and women

Sneak Peek at 2015 Dynafit Beast 14 Binding

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2015 Dynafit Beast 14 Binding

This past January’s SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Trade Show in Denver felt more like a “tech” buzzword feeding frenzy than a show that had touted individualism. It seemed companies were hyper-concerned with meeting their impression goals by resorting to carni-style tactics: “Step right up and get your tech here!” Dynafit, with 30 years of binding tech experience, let its newest tech immortal the Beast 14 binding speak for itself. The Beast 14 addresses athletic, passionate Freeriders who seek speed, performance and innovation in every discipline and on every terrain. Being unleashed in 2015, Dynafit extracted the DNA from the award-winning B16 to create this Dr. Moreau  hybrid. The frameless Beast 14 is equipped with an elastic toe piece to ensure a consistent release pattern and to prevent premature toejaculation from side impacts. The heel unit releases at both the toe piece and heel unit. Hendi, Dynafit Deity, gushes over the Beast’s shaved weight and its uber-usability when “mini-golf” skiing. The last time a beast was this sleek and performed that well was when Bigfoot shaved for the swim team. Usually that ah-ha moment comes in the shower or when you’re 12 deep in a case of buds. But not for the snow Gods Frederick Anderson and Eric ‘Hoji’ Hjorleifson; their inspirations came from angles and neutrality. To paraphrase: “A low lean angle improves neutral ski performance and makes skiing easier on difficult terrain.” Put a Beast under your feet and unleash the terror within.

Exclusive Sneak Peek at 2015 K2 Shreditor Skis

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2015 K2 Shreditor Skis

K2 climbed to the summit of success at this year’s SnowSports Industries America (SIA) in Denver, Co. when it unleashed the Shreditor--a beast of a ski. Carnage ensued shortly after that. K2’s predator tamer Mike gets giggity about the athlete-inspired line of playful, surfy and versatile skis. The line comes in 92, 112, and 120 (Sean Petit’s pro model). The award-winning line will definitely put a shiver in your quiver.

Shreditor 92

Shreditor 92

These all-mountain slayers shred groomers to hardpack like a velociraptor shreds unsuspecting paleontologists. New insane graphics adorn the 112 and 120 series. The new twin-tip 92 is built to be a hardpack crusher, pretty much a killa’ on all terrains. The Shreditor has drawn-down tapered tip and tail for zero deflection, so you can dictate where you want the ski to go. K2 brings versatility and killer instinct to all things pow.

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Shreditor 102

Shreditor 112

Shreditor 112

 

 

Sneak Peek at 2015 Line Skis

For years at trade shows, the Line booth smelled of wafting excrement from adjoining bathrooms either because no one had heard of Line or the industry had been secretly making tie-ins with the unknown brand. What a difference innovation makes. At last January’s SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Trade Show in Denver, Line threw down some fat lines and everyone came sniffing around. The same industry pros that once shunned the small company now came searching for those fat pow-line killers.

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2015 Line Skis

Line skis are as unique as the lines you ski. With models like Chronic, Afterbang, Sick Day and Traveling Circus, the brand sounds more like  a gnarly evening timeline rather than a cred ski company.  Eric Pollard, graphics guru, added his genius touch to most lines.  The new top sheets can only be described as WTF! With innovations that has redefined its very industry, Ride continues to reshape the ski world heading into 2015

 

Chronic Skis

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2014/2015 Line Sick Day Skis (95, 110, 125)

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 Traveling Circus Skis

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