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FallingGrace

FallingGrace

From the Top
posted: 01/15/2002

One friend of mine is fond of boasting that he never wipes out. He's a pretty good skier, to be sure, but come on. He falls. We all fall. And, of course, the larger point is that notwiping out is nothing to brag about. After all, as the old saw goes, if you're not taking an honest digger now and then, you're not pushing yourself sufficiently. Skiing without auguring in occasionally is like playing poker for bottle caps-there's nothing at stake, no reward for victory, no penalty for defeat.

Moreover, remember that ultimately the universe is a zero-sum game: There can be no up without down, no black without white, no joy without sorrow, no yin without yang. Ski long enough without executing a full-bore face-plant, and you risk throwing the cosmos dangerously out of balance.I know none of us wants that.This month's cover package ("Wipeout!" page 62) is a tribute to that omnipresent aspect of the skiing experience: the wipeout. A serious tumble can be spectacular to watch, which is why we've put together a photo essay that ought to inspire equal parts empathy and awe. We also have tips for falling-how to avoid injury when you know you're going down-and for those who, like my friend, wish to avoid all bodily contact with the snow, some advice on not falling. You can also relive some of the greatest-or at least most famous-wipeouts of all time, and read about one particularly epic crash suffered by contributor Jackson Hogen.

Elsewhere in the issue, Stu Campbell traces the crooked path to glory of Jeremy Nobis, a former Olympian with the U.S. Ski Team who's found redemption on the big-mountain freeskiing circuit ("Reinventing Nobis," page 74). Don't miss the sidebar demonstrating what any skier can learn from the fearless turns of the man affectionately dubbed "Psycho Nobi."

We also pay a visit to Crystal Mountain, Wash. ("Crystal Clear," page 82), a serious skier's paradise that's remained close to its roots, and take a spin through Mammoth, Calif.'s impressive new museum, showcasing the largest and most compelling collection of skiing-related art ever assembled. In our Evolution section, we lead this month with a primer on snowshoeing-a great way for a skier to get or stay in shape, a very pleasant spring activity and, for what it's worth, a sport unlikely to leave you lying upside down in three feet of snow searching for your goggles.Enjoy the issue.

Kendall HamiltonEditor-in-Chief khamilton@skimag.com

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