Over the last 25 years, Jeremy Jones has snowboarded everywhere from Vermont to Alaska. He was once a pioneer of big-mountain freeriding and has become a pioneer of human-powered riding. In 2007, he founded Protect Our Winters, an organization aimed at stopping climate change and three years later, he launched his groundbreaking film, Deeper. This month, he’ll release Higher, the final chapter in the three-part series. This won’t mark the end of exploration for Jones, though, “We have our hands full right now getting Higher out the door,” he says, “but there’s a lot I want to do, exactly how I want to document that, I don’t know.”
Twenty years ago, Larry Coats noted that the day had come when there was no longer a distinction between Nordic and Alpine skiing. And over the two decades since, a whole lot has happened with backcountry gear, from the boom and bust of telemark equipment to the splitboard explosion. Here’s how it all went down, as pulled from our pages.
In November Backcountry will celebrate its 20th birthday. The issues from the last two decades are lined up on my desk in descending order, and, I must admit, they’re taking up an awful lot of room. So in celebration of our approaching birthday, here’s a look at 20 years of Backcountry covers.
Cedric Bernardini was born just outside of Chamonix, but he didn’t become a skier until many years later. He has traveled all over, from Paris to Zimbabwe, but it was in the Sierra Nevada where he picked up his love for skiing. When Backcountry got him on the phone, Bernardini talked about days off, being lazy and skiing with friends.
It’s common knowledge among skiers that Lynsey Dyer can shred. After all, she’s been in more than a dozen ski films. But now she’s turning the lens around to produce an all-women ski film, Pretty Faces, due out in September. We caught up with Dyer to talk about Pretty Faces, community-sourced footage and motivating Minnesotan kids to ski.
Eighteen years ago, a backcountry skier’s shell walked and talked a lot differently than its contemporary fellows. But one thing remains the same: waterproof breathability is still at the core of the outerwear conversation.
Will Wissman has been taking pictures for longer than most people can say they have been skiing. He’s worked with magazines like Backcountry, National Geographic Adventure and Outside, and he carved out time in his busy schedule to chat with Backcountry about snowmaking, stoke and how avalanches can save lives..
In 2001 Backcountry ran its first-ever review of splitboards, with the apt cover line, “Backcountry Bording: Dealing with the Uphill.” The review included the Burton Split and the Voilé Split Decision, but despite the exciting new technology, tester Jenny Ader cautioned consumers.
Avalanches have always been a hazard in the backcountry, and our response to sliding snow has constantly evolved. But the most recent life-saving tool, the avalanche airbag, might be older than you think. The first airbag was introduced in 1985 by ABS founder Peter Aschauer. Backcountry first covered the technology in January 1997, Issue 10.
Mattias Fredriksson is a jack-of-all-trades. He’s worked as an editor, had his own magazine and is now a professional photographer with almost 400 cover images to his name. This September, Fredriksson will add another shot to his already impressive portfolio: the cover of Backcountry’s 2015 Gear Guide.