The complete contents of Snow Country, the award-winning magazine for skiers published between 1988 to 1999, can now be viewed on line. This valuable new historical resource is available thanks to Google Books, which scanned and digitized the pages of all of the magazine’s 87 issues for the International Skiing History Association. It joins Skiing Heritage as the second magazine viewable through skiinghistory.com.
In 1992, Snow Country received Inside Media’s “Acres of Diamonds Award” as one of the 13 best of 957 new magazines launched in America in the previous five years. Ad Week declared it one of country’s “10 Hottest Magazines.” It soon rivaled SKI and Skiing magazines in circulation.
Over a dozen years, Snow Country’s editors, writers and researchers broke significant stories on ski technique, teaching, equipment innovation, resort ratings, and the environmental impacts of development. The magazine was the first to define the rapid population and construction growth in counties accounting for the majority of uphill lift capacity inAmerica.
To access specific information from Snow Country, click HERE. Scroll to “Browse all issues.” To view any of the issues published in the 1990s, click on “1990”, and scroll laterally to view the covers. Under the cover of the issue whose pages you want to view, click on the date of issue.
Better still, you can search for topics, and people and place names, published in Snow Country. (You can do this with Skiing Heritage magazine as well.) Simply enter key words of your search in the text search box below and to the right. Be sure to click the box labeled “Search all issues;” otherwise, you’ll find only content for the single issue displayed at the top of the page.
For example, if you’re interested in Toni Sailer, enter his name in the box, and click on “Search Inside.” It will display the dates of issue of the magazine in which you can find articles mentioning Sailer. To view a specific article about him, go back and click on the cover of the relevant issue.
If you want to explore the tremendous variety of subjects covered in the magazine, under Index to Periodicals, click on “Snow Country Index.” When “Download Snow Country Index by author” is displayed, click on it. The index is in Excel spreadsheet format, organized alphabetically by author. Anyone skilled with Excel will have no trouble searching the index, or even sorting it by title, department or issue date.
Snow Country was originally launched by the New York Times Co. “Shortly after being retained as the magazine’s founding editor,” says ISHA President John Fry, “I took a trip in the summer of 1988 to Colorado, where I was astounded by the amount of building in ski towns. Construction derricks were everywhere. New hotels, condominiums and second homes filled valleys.
“The sport of skiing wasn’t growing, but the place sure as hell was,” says Fry. “’Why not make Snow Country a magazine about a place?’” I asked. Snow Country could be edited, not so much as a special interest magazine about a sport that wasn’t growing, but about a place that was. It could be edited as a regional magazine, like Caribbean Life, Sunset, Arizona Highways or New England Journal. It would be about the mountainous region where people ski, take vacations and, increasingly, come to live.
The contents page of Snow Country’s premier issue of March 1988 listed articles about Lifestyle, Property, Travel, Buying and Instruction. The magazine photographed fashions suitable for wearing in the place, snow country. Readers were introduced to unusual products made and sold by crafts people living in Snow Country. There was a chart of recent selling and asking prices for second homes and condos. Skiing was beginning to morph into one of several “lifestyle” amenities offered to guests at four-season mountain resorts, causing editors and publishers to re-think what a ski magazine should be.
Snow Country was a sister publication to Golf Digest, Tennis, and Cruising World. While general advertisers were attracted to the magazine’s lifestyle content, readers didn’t necessarily follow suit. Snow Country failed to turn a profit, and shortly after an ownership change and its re-titling as Mountain Sports & Living, the magazine shut down in the summer of 1999.