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Ski 183 Days a Year - Ski Mag

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

“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.

Helicopter pilot Chet Simmons, one of the original members of Valdez's "Ski to Die Club," played a critical role in bringing heli-skiing to Alaska. He was flying supplies to the interior during the oil pipeline's construction when he started charging skiers $25 a drop. We caught up with him on Thompson Pass after a day of skiing and got to fire off a few rounds from his rifle.

Can Skiing Save Valdez, Alaska?

What happens when an oil town runs out of oil? What if that town happens to access some of the best skiing in the world? We sent Devon O'Neil to Valdez, Alaska, to report on just that for a story in our November issue. This is what he saw.

Ian McIntosh at Revelstoke, BC, by Blake Jorgensen.After a warm and foggy day, the clouds settled enough for photographer Blake Jorgensen and skiers Ian McIntosh, Kye Petersen, and Lynsey Dyer to ride to the top of British Columbia’s Revelstoke Mountain. Revelstoke, which sits in the Columbia Valley, is notoriously foggy during winter. But unless it’s storming, ascending a few thousand feet is all it takes to poke through to sunshine. “It was warm and the snow was getting pretty manky, so I set up under the cliff in this cave,” says Jorgensen. “Water and ice were dripping all over me and my gear.”

Focus

The Focus section of our magazine is where we showcase some of the best photographs of the year, and the stories behind how they were taken. Here is a collection of those images.