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It’s a pleasure to oversee this March/April issue of SKI, which represents the 55th and final time I’ll have the honor of filling this space as the magazine’s editor-in-chief. Fittingly, this issue is one of the most intriguing in what has been a thrilling seven-year run, all of which was made possible by a talented and passionate staff and some of the world’s best writers and photographers. In addition to making tracks at far-flung ski resorts in Sweden, Andorra and Germany, this issue features the dramatic story of SKI Online Editor Doug Sabanosh, who last spring was swept 2,000 feet down a steep slope by an avalanche in Valdez, Alaska. The tale is particularly sobering for me, since Doug had taken my seat on the Valdez trip at the 11th hour.
Also, in our continued quest to chronicle the ski life, SKI columnist Jackson Hogen writes about spending the holidays with Vice President Dick Cheney’s entourage at the VP’s home in Jackson, Wyo. Cheney is the first White House occupant to claim a ski town as his residence. The story of how Jackson Hogen came to interview him on New Year’s Eve is itself proof of how this sport binds people for life. Like all of us, the VP depends on the outdoors to help him escape from life’s daily demands. Cheney’s story also serves as a reminder that while we anxiously await the next storm and the subsequent powder day, those who work for the armed services are preparing for the next Desert Storm. That puts life in perspective.
When I had the good fortune to take over the reins of SKI in 1996, the magazine was still published in Manhattan, shaped skis were in their uncertain infancy, and the ski world had yet to collide with Wall Street. I didn’t say so at the time, but I would have done the job for free, or at least for lift tickets. I now find myself in the blessed position of going from one dream job to another. With the close of this issue, I’m heading down the street in Boulder to run Warren Miller Entertainment, the equally iconic company that has jump-started all of our ski seasons for 55 years with its famously popular feature films. Since SKI’s parent company bought the Warren Miller outfit three years ago, I’ve become quite familiar with its mission, as well as with its namesake, the 77-year-old Warren Miller, whom I recruited as a SKI columnist in September 2000. If someone had told me that I’d be able to lead both SKI and Warren Miller in one lifetime, I never would have believed it.
In this space back in the September 1996 issue, I predicted this would be “an interesting ride.” It’s been all that, and much, much more. See you on the hill. And at the movies.