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Lines in Skiing

In our snowy universe, the word “line” has many meanings. From the family Doppelmayr to an alcohol-fueled rampage in northern Ontario, from wolf hats to the “swaging process,” RFID technology, and an addictive Utah couloir, our authors examine some of the vectors that give life and character to our unique sport.

“Some smart guy a long time ago reasoned that a line is ‘the shortest distance between two points.’ This guy never stood in line for a Radiohead concert or for the old tram at Jackson Hole.

Lines have mathematical definitions, and real-life deviations. Nowhere do the latter occur more than in skiing. ‘There’s my line,’ your friend might say, pointing her pole upward at a snaky chute that takes a hard dogleg above a fist of granite and another shake through a wistful skirt of trees. There’s something screwy about ski lines. They rarely go straight.”

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