As I write this, three weeks have passed since the events of Sept. 11. Our thoughts go out to all the families and friends of the victims and to our magazine colleagues who soldier on in our New York City headquarters, where SKI was published for decades. n Temperatures are dropping in Boulder, Colo., and there is a dusting of snow on the Flatirons outside our office windows. Copper Mountain, Keystone and Loveland have already started making snow. It may be time to briefly take our minds off the tragedy's worldwide implications and to ponder how it will affect our own lives-and the sport of skiing.
Major destination resorts are wondering how the events of 9/11 will impact their seasons. They are prepared for a downturn, but they're certainly not panicking. There is a universal feeling that skiers, who are strong to begin with, will continue to seek the spiritual escape that skiing and snowboarding in the mountains provides.
A week or two after the tragedy, skiers began to return to ski shops. The family that runs a New Jersey ski shop 20 minutes from Manhattan lost an estimated 250 customers in the World Trade Center attack. They weren't just patrons: they were friends, ski buddies and neighbors. "People were in shock, of course," the owner says. "But I've been really impressed by the spirit of the people, especially the skiers. They are going to go skiing, no matter what. They are going to go on with their lives."
I just heard on the news that the 10th Mountain Division-whose predecessors valiantly helped win World War II in the Italian Alps and then returned home to develop the sport of skiing in the U.S.-has 1,000 troops stationed near the Afghanistan border. The 10th is well suited for the rugged mountains of that region, and it gives me hope-knowing that we have persevered before and will again.
Ten years ago, I remember setting off through heavy security to cover the World Alpine Championships in Saalbach, Austria, just as the Gulf War broke out. Meanwhile, my brother-in-law, who had been activated with the 82nd Airborne in Grenada and Panama, was on the ground in the Gulf, putting his life on the line. He's since been to Haiti and Bosnia, and is now stationed in Europe. Last winter, we shared a ski day at Saalbach. I wish I'd told him on the chairlift, "Thanks for doing what you do."
In the wake of Sept. 11, we've created a daily travel update on the skimag.com homepage that will keep you informed on what's happening at resorts, in skiing and in the travel industry. We'll explore safety issues, report on booking activity and poll travelers on their plans. We'll also find the best deals in ski country and offer travel advice.
It won't be long before the first blanket of white comforts our hills and mountains. It's almost time to go skiing.
Lori Adamski-Peek is one of skiing's most accomplished photographers, but she had to start at the bottom. Her humble origins include assisting a photographer who snapped on-hill portraits in Park City, Utah. "I specialized in kids with runny noses," she recalls. Her luck changed with a college project: In her senior year, Adamski-Peek submitted a proposal to become the official photographer of the U.S. Ski Team. Fortuitously, she also sent a copy to the Ski Team. In the fall, following her graduation-and shortly after getting married-Adamski-Peek set out for Europe on what would become a nine-year stint with the team. Adamski-Peek has photographed nine Olympic Games (five winter, four summer), but today she finds herself busy with commercial work, including the photos that grace the current Girl Scout cookie boxes. "I've gone back to shooting children again," laughs the mother of two. For this issue, Adamski-Peek photographed former and current Olympians for "We Are The Champions," beginning on page 158.
Colin Samuels grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and learned to ski at Hunter Mountain (his father witnessed the World Trade Center collapsse while he was on his way to work in an adjacent building). Colin moved to Telluride, Colo., in 1989 and-though he had dabbled in photography since he was young-credits breaking his leg on the slopes with cementing his career choice. "I had workman's comp, saved a bunch of money, and I studied with Telluride ski photographers. I remember looking at a roll of film I had just shot and thinking, 'These pictures are as good as anything in the ski magazines.'" Colin eventually moved to Les Terrasses, France, a small, isolated village 1,500 feet above the legendary ski center of La Grave. Colin will shoot just about any sport-skiing, biking, climbing-as long as it's "not in a studio." His stunning obsession with the French peak La Meije is featured in "Anatomy of a Mountain," starting on page 172.