It always seems strange to get the first Powder Magazine of the season in August. Then again, it's not like we all don't smile when we see it, and immediately start consuming every single sentence on every single page. As the Internet continues to make print magazines and the like obsolete, there's still something about holding a magazine in your hands from time-to-time. Here at Unofficial, we feel confident that Powder is still "that magazine" in the ski world. Others have tried, others exist, and even if you think there's a lot of ads, when all is said and done, Powder continues to do a hell of a job at giving us what we want. Throw in a bunch of Squaw/Tahoe stoke like this year's premier issue has and it's even better! 1st Powder Magazine of the 2011-2012 Season | Unofficial Review | Unofficial Networks

1st Powder Magazine of the 2011-2012 Season | Unofficial Review

1st Powder Magazine of the 2011-2012 Season | Unofficial Review

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1st Powder Magazine of the 2011-2012 Season | Unofficial Review

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Photo Courtesy of powdermag.com

It always seems strange to get the first Powder Magazine of the season in August. Then again, it’s not like we all don’t smile when we see it, and immediately start consuming every single sentence on every single page. As the Internet continues to make print magazines and the like obsolete, there’s still something about holding a magazine in your hands from time-to-time. Here at Unofficial, we feel confident that Powder is still “that magazine” in the ski world. Others have tried, others exist, and even if you think there’s a lot of ads, when all is said and done, Powder continues to do a hell of a job at giving us what we want. Throw in a bunch of Squaw/Tahoe stoke like this year’s premier issue has and it’s even better!

It’s a special thing, to get that first Powder of the season in the mail, which is usually the buyer’s guide.  With no less than 60 pages of gear to drool at in this years offering, chances are you’ll find something to lust over in those pages for the upcoming winter. While a lot of the gear that is covered is comprised of the big-whigs in the ski industry, which is to be expected, Powder has done a better job at covering some of the more up-and-coming, smaller, independent manufacturers in the ski world over the past few years. Of course they don’t review and cover them all, like the noticeable absence of locally owned and operated bomber ski manufacturer Praxis, but they do a decent job.

Skis, boots, and bindings new for the 2011-2012 season anchor this issue, but well before you get to the buyer’s guide section, you’ll be starring at Squaw local shredder Cody Townsend on the cover, slicing through some of the ample pow that fell across North America last winter. The amount of Tahoe stoke littered throughout Powder issue #1 for this season is amazing, including the respectful and appropriate opening to the issue, which showcases a fitting tribute to our fallen hero, Kip Garre. As most people in the Tahoe ski community know, Kip and Allison Kreutzen were world-class athletes, and world-class people who were lost in a ski accident last spring. The sting of having lost them, along with several of our other brothers and sisters in the past few years lingers. It’s both somber and beautiful to start this issue and season off remembering those that we’ve lost in the mountains. Life is not a gimme, and you never know, so never forget to live each day to the fullest, and spread some thanks for the lives we are all so fortunate to live.


After their respectful tone, Powder moves through a few brilliant shots in their “Shooting Gallery” before a very cool piece on skiing some east-coast gnar. How many east-coast transplants live here in Tahoe, and how many have cut their teeth skiing off Mt. Washington? A great piece on the east is followed by a brief story on a rowdy Swiss dude, and then a great short article from local legend, Scott Gaffney.

The return of the Pain McShlonkey Open (PMS) is something locals have been talking about with over-sized grins since last March. The Powder article is a perfect piece, and does the story justice giving the readers some necessary background on the event, and most importantly, spraying about how much fun people had. Three great photos help focus the two-page spread, illuminating that even though people were wearing snowlerblades, that didn’t mean they weren’t going for it! Powder cover boy Cody Townsend won the highlight race, the Chinese Downhill, and claimed the coveted Golden Saucer Award. After an eight year absence many hope that the PMS is here to stay. Based on what Scott shared in Powder, and how thankful people are to Shane’s amazing wife Sherry for having worked so hard to make it happen, hopefully it won’t see a year off anytime soon.


Photo Courtesy of powdermag.com

There’s a whole slew of other articles in the first issue of Powder for 2011-2012, some really good and entertaining, some maybe not so much. All are worthy, it’s just a matter of your attention span and interest. Overall, Powder #1 for 2011-2012 is a great read. It’ll make you laugh out loud (see Jaded Local), provide some education (Powder Girl), and in the end entertain you, which is but one of its ultimate goals. That’s why you read Powder. For well-written prose, epic photos, and stories that transport you to that happy place where the snow is deep, and your poles are the only things showing. The feature pieces are solid, the AK piece and the U.K. story are both worth spending the time to take in, but the Perfect Storm piece is “the one” for issue #1.

We won’t ruin it for you, but there’s some amazing Tahoe/California commentary in there, some great shots from Squaw, and it does what the best ski articles ever written have always done; it takes you there. The best stories are the ones you start reading, and totally forget about anything for the next period of time until the article is done. When you’re done, you look up from the piece you were reading and contemplate….you may be physically on your couch, but reading a good article, like the Perfect Storm, you’re transported back to last winter…yeah, that HUGE WINTER we had last year. You start to remember a few powder days that stand out, full days where skiing went right into a memorable (or not so memorable) apres party, and maybe you get a little deeper, and start remembering a few of those perfect turns where the one split-second you spent in the white-room felt like an eternity. That’s a good ski article, and it’s a good thing that such ski prose still exists, and that Powder Magazine can still take us there.

Miles Clark spraying some of Squaw’s best    Photo: Hank deVre

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