November 1999

Features
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Features

Dream On

Today was a special day. While walking past the magazine rack I saw, to my surprise, "Buyer's Guide 2000" in big yellow letters jumping off the newsstand. I quickly grabbed a copy, went outside and started flipping through the pages when, all of a sudden, I became disappointed; here I was wearing shorts and sandals and it's only August 15. Sadly, ski season doesn't begin for another three months. Nonetheless, great job on an excellent start to the season.

Curt Miller

Delta, B.C.

Not Buying It
After reading this year's Buyer's Guide, I was pleased with the commentary from the testers. However, your so-called rankings were continuously mentioned throughout the article as "short turns," "long turns" and "edgehold." Well, as far as I can tell, these aren't rankings, so where are they? I know all the equipment in the article achieved Gold Medal status, but if I'm spending $700 on a pair of skis, I want to know exactly what the best equipment is for me.
Michael Congedo
Basking Ridge, N.J.

After spending more than 15 years teaching people to ski better, it's sad to see a magazine of your stature mislead the public with your "Reviews You Can Trust" (Buyer's Guide, September 1999). If you want to give an honest report to your readers, you would have to remove all the dampening devices, change the tip cover and receive the skis without the manufacturer's name or serial numbers on the skis. You would then have to find several people who would be of the skiing ability of those actually purchasing the skis and not allow the tester the opportunity to discuss¿thus sway¿his thoughts on a given ski.
Carl Swanback
West Dover, Vt.

Ed. Note: We compile more data from our test than could ever be presented in the magazine and we strive to keep the Buyer's Guide (about 50 pages) as concise and simple as possible.

SKI-Commerce
In regards to your debate on buying skis and equipment online ("In Search of Skis.com," September 1999), I think furthering e-commerce would be a colossal mistake for the industry. Yes, it would lower prices, but I believe in and enjoy the nostalgia of local ski shops and the personal attention the employees there provide to customers. I also think it is less time consuming to drive to a ski shop than to sift through a number of ski sites.
Thomas M. Daly, Jr.
Stamford, Conn.

A skier should be able to go to the slopes, get outfitted for his ability in the proper size skis and boots, ski on them, like them, then click and order for next-day delivery. Maybe e-commerce should be combined with customer service.
John Sanders
Salem, Ore

A Differing View
I have a few bones to pick about "Ski Town Secrets" (Savvy Traveler, September 1999). First, taking a "February run down Tuckerman Ravine" is a bad idea because there's significant avalanche danger until spring. Second, the Hyde Away Inn may have a good après-ski mix, but only if you don't mind being packed in a smoky room like a sardine. However, I am glad you reminded people about owning a piece of Mad River Glen.
Terry Platt
Norton, Mass.

Turns vs. Shapes
Stu Campbell's article "Switch To Shaped Skis," (Turning Point, September 1999), implies a new and unique association between carved turns and shaped skis. All skis are capable of a wide spectrum of turns, from the full skid to the perfect carve. The operative factors are the skier and the techniques that he or she uses. The wide-track stance, with a dominant outside ski and floating inside ski is a powerful but established technique. There is no such thing as a shaped ski turn.
Alton Winkelman
Salt Lake City, Utah

A Fresh Start
Just a suggestion in response to John Fry's article, "Ski Hall of Fame? Not Exactly" (In My View, September 1999). Do what the golf industry did tcreate a Hall of Fame that people might actually visit: Ignore the existing facility and organize a new one. Maybe it could be built somewhere in Colorado.
Geoff Smith
Redmond, Wash.

Name-Brand Prices
As a resident of Aspen (and a member of Aspen City Council) I was very upset by your note in "The Other Side Of Aspen" (Ski Life, September 1999). In it, you made fun of Aspen's new low-ticket prices and said this would "free up a few bucks for those $10 après-ski martinis." Unfortunately, it appeared next to the Aspen Skiing Company's advertisement for its new ticket deal. Certainly Aspen has a reputation as a premier (read: expensive) resort. But the Aspen Skiing Company is going out of its way to offer skiers a deal and you make fun of it. Next time you're in Aspen, I would be happy to buy you all après-ski martinis, and they won't cost anywhere near $10 each!
Tony Hershey
Aspen, Colo.

Heed Your Head
Anyone who has ever lost control and crashed while skiing would never question the value of wearing a helmet. SKI Senior Editor Greg Trinker argues that wearing ski helmets restricts vision (Point/Counterpoint, September 1999), but he is very wrong. Even goggles can restrict peripheral vision, but if the gear is chosen carefully to fit the proper way, then peripheral vision isn't significantly impared.
Phillip Pappajohn
Newark, Del. Iseldom deride non-helmet wearers unless they attempt to validate their non-usage in the popular press. There's no good excuse for not wearing a helmet. I use one every day I'm on the mountain, and I used one when I became the first skier in history to break 300,000 vertical feet and 100,000 vertical meters in one day.I can't deny Greg Trinker and reader Erin Bucholz their right to use poor judgment in choosing not to wear a helmet. I only hope their viewpoint isn't popular among younger skiers, such as my own kids, who might see logic in this misinformation.
Rusty Squire
Bozeman, Mont.

I feel compelled to respond to letter writer Erin Bucholz's unfortunate ignorance of the many benefits that wearing helmets provide to both skiers and riders. Though many of you will automatically think I am biased because I work for Leedom Helmets, the proof of helmets' effectiveness lies in the thousands of testimonials I receive, all to the contrary of Erin's letter. Readers should be aware that many helmets on the market today are extremely low profile, non-restrictive and do not impede vision or hearing. People should make an educated decision by trying on different models to see which works best. Or demo through a mountain resort or a specialty shop. Whether or not you decide to wear one is a personal choice.
Amy Carey
Leedom HelmetsBelmont, Mass For the safety of the sport, especially for the younger skiers, I wish that people would not put down the use of helmets because they cut off peripheral vision. With a proper fit, the skier will not experience such a problem. Many companies make helmets that are cut above the ears and sit around the temples, which eliminates this problem.
Tony Breen
Lincoln Park, N.J.

Foreign Deals
I know you occasionally write pieces on skiing in Europe, but as the group leader of a ski club, I can tell you that European trips rank higher among our members than state-side ski trips. This is because breakfast, dinner and lift tickets are usually included in the price; Europe's vertical and total skiable acreage is generally greater; and, if you want a day off from skiing, you can hop on a train and take off to a nearby town or city full of culture and diversity. Please add more articles on skiing Europe to SKI.
Howard Egan
Greenwich, Conn.

Ed. Note: We hope you will enjoy our special Ski Europe section.

Loyal To Telluride
Ienjoyed "True Telluride" (September 1999) and think you could devote an entire article to its restaurants, which, I believe, are better than those at any other ski resort. No one has truly lived until they have tasted the chocolate soufflé at 221 South Oak. And Campagna has, beyond comparison, the finest Italian food outside of Italy. You don't find this kind of quality in many towns the same size as Telluride.
Kay Anderson
Memphis, Tenn.

For The Record
In Savvy Traveler (September 1999), we wrote that Alyeska Resort in Alaska has the lowest base elevation in North America at 250 feet; however, Le Massif in Que., Can., has a base elevation of 118 feet. Also, the correct contact number for Moguls Ski & Snowboard Tours¿mentioned in "Battle Of The Sexes"¿is (800) 666-4857.nd think you could devote an entire article to its restaurants, which, I believe, are better than those at any other ski resort. No one has truly lived until they have tasted the chocolate soufflé at 221 South Oak. And Campagna has, beyond comparison, the finest Italian food outside of Italy. You don't find this kind of quality in many towns the same size as Telluride.
Kay Anderson
Memphis, Tenn.

For The Record
In Savvy Traveler (September 1999), we wrote that Alyeska Resort in Alaska has the lowest base elevation in North America at 250 feet; however, Le Massif in Que., Can., has a base elevation of 118 feet. Also, the correct contact number for Moguls Ski & Snowboard Tours¿mentioned in "Battle Of The Sexes"¿is (800) 666-4857.