Not long ago, skiing came in two varieties: lift-served resort cruising and self-powered backcountry turn-earning. The chasm between the two was vast and rarely crossed. Today, backcountry purists continue to shun chairlifts and groomed trails. But evolutions in ski equipment, technique and resort policies are bridging the gap for the rest of us, who want a little adventure but prefer to spend our time going down the hill rather than up it. Call it what you will—lift-served backcountry, sidecountry, slackcountry—it’s the new hybrid ski experience.