Snow Sports


Two years ago at Kitzbühel, American downhiller Scott Macartney survived a high-speed crash that would've ended most skiing careers. He immediately began plotting a comeback, drawing on deep stores of willpower and courage to overcome a unique kind of terror that every racer knows. They even have a name for it: the Fear.

Endless Powder! Rowdy Bars! Screaming Deals! Secret Stashes! Huge Steeps!

Whatever your riding style, we've got the board for you. Use our Terrain Meter to choose a pair based on the conditions you ski the most.

 A robot the size of a small child has been designed by the Slovenian scientist Bojan Nemec to downhill ski, according to Telegraph. Just watch the video. The little guy uses cameras to plot a course down the hill and a couple gyroscopes and force sensors…

Two years ago at Kitzbuhel, American downhiller Scott Macartney survived a high-speed crash (“FLAT,” Outside Magazine, November 2009) that would've ended most skiing careers. He immediately began plotting a comeback, drawing on deep stores of willpower and courage to overcome a unique kind of terror that every racer knows.

I’m convinced Audi’s Q7 TDI was designed by German powder junkies. What else could explain the combination of features only a ski addict would appreciate? The all-wheel drive that lets you beat the snowplows up the hill on icy mornings. The heated leather seats for you and four buddies, plus…

According to, the two year battle over lifetime passes at Keystone has finally come to an end after pass holders agreed to drop the lawsuit and settle for court costs.  Lifetime pass owners at Keystone had sued for the rights to continue…

By Mary Catherine O'Connor Last month, we sang the praises of ski swaps as a great way to give new life to old skis and snowboards. But events such as swaps will never divert all old ski sticks and boots from…

Loveland Ski Area opened one run at 9am this morning, making it the first ski resort in North America to open its slopes to skiing this year. The run has about 1000 feet of vertical. Lift tickets are $44. –Dave Costello…

The winners of the 2009 Banff Mountain Photography Competition have been announced. The judges in this year's competition received over 4000 images from 600 photographers from 41 different countries. You can check out the best in this years mountain photography here, at The Banff…

If you thought the battle over the slopes was bad, wait until snowboarders hit the trails en masse. Will that ever happen? Watch some pioneers in the video above and decide for yourself. –Aileen Torres…

Bode Miller announced this past Thursday that he will be rejoining the US Ski Team this coming season with the goal of reaching the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. The former Olympic and World Cup Champ has been skiing independently…

I need a good, fairly cheap walkie-talkie. My main use will probably be skiing, so where can I get one that will guarantee reception in the forest? Thanks! Mark Brooklyn, NY

In April, after 55 days on a mostly frozen Arctic Ocean, John Huston, 32, and Tyler Fish, 36, became the first Americans to ski unsupported to the North Pole. The duo dragged 300-pound sleds, donned drysuits to swim across open water, and consumed roughly 8,000 calories a day—mostly in the form of pemmican. In the end, they made a 66-hour dash to reach the

Shane McConkey was already one of the most influential skiers in the world, changing everything from the shape of our boards to the way we ski powder. But when he learned to fly—combining skiing, BASE jumping, and wingsuits with spectacular results—he found his true obsession. Then one jump went horribly wrong.

I going on an eight-day ski touring trip in Patagonia requiring a pack with at least 65 liters. Which packs are designed for this use? Devin San Francisco, CA

For almost 70 years, former ski patroller and local legend Jim Blanning rode Aspen’s evolution from broken mining outpost to chic mountain playground. But when his hometown spit him out, he came back with a vengeance. And bombs.

What kind of masochist does it take to swim alongside the man who conquered the Arctic in a Speedo? Our kind.

A tribute to the king of big air.

I want to take up cross-country skiing again after a 20-year layoff. What's the latest in gear, not necessarily top of the line but not entry level, that will get me back there again? I'm a classic skier with a passing interest in skate skiing. Can both be done with two sets of skis and the se boots and poles? I remember waxing as something tedious to be avoided at all costs but the waxless skis back then were useless in some conditions—have they improved? Mike Wheaton, IL

Each winter, more than 2,500 teams from across Japan compete for one of 155 coveted slots in the annual Showa-Shinzan International Yukigassen, the world's de facto snowball Super Bowl. The February 21–22 tournament, on the northern island of Hokkaido, is also open to international teams, but don't think you can just round up some softball buddies

America's latest sports dynasty? Sixteen dogs and the man who mushes them.

I searching for a light, packable garment to be layered under a shell when I take a break from high-output winter sport like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. I planning a hut-to-hut ski in Quebec’s Gaspesie and would like to have some "warmth insurance" in case it's necessary (e.g. accident, lunch break, etc.). I considering a light-weight down or synthetic jacket instead of more fleece. David Wesmount, Quebec

I spent last Saturday at REI looking at ski gear and got a bit overwhelmed. I was told until I really want to invest in all the "stuff" for skiing, that all I should buy right now is a good hat, gloves and ski pants. What are your thoughts? Joan Redmond, WA

British Columbia has tried to secure the Winter Olympics no fewer than six times. In fact, the town of Whistler was built for this very purpose: In 1960, four Vancouver businessmen began developing the ski resort 75 miles to the north, hoping to win the 1968 event. They failed. Four…

A veteran ice-boater takes a shot at the world record for wind-powered speed

For 25 years, Shaun Palmer has dominated everything from the snowboard halfpipe to mountain-bike downhills—and earned his reputation as action sports' foul-mouthed bad boy. Now 40, he's cleaned up his act for a run at Olympic gold. Will he find redemption, or die trying?

You could mope about the economy. Or you could go play in the snow, and then thaw out in comfort. Our guide to the best winter adventure lodges in North America. Nita Lake Lodge Nita Lake Lodge         Nordic Pine Flagstaff Lake Hut, Carrabassett Valley, Maine Winter…

An X Gamer tries to make it in ski racing. But as a two-sport athlete, will Jon Olsson end up more Deion Sanders or Jeremy Bloom?

Black Diamond Factor Ski Boot

Zero to Hero - Snowboard Halfpipe

The king of big air talks about overcoming fear, setting records, and his ideal ski partner.

I'm going skiing this month, and with all of the advancements in ski apparel, I need suggestions for the best mid-layer jacket or fleece. Do you have a recommendation? Jeff Rogers, Arkansas

Julian Carr plans to fling himself into the record books this winter

Welcome to the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, where the game is pure, the ice is dangerously uneven, and the beer is very, very cold

A guide’s quest.

Six downhill ski escapes with no crowds or chairlifts—and no hiking

Reigning World Cup champ Lindsey Vonn talks about repeating in 2009.

"Ninety percent of people do nothing to take care of their skis from the day they buy them to the day they throw them in the trash," says Peter Boyer, of Boulder, Colorado's Alpine Base & Edge. Don't follow suit. We asked Boyer for a few tips to keep your skis and boards running fast and true.

The rooster. That’s what makes Rossignol‘s Mike sweater cooler than all the vintage ski apparel out there ($150; Rossignol Mike Sweater            …

Wear Nobis‘s hyper-cool Teabag and all other beanies will start feeling a little insecure ($45; Nobis Teabag Hat          …

Scott‘s Witness goggles are some of the best all-conditions spherical shields we’ve tested ($90;

For winter, classic is always in style. Eddie Bauer’s down High Mesa vest is retro without trying too hard ($99; Eddie Bauer High Mesa Down Vest              …

Ice axes are dead weight, until you need them. CAMP‘s aluminum-alloy Corsa is just seven ounces—and worth every one ($110;

An American is the best female skier in the world. Better start paying attention.

1. Most frontside skis are too precise and exhausting for freeskiing. Not the pared-down CX 80, which does away with heavy add-ons like complex binding plates for a more responsive feel. It’s ten millimeters fatter than most, but its World Cup­–inspired…

In the Store: If you’re buying just one pair of skis (and not building a quiver), look for a set that matches your style of skiing and the terrain you frequent 70 percent of the time. And don’t be afraid to upgrade: Buy skis slightly above…

ON THE LEFT Columbia’s moisture-wicking Omni-Dry Mountain Tech Thermal Base­layer. ($60; Few‘s acrylic Moa Hunter Sweater, for the bold. ($54; Aigle‘s lightweight Polartec recycled-fleece Walker Track Jacket. ($105; Obermeyer‘s insulated Tungsten Jacket is tricked out…

You'd better be: You just paid $87 for your lift ticket. Follow our preseason fitness plan and make last year's halfhearted half-days a distant memory.

I'm looking for a watch for my husband that offers ski features, such as number of runs, speed, vertical for individual runs, and total vertical. Measuring distances would be good, too, as he is also a runner. I'm willing to spend up to $500 and would like it to look good (maybe something in titanium). Debbie New York, New York

How did Billy Poole, an aspiring big-mountain skier, die during his first Warren Miller shoot?

EVEN TO A NONSCIENTIFIC OBSERVER LIKE ME, there are several obvious peculiarities about the life and work of Garrett Lisi. For instance, despite his being 40 years old and possessing a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, he has held few steady jobs—and those the likes of hiking guide and snowboarding instructor.

What is your recommendation on a hydration pack that will keep fluids from freezing? Ideally it’d be small enough for resort use, but big enough to carry an extra layer, snacks, goggles, and possibly the option of straps for ski/board carry. Tony Montreal, Quebec

I’m an alpine skier but would like to bomb through the fresh Iowa powder (when we get it) on cross-country skis. I prefer skis that are for off-trail but that can also take some turns down the gullies. Any recommendations? Steve Iowa City, Iowa

I'd like to get my 17-year-old daughter (5’3”) a pair of downhill skis. She's an excellent skier, more graceful than aggressive. Can you recommend something? Also, is there a website where I could find her a good used pair for less money? Jane Larchmont, New York

I a long-time snowboarder but have recently started telemark skiing as well. Based on the holes in my snowboard pants, they’re not designed for the stresses of telemark. What pants do you recommend instead? Chris Seattle, Washington

I need a complete setup for cross-country skiing (boots, poles, and bindings). I'll primarily ski on groomed trails, but I'd like the ability to ski off groomed trails occasionally. Could you recommend a package for me? Zenon Hartford, Connecticut

It goes like this: Chuck your reputation as America's greatest downhill skier, shred big lines in Alaska, tear through the X Games, then weigh a return to the Olympics in a wild new event.

Seven new tools to help you make the most of winter

I want an alpine touring boot that will allow me to climb, hike, and ski without trashing my feet. I can live with weaker downhill performance as long as I can spend multiple weeks on long traverses without being in serious pain. Are AT boot manufacturers figuring out a way to build a boot for the long traverse that has the forgiveness of, say, Scarpa's T2? Tony Vancouver, British Columbia

Two gung-ho idiots try to demonstrate that the world’s last great forest + chainsaws = awesome skiing

A year after the debut of his Ski Tour, Kipp Nelson is back with more events, more bands, and more babes. Sleep is totally overrated.

I'm in the market for a new snow shovel and debating between a collapsible and a removable handle. Any suggestions? And what is the best/easiest way to pack it in the Black Diond Covert 22 Bag w/Avalung? Seth New York, New York

Last year, when skiing above tree line at Fernie, my ski goggles were practically useless as I was stymied by fog and snow. Do you have any suggestions? Are polarized lenses of any use? Nicholas Westmount, Quebec

1. The Racer Two rolls of the hem expose all four buckles. You’re saying: I don’t huck. But try me on the groomers. You’re wearing: Spyder Training Pants ($150; and Salomon’s stiff Falcon 10 ($850; 2. The Jiblet…

The year's six best new skis

With big snow, bright skies, and steep terrain, Lake Tahoe beckons the diehards.

From park to peak, we've got you covered

Six new ski lodges for serious relaxation

She won gold in Turin, but mostly Julia Mancuso wants you to know her name

An ambitious documentary of big-mountain skiing investigates the lives behind the hucks

The Marker Duke binding changes everything. Until now, alpine-touring bindings—the heels release into a walk mode for ascending on climbing skins—compromised performance on the way down. Where earlier AT models forced the skier to totter on riser bars, about an inch off the ski, the Duke uses a flat plastic…

In the Store: Know where, what, and how you’re skiing, and make sure the shop guy knows. And don’t be swayed by brand name or graphics. If possible, demo a few different pairs and go with whatever works. Guys: Don’t lie about your ability. If you’re an intermediate skier,…

Classic or skate? Either way you'll go fast with the latest—and best—Nordic gear.

Utah's Wasatch Mountains are teeming with guys who geek out over depth hoar. But there are only a few snow scientists on par with Dean Cardinale. In addition to being one of Snowbird's avalanche forecasters, the 38-year-old is also the president of Wasatch Backcountry Rescue and a certified instructor with the American Avalanche Association. He spoke to

If you build a ski mountain, they will come? That's what one Texas resort believes.

The Classic Powder Skiing Once you experience Alta's powder, you too will be an Altaholic ALTA SKI AREA, Utah: Not only does Alta get twice as much snow as less blessed resorts—it averages 500 inches—but its flakes are also lighter and drier. Maybe that’s why nearly 80 percent of…

1. Bern Muse Helmet Slope Style This downsized lid has zero bobblehead factor yet still has room for a removable liner (with speakers). $99; 2. Marmot Furlong Like it or not, you will get noticed in the lift line when you’re…