April 2, 2012—Backcountry Magazine editor Drew Pogge earned top honors at the 2011 Northern Lights Awards, held this week in San Francisco, CA. His story, Stone Cold—about a pioneering ski mountaineering expedition into the Yukon’s frigid Tombstone Mountains—appeared in the December 2011 issue of Backcountry.
Pogge took home 1st prize in the print category—his second 1st Prize Northern Lights Award in three years, coming on the heels of his 2009 Backcountry feature The Ghost Coast: Skiing Labrador’s Torngat Mountains, which also won a Gold Solas Award.
Faculty from the prestigious Missouri School of Journalism judged hundreds of competitive entries from some of the biggest names in publishing before selecting Stone Cold as the winner. Here’s how Missouri School of Journalism professor John Fennel described Pogge’s work:
“Other than Jack London, few writers have described cold as vividly as Drew Pogge. A skier with the soul and language of a poet, Pogge makes readers feel the 40-below zero temps that freezes feet and instills panic on a trip to the Yukon’s Tombstone Mountains. The writing is elegant and vivid, and Pogge has an amazing eye for detail, from describing the “flurries of exploding ice crystals” skating on his sleeping bag and the fear-inspiring Arctic silence to a Yukon cocktail: ‘a double shot of Yukon Jack garnished with a severed human toe.’ Cold becomes a living being, an enemy, and this story makes that experience almost as real as being there.”
The ceremony took place at the historic Fairmont Hotel, before an audience of more than 300 attendees. Past winners include stories published in highly regarded titles such as Canadian Geographic, The Atlantic, The Washington Post and The New York Times Magazine.
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