FreeTouring with Black Diamond Equipment in the North Cascades

Now, repeat after me:

“We are not a tele skiing company. We are not an alpine skiing company. We are not a backcountry touring company. Black Diamond Equipment is a SKI company, comprised of passionate SKIERS dedicated to making a unique collection of trusted, award-winning gear — from skis to boots, skins to poles, packs to avalanche safety essentials — that enables us to choose any line, any time, anywhere, that makes every skiing day an epic day, that empowers us to break away from traditional boundaries and SKI OUTSIDE THE LINES.”

No, this wasn’t something that we made the everyone memorize during the group’s “welcome” program, but it was our mantra as we got prepared for our first ski day in the North Cascades.

From the left clockwise: Dave Waag (Off Piste), Thomas Laakso (Black Diamond Equipment Ski Category Director), Larry Goldie (North Cascades Mountain Guides), Tracy Ross (Backpacker), Frederick "Rico" Reimers (Freelancer), Berne Broudy (Outside/Freelancer), Drew Pogge (Backcountry Magazine), John "jLd" DiCuollo (Backbone Media) and Sam Bass (SKIING Magazine). Photo courtesy of David Waag.


As part of Black Diamond Equipment’s new Touring Series for 2012/13, BD is introducing nine new FreeTour and Tour skis — from rockered sidecountry skis to ultra-efficient tools for big, faraway objectives that will serve today’s skiers, helping them to define what is possible beyond the ropes.  In addition to skis, skins (featuring redesigned plush construction with dramatically improved glide), ski poles (highlighting BD’s new FlickLock® Pro design) and the new AvaLung Series packs incorporating Active Form Design were all put to the test from editors/freelancers from such publications as: Backcountry, Backpacker, Off-Piste, Men’s Journal, Outside, Popular Science, Ski, and Skiing magazines.

While most of the west is suffering from lower than usual snowfall totals, the mountain snowpack in the North Cascades of Washington as of April 1 is 137% of average.  Plenty of snow in the Cascades offered up a perfect testing conditions for our group, but we couldn’t have done it without the help of some local Methow Valley aficionados.  Thank you to the North Cascades Mountain Guides, North Cascade Heli and North Cascades Basecamp — as you all made our stay in PNW a memorable one.

North Cascades Mountain GuidesNorth Cascade Heli (Courtesy of Frederick Reimers)North Cascades Basecamp (Courtesy of Berne Broudy)

Time for some skiing…

Courtesy of David Waag

Bluebird days were perfect testing grounds for trip sponsor REVO's Headway sunglasses (their first nylon frame to feature the Crystal Water lens).

Heading for some more turns off of Amy's Peak.

Frederick "Rico" Reimers looking for "Justice." Photo courtesy of David Waag.

Taking off...Setting up...One photo seems to be missing...after the landing.

Courtesy of North Cascade Heli, every day began with a “bump” to a summit leaving us with an untouched powder palette to brush our ski signatures.  Always good to start the day off skiing down, but even more rewarding to know you have the whole day ahead ski touring with a great group of people in such a spectacular setting as the North Cascades.  We will back again one day…

FreeTouring with Black Diamond Equipment in the North Cascades

BD’s new F12 Touring Series skis include:  FreeTour Category>  Carbon Megawatt (153-125-130), Justice (140-115-125), Drift (138-100-123), Revert (121-95-109) and women’s Starlet (136-100-122).  Tour Category>  Aspect (130-90-117), Current (118-86-106), Stigma (125-80-109) and women’s Crescent (128-90-115).  Look for them to arrive at a local ski shop or an outdoor specialty store near you later this summer.