JEFFERSONVILLE, VT. Following a heated and lengthy in-house discussion on the dangers and uncertainty of the unknown, Backcountry Magazine has decided to refocus its content to solely cover popular backcountry zones. As Backcountry transitions away from “The Untracked Experience”—a catchphrase encouraging ill-advised and remote trips to harsh and untrammeled environments—we aim to better cater to the public at large.
“I’m so sick of writing about these far-flung expeditions,” Associate Editor Lucy Higgins said this past Tuesday, shortly after the unanimous editorial decision was made. “Who cares about skiing in Antarctica or chasing pow in Kamchatka when there’s three fresh inches of powder out the back door? This whole ‘sense of adventure’ thing is exhausting.”
Higgins went on to note that covering little-heard-of and faraway locations is limiting company growth. “It’s restrictive, frankly,” she added. “In our ongoing effort to appeal to the masses, writing about exotic locales distances us from the Joe Shmoes of skiing. If Joe doesn’t ski it, we won’t be covering it.”
Given these recent developments, Backcountry has also reworked the themes and articles for the quickly approaching 2016-2017 production season. New departments include the “How Low Can You Go” column, which compares favorite low-angle haunts, and “Rat Race,” a monthly, reader-penned essay that details the thrill of a crowded skintrack and the sensation of sliding through trodden snow.
But Editor in Chief Tyler Cohen isn’t just stopping there. “I’d like to see a whole issue revolving around Vermont’s Mt. Mansfield State Forest or one focusing just on Utah’s Cardiff Fork,” said Cohen. “Those zones are, like, the size of The Bronx and on a busy weekend, they feel just as crowded. It’s exhilarating and exciting having so many people in the mountains together. Now, covering these places in detail is becoming a reality.”
As Backcountry moves away from overhyped exploration, we urge our subscribers and contributors to submit their favorite zones, secret or otherwise, so that we can be sure to report on them in detail.