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Top Ten Mountain Gazette Covers Of All Time

A Selection by Mountain Gazette Editor In Chief Mike Rogge

Mike Rogge is a journalist and film producer who had the big ol' double black diamonds to purchase Mountain Gazette a few years back. Since then, he's dedicated his life (well, at least the time when he's not deep in the backcountry) to unearthing classic issues and celebrating the heritage of the original outdoor magazine. Yes, collaborating with Dad Grass on a decoy sleeve that makes your pack of Joint look like a mountain safety kit is part of that ongoing celebration!

We asked Mike to pick his favorite Mountain Gazette covers of all time and tell us why he loved them more than the others. Check out his top ten list below.

Although you'd likely have to dig through ski bum garages and dusty old antique shops to get your hands on some of the rarer gems, Mike will sell you a print of one of the covers on the Mountain Gazette website. 


1. Mountain Gazette 36

Designed by the legendary Aspen artist Tom Benton, Mountain Gazette 36 is everything we hope our iteration to be—designed by a mountain artist, clean design, simple messaging. We say it’s not our magazine, it’s yours. This cover belongs to the people. Benton would design work for the late Hunter S. Thompson, a contributor to the magazine, as well as the town of Aspen.


2. Mountain Gazette 194

Our first issue as the new Mountain Gazette, 194 was a reflection of our mindset at the time. A young skateboarder is running towards a mountain escape in this photo by Tal Roberts. That’s the energy the Mountain Gazette staff brings to every issue. 


3. Mountain Gazette 81

There’s an idea that in order to be a mountain person you need to live in the mountains. But what if the mountains live in you? This image of a young woman lost in a book on a bench outside of a coffee shop feels emblematic of who our subscribers are–the mountains live within them.


4. Mountain Gazette 183

The ski boots at the bar shot on this cover brings back warm memories of the apres memories I can remember and wonder about the ones I cannot. 


5. Mountain Gazette 41

As a soft rule we do not run cover blurbs on the current iteration of Mountain Gazette. Mountain Gazette 41 features the last part of George Sibley’s Part of Winter series. Sibley, now in his 80s and still living and writing in the mountains, is a current contributor. Our contributors range in ages from 14 to 86. Quite a demo.


6. Mountain Gazette 96 

Years ago there was a backlash against pro athletes in outdoor magazines. I don’t know why. I, for one, love to witness a master at their craft. The great climber Fred Beckey is featured in this cover. He, along with Royal Robbins, Ingrid Backstrom, Michelle Parker, and more, have long considered Mountain Gazette a home for their best work. It’s an honor to have the best outdoor athletes in the world as subscribers and contributors. 


7. Mountain Gazette 198 

 Part of our job as the caretakers of mountain culture is to connect the past to the present. This image of Seth Morrison was taken in the early 2000s by photographer Scott Markewitz. His father, Dick Dorworth, wrote the history of our mag and was an early contributor to Mountain Gazette. The lineage of outdoor culture is important. We try to follow the threads. 


8. Mountain Gazette 112 

Hunter S. Thompson, as mentioned above, was a contributor to Mountain Gazette. His work reminds me to keep an open mind as an editor to new ways of telling stories. Not every editor “loved” Gonzo Journalism, but Thompson’s style came to define several generations of first-hand reporting. We’re not looking for the next HST. We’re looking for the next writer who will blow our socks off with a new way of telling their stories. 


9. Mountain Gazette 195 

If every generation of Mountain Gazette has a legendary contributor then ours is photographer and writer Jake Murie who shot this cover of Mountain Gazette 195. Murie, a wild firefighter, simply travels the world with a camera, getting his hands dirty and keeping his lens clean. Every few months he’ll email me a new batch of photos. To date, we’ve run almost every single one of his stories. He’s a man of the world. 


10. Mountain Gazette 104 

If ever an illustration could embody the Grateful Dead lyric from the song “Ripple” it’s this one. Let there be songs to fill the air. Music and art are a huge part of what makes us different from other magazines. We firmly believe that outdoor is a culture, a community. This isn’t our magazine. It belongs to the people, outdoor people, whether they live in mountain towns or cities. When in Doubt, Go Higher.


You Been Snowed In And Missed Our Collab?

Introducing: The Mountain Grassette Safety Kit Dad Stash. A 5 or 10 pack of Dad Grass Hemp CBD Pre Rolls or Mom Grass CBG Pre Rolls stealthily hidden in a Dad Stash decoy pack sleeve that looks like a mountain safety kit.


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