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Introducing Vasu Sojitra: The One-Legged Backcountry Skier

The first time I saw Vasu Sojitra was during my freshmen year at the University of Vermont. I was making my way to class when someone blew by me on a long board. This is a common occurrence in a place where Birkenstocks, Phish, and Ben & Jerry’s are engrained in the fabric of the school. What was unusual was this kid only had one leg. He used one of his two crutches as a balance point to effortlessly cruise down the hill, carving with Lake Champlain in the background. I was dumbfounded and the encounter left a lasting impression.

Fast-forward four years to a bluebird day in the Chic-Choc Mountain Range of Northern Quebec. Working my way up a steep boot pack I took a moment to rest and take in my surroundings. Looking up I see Vasu methodically climbing above me. Even though I have seen him do this before the sight still amazed me. Using specially built outriggers, Vasu places them above uphill and uses his upper body to pull himself up, essentially dipping the entire way up the mountain.

Out on a Limb profiles Vasu's inspiring story and follows him as he ventures deeper into the backcountry to summit peaks, drop into avalanche zones, send cliffs, and ski deep powder lines, all completely unassisted.

I was fortunate enough to witness just part of a winter long collaboration between Vasu Sojitra and T-Bar Films. T-Bar Films is a Vermont based production company started by brothers Eliot & Tyler Wilkinson-Ray. The pair founded the company with the goal to document “the untold stories, forgotten places, and authentic characters” of the outdoor world. Their first film United We Ski chronicled the importance of the small community based ski hills of Vermont. They have gone on document some incredible surfing and mountain biking shorts in the summer months.

Last year, T-Bar Films set out to document Vasu Sojitra’s story. Vasu lost his right leg to a blood infection when he was only 9 months old. “Out on a Limb profiles Vasu's inspiring story and follows him as he ventures deeper into the backcountry to summit peaks, drop into avalanche zones, send cliffs, and ski deep powder lines, all completely unassisted.” The short was shot in the Chic-Choc Mountain Range and Vermont’s backcountry. This trailer is just a small tease from their seven-minute short, which will drop in November.

Vasu entering the white room

We just premiered TGR's new film Higher, the final installment of the Jeremy Jones’ trilogy this past weekend. Human-powered adventure is something that is incredibly important to TGR and is a direction we see winter sports heading in the future. Vasu’s story and relationship with the backcountry is truly inspiring and we look forward to T-Bar’s short dropping in November. 

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Dave Treadway Dies from Crevasse Fall in Pemberton B.C.
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Avalanche conditions in the Pyrenees are looking pretty hairy, at least based on this recent Instagram post by Álvaro Penadés. The video shows Penadés triggering two sizable slabs via cross-slope ski-cuts. He manages to avoid being caught in either slide, but the first clip seems like a close call, especially had the slide triggered above him. Related: Bene Mayr Outskis an Avalanche As Penadés mentions in his caption, the conditions were dangerous, but manageable by one well-versed in