On the Cover: As a winter storm buried B.C.’s Selkirk Mountains, Bruno Long and Chris Rubens hung their soaking gear to dry and settled into their sleeping bags. In the morning, the trail breaking felt like a contact sport. “But when the skiing is this deep and the shots this good, no one was really complaining about getting a little bit wet,” says Long. Above an untouched powder field, a subtle shift in mindset occurred and, in the pillows below, Rubens celebrated with a shifty. [Photo] Bruno Long
THE CORE ISSUE
In spring 2022, photographer Clayton Herrmann joined French mountain guide and legendary steep skier Vivian Bruchez on a handful of puckering lines during Bruchez’s quest to ski all 82 4,000-meter peaks in the Alps. On this trip, Herrmann first saw Bruchez’s famous hop turn, one of the best in the world. Herrmann headed back to Chamonix a year later for round two, which included a first descent of an overlooked line visible from town.
POKING THE BUBBLE
As an entertainer, filmmaker and self-proclaimed “leisure athlete,” Katie Burrell has spent the past five years pushing back against the growing ubiquity of epic backcountry lines, rugged days in the mountains and competitively logged Strava routes on social media. But she hasn’t done it alone. With the help of cinematographer Colleen Gentemann, Burrell has woven herself into the fabric of mountain town culture by infusing the media landscape with self-deprecating, outdoor-industry-needling humor.
If HBO’s hit show about the Roy family taught us anything, it’s that taking over the family business is fraught with pitfalls. That’s even true in British Columbia’s family-owned lodges, where a generation of backcountry-raised kids are taking the reins. However, their struggles revolve less around conniving siblings and more around how to handle a changing industry and the legacies of pioneering parents who built snowy empires from nothing.
Cave skiing. It’s skiing in a cave.
Megan Michelson implores us to lay off Strava, Hadley Hammer reconciles joy and loss, and Gordon Merrick says, “OEUF!”
The Public Always Pays
Home to Alta Ski Area and Snowbird, Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon sees severe win ter traffic. The state has proposed an 8-mile gondola to fix the problem, but citizens and local officials question the solution.
Mountain Skills: Don’t Skip Leg Day
As a professional skier turned gym owner and personal trainer, Crystal Wright knows the impor tance of fitness when working toward ski goals.
Wisdom: John “JG” Gerndt
Legendary board shaper John “JG” Gerndt takes on a new yet familiar challenge, merging the transitory joy of catching waves with cold Vermont winters, in the form of powsurfers.
Gearbox: Avalanche Safety Gear
Beacons, shovels, probes and airbags. Learn about the latest tech and most reli able items to round out your kit.
On Location: Pico de Orizaba
Mexico’s highest point has beckoned to peo ple throughout history—from Indigenous tribes to American alpinists—and more recently to environmental sociologist and skier Vanessa Chavarriaga Posada.
Profile: Jérémie Heitz
No-fall zone, no problem. While steep skiing was once relegated to carefully picking your way down consequential slopes, Swiss skier Jérémie Heitz set a new precedent when he started charging huge, classic faces in 2016.
For over two and a half decades, Backcountry Magazine has been dedicated to the pursuit of fresh lines and the people who live for them.