The most ironic ranking in this year's reviews is readers bashing the 'Bird for its weaknesses in the Terrain Park department. Dudes, Snowbird is a terrain park. The better part of its 2,500 acres and 3,240 vertical feet are just that, vertical feet.
They hem about crowds and haw about prices. But in the end, readers give Killington its due because they simply have to. Terrain? No one in the East touches the Beast's 1,182 acres. Length of season? Tops again, thanks to unlimited snowmaking power. Nightlife? Nothing beats the access road for winter-carnival craziness.
Deer Valley is a giant-killer. With only 1,750 acres, this ski area could slip into the parka pocket of such mega-resorts as Whistler or Vail-which have taken turns at the top of SKI's reader surveys for more than a decade.
If you shop smart, you can find high-performance gear at wallet-friendly prices. Here are seven quality skis and boots to get you started. These four skis and three boots offer quality performance for moderate prices.
Some consider Sunday River to be the ski miracle of the past two decades: A guy with vision and money turns a backwater day-area on a ridge of modest mountains into what one reader calls "one of the best ski areas in New England."