You can’t turn back the clock to skiing’s golden age in the States. But you can travel this summer to New Zealand, where the skiing remains pure, the vistas pristine and the Kiwi culture impossibly friendly.
The fact that I might be a “nancy boy” overwhelms me as I size up the high-speed ropetow at Craigieburn Valley, high in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. In my hands is a “nutcracker”—a foot-long contraption attached to a harness around my waist. The name, I’m relieved to learn, derives from the device’s resemblance to the tool used to crack walnuts. The idea is to attach the nutcracker to the rope, brace for a jolt and hang on for dear life.