With a wave of their wands—or long lenses—photographers capture their own form of magic. They frame skiers and splitboarders with back-lit crystal tornados, sparkling sundogs and rimed trees in the background. In our 2023 Photo Annual, we bring you the enchanted moments that keep bringing us back to the skintrack. This year, we're celebrate the next generation of photographers and filmmakers conveying fresh perspectives. Anne Cleary walks the long approach. Isaiah Branch-Boyle sends out a message of environmental health. Stephen Shelesky blows up the box with rainbow confetti. Micheli Oliver spreads love with a click of her shutter. Plus, Sophie Danison talks about the ups and downs of making it as a ski cinemaphotographer and Katie Cooney and Emily Tidwell help you up your iPhone photography game.
On the Cover: A nexus is a convergence of points, making it a fitting title for the recent film, Nexus, which shares stories of female friendship in the mountains. One such friendship is between Michelle Parker and Brooklyn Bell. While many assume that ski-industry veteran Parker was mentoring Bell, Parker claims it was the opposite. "She has such a beautiful way of being in these spaces and being open minded and not judging herself, but rather really just taking these lessons and learning from them," says Parker. Bell also helped Parker find one of her favorite lines, pictured, among giant corduroy spines in Girdwood, Alaska. [Photo] Katie Lozancich
THE 2023 PHOTO ANNUAL
WORTH THE WAIT
When we hear about impressive descents, the story usually skips to the payoff: the challenges of the climb, the joy of the summit, the crux of the line, the celebratory parking lot beers. Eric Carter pulls back the curtain on a 13-year journey to ski the rarely visited Siberian Express Couloir on British Columbia's Nch'kay (Mt. Garibaldi).
Dark shadows and bright whites; oversaturated and silhouetted skiers; minimalist, clean lines. These elements have become the mainstay of photographer Christoph Johann's work. But just capturing a good photo isn't enough. Johann and his muse, Josh Absenger, have been hunting for the perfect ski shot since they started working together in 2020.
THE PHOTO ANNUAL
With a wave of their wands—or long lenses—photographers capture their own form of magic. They frame skiers and splitboarders with back-lit crystal tornados, sparkling sundogs and rimed trees in the background. In our 2023 Photo Annual, we bring you the enchanted moments that keep bringing us back to the skintrack.
When it comes to ski media, we all recognize certain names. This piece isn't about them. It's about the photographers and filmmakers that we will all know someday. These four creatives—all of whom are under 30—highlight stories that evoke positive change, be it around land stewardship or the inclusion of historically underrepresented groups.
Below Wyoming's Grand Teton, a sea of clouds recalled the valley's ancient ocean.
Carolyn Highland is down for any adventure on skis, Mary McIntyre reflects on what it means to be relevant, and Todd Krankkala reminisces about his first backcountry partner.
We Are Marshall
When a private buyer was poised to end 85 years of skiing history at Marshall Mountain in Missoula, Montana, a coalition of citizens, agencies and nonprofits stepped in to save it.
Wisdom: Sophie Danison
Filmmaker Sophie Danison tells the stories of those in the outdoor industry who often go unseen.
Mountain Skills: Secondhand Stoke
Professional photographers and athletes weigh in on how to improve your backcountry pictures.
Gearbox: Gloves and Sunglasses
No matter what, you need warm hands and eye protection when you're out on the skintrack.
On Location: Swedish Lapland
Swedish photographer Mattias Fredriksson knows that the northern region of his homeland has more to offer than the country's stereotypes, ABBA and IKEA. He returns to his old stomping grounds in Lapland to explore big terrain, deep snowfall and a culinary experience that includes reindeer meat and waffles.
Profile: Noah Howell
Legendary backcountry skier Noah Howell has been cracking jokes in the mountains for decades. These days, he's finding out who he really is—and it isn't always funny.
For over two and a half decades, Backcountry's kept a close pulse on skis, boots, bindings, splitboards and more.