The Ski Journal 3-2 — Review

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Alpinist Magazine

The Ski Journal

I went out to the mailbox on my first day back in Colorado from school in the great PNW, and guess what I found? Stoke. The summer issue of The Ski Journal. In all its glory.
 

First, the usual set of amazing photos. This is one of the things I love about The Ski Journal. No flipping through ads, letters, mastheads, and other stuff to get to the pictures. They give it right away, full blast. As always, the images were amazing. Mostly big mountain shots too, which is what I like best.

The picture on the cover is sweet. Sure the guy is pond skimming on a glacier, nothing amazing, except it looks like he is making turns. I don’t know if that is what is happening, but if so this individual has some serious pondskiming skills. Or maybe he is about to fall. (One thing about pond skimming, your bomb craters fill in immediately.)

Favorite article? I really enjoyed the article about South America. The story about horse packing in to a remote stone hut in the middle of nowhere, among hundreds of unskied peaks, really got me going and wanting to go there.

Getting stoked

Stoked

One thing that really sets The Ski Journal apart from other magazines is the advertising, or lack thereof. They have four or five full page ads, and that’s it. Even better, they place all the ads at the beginning and the end of the mag, and they choose ads that look nice, not just any old PR junkshow. It is awesome to be able to read through the entire center of the mag without seeing a single ad, just great content.

I was starting to wonder whether it would be worth giving up climbing, mountain biking, and the warm weather that comes with summer to go down to New Zealand for two months for their winter. This mag stopped all doubt like a snow snake stops a powder hound. Within a few minutes, I couldn’t wait for the next time I get to make some turns, which hopefully won’t be long.

The only thing I don’t like about The Ski Journal is that they put their captions on different pages than the photos. I suppose this gives a little bit more room for the photos, but I don’t think that it’s worth having to flip back and forth constantly to figure out the story behind the photo.

I am always excited when The Ski Journal comes in the mail, and this was no exception. It delivered, with great photos and entertaining articles. You can really tell they put tons of work into this mag.

Comments

12 Responses to “The Ski Journal 3-2 — Review”

  1. Njord June 23rd, 2009 8:04 am

    Betcha Ski Journal would love to have a couple more ads…. gots to pay the bills somehow!

  2. Scott June 23rd, 2009 8:51 am

    Sounds like they employ the “Alpinist” model of magazine publication. Let’s hope they don’t suffer the same fate.

  3. Lou June 23rd, 2009 9:11 am

    I think they are indeed attempting to do their rag with less adds and higher subscription cost. In my view it’s a viable model. Let the web provide the huge volume for free, funded by tons of advertising (like radio), let large format print provide carefully edited text and stunningly executed photos, in all sort of like a work of art. In my view, one reason newsprint has fallen away is because the web can easily do the same thing, but finely produced printed materials are a different animal altogether.

    Even so, as I base more and more of my reading and entertainment on the web, it’s actually feeling kind of strange to have a stack of printed magazines…

  4. C.Lowe June 23rd, 2009 1:02 pm

    Speaking of large format magazines, I haven’t yet seen a review of the new issue of Alpinist. The first issue since Michael Kennedy took the helm is now out. Will you guys be reviewing it?

    I know it’s focused more on climbing than skiing but I liked the issue and am curious what the WildSnow clan thinks of it.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Lou June 23rd, 2009 2:55 pm
  6. Louie June 23rd, 2009 7:58 pm

    Yeah, I hope ski journal can continue to use as few ads as possible.

  7. Matt Wibby June 23rd, 2009 8:41 pm

    Look for less confusing captions in future issues.

    nice shirt.

  8. Fernando Pereira June 24th, 2009 7:54 am

    I started subscribing to Ski Journal a few months ago (prodded by the ad here ;) ) and I’m loving it. The South America article is also my favorite in the current issue, although it made me a bit sad that this is the first Northern summer in the last six that I’m not going there to ski (recovering from a ski injury suffered in April). In addition to the great photos (the ones of the PNW in that issue are especially interesting) and solid to excellent writing, the simple fact that the text is typeset in a nice black font on good quality paper is a boon to my older eyes, i contrast to the idiocy of “edgy” light-colored sans-serif type on dark backgrounds that has invaded other ski publications, including the perviously sane “Backcountry”.

  9. Lou June 24th, 2009 8:15 am

    Good comments Fernando! Thanks.

    Well edited and crafted writing is certainly a benefit with this sort of thing, as opposed to raw blog writing (grin). Both have their place these days, in my opinion.

  10. Drew June 24th, 2009 9:42 am

    Hi Lou: Sorry for the random post…I broke my travel camera (an Exilim). I love the TR photos you post. What is your latest recommended camera? Thanks much. Love the site!

  11. Lou June 24th, 2009 10:22 am

    We still run a couple of Canon A720, they’ve held up incredibly well, use AA batteries, have optical viewfinder, 6x zoom, manual mode, etc. etc. Perhaps a bit bulky by today’s standards for a point&shoot, but just an amazing camera.

    I’m thinking of upgrading, but the only reason I’d do so is for more zoom range or smaller size.

    Biggest downside to the Canon A series is that the highlight tonal separation is not great, so you have to slightly under-expose your snow if you’re shooting chalk-white bright snow, then move it back up in Photoshop.

  12. Fernando Pereira June 24th, 2009 8:06 pm

    @Drew: I’ve been quite happy with my Canon G7, which was possibly the highest quality compact when it came out. Its main weaknesses for ski photo are focus and shutter lags for action pictures, and a size that’s not as convenient as a subcompact. On the (very) positive side, the G7 and its successors the G9 and the G10 have powerful, easy to use mechanical controls for speed, aperture, and exposure compensation, they can produce excellent pictures in a wide range of conditions (except low light, which is a problem for all high pixel count compacts), they are sturdy and don’t seem to be very affected by cold. I’ve been tracking this market segment since then, and the best comparable reviewed recently is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 (a bit better than the G9 and the G10).

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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