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Farewell, Powder Magazine

By Rob Reinfurt

As a skier, there's a feeling that comes with Fall others will never experience. The jittery anticipation is palpable. As the leaves drop and the first frost turns to snow, our potential energy rises. The ski season is nearly upon us and deep snow soon awaits. If you’re like me, Powder Magazine was your bible, and reading their ‘intro’ was your first order of business. We grew up with it, and it’s a feeling we won’t forget.

2020 will be one for the books.  It's been a year of incredible loss, fear and tension, and Powder Magazine is no longer with us. It seems trivial to mourn the passing of a magazine when our problems are so much bigger, but to me, it marks the end of an era. Long before there was social media, young and old skiers alike awaited for the first issue of Powder to hit the stands. It may not have been visible, but it brought us together before the lifts started spinning. We were a community. Every issue started with an ‘intro’, and each one was an emotional spark. It was the spark that made me pack my bags after September 11th and say ‘Fuck it, I’m going skiing’.  As a recent college graduate with tentative plans to move down to New York City and start a career, entering the hustle seemed absolutely pointless. The new found lesson was ‘life is short’ and the mountains were calling.

Was it a classic Lee Cohen shot, Brent Benson’s Chad’s Gap, or the intro after 9/11 that brought tears to my eyes? Either way, that magazine made me pack my skis into an old station wagon and migrate to the great state of Utah.  Upon arrival it snowed 100 inches in 100 hours.  The myth proved true and I never left. Over the years, the people from this magazine became my friends and neighbors. Powder’s old editor, John Bresee, became my boss and later my business partner. His ‘intros’ were some of my favorites. He had a way of distilling it all down to the simple truth with words that carried weight. It wasn’t the internet that forged these lifelong connections. It was the words and photos from this magazine and the mountains that made it all possible. It was unique. It was tangible, and it was for skiers.

So as we gear up for another season, one that is surely uncertain, lets find a way to celebrate the essence of Powder. Show a young skier one of your old stashes, reminiscence of your favorite blizzard, let the storm guide your next ski adventure or just head up to your favorite ski hill, where everything makes sense. Thank you Powder Magazine for the hope and stoke. We already miss you.

Rob Reinfurt has been running Geartrade for the last 15 years and trying to ski as many days as possible.