Backcountry/Couloir Mags Merge

Well, it's here. The new, merged Backcountry-Couloir Magazine arrived in the mail this week. I don't usually cheer mergers, so I wasn't exactly leaping for joy when I heard that the venerable Couloir Mag (which began right here in SoCal) was going to be absorbed by Backcountry. I'm sort of the sentimental type, especially when it comes to blood-sweat-and-tears efforts like Couloir, which Craig Dostie built from a xerox newsletter into the "Earn Your Turns" classic we all know and love.

But, Couloir is gone now, which at least relieves us of the burden of having to decide which of the two mags to subscribe to (and feeling guilty about jilting the other). The addition of Couloir's talent to the Backcountry pool certainly extends the magazine's reach, offering the promise of better, richer coverage of the backcountry skiing world.

The debut issue features an extended 2008 gear review section, and an interesting article on a new avalanche terrain rating system that Canada is trying out. Overall, the new mag looks a lot like the old Backcountry Magazine, so if you're pining away for Couloir, I recommend moping for a while—and then ordering up a Backcountry subscription.

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents