When it comes to technique, most skiers have a chink in
their armor, an Achilles' heel. Some of us may even have three or four-which hardly seems fair, given the fact that we're equipped with only two actual heels. But such is life on the slopes: Just when you've got one aspect of skiing under control, the mountain throws a new challenge at you. Dial in a nice carve on the groomed, and you'll soon find a mogul field in your path. More than likely it'll be steep. And possibly icy. Or maybe you're an Eastern skier looking forward to your first foray into Western powder. That'll require some adjustment-even more so if the exigencies of your daily life conspire to place you atop those powder-covered slopes about three days too late, when what once was fluff has degenerated into crud. In the end, though, we like to think that while conditions can be tough, skiers can always be tougher.
In that spirit, our cover package this month ("Perfect Turns on Any Terrain," page 143) offers a selection of practical tips for coping with whatever Mother Nature throws your way, be it ice, moguls, powder, crud or just a steep, steep hill. This advice is real-world-ready-and comes straight from the experiences of our Top 100 Instructors, an annual all-star team of teaching pros. Try these tips, or better yet, book a lesson with one of these accomplished instructors. Your heels-Achilles' or otherwise-will thank you for it.
Elsewhere in the issue, SKI senior editor Joe Cutts takes on the infamous Beast of the East ("Coping with Killington," page 154) and finds the region's biggest mountain a surprisingly engaging and remarkably soulful creature, despite its sometimes fearsome reputation. A sidebar ("Taming the Beast," page 164) provides loads of practical advice on ducking crowds, racking up vertical and enjoying yourself in style at a mountain no Eastern skier can afford to skip. On the quieter side, we head up north to British Columbia for a visit to Panorama ("Fun Without Fear," page 166), a compact, seductively under-the-radar mountain that offers big vertical and as much-or as little-challenge as you'd like.
Of course, not all ski-world challenges are on the hill. Or so humorist P.J. O'Rourkediscovers when he and his 6-year-old daughter set out together on their first unchaperoned ski weekend ("Chillin' with Daddy," page 178). In the interests of matrimonial accord, he's asked us to implore Mrs. O'Rourke kindly to flip directly past this article and to occupy herself instead with "Night Moves" (page 188), our profile of one of Sugarloaf's master groomers, or perhaps with "Once Upon a Mountain" (page 194), a selection of vintage photos from the collection of the New England Ski Museum. Whichever way her tastes-or yours-run, we think you'll find this a particularly well-rounded magazine. And soon, perhaps, you'll be able to say the same of your skiing.
Enjoy the issue.
Gravity Game: Elisha Stephens reaps the steeps at Snowbird, Utah.