I've never driven a Sno-Cat, but I'd imagine that grooming one of the world's classic ski mountains is a lot like revamping one of the world's classic ski magazines. You spend long, hard nights laboring for perfection, and then, in the morning, somebody complains that you've bulldozed his favorite run. Kidding aside, editing a ski magazine and grooming a mountain do have certain similarities. You have to know where to intervene and where to leave the forces of nature alone. You need plenty of groomed runs, inviting boulevards of silky-smooth corduroy-wide, easy and accessible. But you also need your bumps, your tree runs and your off-the-map stashes. It can be a tough balance, but at the best resorts every skier can find his or her passion. Likewise, I hope, in SKI.
As promised, we've spent the past several months reexamining the magazine and, as a result, we've made some changes. Perhaps most noticeable is a new design. Our art staff, along with a very talented graphic designer from Vancouver, B.C., named Tom Brown, have tirelessly worked and reworked the magazine's pages to bring us a fresh look-one that's elegant and energetic in equal measure (not unlike the perfect turn). We've also expanded, enhanced and, in some cases, renamed the magazine's departments, introducing a wealth of new pages and regular features. The basic ingredients remain the same-news, travel, lifestyle, gear, fitness and instruction-but this year's editorial mix should make for an even livelier, more engaging magazine.
There are many things in SKI that haven't changed, of course. Our Reader Resort Survey, now in its 16th year, is as robust as ever. Coming off a season that saw resorts clock a record number of skier visits, we set our own record, receiving more completed surveys from readers than ever before.Elsewhere in the magazine, longtime contributor Nathaniel Reade weighs in with an entertaining and enlightening profile of a long-suffering-but-loving-it ski patroller from Maine's Sunday River ("Bearing the Cross," click below), and instruction guru Stu Campbell enlists local legends in a bid to help you conquer some of North America's toughest ski runs ("The Devil's Half-Dozen," click below). One notable new voice: humorist P.J. O'Rourke, who expounds on the joys and frustrations-well, mostly frustrations-of the family ski trip ("Over the Hill," click below).
And that's only what you can see from the base lodge. I hope you'll spend some time exploring the new SKI, much as you would a new mountain. I know you'll find your way around, and I'm confident you'll uncover some great new terrain, as well as fresh lines on some old favorites. And please let us know if you find any bare spots. We'll fire up the Sno-Cat and get right on 'em.