The Backcountry Magazine Podcast

From legendary athletes to iconic product designers, activists to guides, our world is filled with new views, wisdom, determination and crustiness.

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Times have changed, but our mission to be the voice of the backcountry skiing and riding community remains the same. Now more than ever, we have plenty of important stories to tell, conversations to have and thoughts to share, and if you like what you hear, we ask for your support. Please donate now, give us a listen and share these episodes, and we’ll keep working hard to bring you the stories that keep us all connected.

Season 5

The Future of Ski Media

November 20 was a sad day for the ski community. It was the day POWDER magazine officially halted operations after 49 years of production. It was a staggering turn for the magazine many feel influenced the sport like no other. Among those reflecting on the loss are former editor-in-chief Steve Casimiro, former associate editor Mike Rogge and former interns Ingrid Backstrom and Adam Howard. The four look into the crystal ball to see what the future looks like without POWDER.

This episode of the Backcountry Podcast is sponsored by the Vermont Department of Tourism. It’s also possible thanks to support from our listeners—if you like what you hear and would like to hear more, please make a contribution.

Bjarne Salén: Lensman of Legends

Powder, stoke, spines—they’re ski movie staples, but they don’t fully show what goes into a successful day in the mountains. Swedish filmmaker Bjarne Salén is changing that. As he captures Cody Townsend’s The Fifty, a project to ski all the lines in the heralded book 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America, Salén speaks up from behind the camera, giving insight into the role filmmakers play in skiing big lines and, in doing so, breaking down the imaginary fourth wall.

This episode of the Backcountry Podcast is sponsored by the Vermont Department of Tourism. It’s also possible thanks to support from our listeners—if you like what you hear and would like to hear more, please make a contribution.

Uphill and Beyond

What will backcountry ski travel look like this winter? How will the skiing economy deal with the uncertainty Covid-19 presents? Will trailheads be packed? (Yup!) Backcountry’s Adam Howard joins backcountry pioneer Andrew McLean, film star Mike Hattrup and freelance writer and editor Megan Michelson to discuss what Covid-19 means to the backcountry community and resorts grappling with a booming uphill scene.

This episode of the Backcountry Podcast is sponsored by the Vermont Department of Tourism. It’s also possible thanks to support from our listeners—if you like what you hear and would like to hear more, please make a contribution.

Season 4: Plan BLIVE

The Maker’s Lament

With supply chains throughout the world interrupted by the Covid-19 crisis, no industry has been left unaffected. And though we’re nearing skiing and riding’s offseason, even next season’s gear—whether that’s boots made in Italy, apparel made in China or skis made domestically—may be on the line. To get a perspective from across the globe and at home, with brands large and small, Adam Howard and Lucy Higgins speak with Thor Verdonk, global brand director of Lange, Dan Abrams, cofounder of Flylow Gear, and Jason Levinthal, the founder of Line Skis who now runs J Skis and 4FRNT.

Out There and Back

How have adventurers and adventures been impacted by the current Covid-19 pandemic? And what was it like for those out in the mountains when the crisis emerged? What about those who earn their livelihoods in the backcountry? In this episode, we go out there and back, connecting with Leavenworth, Wash.-based splitboarder Ryan Irvin, who has widely shared the story of his personal battle with coronavirus; photographer and writer Mary McIntyre, who was on a skiing and sailing expedition to Greenland when her ship was turned around by travel restrictions while halfway across the North Sea; and Chamonix-based guides Miles and Liz Smart, who’ve been on lockdown in France through the heart of their guiding season since the middle of March.

Climate and Covid

These days, we’re seemingly looking at everything through the Covid-19 filter. Episode 2 of Backcountry’s Plan B Facebook Live Podcast looks at climate change with Bill McKibben, author, climate activist and founder of; Sam Killgore, communications manager at Protect Our Winters; and Dr. John Hausdoerffer, director of the Master in Environmental Management Program at Western Colorado University. Along with hosts Adam Howard and Lucy Higgins, they’ll consider what the global pandemic and the resulting economic crisis will teach us about carbon emission reduction.

The Go/No Go Paradigm

After a few weeks of adjusting to the new normal of social distancing and self isolation, host Adam Howard is joined by editor in chief Lucy Higgins to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the backcountry community. Higgins and Howard chat with Nick Sargent, president of SIA (SnowSports Industries America), about the organization’s #curbyourturns social campaign; they’re also joined by Backcountry contributor Heather Hansman, who talks about her recent feature on mental health in the skiing community and how what she’s learned applies to NOT skiing during the COVID-19 crisis; and Dr. Brian Irwin, physician and medical advisor to the Mt. Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol, discusses terrain closures in New Hampshire’s Tuckerman Ravine.

Season 3

Season 3 of the Backcountry Magazine Podcast is possible thanks to the support of  Mystery Ranch.

Annelise Loevlie: Icelantic Dreams

OK, we’re bragging here, but the CEO of Icelantic interned at Backcountry Magazine in 2004. That was just after she earned degrees in Spanish and International Business from UVM and just before she started at a brand-new ski company with her high school friends in Colorado. Through Icelantic’s meteoric rise to near fall, Loevlie found her voice and learned how to make the tough calls.

Dana Gleason: Pack Man

Dana Gleason retired a millionaire after selling his company, the legendary pack manufacturer Dana Designs, in the late ’90s. But he was adrift and having too much fun skiing powder to feel purpose. His daughter changed that with a simple request: build me a minimalist hip pack. Soon after Mystery Ranch was born, and it’s been going strong for 20 years. And, Dana’s still crazy!

Oliver Steffen: The Genuine Mind of G3

From making avalanche probes in his Vancouver kitchen, Genuine Guide Gear founder Oliver Steffen has been at the forefront of a slew of trends in backcountry skiing. Known for clean, inspired design, G3 has been a leader in telemark bindings, probes, shovels, skins and, now, tech bindings. We talk to Steffen about the culture of innovation that keeps G3 hopping.

Season 2

Season 2 of the Backcountry Magazine Podcast is possible thanks to the support of  Fischer.

Spearhead Reimagined

The iconic traverse between Blackcomb and Whistler, B.C. is a paradox. It’s super crowded near its entry and exit points, yet you still have to winter camp if you want to complete the multiday route. But with huts going in, will it be more popular than ever? Or more controlled. Filmmaker of the new movie Spearhead Seth Gillis shares his opinions.

The Electrification of Greg Hill

Greg Hill. [Photo] Anthony Bonello

Like many of us, Canadian ski mountaineer Greg Hill is concerned about how his travels to the trailhead and around the world were contributing to climate change. So in 2017 he decided to realign his priorities and sold his F350 and his snow machine and got an electric car. The result was a short film and a changed man.

Mike Hattrup, Ahead of the Turn

Mike Hattrup.

Over his three-decade career in skiing, Mike Hattrup has worn many hats: Freestyle athlete, film star, product innovator, mountain guide. He’s also a husband and father. How has Hattrup kept it together for more than 30 years? A new knee helped. But mostly it’s been hard work and living on the cheap.

Season 1

Season 1 of the Backcountry Magazine Podcast is possible thanks to the support of  Stio Outdoor Apparel. Use the code BACKCOUNTRY at for 25% off your next purchase.

The Gleich Effect

Caroline Gleich. [Photo] Anna Callaghan

Equal parts athlete, influencer and activist, Caroline Gleich has changed the way we look at pro skiers. And, over her career, she’s changed the way she looks at herself. Unapologetically “open book,” Gleich dishes on putting up with social media trolls, wedding-day stress, the Trump administration and recovering from injury.

The Fifty

Cody Townsend. [Photo] Anthony Bonello

When you think of Cody Townsend, you think TGR and Matchsticks star, Freeride World Tour podiumer and the dude who went straight down “The Crack” and into an otherworldly viral reality that landed him on broadcast morning shows. But then he read a book: 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America. Now he’s dumped the heli and bought some skins (OK, he got them for free) and has skied 20 lines of what promises to be a gooey, YouTubey feast.

The Freaks

Wiley Maple. [Photo] Wiley Maple

When Olympic Downhiller Wiley Maple wrapped up the 2018 World Cup season, he and some in his Aspen gang called “The Freaks” went to Chamonix, France to scare themselves on some legendlines—badassery of the sort we fully approve. What kind of mind manages these wildly different forms of skiing? And, after his best friend and World Cup ski tech died suddenly this spring, would Maple sign up for more?