It's been 25 years since we penned the first issue of Backcountry Magazine, and in this issue, we reflect on the quarter century of stories, photos and the most influential aspects of backcountry skiing and riding that have kept us coming back for another lap. We take a deep dive into our past 130 issues, highlighting stories that have remained timeless throughout the decades, from an account of the first descent of Mt. Robson to Biff America's contemplations on life and death—it's an era unbound. Then we celebrate the past and current generation's notable places, trends, people and pieces of gear have shaped the sport as we know it, celebrating 43 of the most influential elements that have defined backcountry skiing and riding in North America. Also inside, a profile on backcountry maverick Mike Hattrup, the enduring impact of the Dynafit binding and nine gear must-haves that continue to age with grace.
25th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
AN ERA UNBOUND
Over 25 years, Backcountry has featured a nearly infinite array of stories. But the subjects have remained timeless. From the last 130 issues, we've curated a collection of stories that captures the essence of touring, from the first descent of Mt. Robson to Biff America's contemplations on life and death to what it meant to be a backcountry snowboarder during splitboarding's nascent days. This is an era unbound.
DISRUPTERS OF THE DEEP
What do Shane McConkey, the first avalanche transceiver and a mid '90s Wasatch dawn patrol have in common? Without them, backcountry skiing and riding wouldn't be what it is today. The backcountry is a sum of its parts, and the past and current generation's notable places, trends, people and pieces of gear have shaped the sport as we know it. These are 43 of the most influential elements that have defined backcountry skiing and riding in North America.
AHEAD OF THE TURN
After 30 years on the job, Mike Hattrup is as relevant as ever. From starring in Blizzard of Aahhh's to becoming the seventh ski guide ever certified in the U.S. to product development for K2, Kästle, Nordica, Marmot and now Fischer, Hattrup is arguably one of the most impactful influencers of backcountry skiing in North America. Adam Howard tells the story of the skier who's defined our culture for more than three decades.
PERSPECTIVE: A HAPPY ACCIDENT
Backcountry Magazine editors reminisce over eras of powder days, late nights on deadline and why working for a ski magazine is so much more than a job.
ON THE CLOCK
In the East Vail, Colo. backcountry, an avalanche researcher tracks skiers' snow-safety knowledge and practices in hopes of changing safety perceptions in one of America's most dangerous sidecountry zones.
The enduring impact of Dynafit's binding design, a retrospective on the perennially beloved Patagonia R1 and nine must-have items that continue to age with grace.
An appreciation for uncrowded huts around the globe, calls for slender ski coverage and reactions to Backcountry's staff reshuffling.
CELEBRATING 25 YEARS: 2004-2009
BIFF AMERICA: A QUARTER CENTURY OF PASSION
For two and a half decades, Backcountry's kept a close pulse on skis, boots, bindings, splitboards and more.