The issue you're holding right now represents a collaboration. We at SKI work hard on our annual Reader Resort Survey-writing, editing, choosing photographs, arguing over whether "chairlift" is one word or two. But it's our readers who make the most important decisions. This year, as in years past, thousands of our most loyal subscribers have weighed in with their assessments of the state of skiing at more than 230 resorts across the continent. And, as always, they have some strong opinions. There are the positive: "This place is ski nirvana!" There are the negative: "The worst ski area I've ever seen!" And then there are the inscrutable: "Saw Sylvester Stallone." We're still debating whether that's a boast or a warning.
Wherever you come down on the Stallone issue-or any other issue, for that matter-there's almost certainly a ski resort in our Top 60 (page 161) where you'll feel right at home. There are glitzy resorts, quaint resorts, giant resorts, cozy resorts, go-all-night resorts and go-to-bed-early resorts. Some mountains are tailor-made for families. Others are terrific places to start families (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).
All of which is one reason why this year we've added a new twist to our Reader Resort Survey, supplementing our overall list with a handful of more specifically targeted rankings. By weighting certain criteria over others, we've derived lists of resorts ideally suited to certain kinds of ski trips. Where's the best place to go for a guys-only trip? An outing with the kids? A romantic getaway? Find out where your fellow readers would send you.
More subjective is our guide to some of the best ski runs in North America (page 204)-an opinionated roundup, to be sure. You may find your favorite cruiser or bump run on our list. Or you may not. In any event, we welcome your feedback. In time, this too may become a collaboration.
Elsewhere in the issue, we go behind the scenes at Maine's Carrabassett Valley Academy, alma mater of Olympians Bode Miller and Kirsten Clark and now home to a new generation of student-athletes harboring long-shot dreams of ski stardom ("Fast Times at CVA," page 216). And if you think the lifts, food and service at your local mountain could stand improvement, check out "Down and Out in Krasnaya Polyana" (page 224), new contributor Steve Friedman's hysterically enlightening romp through the Black Sea ski resort that Russian President Vladimir Putin has anointed the "Russian Davos." Let's just say they've got a ways to go.
Enjoy the issue-and please make plans to ski as many mountains as possible this winter. After all, we'll need your expertise again next season.
OVERVIEW Our Reader Resort Survey gives you the big picture.