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Powder Play

A highly abridged encyclopedia of skiing and snowboarding

Double Black Diamond

Describes trails reserved for those whose après-ski is exclusively devoted to interminable boasting. (Note: Novices who inadvertently end up on a DBD should sob extravagantly until help arrives.)
There’s something gratuitous about the “double” in “double black diamond,” a term that calls to mind stacked adjectives like “super-mega-huge.” Why not just go with “black-diamond-times-infinity”? At Colorado’s Telluride Ski Resort, this isn’t so far off the mark. The Mak-M-Stairs-Plunge (steep, bumpy, unimaginably fast) is tough on the way down, while Palmyra Peak, with its 50-degree pitch, is just as hard on the way up (requiring a hike of more than an hour from the lift to reach the top).

Ego Snow

Snow whose consistency is so ideal, whether by artifice or a confluence of natural conditions, that even juddering rookies get to turn like a pro.
Rising to about 7,500 feet, Kronplatz is the Alpine equivalent of Tom Cruise: not the tallest fellow on the block, but extremely well turned out. Few ski areas on earth are subjected to such meticulous, obsessive grooming as this picturesque resort in Italy’s Dolomites. The nightly efforts of Kronplatz’s “slope heroes”—the folks who do the grooming—are especially heroic to those for whom turning and stopping are issues. “Making turns on good snow is better than on bumpy or broken snow,” deadpans Kronplatz spokesman Artur Costabiei. “It helps to prevent injuries and accidents.” Hear, hear.

Feet

The two lumps of ice attached to the ends of a skier’s legs; a word often used in conjunction with the phrase “are killing me.”
Forget what the how-tos tell you. The first thing you need to know before hitting the slopes is this: Snow is cold; the closest body part to the snow is the foot; ergo brrr. Which is why we love the Therm-ic Footwarmer SmartPack Remote rc1200 with Heat-Ready Insoles ($430). The battery-powered insoles have three heat settings, adjustable by remote control. Why didn’t evolution think of that?

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