Faith in the Highest

This article first appeared in The Ski Journal Issue 15.1 ABOUT THE SAME TIME that I saw my first cross atop the mountain, I experienced my first loss from an avalanche. It was before I was really a skier; I was more a climber who happened to ski. There had been an avalanche the week before. […]

Love Letters to the Skis of My Life

It’s easy to get caught gazing in the ski shop or in the lift line—the latest and greatest new skis, stunning in all their colorful, flawless glory. But every once in a while, the fond memory of an old beloved pair creeps in, bringing with it the thoughts of ski days and runs past. Here’s […]

Wipers Up

Take a stroll down a mountain town main street or ski hill parking lot before a big dump, and every Subaru, Jeep and beater Toyota will have its windshield wipers raised like the arms of a referee signaling a touchdown. But these arms aren’t affirming six points, they’re asking for six inches. Or maybe 12. […]

Short Hills, Hot Laps

The ski club bus sat idling in the Bittersweet parking lot for five hours. The driver read mystery novels. We lapped a burner of a run called Hawthorne. 200 feet of pure Michigan vert, wide as a football field, and tilted at a speedy 30-degrees, Hawthorne sat far skier’s left, tucked back in the trees. […]

Once in a Lifetime: Street Skiers Descend on Spain

Jonás Bel was a few blocks from his apartment when he heard the unmistakable sound of skis cutting across frozen granular. It had to be a mistake, right? This was Madrid, the landlocked Spanish capital far from anything worth skiing, and typically miles from anything resembling snow. But this was no typical day. Over the […]

The Powder Pig

“If there wasn’t powder, I probably would quit skiing,” says my 78-year-old neighbor Curtis Thompson as he carries his skis downstairs onto the cabin’s wraparound deck. “For me, it’s that thrill when you can’t feel the bottom. It’s hard to describe. It’s just…sheer joy.” If you’ve been to Brighton on a Utah powder day, you’ve […]

Ski Ya Next Spring

During a normal year, these would be our weekends to slather on the SPF 50 and bust out garish spandex. We’d party in the parking lot with brats roasting away on tailgate grills. “Take one if you want one,” we’d say to complete strangers. “There are plenty.” On the lift, we’d pull tallboys from hoodie […]

A New Wilderness: COVID-19 Through the Eyes of a Backcountry Skier

On March 14, I woke up in my sleeping bag. I put on down pants, stuffed cold toes into stiff boots, and set to melting snow for water, taking my hands out of big mittens just long enough to turn the knob on my stove. It took four hours for the sun to crest the […]

The Not-So-Great Euro Escape

The plan was northern Italy. Snow had been hard to come by in Europe all season, as, after a frenzy of early season storms, the faucet had shut off across the continent. The deeply secluded valley a few hours north of Torino, Italy seemed to be the best last option—a tip from a friend with […]

100 Perfect Days

THE 100-DAY SKI SEASON HAS A SPECIAL KIND OF MYSTIQUE. Hitting a round, yet arbitrary, triple-digit number pushes a skier into a particular echelon of people who’ve given themselves over to the sport—if only for a season. I’ve only managed this feat during the winter of 2004-2005, a season when I worked as a lift operator […]


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