There is something to be said for appreciating the present; there is also significance in recognizing the power of growth over time—often the two weave together. With The Evolution Issue, restart your subscription with stories about the people, places and projects that push the boundaries of the backcountry community. In British Columbia, we detail a collective of creators who have joined together to support local manufacturing, then we strap in with Colorado sit-skier Trevor Kennison as he comes full circle, returning to the backcountry. Plus, we consider how changing our language in the mountains may help us more adequately appreciate them.
On the Cover: Ancient Egyptian myths told that the sun god, Ra, went into the underworld each night and had to defeat the god of chaos, Apep, to reappear in the morning. On a trip to interior British Columbia's Keefer Lake Lodge, Guy Fattal and Connery Lundin might have thought Ra was locked in a vicious, multiday battle. Instead of sunshine, each morning greeted them with thick fog and grayscale landscapes. Turns out they didn't need the sun god's help to find good snow and playful terrain. As they moved through the black-and-white trees Lundin took flight, providing his own pop of color. [Photo] Guy Fattal
THE EVOLUTION ISSUE
After breaking his back in a 2014 snowboarding accident on Colorado's Vail Pass, Trevor Kennison wasted no time returning to the slopes. Within a year he had hopped in a sit-ski and reconfigured his relationship with the mountains. But it would be five years until he returned to the backcountry. Now, with the help of partners and sponsors alike, he is learning to use helicopters and snowmobiles to chart a path forward for adaptive skiers.
MYSTICISM & THE MOUNTAIN
Lynsey Dyer is indisputably one of the best skiers of her generation, but career success has never been her sole aim. Alongside her quest to reach skiing's apex, she's pulled at the threads of mysticism from disparate faiths—from Buddhism to the I AM movement— to find her higher self. Turns out, discovering that internal peak included becoming a mother, something she once considered impossible for a pro skier.
WALKING THE FINE LINE
For eight boys from Calgary, an avalanche that killed four friends was a catalyst. What could have scared them, as high schoolers, away from the backcountry, instead pushed them toward the mountains. In the decades since, they've carved out careers as guides, patrollers and the founding filmmakers behind Sherpas Cinema. Community support and local avalanche educators fostered that evolution by giving the boys space to grieve and education to return to the hills safely.
Liam Doran and Sven Brunso play a game of Eye Spy on Norway's Lofoten Islands.
Aaron David Rice carefully considers his vocabulary, Tom Hallberg sharpens his rope skills and Gill Langley clings to her telemark skis.
A Collective of Dreamers
Being a small business owner is no small task, especially in the remote mountains and resort towns that dot British Columbia's Powder Highway. With this in mind, a group of local makers have come together to form the Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Enterprise Initiative—KORE for short—a collective of craft outdoor gear manufacturers.
After a season of freezing rain and breakable crusts in Vermont, Jesse Huffman wanted to know where the snowy winters of his childhood had gone. Searching for answers, he asked meteorologists, avalanche forecasters and longtime locals to weigh in on the future of skiing in the Northeast.
Wisdom: Amy Jane David
From being Miss Teen Wyoming to backflipping in ski films, Amy Jane David doesn't slow down.
Mountain Skills: Learn from the Best
Betsy Manero catches up with one of her mentors, Nancy Bockino, to find out what makes a great teacher.
Gearbox: Backpacks and Skinning Accessories
Keep your gear organized and temperature cool with these backpacks, skinning accessories and breathable layers.
On Location: Bella Coola
During a poor weather window in Bella Coola, B.C., Guy Fattal learns that the region is more than just spines and helicopters. A rich ecosystem and Indigenous culture are thriving below tree line.
Profile: Laura Hadar
After a successful street riding career, snowboarder Laura Hadar was ready to join the big mountain scene. Her sponsors weren't. These days, Hadar is ticking off all of Colorado's 14ers, and she's doing it on her own terms.
For over two and a half decades, Backcountry's kept a close pulse on skis, boots, bindings, splitboards and more.