The end result—a magazine completed, a line skied. From the pre-dawn darkness of the trailhead or the first discussions of a story assignment, it can be difficult to visualize the final product, how the line will flow or how the magazine will fall together once the pages are printed back-to-back. One way or another, though, it always works out. Through hard work, long nights of strategizing, early morning alarms, whatever it may be—everything always falls into place.
It begins with a plan—where to ride, which stories to print, what day to make the trek, which photos to choose that will bring each piece to life. Drafts flow between the FREESKIER editors and the contributors in the same way conversations between ski partners set the course toward an objective. Imperative to the process, however, a plan is just a rough draft, an initial sketch, an idea and, all scheming aside, there’s always something that goes awry, something that forces us to pivot and maneuver to stay on-track.
Maybe it’s the weather, an unforeseen storm or a threatening change in the snowpack. It could be a missed deadline or a photographer that we can’t track down. On-the-go evaluations and in-the-moment decisions are the crux to success, the key to the outcome. The need to pivot, to edit, to change the plan—it happens in a flash, our minds tuned into the situation so acutely that thinking and acting become simultaneous. “Do or do not… there is no try,” say the Jedis.
It’s the mindset of a skier and an editor that learns to make amendments, to work through the elements at-hand to put the finishing touches together. Heading into the final stages of producing this magazine parallels the moment when the sun crests over the ridge; looking backward is no option. For skiers, a dangerous snowpack might require us to turn around but, even then, we forge on, a new intention replacing the old one.
SKIER: Fannie Dufour
PHOTO: Laura Szanto
LOCATION: Kootenay, BC
With two magazines in circulation and the third of four in your hands, the 24th volume of FREESKIER is now in its home stretch. Snow is falling in the mountains and, with an unabating hopefulness, we look up to the peaks around us, yearning for that line to be a “go” this season. But, even if we have to wait until next year, there is always somewhere else, equally beautiful, to paint a line or a different story to print to inspire you.
While we can attempt to visualize the outcome, we know that nothing ever goes truly “according to plan.” But no matter… as the untracked objective lies before us, the final approach in sight, the experience unfolds. When the printer begins splashing its ink on blank pages, when the words and the imagery fall into their final form, only then is the magazine completed. The end result—another adventure in the books—only makes itself apparent once the fleetingness of each downhill turn has ceased. The payoff is the experience, no matter how it may manifest.