Happy 10th Anniversary, Snowshoe Magazine!

The Snowshoe Magazine logos over the years.

The Snowshoe Magazine logos through the years.

I’ll call this an anniversary, rather than a birthday.  And it’s been 10 years since I created this business… from the ground up.  However, it doesn’t seem like a business anymore.  I think of it more as a hobby… something I take care of because I love it.  From the ups and downs, so much has happened in 10 years.

For all who supported me in this endeavor, I thank you.

Snowshoe Magazine’s humble beginnings originated in the Denver suburbs of Littleton and Lakewood.  Meeting with friends about business ideas and discussing the potential of starting something on the Internet–all from the sketchy corners of a pub called The Front Range Inn.

Having recently graduated from Abilene Christian University with a B.A. in English and the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute, I was eager to get something started. Snowshoemag originated circa September 2003, the month my son Hayden Thomas Alford was born.  In a way, both Hayden and Snowshoe Magazine share the same birthday.  I also celebrate my birthday in September, so that month is special in my household.

The road was bumpy and difficult at first, as are most things that require hard work.  Of course, I gathered as many friends and acquaintances as possible to get Snowshoe Magazine started.  Simply designed in the beginning using HTML, I manually uploaded all the content to the site using Dreamweaver (a user-friendly program for web site development).  I remember spending grueling hours working on the site and writing content. For about two to three years, my mornings began at 4 a.m. and didn’t end until midnight.  Ah… to be young and in my 20s again.

From an HTML site to a database-driven ColdFusion site, Snowshoemag.com has evolved from something simple to a living, breathing animal.  Today, it operates on WordPress, which is far superior to anything I’ve used in the past.

In 2005, I went as far as publishing a print edition, which was an amazing challenge and quite an experience for a team of one guy.  But I did it!  And that’s all that matters.

The print magazine.

The print magazine.














Here’s how the site looked over the years (and please excuse the missing graphics):

Screen Shot 2013-10-19 at 7.39.00 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-19 at 7.39.44 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-19 at 7.44.09 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-19 at 7.48.16 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-19 at 7.50.04 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-19 at 7.51.48 PM

Here’s the first article I published on the site: Step Into Our Snowshoes.

Again, thank you to all the many people who have helped me over the past decade (and into the future): readers, writers, friends, family members, educators and many advisors.  It’s been an amazing, awesome 10 years.  I can only hope for 10 more just like it!

Happy anniversary, Snowshoe Magazine! You’ve been the cornerstone of my career and the light of my success.  Thank you.

5 thoughts on “Happy 10th Anniversary, Snowshoe Magazine!

  1. Servus Ryan,
    Congratulations on your 10-year anniversary.
    I came across Snowshoe Magazine last winter by coincidence.
    I enjoyed the content. There are so many great places in America to go snowshoeing. Fortunately for me, there are also many great opportunities available in this area.
    I am a native of New Orleans who has been living in Bavaria since 1980.
    I started snowshoeing in 1994 (a devoted TUBBS enthusiast, now on my third pair) and have grown more enthusiastic with every season.
    Last season I was blessed with 37 tours (2-hour trail hikes to 6-hour high country alpine treks). My snowshoeing season here in Oberbayern (Upper Bavaria) and nearby Austria (Salzburger Land & Tyrol) could potentially start in 4 weeks (and continue until early May).
    I can’t wait. I have half a dozen new tours already scouted out and several “Old Faithful” tours waiting for guaranteed snowshoeing bliss.
    Keep up the great work. I will check your website from time to time for inspiration.

    Ted Hassinger
    Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria

    • Ted … taking the wildest shot in the dark here … Kim and I had a bit of a mountain adventure yesterday in Wisconsin, and that brought you to mind. And that spurred me to Google you, and this letter to the editor popped up. Many times over the years, I’ve regretted not keeping in touch with you after we left Munich in 1985. I have no idea if you will get some kind of notice to this reply to your letter, but if perchance you do, I’d love to reconnect. My email is charles.m.vinch@gmail.com.

  2. Ryan,
    Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary of “Snowshoe Magazine!” You not only succeeded in bringing a welcoming online magazine to the sport of snowshoeing, but you also captured the hearts of snowshoers from around the world by uniting them through this media. I see Snowshoe Magazine identified in many places when it comes to referencing snowshoeing. This is truly a hallmark of communication for snowshoeing enthusiasts and snowshoeing communities. I commend you and thank you for keeping the sport alive.

    Jim Joque

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.