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Ski Magazine December 2017

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

1 min

JUST WITHIN REACH British Columbia’s Tantalus range can be seen from the Sea to Sky Highway en route to Whistler, but getting to it is not as easy as it seems. “It’s only accessible by multi-day viscous bushwhacking or a heli flight,” says photographer Rueben Krabbe, who’s based in Whistler but has only ventured into the Tantalus twice before. This shot of athlete James McSkimming was snapped on Dec. 16, “incredibly early for this area, which is normally heavily crevassed until later in the winter,” Krabbe says. Strong early-season snowfall filled it in, though, and Krabbe and McSkimming enjoyed the best Tantalus lines they’d ever skied. CHIP OFF THE OL’ BLOCK When dad is fourth-generation Chamonix local and Armada athlete Tof Henry, a day on the slopes looks a little different than you…

1 min
in the nick of time

Skiing Santas may be a dime a dozen in the month of December, but nobody does it like Sunday River, Maine. On Dec. 3, the resort opens up the slopes to a couple hundred Santas dressed head to toe in red and white. They gather mid-morning for a photo shoot (the image above is from the 2016 event), then are free to ski the remainder of the day. Prospective Santas are required to wear the full kit: Santa hat, jacket, pants, and beard. Pot belly is optional. They’re also required to spread good cheer in the form of a donation to a local charity. ’Tis the season, after all. DEC 8-10 VAIL SNOW DAZE Vail, Colo. Vail’s annual winter kick-off festival is three days of music, family events, expos, a tree-lighting ceremony, seasonal eats…

4 min
zero tolerance

During the 2016-2017 winter season, there were zero reported avalanche deaths in the Utah backcountry. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Considering 900,000 skiers and 1.1 million snowboarders reported skiing or riding in North American backcountry areas last season—according to the Snowsports Industries America (SIA)—the fact that no one died in Utah as a result of an avalanche is certainly something to celebrate. But as more people, in particular Millennials, travel into uncontrolled terrain each season to find virgin snow and fuel their Instagram feeds, guides and avy forecasters are looking for ways to keep the fatality number at zero across more states. Avalanche education is a great place to start, and the next generation of backcountry skiers knows this. “Millennials,” notes Ian Havlick, a guide for Eleven Experience and a forecaster at the…

1 min
holy queue

“Lift lines visible from space” is a, shall we say, epic exaggeration, and Vail Resorts now has the data to prove it. New for this winter is EpicMix Time Insights, an interactive website that shows the actual hourly lift-line wait times for each chairlift at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Park City during the 2016-2017 season. Skiers can use this history to get an idea about where to ski and when during their vacation, and the company can use the data to find bottlenecks and improve lift service. “Across Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Park City last winter season, lift-line wait times exceeded five minutes only 6 percent of the time,” says Robert Urwiler, chief information officer for Vail Resorts. The company also points out that this statistic increased…

1 min
bottoms up

Driving from the snowcapped mountains to the green valleys of Kyrgyzstan, there are plenty of people on the side of the road selling a cloudy liquid in unmarked plastic bottles. This is Kumis, the fermented milk of a mare, and it’s how the locals get a buzz on when vodka is scarce. When you find yourself on a ski trip in Central Asia, a sip of Kumis is mandatory (and probably all you can stomach). Don’t bother with the refrigerated version found at grocery stores in Bishkek or Osh; instead go for the warm stuff on the side of the road. Just make sure someone takes your photo before the creamy goodness hits your lips, and after, when the taste of a horse’s exterior arrives just as the liquid slips down…

1 min
wax off

A new technology from DPS Skis might forever replace the perennial chore of waxing your boards. The company is calling it Phantom, a one-time application of a patented liquid lubrication that permeates the base of the ski and lasts forever. While it’s not as illustrious as polished wax, there’s no clean up or sore thumbs, since there’s no scraping. Phantom works on all skis on all temperatures of snow, and after a season of testing Phantom in the Andes, the director of heli-skiing at Valle Nevado, Claudio Iglesias, is giving it two thumbs up. It’ll put you back roughly $100, but will surely be on every ski bum’s wish list this holiday season.…