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I can already grumbling from you locals on this one, but listen up. Locals avoid the hill on weekends like Aretha Franklin avoids the salad bar. They whine about the ineptitude of all the tourists, and every region seems to have a different vernacular for them. In Tahoe, they’re gapers. In Colorado, they’re Texans (no matter where they’re from). Back East, Joeys. Whatever we’re calling them, let’s take a deep breath, let go of the hatred, and see these folks for what they are. First and foremost, they keep our mountain economies healthy and churning. If tourists didn’t come to our towns and drop exorbitant amounts of cash on lodging, food, and equipment, many of us would be out of a job and back in some city jockeying a cubicle Monday to Friday. Secondly, they want to be like us. They come skiing because they want to be a part of the life we live every day. Sure, many of them are downright comical in their attempts to be a part of that culture, but the fact remains, they want to be here. So keep laughing when that you see that Texan, barreling down the hill in his power-wedge of doom, with Wrangler’s tucked into his rental boots with a belt buckle like a Thanksgiving turkey platter. But have some respect at the same time. Most non-locals are ultra-friendly and don’t want to cause you any trouble, so let it go and smile.

New Year's Resolutions for Skiers

So there I was, standing in line at the local six-pack, silently fuming at the masses of gapers who couldn’t manage to count in even numbers, and the lackadaisical lift ops offering as much help as a bucket of hot water at an Igloo commune, when I got to thinking about some things that we skiers could do this year to strengthen our snow-worshipping community and make skiing even more fun. Here are some New Years resolutions for skiers.

Bluehouse Maestro

This Year's Skis

Here are ALL the skis we tested at last winter's ski test. See anything you like? Over the next few weeks we'll be showing you which skis out editors liked best, and why. On October 26, we'll introduce our personalized gear finder, which will allow you to find your perfect ski based on where you ski, how you ski, and how you want to ski.

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The Year's Best Shots

After seven issues and a ton of great photos, it is hard to wittle down the best pictures. Here they are in all their glory with info on how the photographer captured it and how you can do the same.

Ski Tech Justin Hewitt adjusting Dynafit bindings on Dynafit Manaslu skis

Next Year's AT Skis and Bindings

This week we're at Aspen Highlands testing next year's AT skis and bindings. Here's a look behind the scenes at the ski test, and a peek at some 2011-12 goods.

See more of the best powder photos.

2010 Best Photos of the Year

These are the best things we've seen all year. From other-side-of-the-world landscapes, and portraits of ass-kicking female athletes to blower, double overhead pow shots. Take a look.

“The fog appeared from nowhere, rising from below. Seconds before whiteout, I got this picture. Only one frame that day but still one of my favorites.”   —Jesper Molin See more at— http://www.jespermolin.se/Vote for this image as your favorite photo.  

Best Photo of the Year

To make pure alcohol, start with a batch of raw ingredients. Distill it, and you’ll get a more refined batch. This is how we compiled this best-of-the-year photo gallery. We started with thousands of images. Gradually we selected the shots that illustrate skiing and photography in new and different ways, along with an explanation from each photographer. Please enjoy responsibly. Then we asked you, our readers, to vote for your favorite image. Introducing the Readers' Choice award for Best Photo of the Year.

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Next Year's Indie Skis

We spent last week at Aspen Highlands testing next year's boutique and indie brand skis. Reps from some of the companies gave us an on-camera rundown of what they have coming for winter 2011-12. Here are the videos.