Volume 42 Intro

"Do you guys still get letters to the editor?" asked the editor of a surf magazine that we share our office with one morning.

"Absolutely," I responded. "Posthole remains one of our most popular departments."

"Well, we don't," he said. "And it's kind of freaking me out."

After a few more minutes of conversation, I walked away, feeling proud of skiers and Powder readers. Although most letters arrive in our digital inbox these days, we still receive a good chunk of the real thing in a real mailbox, with envelope art and four-by-six photo prints to boot. I have several—including one written by a 15-year-old from Washington, D.C., with an accompanying photo—taped to my office door.

Like my colleague, I'd be gravely concerned if Powder did not receive letters. Unlike other properties, Powder is necessary, rather than entertainment. The passionate skier makes sacrifices to afford the ski trip or season pass, looking to a dedicated and trusted source for direction. We constantly analyze how we can stay true to our core audience while introducing others, hoping the content strikes a chord, provokes a pause, elicits a smile. And when letters land on my desk or in my inbox, I know Powder is more than a magazine or a website or a brand. It lives as a vital source of inspiration for skiers around the globe.

Regardless of form or the evolution of communication through Twitter and Facebook, messages from readers hold as much value now as ever. Like friends sharing powder memories, we're here to share with you in the ultimate joy: skiing.–John Stifter