Oh happy days — yesterday we got our Backcountry, Couloir and Popular Mechanics magazines all on the same day. I was up all night!
The new Couloir arrived with another stunning “naked” cover that’s not as good as last month’s art shot, but still functions as stoke fuel. Backcountry’s cover is a tight B&W shot of a powder eater that’s also a fine incentive to skip work. What’s weird is that not only did the magazines arrive on the same day, but the style and angle of the cover shots are almost identical. A conspiracy if you’re into that sort of thing, but to me just proof that serendipity is alive and well.
The new Couloir has their popular ski review which this year includes rather detailed weights they say were all obtained by scale at the Couloir offices. A weight chart is missing — me hopes that’s on tap for the website. Real detailed ski weights are a great contribution because manufacturer published ski weights continue to vary wildly from reality.
This issue of “Coolee” also presents the annual Couloir Backcountry Hall of Fame. Notable human inductee this year is Mark Wariakois, the tenacious gear inventor at Voile who’s brought us all sorts of excellent shovels and bindings over the years. My favorite mechanical inductee is the Dynafit TLT binding. Peter Kray’s description of the TLT’s rise is interesting, but misses the binding’s early debut instigated by Lock Miller (owner of the Marmot Mountain Works mountaineering store in Washington state and California), as well as Couloir’s and myself’s early journalistic coverage and testing of the binding starting in 1993, while it was still considered a novelty or worse by most North American ski mountaineers (if they even knew about it). I guess tooting your own horn is unattractive so missing those details was appropriate. So we get to toot our horn here instead. Beep beep.
Backcountry’s book has some good stuff as well. We laughed at the ad showing a guy eating free crackers and ketchup for lunch — dressed in his new $200 Cloudveil softshell. We hope the boy was modeling his free bro-gear, or else his financial priorities need adjustment since Schoeller fabric is low on B vitamins and tastes crummy even after slathering with mashed tomatoes.
To be fair, the obvious Cloudveil message is: “This jacket is so good I’ll starve to afford it.” Probably true.
Okay, that’s not really “content,” so kudos goes to Backcountry’s feature that covers “Highways and High Routes of North America.” Plan your road trip now, because the info is out. Surprising omission was Independence Pass of Colorado. Oh well, that place is no secret.
In all, nice to see our sport getting such honoring coverage. And least I forget, Popular Mechanics gets us straight on how our whole planet may be taken out by a killer asteroid. I guess global warming is getting boring as a threat. Whatever — ski it while you can.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.