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November 2019

You never know when the next perfect powder day will come, so until then, pick up Powder Magazine for your ski runs. From dissecting the steepest, most technical first descents, to lofting big air, Powder transports you with award-winning photography and engaging articles that will take you to the top of the mountain.

United States
American Media Operations, Inc
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all things hoped for

MOST PEOPLE don’t hope for storms, but skiers do. As soon as the temperature drops below freezing, and just the right amount of moisture is in the air, we start hoping, more than anything, that it will snow. We hope our car will make it up the canyon one more time. We hope the pass stays open and that we got up early enough to beat the traffic. We hope the coffee in our thermos stays hot all day and the snowpack stays safe. We hope our knees have had enough time to heal. We hope we can stick the landing. We hope we can find that glove we dropped from the chair. Skiers hope for a lot of things. Some things we hope never happen. Last May, I was in Salzburg, Austria,…


Sierra Shafer EDITOR-IN-CHIEF David Reddick DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Tyler Hartlage ART DIRECTOR Jake Stern ASSISTANT EDITOR Matt Hansen FEATURES EDITOR-AT-LARGE David and Jake Moe SPIRITUAL EDITORS Senior Correspondents Leslie Anthony, Tom Bie, John Clary Davies, Porter Fox, Kade Krichko, Hans Ludwig, Clare Menzel, Megan Michelson, David Page, Neil Stebbins, Rob Story, Derek Taylor Correspondents Erme Catino, Matt Coté, Heather Hansman, Meghan McCarthy McPhaul, Griffin Post Senior Photographers Nic Alegre, Adam Clark, Lee Cohen, Jeff Cricco, Hank de Vré, Oskar Enander, Mattias Fredriksson, Grant Gunderson, Blake Jorgenson, Bruno Long, Alric Ljunghager, Scott Markewitz, Wade McKoy, Christian Pondella, Greg Von Doersten Contributing Photographers Darcy Bacha, Adam Barker, Jeremy Bernard, Elliot Bernhagen, Brent Benson, Eric Berger, Jay Beyer, Chris Bezamat, Florian Breitenberger, Keith Carlsen, Justin Cash, Ian Coble, Ryan Creary, Brooks Curran, Dom Daher, Jay Dash, Zach Doleac, Liam Doran, Ross Downard, Anton Enerlov, Jeff Engerbretson, Guy Fattal, Chris Figenshau, Jay Goodrich,…

take the 410 to b-lot

IT WAS THE NEON RAINIER SIGN in the front window that caught my eye. Like a fly on shit beer, I was in the doorway of the old two-tone RV without a second thought. A man in a black flat brim kicked off his ski boots in one of the rig’s swiveling bucket chairs and looked up surprised, but not startled. “What do you think of Cleatus?” he asked me. Unsure if I was cramping this guy’s style, I tried to figure out who the heck he was talking about. “The RV,” he continued. “Cleatus—what do you think?” He flashed a smile and put a ski movie on the Costco flat screen in the corner. I couldn’t lie, the setup was pretty ideal: Two bucket seats, a lounge sofa, double bed, full kitchen…

you know her as shane’s wife

WHEN PIONEERING FREESTYLE SKIER Shane McConkey died in a ski-BASE accident in Italy in 2009, he left behind a daughter, Ayla, then 3 years old, and a grief-stricken wife, Sherry McConkey. A year later, Sherry formed a foundation in Shane’s name that gives back to environmental and social causes. To date, the Shane McConkey Foundation has donated more than $288,000 to organizations like Protect Our Winters, the Sierra Avalanche Center, and the Humane Society. Through his death, Sherry says Shane gave her a new opportunity to believe in herself. Ten years later, Sherry, who grew up in South Africa, shares what she has learned about single parenting, the rise of Saucer Girl, and the message she has for Shane. My mother once told me that I was going to be bankrupt…


SOMEWHERE BETWEEN POCATELLO, IDAHO, and Jackson, Wyoming, I’m driving alone in an F-150 with rusted hubs and a transmission that threatens to go everytime I shift between third and fourth gear. It’s 1:00 a.m., but I’m not tired. It feels like 5:00 p.m., local time, where I just flew in from. I spent the last three weeks in an RV barely large enough to fit five of us and our skis, chasing infamous winter storms, sneaking into hotels to dry skins and mittens on every available indoor surface while we soaked in onsens. I had seen photos of this place before, with its trees holding impossible pillows of snow. The forest looks like the pattern on one of the kimonos we plucked from a dusty thrift store. In those trees, I discovered the…


1. Hands-down the best vehicle yet devised by homo sapiens to travel over snow at high speeds. The easiest, most cost-effective means for one person to convert powder from untracked to tracked. With talent, can be used to bend gravity, climb walls, do backflips, skim across pristine mountain lakes, and leap headlong into death-wielding couloirs. 2. More addictive in the right conditions than sleeping pills or video games. I’ve met great skiers still in their prime who suddenly realize they’ve come to prefer turning a snowmobile in powder than a pair of skis. They have ski racks on their sleds but don’t bother anymore. 3. Impossible to carry on your back. Not the ideal tool for hardpack, ice, gravel, mud, tundra, bushes, or asphalt. 4. Slightly less of a pain in the ass…