"I usually hang around the base of the lift until I can find my way onto a chair with a patroller," Brown says. "Patrollers aren't inclined to share secrets, but they like to talk about skiing. I find they're better sources than instructors-instructors know their way around the mountain superbly, but they look at the mountain in a different way. Patrollers are in touch with the people who find the deep powder." Moreover, they decide which runs to open and when, and they always sample them first.