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Access Granted: The backcountry of Routt County

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Reall Colbenson and Cory Fleming snowshoe on New Year's Day on Rabbit Ears. Reall Colbenson/Courtesy

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Matt Wood started riding split boards about five years ago. Now, he runs a small business on the side sawing boards in half. Splitting the board allows the pieces to be used as skis to access backcountry terrain. A kit can be purchased that pulls the pieces back together to allow for traditional downhill snowboarding. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Matt Wood, top left, and Brian Dudley head into the Harrison Creek drainage Wednesday morning on split snowboards. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Armada Skis started as a company primarily focused on park and pipe, but a version of its JJ ski, released in 2008, helped push a revolution in skis that saw them not only grow wider, but more versatile. The JJ excelled in powder and on groomed runs. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Sara Gorevan reads the uphill access disclosure from Steamboat Ski Area. The ski area began asking users to sign the form this year in light of a dramatic increase in uphill traffic. It initially ordered 200 florescent armbands to hand out to those who signed forms, but they quickly ran out. Now, more than 240 skiers and riders have signed up. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Pete Van De Carr trims a climbing skin to a ski in his downtown Steamboat Springs shop, Backdoor Sports. Van De Carr long has catered to backcountry enthusiasts, but he said business has been trending up in recent years. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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DynaFit long has been one of the industry leaders in Alpine touring bindings and boots, but observers say their offering next year, the Beast binding, could help further open AT gear to regular skiers. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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