Winter Park has hovered in the middle of the rankings since the survey debuted in 1988. And with gold medals in what many skiers consider everything that counts-Snow, Terrain, Challenge, Weather and Value-you start to wonder why it's never broken into the elite Top 10.
For the past five seasons, Mt. Sunapee has been bustling. The owners of Okemo, Vt., who were selected as caretakers of the state-owned day area, have invested $13 million, cutting new trails, adding lifts, building a new lodge and terrain park and increasing snowmaking.
All the testers agreed-the Salomon Axendo 7, with the same dimensions as the upper-end Axendos, is an incredibly easy ski; it can take a timid but determined intermediate from hesitation to celebration in a few turns.
Last year's Olin Radius was popular for its effortless turning ability, but it lacked...oomph. Add a little 21st-century Special K-Kevlar-and you suddenly have one of the most energetic, exciting skis in the category.