Ski Magazine

December 2021

Ski is the original, largest and most recognized ski publication in the world. Passionately committed to helping readers decide where to ski, what to ski and how to ski, Ski is the authority on resorts, equipment and instruction.

United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC

in this issue

3 min
letter from the editor

Sometimes, when I want to feel good, I flip through the photos on my phone from winters past. I relish the feelings of joy and gratitude. Laughter. Almost all of my memories of skiing are happy, but there are a few unpleasant ones. That time I was heeding nature’s call in the trees, pants around my ankles, and an arctic gust blew me into three feet of fresh snow? That was unpleasant. Watching my 7-year-old brother get taken out by a linebacker-sized skier who failed to look uphill at a trail merge was pretty awful. And I’ll never forget the pop of my torn ACL, which meant missing two feet of powder at Jackson Hole, not to mention the rest of the season. I also remember one particular drive home from…

5 min
localism is cool, until it turns cruel

Living in a mountain town as a seasonal worker is to accept a life of unrequited love. The sparkle of morning light on freshly fallen snow will enchant even the most stonyhearted local, but after you shovel out and head toward the hill, it’s impossible not to notice moving trucks are everywhere and eviction notices pile up quicker than the snow. After spending a few years bouncing between ski resorts, my girlfriend and I moved to Mammoth last winter to chase the dream of embedding in a real ski town. We came with the idea of planting roots—becoming locals. But that fantasy dissolved quickly. Almost from the moment I arrived, I felt pushed out. The few locals who brought us into their circle in the midst of a global pandemic felt…

3 min
the blind leading the blind

In the backcountry, there are times when the light is so flat you have to feel your way down. We call this skiing by braille, but what if that was your actual baseline? For Tyson Rettie, it is. The 30-year-old heli-ski guide from In-vermere, B.C., lost the better part of his vision to a mitochondrial disease in 2019. A lot of people might quit skiing in this scenario, but Rettie not only kept at it, he kept skiing in the backcountry. He figured the best way to continue to do what he loves was to jump in the skin track, climb to the most wide-open and consistent glacier run he could find, and just let it rip. It worked, and he’s been doing it ever since. Now he wants to share…

4 min
left in the dust

We kissed a horrible year goodbye far before the clock struck midnight. Our 4 a.m. alarm came, thankfully, without a hangover. My girlfriend Rita and our two roommates Amy and Luke shoved a few bottles of Prosecco between the PB sandwiches and Snickers bars in our packs before guzzling coffee in the blaring electric predawn light of our little condo. It was New Year’s Day, after all. The four of us pulled up to Mammoth Mountain’s main lodge parking lot. I took Rita’s skis out of the trunk. Amy and Luke geared up quietly beside us. The temperature hovered just below the teens and our cloudy breath obscured our fingers, as if fumbling with tail clips on frozen skins wasn’t hard enough. After a beacon check, we cast off toward the San…

9 min
forest for the trees

I’d heard for years about how good the skiing is on the backside of Bolton Valley Ski Resort, a modest day (and night skiing) area beloved by skiing families of Vermont’s Chittenden County. But nothing I’d heard prepared me for the best tree-skiing terrain I’ve ever seen in the East. It’s showing off today, a few days past the spring equinox. Bright sun lights up a deep winter’s worth of snowpack, and we can almost feel the forest stirring to life as we traverse through a stand of giant, widely spaced yellow birch behind our guide, Adam Deslauriers. Everywhere I look there are choice, skiable lines, plenty of them untracked. The pitch is sustained, but not extreme, and cut by narrow, snow-choked ravines that invite creativity. There are hardly any blowdowns,…

9 min
a town up in the hills

Long before 19th century European miners founded Rossland, B.C., the indigenous Sinixt people called it kEluwi’sst—a word that means “up in the hills.” It’s such a perfect description of the otherworldly realm the town occupies and it calls out the inadequacy of the English language. Try to name a place where fences are made of skis, kids toboggan in the streets, and rooftops hide under 12 feet of drooping snow, and what do you come up with? For lack of any other word, it’s just Rossland, and those who know, know what that means. Perched high in the dome-like promontories of the southern Monashee Mountains, the storied town was one of the first places on the continent where you could train for Olympic ski jumping back in the early 1900s. But…