Oh how the times have changed. Flipping through archived issues of Backcountry, I stumbled across an atrocious sight in the 2000 Gear Guide. What might have been innovative then now harks back to a simpler time, when Tuas were cutting edge and tele skiers were content to smoke their patchouli (or whatever).
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.
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, ski films meant big hair, Iron Crosses and rock music. And Greg Stump was the master of them all. The New York Times called Stump “a maverick film maker in the ski business,” and The Atlantic wrote, “Stump… does not make G-rated, safe-and-sane ski travelogues with elevator music. What he does make are wildly original, nonstop ski action films with comic and dramatic subplots and original scores.”
To most people, the late Carl Skoog was known as a talented skier, mountaineer and photographer. His skills in the mountains made him a role model for many, and his images were featured nine times on the cover of Backcountry. To the people who knew him best, Skoog was more than just a great skier with an eye for photography—he was a loyal friend, compassionate teacher and clean-living lover of life.