I try to keep my layering system simple. For high-output touring, I like a light baselayer, a super breathable midlayer, and a storm shell to throw on when things get nasty. I’ve been using the Scott Nine9 as a midlayer for Grand Traverse training because it just plain works. The 40-percent merino wool stretch fabric and 100-percent wool insulation vents fantastically, even with a pack on my back. It stays warm while damp from perspiration, and the DWR coating on the polyester ripstop front keeps light snow at bay. I wear this as my outer layer while I’m touring then toss on a shell or down jacket for descents. Plus, it’s insanely comfortable, which counts for a lot in my book. [$200; scott-sports.com]
At this enormous mountain, huge investments in snowmaking (including more than $1 million just this season) and impeccable grooming pay off.
Louise is like a Hollywood starlet. It’s hard to stop staring at the scenery.
Hit the Apex and Horseshoe Chutes (chutes in the Midwest? Ya! You betcha!).
A bare-bones lift network means lines can be long on powder days and weekends, but the place feels empty on the upper mountain. There, explore the expansive upper bowls and chutes.
A new women-owned company offers an alternative to “shrink it and pink it” skis.
Part of Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, Mt. Brighton is the ideal place to ease off Motor City’s throttle.
You want snow, lots of freaking snow, and that’s what you get here.
Want to be a ski tester? Too bad. But at least you can get your grubby fingers on some of next year’s the gear we give them.
Scrappy East Coast ski areas breed scrappy skiers, and Waterville Valley churns out some of the best.
How an iconic ski town’s steeps and chimichangas entice skiers.