To bring home stories for SKI Magazine, Andy has thrown himself into the notorious, 10-mile-long Inferno Downhill race in Mürren, Switzerland. And he watched on helplessly as his then 13-year-old son Robert hucked himself down the steeps of Chamonix, France, for a story on a father-son rite of passage. Proving his versatility once again, for this issue Andy reports on the efforts of the student engineers who participated in the 2001 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge in Jackson, Wyo. The caption under Andy's high school yearbook photo revealed that "he rarely takes his eyes off his car," and he still recalls fondly that it was "the fastest in school." His good-wrench background helped Andy understand the challenges faced by the students in mating clean four-stroke engines with the centrifugal clutch of snowmobiles. "Revenge of the Nerds," begins on page 82.
Nat, who began writing for SKI a half-dozen years ago, has an acute sense of curiosity coupled with a finely tuned sense of humor. He has long been intrigued by the wildlife on ski mountains, in the woods and under the snowpack, and how nature operates in the cold climes of winter. So at his insistence, we sent Nat on the road to Mad River Glen, Vt., where he learned to ski as a Boston-area kid, and to Whistler/Blackcomb in the big Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Nat learned about the intriguing habits of animals, ranging from moose and bear to snowshoe hares, coyotes and ermine. He also poked below the snow to reveal a hidden world teeming with all kinds of life. The end result, "The Nature of Skiing," begins on page 68. Nat, his wife, Michaela, and their son, Henry, live in Bethel, Maine, not far from the slopes of Sunday River. Pulling double duty, Nat also sings the praises of a long, sunny spring ski lunch in Forum, on page 28.