SNOW Magazine Winter Issue 2017 / 2018

SNOW Magazine Winter Issue 2017 [Publishers Letter]

The Soul of Skiing

SNOW Magazine Winter Issue 2017 highlights; I was at CrossFit stretching after a workout when a friend asked, “So, who owns SNOW?” I laughed and answered, “That would be me.” In the days of massive magazine conglomerates, it’s rare to find an independent publisher. While I would enjoy a steady paycheck offered by a large publishing house, I love that with SNOW I have 100 percent control over creative and editorial decisions. Towing some kind of corporate line wouldn’t be for me.

As companies are buying up ski areas around the globe in a Pac-Man-like manner, consolidating independent resorts, I can’t help but be concerned about the soul of skiing. I’m dating myself, but I miss the days growing up skiing Mammoth, running into owner Dave McCoy on the mountain or in the cafeteria dressed in his signature white cotton T-shirt. With these large portfolios owning the mountains, will that small town ski resort feeling remain? I worry there will be a loss of character and community involvement that go to the heart of the sport. Is skiing headed downhill?

SNOW writer David Shribman casts an insightful eye on the world of pop ski culture through the ages as he reflects on the many ways skiing made everything more glamorous, from smoking to drinking to buying cars and chasing bad guys (see Pop Snow Culture, page 86). For decades, skiing was the perfect medium for film, advertising, and fashion. It was sexy and bold and its athletes could double as film stars. I miss the days we could have some fun and didn’t take everything so seriously.

Klaus Obermeyer attempted to escape the Nazis on skis and was shot and left to die. Fifty years later, his skiing days are far from over. He literally sparkles as he talks about how great the snow is on Aspen Mountain. Everett Potter’s story on Obermeyer (see Klaus Everlasting, page 92) captures the very essence of Klaus, from the young boy growing up in post-World War I Germany, to the ski wear magnate focused on the future of his company and its impact on the environment. Obermeyer ski wear only gets better with age.

The Alps are timeless, but France’s Courchevel now puts uber luxury on the map. In Courchevel, nothing is unobtainable, everything is possible. In this edition, Leslie Woit’s tell-all (see Les Étoiles de Courchevel, page 114) gives a peek through the keyhole at the fabulousness of this tiny town in the French Alps. With more five-star hotels than almost any city in the world (except perhaps Dubai), Courchevel is the place oligarchs, royals, and celebrities make their winter dreams come true. Vive la France!

This year we shot our fashion story at a $22 million home slopeside at Aspen Highlands. It was the perfect setting for 2018’s ski and après-ski fashion, as well as stunning jewels and accessories (see Insta-GLAM, page 98). Photographer Christian Alexander and stylist John Martinez gathered a group of top models to showcase the latest looks. Wear ‘em on the slopes or on Rodeo Drive and you’ll look mahvelous. Michael Mastarciyan’s ode to French fashion (see The French Connection, page 56) shows just how much ski wear is entwined with our lives and our passions.

Writer Andrew Findlay was lucky to travel to the birthplace of skiing: Austria, the land of the famous Arlberg ski technique, Kaiserschmarrn, schnapps, steep slopes, and charming villages (see Vorarlberg, page 80). Austria is a place where the locals win you over with gemütlichkeit — a warm and authentic welcome that instantly makes you feel at home.

I learned recently an affiliate of Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) purchased Utah’s Deer Valley Resort. What will this merger mean? Will skiing be run by remote corporate overlords? Though I occasionally yearn for the mom and pop feel of small resorts, I am convinced that the future of skiing will just keep getting better. Knowing the key players at ASC and this “as yet unnamed affiliate company,” I’m less anxious about the heart and soul of skiing.


Aspen Skiing Company actively makes business decisions to ensure there will be skiing for generations to come. I appreciate that they care about environmental issues, human rights, and sexual equality. In this edition our editor, Lori Knowles, wrote The Pride of Whistler (see page 66). It made me think about the decades of change that have taken place since the first gay ski week. I am pleased to live in an era where tolerance, acceptance, and equality are the new norm.

Thank you to the founders of skiing. I love old school. But I also love the new school, where my custom skis can barely keep pace with my fashionable ski outfits, and as I meet the likes of Klaus Obermeyer on Aspen Highlands’ Deep Temerity lift, I know I can keep up!

Let it SNOW!

Barbara Sanders, Publisher