Sep 28 2012

Review: Backcountry Mag’s Deep Issue


Backcountry Mag’s Deep Issue
Vol. 18, Issue 87

Once again my friends at Backcountry magazine have pumped out another worthy issue this season. Okay, I’ll admit that actually having the opportunity to pen a few words in there might be influencing my perspective a bit, but I’ll let you decide that when you browse your copy on the newsstand.

For starters it is nice to see Backcountry drop the proselytizing for global warming with their White issue and get back to the facts with an issue devoted to something we can all agree on, that riding in deep powder is one of the most incredible experiences available on planet earth. That’s what this Deep Issue is devoted to and I’ve only brushed the surface and am impressed with the lineup of thinkers tagged to comment on the subject with a clarity and depth only matched by the subject itself.

My fave article so far is John Fry’s “Race of the Unbroken” which distills the influence of Sir Arnold Lunn on the development of modern ski mountaineering. From Lunn’s perspective the entire world of skiing became side tracked with the effects caused by using chairlifts, transforming the very act of turning into something other than what he thought is was “supposed to be”, especially in the world of ski racing. Many of us backcountry skiers can empathize with that view. I was particularly delighted to learn Lunn was a telemarker, and he agreed with something I’ve long thought, “the telemark turns [is] the essential tool for heavy snow and breakable crust.”

You’ll probably recognize some of the other authors, like Les Anthony, Megan Michelson, Dick Dorworth, Mike Horn, Drew Pogge, Drew Mullen, Gwen Cameron, and moi. There’s the usual bevy of awesome photos, and an annoyingly healthy amount of advertisements – including one of the most disturbing ads I’ve ever laid eyes on. Turn the page please, and quickly at that!

It was also refreshing to get the low down on what truly blower pow is. The take away from my read on Lance Rieks decree on how light it must be to qualify for that term is ridiculously narrow. Since he won’t be around to measure our local Tahoe pow, and everyone believes we only get Sierra Cement here, I’ll just let him and everyone believe that and me and my bc partners can stretch the truth a bit and enjoy heavy blower with less competition.

All in all worth a gander, maybe even a subscription.

© 2012