When our team got together to launch a magazine, we had a very specific plan: We would only write about issues and interests associated with the mountains of North America. We would cover skiing, mountain biking, alpinism, and the other mountain sports we love, but we would also report on advocacy and tough environmental and social issues. We wouldn’t chase fashion. Instead of dumbing down our content, we would smarten it up. We would create a magazine built to last.
Despite the chatter on Friendbook, print is not dead. But magazines that try to compete with the incomparable superficiality of the Internet should die. A magazine should be the opposite of a vapid tweet. Since we can’t simply delete our mistakes, we try to get a little better with each issue. We invest in intellectual property and hire better photographers, illustrators, and writers. We treat our readership with respect and assume (correctly) that they’re of great intelligence. We surprise and inform. And ultimately we deliver a product with timeless value. In this case, a beautiful glossy magazine full of inspirational photography and storytelling — a magazine that’s worthy of staying on your coffee table till it has grown dog-eared and beer-stained.
An editor once told me that magazines only have to be “good enough” for the market. But good enough doesn’t cut it for race bindings or disc brakes, and it shouldn’t cut it for magazines either. Welcome to the fourth year of Mountain. We think it’s way better than “good enough.”