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Two sticks up, one down.

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(Courtesy Weston)

Weston Backwoods Splitboard ($899)

Slashy even in tight trees, this poplar-bamboo board hails from a boutique maker in Weston, Colorado. Its fun, surfy feel comes from a tip that’s wider than the tail, plus camber underfoot and rocker at the ends.

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(Courtesy ThirtyTwo)

ThirtyTwo Jones MTB Boots ($600)

With full-zip gaiters, a crampon-compatible Vibram outsole with heavy lugs for hiking, and a collar that folds back to allow longer strides while skinning, these boots are tough enough to get you anywhere you think you want to be. Careful: you’ve still got to get down. 

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(Courtesy Ortovox)

Ortovox S1+ Avalanche Transceiver ($490)

This flip-phone-esque, three-antenna beacon uses a digital display to locate buried riders. Internal compass-like tech senses when you turn, and a grid screen displays multiple victims and the distance to each within its impressive 164-foot-wide range. 

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(Courtesy Patagonia)

Patagonia Descensionist Jacket ($449)

This waterproof-breathable kit has a soft-shell feel with hard-shell performance. We appreciated it skinning up on a crisp morning and while storm riding. Play to your vanity: the all-weather jacket can be matched with the Descensionist pants ($349). 

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(Courtesy Ibex)

Ibex Shak Glove Liners ($40)

These simple merino inner gloves are slim enough to fit below the Mercurys for the way down and breathable enough that you won’t sweat them out on the hike up. 

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(Courtesy Jones)

Jones Higher 30L Backpack ($149)

For long tours, go for this vertical-board-carry pack. Thirty liters belies its true capability, with pockets galore for all your essentials. A slick, coated interior beefs up toughness and adds waterproofing.

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(Courtesy Union Bindings)

Union Expedition Splitboard Bindings ($349)

Once you’ve clipped into these freestyle-focused bindings, the stiff nylon and plastic backs and an attachment that corkscrews the board together make the new Expeditions rip like you never left the resort. 

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(Courtesy Voile)

Voile CamLock 3 Lock Poles ($110)

In the backcountry, you need small poles that can collapse to fit in your pack. Voile’s three-piece aluminum CamLocks shrink to just over two feet long and are stiff enough to pole you out of the flats.  

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(Courtesy Voile)

Voile Split Skins ($185) 

These durable nylon skins, with nearly unbreakable metal split clips, will survive whatever your season dishes out, meaning they’ll last well beyond the next tech upgrade.

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(Courtesy Black Diamond)

Black Diamond Mercury Mitts ($110)

Take two sets of gloves into the backcountry: a light pair for going up and a heavy pair—like these lined goat-leather mitts —for going down. 

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Fitness

The Best Resort Skis of 2018

Thanks to a plethora of new materials, skis are getting way more versatile. (Courtesy Blizzard) Blizzard Rustler 10 ($780) “Ski of the future.” When multiple test cards make that claim, you know an engineer just blew up the status quo of ski design. That’s the case with the Rustler 10. Until now, strong western skiers had to choose between burly big-mountain sticks made for charging steeps and playful freeride ones built to pivot and slough. Austria-based Blizzard decided to fill this void. Thanks to an entirely new construction with carbon in the rockered tip and tail, metal in the

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Fitness

The Best Snowboards of 2018

Seven boards that put fun first. (Courtesy Salomon) Salomon Sick Stick ($650) Snowboarders just wanna have fun. Thankfully, designers are putting a premium on pleasure for 2018, focusing more on playful, enjoyable models that pop like tarts and slash like surfboards. Of the more than 100 planks we tested at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, the Sick Stick best epitomizes the return to snowboarding’s fun-loving roots. Salomon revamped this decade-old staple, most notably by getting rid of the board’s characteristic pintail in favor of shapes specific to each model size: the shortest deck (the 151) has the widest waist and

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Fitness

The Best Backcountry Skis and Bindings of 2018

AT gear keeps getting better and better at handling the down. (Courtesy Volkl) Völkl 100Eight ($825) Backcountry-ski makers have spent years pursuing the holy grail of the alpine-touring world: a ski that’s light enough for touring but still rips on the down, no matter the snow conditions. While no one has nailed it yet, the Gear of the Year–winning Völkl 100Eight comes closer than most. You’ll often see this ski in-bounds at the resort because of its downhill prowess, but our out-of-bounds testers have adopted it, too. Its construction keeps the weight manageable for touring, with guts made from twin

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Fitness

The Best Alpine Ski Boots of 2018

“I love my ski boots,” said no one. Ever. Complaints are common in this category, but brands are determined to stop skiers’ moans. This year’s models solve virtually every gripe, from cold toes to slippery soles.  (Courtesy Fischer) Fischer RC4 Curv 130 ($699) Solved: Pinched feet. Moldable liners are so 2005. Conformable shells are the new custom-fit frontier. The Fischer RC4 Curv 130 uses an exoskeleton made of a plastic that’s vacuum-molded at a specialty retailer to your unique foot shape.  Buy Now (Courtesy K2) Spyne 120 Heat ($900) Solved: Frozen toes. K2 plugged a furnace into its hard-charging Spyne 120 Heat that keeps the whole

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Fitness

The Best Alpine Touring Ski Boots of 2018

Backcountry boots are stiffer and more powerful than ever. (Courtesy Salomon) Salomon S/Lab X-Alp ($1,000) The Arc’teryx Procline was the first boot with side-to-side flex in touring mode. Now there’s the X-Alp as well, which gets 23 degrees of inward flex and 13 degrees of outward, to help you skin across angled terrain. The biggest difference between this Salomon and the Arc’teryx is that the X-Alp is stiffer, better for driving a big ski. 2.9 lbs Buy Now (Courtesy Lange) Lange Women’s XT Freetour 110 LV ($750) A 110 flex might sound a little soft, but all of our testers

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Fitness

The Best Nordic Skiing Gear of 2018

Keep fit all year with this fast-gliding skinny-ski gear. (Courtesy Rossignol) Rossignol X-ium Premium Skate S2 Skis ($805) Designed in collaboration with Rossignol athletes, the X-ium S2 has a rigid waist and flexible tail to deliver powerful energy transmission while reducing pressure in the shovel for enhanced glide and steering. The longer glide zone makes accelerating a breeze. BUY NOW (Courtesy Swix) Swix Triac 3.0 Poles ($600) These are the lightest, stiffest carbon poles on the market. Swix eliminated stretch in the wrist strap and added an index-finger platform to help transfer power to the ultra-minimal grip-and-strap system. BUY NOW

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