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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; spyder.com) and Salomon’s stiff Falcon 10 ($850; salomonski.com). 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; bernunlimited.com 2. Marmot Furlong Like it or not, you will get noticed in the lift line when you’re…

Photo Gallery: Julia Mancuso Associate editor (and ski-babe connoisseur) Gordy Megroz lived the dream of many a lad when he flew to Maui to profile U.S. Ski Team star Julia Mancuso for the November 2007 profile “America’s Next…

For Nick Paumgarten and his father, skiing has been both a blessing and a curse, taking the lives of some family members while giving others every reason to live.

“We wanted to take one of the gnarliest mountains in the world and make it look like your local backcountry ski area,” says Aspen-based freeskier Chris Davenport of his 22-day June expedition to 20,320-foot Mount McKinley. And they did. Along with Clark Fyans, Nick DeVore, Kirsten Kremer, and Adam Clark,…

Gallery: British Columbia For the October 2007 feature story “The Ski Gene,” Italian-born photographer Paolo Marchesi followed author Nick Paumgarten and his father for a wild adventure in steepest, deepest British Columbia. Here, see Marchesi’s photo outtakes from…

When our man dons a tumpline and dhoko for a five-day trek in the Himalayas, he discovers two things: Nepali porters may be the toughest workers in the universe, and there’s simply no way he can measure up

I'm looking into a ccorder for snowboarding and worry that the cold weather might freeze the electronics. Is it true that most ccorders can only tolerate a temperature of 32 degrees? Is there something I can use to insulate or protect it? Brandon Spearfish, South Dakota

The Ruby Mountains, a spine of small, dryish peaks in remote northeastern Nevada, don’t have any ski resorts. They do, however, host Lamoille-based Ruby Mountains Heli-Experience, which for the past 30 years has guided their spired couloirs and 10,000-foot powder fields. This March, RMH launches the latest program in a…

My girlfriend and I like to ski the steep trees inbounds and out. Naturally, as we seek out and destroy helpless powder stashes, we often become separated. Two-way radios are ineffective because of their line-of-sight requirement and yodeling is often obtrusive. Is there a GPS system that monitors the position of multiple transceivers and communicates their relative positions to each other? Mark Aspen, Colorado

From a superstable ski hauler to a heated hydration system, these winterized packs do it all

I moved to Vermont for college and want to take up cross-country skiing. Can you point me toward the gear I’ll need? Heather Burlington, Vermont

I need a women’s shell that’s versatile enough for both ski and around-the-town use. I considering Mountain Hardwear’s Descent DT Trifecta. What would you recommend? Kelly Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

My 17 -year-old son would like to try snowshoeing. He has done a lot of hiking and climbing in the past but only a little skiing. What would you recommend for a good starter set? Ellen North Chath, New York

Swedish freestyle skier JON OLSSON, 24, dispenses advice on international relations and the best tool for making a good kicker

Garage Saver Workbench When tackling your gear mess this winter, remember these numbers: 23.9, 15.9, 16.5. Those are the dimensions, in inches, of an 18-gallon Rubbermaid bin. Little else can match the plastic cubes for back-of-the-pickup weather resistance or Lego-like use of space. Put some sustainably harvested lumber to…

You've always wanted to try the park. X Games gold medalist Simon Dumont shows you where to start.

It ain't easy being the sponsor (a.k.a. old man) of a competitive snowboard artiste (a.k.a. my teenage son). Lend an ear, and a shoulder, and I'll tell you all about it.

As a rule, the best snow at any ski resort isn’t served by a chairlift. You gottahike. Here’s a cheap, easy way to carry your skis without killing your shouldersor thwacking your buddy: Make your own ski sling. Start by taking 12 feet of 1.5-inchflat webbing and tying it into…

Listen to an interview with photographer and climber Jimmy Chin and see photo outtakes from the January Exposure Special, "The No Fall Zone," here.

Matthew Godfrey, the 36-year-old mayor of Ogden, Utah, wants to transform his town into the business center of the winter-sports universe. His biggest obstacle? Ogden, Utah.

If Phil Mahre’s name rings a bell, you’re probably old enough to have bought a Devo album for the music rather than the irony. It’s been 22 years since the Yakima, Washington, native retired after dominating alpine skiing with three straight overall World Cup titles from 1981 to 1983 and…

From Alaskan powder to New England ice, these skis will make you better

Taking their cues from urban sidewalks and fashion runways, sportswear designers redefine the look of winter

The biggest development for the telemark set since the beard trimmer is the debut this season of high-performance pivot bindings, which release under the ball of the foot in touring mode so you don't have to fight against boot flex and spring-loaded heel cables with every step. Our pick: BLACK…

Lynsey Dyer, 24, already has her own TV show, a self-designed T-shirt line, and a budding career as a big-mountain freeskier. But that’s not enough. This past summer, she spent two weeks with a crew of snowboarders in New Zealand, learning freestyle moves that she hopes will enhance her repertoire.

A freeskier graduates from the Ivy League to avy country

Five boutique ski hotels that take the "lodge" out of winter lodging

Two former Olympians roll out Alaska's first high-end heli-hotel

Find the snowy side of summer at these four Southern Hemisphere ski camps

And I'm about to give him one—along with a good, swift kick in the ass

It was tough weeding through the best skis on the market for the 2007 Snow Report and while we stand by our choices, we thought a few more deserved honorable mention. Here, some outtakes from our hours of exhaustive testing. Plus: See exclusive behind the scenes images from our photo shoot in Aspen.

It's not just the tight pants and helmet; Philippe Gardent's new career as an NFL linebacker will have him using all the tools of his ski-racing past

The Ski Junkie's guide to the sickest skiing and hottest cold-weather happenings this winter

Still bragging about that one winter after college when you got in 100 days of skiing? Well, if all goes smoothly, on July 27 Rainer Hertrich will board a lift at Oregon’s Timberline Ski Area for his 1,000th straight day on the slopes. The 45-year-old telemarker has been following winter…

Inside Jamie Pierre's record leap at Grand Targhee

[A] Ski Atomic Janak: Light and fast gives way to light and fat. The Janak is perfect for opening it up in steep powder fields or resort crud. $628; www.atomicski.com [B] BOOT Scarpa Tornado: With interchangeable, flex-adjusting tongues, the Tornado is ready to tour or tackle the…

Most resorts never develop the cachet of Aspen, and many go bust. According to the National Ski Areas Association, more than 400 hills have shut down across the country in the past 30 years. But though the lifts may be gone, the cleared runs remain—untracked and there for the taking…

Who rules the freeskiing world of big air and deadly steeps—The technical European perfectionists or the up-all-night American hot-doggers? We brought Micah Black and Dominique Perret, the stars of each continent, to British Columbia for some head-to-head competition. No excuses. No exceptions. No slowing down. And the winner is...

Follow all the action from Turin and the Piedmont Alps as the 20th Winter Olympics gets underway in Italy

Kris Freeman has a shot at nordic gold—if he can find his sweet spot

The last time the U.S. led the final medal count at a Winter Games, in 1932, only 17 nations took part, dogsled racing was an exhibition sport, and alpine skiing wasn't even on the program. Since then, Norway, Germany, and Russia have controlled the Olympics like an Axis of Snow, while Americans still cling to 1980's Miracle on Ice. But a look at the talent poo

The U.S. men's ski team, once equal to the world's best, has spent a generation falling short of past glories. But the bad boys of alpine racing are back—with a killer gleam in their eyes. Here's how the Yanks rebuilt the beast from the boots up.

Alpine skiing we can do. Ditto hockey. But bobsledding? Ski jumping? Some winter sports seem about as accessible as Dick Cheney. But getting started in these cold-weather exotics is easier than you think, and you can do it at some of the best facilities in the world.

Deer Valley, Utah; Whistler, British Columbia

The man who defined steep and deep meets a tragic end

You don't always need a bird to find powdery perfection in British Columbia

Let the Games begin!

Whether you're skating perfect corduroy or blazing backcountry powder, skinny-skiing the wide-open West is the path to cold-weather bliss

What is the best current model of the Motorola Talkabouts to purchase for skiing? I gather the 280SLK and the T-Series are no longer made, but I find today's models confusing so I need some help. The units must be rechargeable. Diane Roslyn, New York

A new documentary takes on the snowboarding revolution—and launches one of its own