A couple of years ago, I was having lunch with a friend at Bridger Brewing, just off the college campus in Bozeman, Montana. We were both battling existential crises and undergoing some serious physical therapy: I was recovering from invasive cancer surgery on my left leg and groin; he from multiple bone fractures after getting mugged in Ecuador. Yes, it was an interesting lunch.
Over pizza and beers, we talked through our respective recoveries, and we each realized that our therapists—both women, both moms—had saved our lives. We agreed that we didn't know where we'd be without these women to care for and help us get back on our feet.
It made me think about my mom and all the other moms in the ski world—a world that is still mostly male dominated, though thankfully that's slowly changing—that don't often get the credit they deserve for being there when we need them most. Or, quite frankly, just being there, day in and day out, never asking for anything in return except for maybe the occasional phone call. That conversation in Bozeman led to a feature in POWDER where Associate Editor Sierra Davis expertly profiled a collection of skiing moms.
Which is how we want to lead off this Mother's Day, by bringing you some of the best stories in POWDER about mothers and motherhood. It's our little way of recognizing all those moms out there who are saving the day, on the hill and off.
You'll also find a story about Emily Coombs, the big mountain pioneer who has dedicated a new chapter in her life to helping low-income children learn to ski. Managing Editor Julie Brown interviews Hilaree O'Neill, one of the most prolific ski mountaineers in the world who has found new heights. And we have a personal essay and film from Ingrid Backstrom, who became a mother last year. To tickle the funny bone, Kade Krichko writes about a bunch of dirtbags who dress up like Mom and ski Mount St. Helens every Mother's Day. And lastly, you'll find something for Mom in our collection of the best skis and boots for women.
At the end of our lunch, my friend and I raised our glasses to all the women in our lives. We hope you can do the same.
Happy Mother's Day. This one is for Mom.
—Matt Hansen, Editor at Large
Forward: The Emily Coombs Story
Once a globe-trotting steep skier, Emily Coombs is now a catalyst for bringing diversity to the mountains.
A Mother's Nature
A tribute to the women who made us skiers.
The Mountains Are Calling, And Hilaree O'Neill Must Go
Why the 45-year-old ski mountaineer says last winter was her wildest ever.
On Being a Mother—and a Skier, too
Ingrid Backstrom has been chasing snow for 15 years. She didn't know what life would hold when she became a mother.
Toasting Mom from the Top of the Cascades
If you're going to ski a big angry volcano, you might as well do it in style.