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Playing Favorites

Playing Favorites

From the Top
By Kendall Hamilton
posted: 01/15/2002

We all have our favorite places-and they're usually pretty easy to identify. In summer, there's no place I'd rather be than at my grandmother's house on the coast in Maine, listening to surf pound against rocks. In the fall,I enjoy few things more than a brisk stroll through New York's Central Park, as the leaves turn and the city reawakens from a summer spent at the beach. And,to be honest, my wife will tell you there are some days when it's pretty tough to pry me off the living room couch here at home in Colorado.

During ski season, though, the choices get more complicated. I suspect that's true for a lot of us. For skiers, favorites can change like-and with-the weather: one place after a December storm, another on a sunny day in March, a third with the kids and somewhere else entirely when the college buddies reconvene.

I can say that one of my favorite places to ski is the subject of this month's cover story ("The Heart of the Matterhorn," page 66). Zermatt, Switzerland, is an almost impossibly atmospheric resort, and a perfect place to introduce yourself to European skiing. Too few Americans ski in Europe. Perhaps it's the distance-though, from the East in particular, it's really not unmanageable. Perhaps it's a perception that European skiing is expensive, and with the dollar falling against the euro ("Dollar Diplomacy," page 25) that's a legitimate concern. Often, though, you'd be surprised at the deals you can finagle. If cultural differences-language barriers and the like-are the worry, they shouldn't be. Skiing is a bond that tends to transcend all else. It's my firm conviction that every American skier should ski in Europe at least once. And that they could do a lot worse than to start in Zermatt.

But then, we all have our favorites. Elsewhere in the issue, we've asked a few very accomplished-and extremely well-traveled-ski photographers to show you their favorite places. The result is an impressive, globe-spanning photo essay ("Wish You Were Here," page 82) that just might inspire you to get out there and discover a few new favorites of your own.

Also this month, Jason Cohen serves up a profile of one of the ski world's most interesting characters, mogul skier extraordinaire Jeremy Bloom ("The Crossover Kid," page 76). In recent months it may have seemed as though Bloom's favorite place was at the center of controversy, as he fought-and lost-a much-publicized battle with the NCAA over his wish to accept skiing endorsement deals while still playing college football. With that battle behind him, the fiercely competitive Bloom looks ahead to the Olympics next winter, where he'll be one of the country's likeliest bets for a medal. In fact, we're guessing his real favorite place might well be on the podium.

Enjoy the issue.

CAPTION BELOW

GROWING SNOW Photographer Lee Cohen likes Alta, Utah.

MARCH/APRIL 2005

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