With profiles of both the young and old, the Generations Issue stands as proof that backcountry skiing and riding are lifelong sports. Throughout its pages, we highlight a 25-year-old splitboarder who charges pillow lines and consequential couloirs, a 20-year-old skimo star and a pair of first descentionists who haven't yet hit a quarter century. Additionally, we share wisdom from those who have been in the skintrack for three decades and counting, like Jane Gallie and Margo Krisjansons, whose friendship runs deeper than their favorite snow condition, which they call "old gal powder." Jason Hummel returns to Washington's grueling Picket Traverse to explore new corners of the map; Connor Ryan explores his dual identity as a skier and Hunkpapa Lakota; and Drew Zieff breaks down the growth of women in splitboarding.
On the Cover: In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray relives the same day until he learns to be a better person. Photographer Oskar Enander and skier Mattias Hargin had so many powder days in Engelberg, Switzerland, last season, they lived their own version of the film. Most would rather be stuck in their time loop over Murray's. [Photo] Oskar Enander
THE GENERATIONS ISSUE
GATEWAY TO DIABLO
The Picket Range in Washington's North Cascades stands out as the pinnacle of remoteness and ruggedness in that mythical land of cerulean glacial lakes and spiny peaks. Names like Fury and Terror are apt descriptors of the Picket's high points, but so are monikers like Inspiration Peak and Mt. Triumph. On a 50-mile traverse of the range, a feat few have completed, photographer Jason Hummel and friends found bushwhacking and enlightenment.
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
As many mountain towns add backcountry education to middle and high school curricula and youth skimo teams draw more interest, young people with fresh knees and fresher ideas are pursuing big accomplishments and pushing the limits of physical endurance and backcountry freeriding. This generation includes a 25-year- old splitboarder who charges pillow lines and consequential couloirs, a 20-year-old skimo champ and a pair of first descentionists who haven't yet hit a quarter century.
OLD GAL POWDER
fter Margo Krisjansons befriended Jane Gallie while trekking in Nepal's Khumbu region, it didn't take long for Krisjansons to convince Gallie to relocate to Jackson, Wyoming, where the pair have spent 36 years climbing and skiing in the Teton Range. Their friendship has been about more than exploring the world on skis: They have helped each other and hundreds of guides in the Tetons navigate the ups and downs of mountain town living.
Brooks Curran finds ancient wisdom in the Appalachian Mountains.
Heather Hansman reflects on the joys of being a beginner, Betsy Manero mourns the loss of her favorite touring boots and Chasen Fairfield thanks the Wasatch for showing him the light.
A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Women's representation in splitboarding has long lagged men's, but riders like Elena Hight and Robyn Van Gyn are leading a new generation into the backcountry. Despite their prominence and a marked increase in women's splitboard sales, female riders in the industry say more women need to be in leadership positions to achieve parity.
WISDOM: JIM ZELLERS
Splitboard pioneer Jim Zellers opens up to mentees by never taking himself too seriously.
MOUNTAIN SKILLS: THE ENDLESS SCROLL
Can we use social media for good? Cody Townsend and Utah Avalanche Center forecaster Craig Gordon weigh in.
GEARBOX:FOOT ACCESSORIES AND HEADLAMPS
Long days in the mountains require healthy feet and, sometimes, emergency lighting.
LEVELS OF OBLIGATION
Connor Ryan has spent the last few years reconciling his dual identities as a Hunkpapa Lakota and skier. Now, as a filmmaker, he's developed a platform to share his story and how an Indigenous philosophy can change the industry for the better.
For over two and a half decades, Backcountry's kept a close pulse on skis, boots, bindings, splitboards and more.