Heli skiing is the ultimate ski experience. Sure, there are “heli-quality” mornings at big-vert resorts when the canyon’s closed. But if you’ve got a real powder problem, the only true fix comes with a whiff of aviation fuel. Our advice: Alaska has the rad terrain; B.C. is more reliable. Pray for gray skies if you like tree skiing; sun if you like the mellow high-alpine, where pilots can fly only with good visibility. Put together a strong group: The guides will show you only what your weakest link can handle. Ignore the blowhards in the lodge; there’ll be plenty of cool people to hang with. And be ready to ski—150,000 vert in a week is easy with a Bell 212 waiting at the bottom of every untracked run. You can’t do that in a cat.
We spend a lot of time reminding you to see a good bootfitter—got wide feet? See your bootfitter. Narrow? Bootfitter. Gotta have custom footbed? Bootfitter again. Stance alignment? Hot spots? Heel lift up? You get the picture. We figured that it was about time we gave you some help in finding a good one. So SKI teamed up with the pros from America's Best Bootfitters and Masterfit University, who help run SKI's annual boot test, to help you start your quest for happy feet this season.
As editors of a ski magazine, a lot of gear trickles through our office—the good, the bad, and the ugly. We do our best to filter it down for you, and we review that stuff in the magazine. But what about the gear that we each use? Here are our new favorites, or the tried-and-true things we can't live without.