Snow Report 2005

Soldiers Spy Optic     Photo: Clay Ellis

Goggles
Eye Spy
The SOLDIERS, a stylish set of lenses from SPY OPTIC, offer 100 percent UV protection and generous underside vents. For you, that means that the only thing getting inside is fresh, defogging air. $90–$120; 800-779-3937, www.spyoptic.com

Leather Goods
Hide Ride
Answering snowboarding's never-ending call to bring the unexpected to the slopes is BURTON'S DOMINANT, a board upholstered in—get this—a thin layer of brown pebbled leather over the wood-and-fiberglass deck. The result, with tip and tail painted gold, is one pimpin' ride, in a flexy pipe-and-park board that will gladly get you airborne for a McTwist, or any other freestyle magic you have up your sleeve. $380; 800-881-3138, www.burton.com

Wheels
High-Speed Quad
It was while snaking my way up to the local ski hill in the new turbocharged SUBARU OUTBACK 2.5 XT WAGON that I felt a thrill I'd never experienced in a car built to haul people, dogs, and gear: headrest-smackin' speed. That same giddy rush from ripping down the steep faces of black-diamond groomers was now flooding my brain as I worked the sports-car-tight handling of this rocket through the 25 hairpin turns leading up to the 10,000-foot base. Unlike non-turbocharged engines at altitude, this ride kept on wailing in the rarefied air two miles above sea level. Then there was Subaru's all-wheel drive, which makes short work of slick and icy roads by switching power to whichever fat, 17-inch-wide tires are gripping when the others are slipping. I topped out in record time, a blinding 15 minutes ahead of what I usually clock in my ten-year-old SUV, which is about how long it takes me to notch a top-to-bottom round-trip run. On a powder day, getting on the first lift matters. A lot. SPECS: 250-horsepower four-cylinder, all-wheel drive, 61.7-cubic-foot capacity, seats five, 19/25 mpg (city/highway); $32,695, as tested; www.subaru.com—Grant Davis

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