That’s a phenomenal achievement in and of itself. But here’s the clincher. This is a retrospective issue on all that has gone on in the corner of the world we call backcountry skiing. Truth be told, when you include the references in the articles reflecting back on the last 20 years this issue is a history of backcountry skiing from when it began in America, and in no small way is a tribute to my hero, and many of those who knew him, Paul Ramer. In case Paul isn’t your hero, that’s okay because I’ll bet your hero is somewhere between the covers in this issue too.
Brian Litz, co-founder of Backcountry Magazine with David Harrower back in 1994, my competitors at the time, pens an awesome summary and tribute to the man whose influence has been felt thoughout this sport since he invented the first American Touring binding. We call ‘em AT bindings these days, but make no mistake, Alpine Touring is today what that crazyAmerican dreamed it would be before some of you were born. In a fitting bookend, one of the ads before the table of contents, the Dynafit ad, tips their hat to Ramer as well.
Don’t get me wrong, this issue is not all about Paul Ramer. I’m just pleased as punch that he was acknowledged as many agree he should be; along with many others, not the least of which is the Backcountry crew themselves. After twenty years they deserve to take a bow.
There’s a ton of other great articles on the state of the sport as it was, is, and is headed for, plus the obligatory pages of old-fashioned, drool inducing, stopped-action ski porn. Don’t take my word for it. Go find a copy, browse a few pages and leave a ten-spot for the shop selling it. Tell ‘em to keep the change. That way they can pay the publishers the full value of what the mag is worth and keep a few bucks for themselves. Think of it as a tip for a job well done that will get passed on down the line and keep the presses rolling. Better yet, put that ten-spot toward a subscription.
Who said print was dead? Yeah, they’re saying that about tele too. Just you wait!
Full disclosure: Yeah, I’ve got an article in there too. They did a good job of making me into a writer.
Height of Land Publications