The New York Times Reports on Stevens Pass Avalanche

Extensive and innovative story on tragedy last February in Washington's Cascades

My heart aches too much to articulate my thoughts and feelings about this 18,000-word feature on a story so close to me. But you, the powder skier, should read it. Make your friends and loved ones read it. Because despite the group’s collective ski and avalanche safety experience, we lost three tremendous friends. If you’re a passionate skier and like to venture out to the backcountry, please educate yourself with an avalanche awareness class of some kind. It could save your life and those close to your soul. My heart goes out to the friends and families of Johnny Brenan, Jim Jack, and Chris Rudolph.—John Stifter

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Inspired To The World

The Inspired Demo Tour gears up for a 50-stop tour across the East and Midwest

Check your schedule. The Inspired Demo Tour is en route to a ski area near you. Henrik Harlaut, Phil Casabon, and Paul Bergeron are making 50 stops in 66 days, traveling through 10 states and one province. They’ll be skiing with local groms and logging their journeys on InspiredDemoTour.com. POWDER chatted with Inspired Media Concepts General Eric Iberg to get the low down on this new tour.

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The 12 Days of PVAs: 2004′s Pep Fujas, Am to Fame

Pep Fujas breaks onto the scene at the 2004 POWDER Awards

In 2004, the POWDER Awards moved to the St. Regis Hotel in Aspen, Colorado, for what would be the first of a nine-year stint in the ski town that never sleeps. In another remarkable turn of events, Teton Gravity Research, today long-time veterans of the POWDER Awards, took home their only Movie of the Year award for High Life. In the film, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa lit the ski world on fire, earning himself a Best Male Performance in the same year Pep Fujas would take home Breakthrough Performer and Best Trick for his legendary performance in Poor Boyz’ Session 1242.

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The Last Frontier

Salomon Freeski TV: Season six, episode 6

“Marking America’s only unguarded border, the Portland Canal is the 4th longest fjord in the world. At the head of it, lay the towns of Stewart, BC and Hyder, Alaska – and the base for Last Frontier Heliskiing. Cody Townsend & Chris Rubens use a helicopter and their skis to explore one of the last great wilderness areas left on earth.”

It should not be denied that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led West. This is British Columbia.

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The 12 Days of PVAs: 2003′s “The Dizzouglas”

Meet The Dizzouglas

During the 2003 Winter X Games, Mike Douglas and Chris Davenport got a call. They were in Aspen announcing the ski events. But they really needed to be in Las Vegas for the Powder Video Awards, said the voice on the line. The thing was, they had an X Games meeting at noon the same day, and an event to call the next morning. “It seemed impossible,” says Douglas. But at the last minute, David Perry from Aspen/Snowmass hired a private plane to take them to Vegas and back. “It was a surreal 24 hours.”

Douglas arrived in style. In mockery of the obnoxious ski fashions at the time, He showed up in a gold Adidas basketball jersey, gold sweatpants, sideways hat with do-rag underneath, a gold $ chain, and attitude.

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Free Swag and the Rule of Reciprocity

Say no to free samples

The scene is common enough. You’re at the Dew Games or Movie Premiere X, and MonsterBull’s in the corner handing out free cans of carbonated liver poison while the emcee throws out free schwag—T-shirts, hats, coozies, lanyards, sticker packs, or whatever the petroleum-based product of the day happens to be. While kids climbing over each other to claim an ugly polyester balaclava seems innocent enough, there’s some more sinister psychology at work.

The rule of reciprocity runs deep. Parents teach their children that when they receive something, they are obligated to repay that debt. It’s a simple concept of give and take, and one that works in surprising ways. Behavorial scientists have found that if a waiter leaves a mint with the bill, diners will tip up to 23 percent more. BYU Sociology professor Phil Kunz sent Christmas cards to 578 strangers he had never met, and received 117 in reply, some several pages long and with attached photos of family members.

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The Base Grind: December 16th

Watch your swing.

Renowned downhill racer and golfing enthusiast Bode Miller may be in for a long dry spell in the bedroom ever since accidentally nailing his wife in the eye with a golf ball going 160 mph during a round of couples’ golf this week. Morgan Beck’s injury required 50 stitches to repair. Could be a boon for sunglass maker Kaenon, however, since the direct impact to the SR-91 polarized lenses Beck was wearing at the time of the accident did not shatter. Bet someone at Oakley marketing is kicking themself right now.

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And Then There Were Four

Who will be crowned the best ski town in North America?

When the Ski Town Throwdown started on October 29th I don’t think anybody realized how many ski towns would rally behind their cause or the Internet fervor with which they would do so. Nor, like a March Madness Bracket, could many people have predicted this Final Four. The story of this contest has been the little ski town and the power of their passionate communities, as evidenced by the Final Four.

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Twelve Years of Powder Awards

Recounting the memorable moments leading up to the 13th annual Powder Awards

The 13th annual Powder Awards presented by Icelandic Glacial kick off in Park City, Utah, January 17 at the Park City Live music venue. The annual red-carpet event that celebrates filmmakers, skiers, and photographers has taken on several different locations and iterations the last 12 years, so we’re looking back at the highlights.

The first annual Powder Video Awards and Reader Poll in 2001 was held in a Las Vegas night club. “It was an awesome night,” remembers former POWDER Editor Keith Carlsen, who conceived the event. “We couldn’t afford the club for the entire night and it was a hip-hop club, so the place was overrun as we were finishing up. It became a bunch of white skiers mixed it up with a hard-hitting Vegas club scene.”

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Op-Ed: Film Segments vs. Competitions

Clayton Vila sounds off on the importance of film segments over competitive skiing

Clayton Vila, a K2-sponsored skier, recently released “The Creep” an all-encompassing video part of his footage from Teton Gravity Research, Poor Boyz Productions, and Stept Productions. In an op-ed for Powder.com, Clayton explains the need for more film segments in skiing.

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