Skiing Magazine Powers Up

Post by blogger | August 20, 2008      

Backcountry skiing magazines.
I found a copy on a lift chair.

Recently reworked Skiing Magazine appeared on a nearby lift chair a few days ago. Like Simon Dumont shooting for extra air as he sails above his latest halfpipe conquest, Skiing Mag is still chasing Powder Magazine’s “freeride” market.

Thing is, in terms of look and content Skiing is doing pretty well in the race, though some of this book’s interior has that “me too” feel that can be a turn off.

The redesign has a nice balance of in-your-face advertising with editorial that’s laid out in forms that inspire actually reading the text. Lots of fast food in there, but one full length article by excellent writer Kevin Fadarko takes you to the inner workings of Canadian mechanized skiing.

In “The Last Piece of Paradise,” Fedarko details how the gut busting Canadian powder pie gets divided for heli skiing, and how a group of seasoned backcountry folks trade their mountain mellow for business dealings worthy of a mob boss. Turns out that powder may enlighten and mountains may inspire — but people are still people. Recommended.

Highlight of the mag is in my opinion Grant Gunderson’s highly crafted cover photo, which folds out to a stunning poster (without clutter, if you get the naked cover version as pictured here.) Best laugh (I chuckled out loud)? Vail’s two-page ad, that features, yep, two blank pages. I’d imagine someone in Vail’s PR outfit thought they were clever — they obviously don’t get it (and Skiing was happy to take their money without explaining).

On the other hand, if Vail’s is the only ad WildSnow is blogging about, perhaps they got their money’s worth? So shut my mouth.

The magazine’s extensive ski test is interesting as well — good to see a number of Black Diamond and K2 skis made the cut. Among them: BD’s Megawatt in the magazine’s “Powder Specialty” group, and K2’s Apache Xplorer in the “All-Mountain Expert” category.

Good early season stoke.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


26 Responses to “Skiing Magazine Powers Up”

  1. Kevin August 20th, 2008 11:04 am

    I think Skiing takes the gold in the competition between Powder and Skiing, for the month. I judge the quality of a magazine by how much time it takes me to get through the articles and content, and have to say I blew through Powder quite quickly. Still nice to get the magazines coming and start thinking about the upcoming season!

  2. Tom G August 20th, 2008 2:26 pm

    I agree with Kevin. Powder’s article about Dav’s Alps ski expedition was good, but too short. And their equipment reviews are worthless. I also think Powder covers an odd mix of big mountain skiing (genuine skiing in my opinion) and new school pipe/park/kicker stuff. Let the stunt skier kids have their mags and let the skiers have ours. It’s certainly not the same kind of mag as when I started reading in the ’80s. My favorite skiing mags have become Off Piste with Backcountry in second place followed by Skiing and Powder.

  3. Dave August 20th, 2008 2:57 pm

    I have to say that I really like Powders mix of park and freeskiing. I don’t want to have to buy a “Park” mag just to see what’s happening in our sport. Plus the “Park” mags are written for kids, the journalism in Powder is enjoyable to read, not just a description of the girls at the bar.

    “Let the stunt skier kids have their mags and let the skiers have ours.”

    Let’s not discriminate here, “stunt” skiing is at the heart of skiing, it should be everywhere (and is everywhere). Whether it’s a stylie slash turn on a wall of snow, a daffy in the bumps or a corked-900 in the park, a micro-180 in the BC, it’s all a part of the same sport. It’s about being playful and going against establishment. It’s about doing something b/c you can. If you didn’t do at least one trick last year, I wonder, did you have as much fun as you could have?

  4. Lou August 20th, 2008 3:13 pm

    Nice erudition you guys, keep it coming. Makes me think… so it’s OK for me to question what’s going on with climate change, and thus be anti establishment (grin)? Or do I have to do park tricks with a PBR in my back pocket and hotties squealing for my autograph on their epidermic paper substitute(s)?

  5. ScottN August 20th, 2008 5:08 pm

    Sorry, but I have hard time seeing skiing as “anti-establishment”. If it wasn’t for all the corporate sponsors (e.g. the X-games), I doubt we’d even see those guys and girls shred it in the park. Not taking anything away from those riders at all, for they really rip!), but the status quo (aka big corporations) has bought their way into the sport of skiing too. Just like they did with skateboarding and just about everything else. The bottom line in my opinion, is its all about money, at least to the corporate execs. That’s what seems to be nice about the backcountry, you don’t see any Mountain Dew banners hanging all over the place. It just seems to be people doing what they love mostly in anonymity.

  6. unknown August 20th, 2008 5:16 pm

    i remember a day not so long ago when skiers in the park were not considered cool, let alone considered someone worth sponsoring, you did it for yourself…

    i also remember when you didn’t see red bull helmets skiing every 14er! No rip on Dav … but technically i think there was a sponsorship there.

    there are BC rando races with money and banners. last year had a BC / jib contest where you raced up AT style and then took the most stylish line down. every aspect has a corporate side. what about the kids building a jump bye themselves and just having fun. same as you taking a BC run, just different styles.

    as for “anti-establishment”, i was having a little fun with that in the sense that having fun is anti-establishment. but does corporate sponsorship mean it’s not? can skateboarding not be anti-establishment anymore b/c of xgames? i think it depends on the individual and their motives.

  7. dave August 20th, 2008 5:17 pm

    sorry, that last “unknown” comment was me.

  8. Jordo August 20th, 2008 5:35 pm

    Neat to see the foray into investigative writing in Skiing, and their actual reviews are miles better than Powder’s once-overs, but I felted gipped when I realized — after much page flipping, and AFTER I bought the damn thing — that they will publish a separate backcountry buyer’s guide next month . . . what the hell am I supposed to do with all these reviews for GS skis now?? Jeez.

    Anti-establishment??? I had no idea it was possible to stick it to the man while also laying down $85 on a lift ticket 😉

  9. Dongshow August 20th, 2008 5:50 pm

    It’s really a waste of time trying to define skiing as a single “sport.” I mean there is little to no relation between someone going after an 8000m descent and a kid sliding rails in the Indiana. That’s kind of the point though, sliding around with skis on your feet is pretty fun, what you do with them is pretty inconsequential.

    I have really no interest skiing in a park anymore, but can say that growing up in Michigan skiing a park of solid ice and fake snow was the best way to pass 7 hours of skiing on an old landfill. When living in Utah or AK, not so much.

    That being said I read less and less of Powder then I used to. The articles aren’t written to the same quality as they once were, and the magazine as a whole has a more dumbed down feel to it. I’ll admit the park stuff bores me, but no more then the discussions of real estate or fine dinning you find in other magazines.

    I don’t really know what “anti-establishment” is. what establishment, the skiing establishment, or our established society as a whole

  10. Dongshow August 20th, 2008 5:58 pm

    Also have to say congrats on the cover to Grant, he always treated my brother excellently and will always be a friend. Those Baker kids have a lot of fun.

  11. dave downing August 20th, 2008 6:00 pm


    It seems you made a point toward defining skiing as a single sport. It’s all related as you said:

    “That’s kind of the point though, sliding around with skis on your feet is pretty fun, what you do with them is pretty inconsequential.”

    Different aspect, but still have fun with sticks on your feet utilizing gravity, DOWNHILL SKIING!

  12. Tom August 20th, 2008 6:35 pm

    Hey Lou,

    You mentioned at least one articles is worth reading. Has Skiing made it easy to read? As in, a good-sized dark font on light paper, rather than what a lot of the trendy rags have, dark pages with some light illegible very-small text?

    If they’re doing the text right, it means they’re at least worrying about the words they print.

  13. Lou August 20th, 2008 7:00 pm

    Tom, exactly, what they’ve done is use a layout that feels fairly beefy (not much white space), but almost all the text appears to be intended for reading — miracles never cease!

    The challenge I’d put to all these magazines is to attempt writing with little to no profanity, if for no other reason than doing so is a good exercise to make you a better writer (since you actually have to explain something with more than one overused word). But also, who ever hated an article because it didn’t include the f word? On the other hand, plenty of people don’t like getting slapped in the face by such…

    And the brobras you’re trying to appeal to with cussing might talk that way, but do they really care if they read it or not?

  14. Njord August 20th, 2008 8:51 pm

    They have come along way from the Skiing of the 80’s (which was nothing more than a 2nd place SKI magazine). Mark Peruzzi has done a good job (even though he is from the East Coast) in turning that mag around over the past 4-5 years.


  15. Scott August 20th, 2008 9:44 pm

    “Mark Peruzzi has done a good job (even though he is from the East Coast)”

    :rollseyes: pulease.

  16. Gringo August 21st, 2008 5:53 am

    while its nice to see another possibility for my throne reading sessions…as Lou points out the ‘me too’ factor leaves a bad taste in my mouth, how bout that cover font?…no matter how good the pics or writing.

    I would as well chime in that while I consider myself a Powder mag guy…my interest has been steadily waning in the past few years..The whole Monster park thing is always the biggest letdown issue…right in the thick of the season when we are out scoring big lines …then this comes….more of what Les Anthony used to go on about and I’d be happy…

  17. Lou August 21st, 2008 6:30 am

    All, they made some major changes at Skiing, no more Marc Peruzzi. New editor is Jake Bogoch.

    Last fall, Skiing Magazine’s parent company Bonnier Corp shook things up and the mag dropped three staff: Editor-In-Chief Peruzzi, along with a photo editor and senior editor. The change back then left Bogoch as interim editor and he’s now the gran’ poohbah according to the masthead.

    The changes were ostensibly done to cut cost/overhead and the magazine is said to now be run with less people. Still a cast of thousands compared to WildSnow (grin).

    The “Skiing” masthead does look quite lean.

  18. jharr August 21st, 2008 8:13 am

    is that a white sheet beneanth a porch-mounted chair…?

    sites like these, for me, have replaced the “review” aspect of it all…
    the mags could maybe add side-view ski pics as camber becomes another matter of choice–maybe cross sectional construction type drawings/pics too…? that’d be more info, I just want a catalogue of it all really.

    funny the anti-spam uses words but doesn’t like me to, heh…

  19. Lou August 21st, 2008 8:32 am

    jhar, yeah, the antispam answer has to be numeric — it’s a competency test as well (grin), which you passed.

    He he he, yep, that’s the ski lift chair hung on our porch, with my white backdrop under it.

    As for ski tests, Skiing makes the case that they went to extraordinary effort to do on-snow testing and sort things out by their tester’s opinions. I’ve watched such tests over the years and they seem to work OK, but don’t really do much more than just seeing what the young turks from the ski shop like and use.

  20. JW August 22nd, 2008 8:58 pm

    I’m late to this post and comment thread, but wanted to say to the Skiing folks, should any of them read these comments, that the magazine did appear to me to improve last year–and so I renewed a long dormant subscription. Last year’s buyer’s guide was superior to that of Ski and Powder.

    Who wrote ‘I Schralped Everest’ for Sking last year? I loved that piece, as did my two sons. Very nicely written.

    About this year’s first issue, it is pretty strong–but on the buyer’s guide, why did Skiing omit all information on fit, last size and volume of boots reviewed? Boot reviews without that information don’t give someone looking for a new pair of boots any way to identify the boots he/she should try on. Last year’s guide was scrupulous to provide detailed info about each boot reviewed. So, I preferred last year’s effort on the boots.


  21. Lou August 23rd, 2008 7:25 am

    JW, yeah, I felt the ski reviews were okay but the other stuff was weak and seemed like filler.

  22. Sam February 19th, 2009 11:33 am

    Hey all. I’m a bit late to this thread, but wanted nonetheless to say thanks for all of the helpful feedback, particularly regarding the Gear Guide. I’m senior editor and ski-test director at Skiing Mag and I’ve always had a ton of respect for this site and its users. Keep the feedback coming. We really are listening.

    All the best,
    Sam Bass

  23. Lou February 19th, 2009 11:42 am

    Um, listening 6 months later (grin)?

  24. Sam February 19th, 2009 11:47 am

    Better late then never, eh? Now that we’re putting together the Gear Guide again, I’m on the lookout for critiques of previous seasons’ GGs, which brought me here.

  25. Lou February 19th, 2009 11:56 am

    Well, what can I say except welcome to our tiny corner of the universe!

  26. Heli Skiing August 15th, 2010 10:52 am

    I enjoy the mag and think it’s on the right track!

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring 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 ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version