The Photo Annual is all about lookin’ good. From the 20-page photo gallery to the Apparel Guide—which includes 80-plus reviews of jackets, puffies and pants—the December issue celebrates the awe-inspiring action and locations we love and the gear that gets us there.
For this year’s Apparel Guide, we’ve gone beyond just highlighting the season’s best outerwear, dividing up each category by price and highlighting our favorite bang-for-your-buck options and the crème de la crème. Among more than 80 jackets, pants, puffies, midlayers and accessories, we’ve plucked 25 Editors’ Choice options to help you figure out what’s worth going into debt over.
Also inside the December issue, contributor Megan Michelson takes a look at two skiers who’ve spent a decade spreading the telemark and backcountry gospel—Noah and Jonah Howell, the brothers behind Powderwhore Productions. Plus, contributor Ryan Stuart investigates Vancouver, B.C.’s newest backcountry zone, Martin Maier shares his story of survival above 8,000 meters, and Sasha Johnstone, age 16, skis the Grand Teton.
THE PHOTO ANNUAL
In every issue, we run a photo gallery, six to 10 pages of action and lifestyle imagery. For the Photo Annual, we double down, bringing 20 pages of stoke. "It's my favorite issue of the year because I get to be really creative with the gallery," says Photo Editor David Crothers. "I go for colorful, unique images that make people look twice or stay on the page." To go deeper, we've profiled five shooters behind the Photo Annual. No doubt this is their favorite issue of the year, too.
MISSIONARIES OF THE MOUNTAINS
The two brothers behind Powderwhore Productions, Noah and Jonah Howell, grew up in Utah as wild, mountain-obsessed Morman boys. Now, they're fixtures in the backcountry world, having produced 10 films under a crassly-named production label that's low on budget and high on soul. Noah and Jonah preach the gospel of telemark and earning turns with sarcasm and creativity, but this year's film, Some Thing Else, just might be their last. Megan Michelson, a Powderwhore herself, investigates.
In every year's Apparel Guide, we highlight the crème de la crème of this season's outerwear. Turns out, the top-of-the-line stuff can be pretty expensive (like $800 for a hardshell). So this year, we broke out each category by price, covering the low- cost, high-value shells as well as the jackets that really are worth half your paycheck. Insulation and shell materials get better every year, so we've helped you prioritize what's worth going into debt over.
Three photographers behind the Photo Annual
EDITOR'S NOTE: TO THE EXTREME
Finding meaning in tragedy
That world's longest letter chain, adaptive shredding and why you backcountry ski or ride.
BACKSTORY: CHRISTMAS POWDER
Reflecting on loved ones and new passions
A FROSTY EVENING ON FAWN PASS
Subzero temperatures and high spirits in Yellowstone
SEA TO SKY TO SKI
With the new Sea To Sky Gondola, the Coast Range terrain around Squamish, B.C. has never been more accessible.
BOARD ROOM: SPLIT PERSONALITY
Jess Graham balances fine art, graphic design, splitboarding and Heady Topper.
THAT GUY: SIMI HAMILTON
A two-time Olympian and Nordic champion battles with a fat-ski addiction.
THE PROFESSOR OF POWDER
Meteorologist and backcountry skier Jim Steenburgh on the science behind Wasatch powder and this winter's outlook.
TECH TALK: THE AVY LAB
A group of MIT alumni is planning to change the way we assess snowpack and share that data.
MOUNTAIN SKILLS: MANAGING RISK AND RESPONSIBILITY
With increased bc traffic, new hazards are up for consideration—including how your decisions might hurt others.
MOUNTAIN ACCOUNT: SURVIVING SHISHAPANGMA
Martin Maier was caught in a September avalanche on Shishapangma, Tibet that killed two. Somehow, he survived to tell the story.
A FAMILY SKI TOUR
When keeping up with the Johnstones, bring the crampons.
ON LOCATION: JACKSON HOLE, WYO.
A Teton Bar Crawl from Jackson's Mangy Moose to Targhee's Trap Bar.
THE AVALANCHE REPORT
When our heroes die in the mountains, what impact does that have on the sport?
Remembering Andreas Fransson, JP Auclair, Liz Daley, Sebastian Haag and Andrea Zambaldi.
BIFF AMERICA: LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Biff reflects on loose times in London, pink onesies and a few of his worst decisions.
LAST COL: STAR BRIGHT
Capturing a really frickin' cold night in the Selkirk Mountains.