Gold Medal Alchemy: A Short Recipe

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Gold Medal Alchemy Pic A Noel

First, pick your favorite holiday...

Got it? Now, add 25 of your best friends, stir in a heaping mix of fresh air, high altitude and roguish behavior, and you have a hint-a hint, mind you-of the joy in the test corral at the SKI Magazine ski test in Beaver Creek, Colo.

This is not to gloat. This is only to say our job this past spring was truly exciting. Ski manufacturers have crammed gold-medal performance into increasingly tighter packages. Shorter now means quicker, lighter, faster. Looking for the perfect ski? Here are the best of 2002. Choose one, and get cooking.