Powder to the People: A Final Note From the Editor in Powder’s Last Ever Issue

SnowBrains | | Industry NewsIndustry News
First and last editions of Powder. Credit: Powder

On October 5th, 2020, Powder Magazine confirmed the rumors that had been circulating – it was true, the magazine would close its doors on November 20th, 2020. The magazine, the website, and all the social media channels would cease to be after almost 50-years at the forefront of the snowsports industry.

The magazine’s final edition just hit the shelves, with a letter from the editor and a cover that was a throwback to the first issue. The photograph taken in the Wyoming backcountry from Teton Gravity Research lead photographer Nic Alegre graces the cover in a subtle nod to the magazine’s debut issue back in 1972. The image features veteran skier Karl Fostvedt in midair, set in silhouette against the backdrop of a sunny sky in the Wyoming backcountry near Jackson Hole (right). The magazine’s design team for the final cover shot then took the imagery from the magazine’s debut edition and superimposed it behind Fostvedt, creating a stunning reference to the magazine’s early days nearly 50 years ago.

Alegre’s shot was taken in February during the filming of the TGR film ​Make Believe​. Alegre, Fostvedt, skier Kai Jones and TGR director and co-founder Todd Jones had largely wrapped filming for the day before Fostvedt noticed the wind kicking up and creating a surreal backdrop of sun and snow, and Fostvedy asked Alegre if he wanted to try one more shot before ending the day.

“We knew with the wind gusts and the sun that he would be perfectly backlit, so he just went for it, and that’s the cover shot. I’ve always had so much respect for all the athletes, photographers, designers and everyone who made ​Powder what it’s been for so long, and it’s an incredible honor to be featured on the cover. If an iconic magazine like ​Powder​ is going to go out, I’m glad to have the honor of the last cover shot. I just hope I did the magazine justice.”

– Alegre, who is based in Jackson Hole and was the first lead photographer in TGR’s history

The end of an era. Read the letter from the editor below, and maybe pick up a copy of the magazine’s final edition.

This story originally appeared as the Intro in the Winter 2020 (49.2) issue of POWDER.

By the time you read this, perhaps the final issue of Powder, our parent company will have ceased operations of the magazine indefinitely.

The founding editors published the first issue of Powder Magazine in Sun Valley, Idaho in 1973. They called it “a celebration of powder skiing … the finest variety of skiing there is. To us, powder means freedom, with an emphasis not on how you do it, but just doing it more.” Forty-nine years later, we couldn’t agree more.

Yet the world looks different than when the first issue was published. It certainly looks different since the last time most of us skied together. So, we must adapt. Skiers are good at this. We know how to find and adjust to a new line. With that in mind, I’d like to respectfully make an edit to that first Intro published in Powder.

There is, of course, absolutely no freedom like skiing powder. It propels you into a weightless existence in a world that feels increasingly heavy; it is the only act I know of that can pull you out of your brain and into your soul where you are reminded that the only moment in which you can be alive is the present moment. Forget the rest. The founding editors were right to put an emphasis on doing it more.

But when it comes to skiing powder—like eating homemade bread dipped in hot, melted cheese; like sex; like days when every person you love is still alive on this Earth—we will never be satiated. No matter how much we do it, we will always want more. As skiers, whether it’s one day on skis or 100, we cannot get enough. That we get to do it at all is the most important thing.

The same goes for Powder Magazine. We hope there will be more. For now, we are grateful we got to do it at all. Creating this magazine, which has stood as a compass for skiers; a cultural barometer; and a record of our sport; has been the time of our lives. We have worked tirelessly to be critical, funny, affectionate, and honest—as the first editors intended—even when that meant turning the microscope on ourselves and looking inward.

So, we must admit that this issue, like every issue before, has been made possible only with a little (no, a lot) of help from our friends. We count you, our readers, among them. What began as a celebration, Powder remains an expression of thanks. This is for you. Powder To The People.

Get your copy of the Winter 2020 issue here.

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