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Powder Play

A highly abridged encyclopedia of skiing and snowboarding


Specialized eyewear whose benefits are twofold: They look cool and they help prevent you from hurtling headlong into stuff.
If you’re keen to inject a little science fiction into your day on the mountain, then Zeal Optics’ Z3 GPS Live Goggles ($649) are the way to go. They look like something you might wear while fending off an alien invasion, and their smart, polar-/ photo-everything lens would certainly come in handy if said aliens happened to be wielding powerful inter galactic glare guns. But the real ooh factor here lies in the in-goggle display screen, which provides Minority Report-like graphics that detail stuff like altitude, temperature, speed, jump analytics, run count and geographic location—all of which can be stored on your computer for subsequent bragging sessions. Oh, and the lens is fog-resistant, which is also kind of important.


An activity for those skiers whose prowess is so off-the-charts that they can only find suitably challenging terrain via the skies (a.k.a. off-off-off-piste).
Skiing “the Roof of the World” may not be to everyone’s taste, but if your idea of a good day out calls for remote, rugged, ridiculously elevated terrain with sublime scenery and scads of virgin snow, then heli-skiing the Indian Himalayas will not disappoint. One company to fly with out here is Himalayan Heli Adventures, which promises to transport you to trails some 16,000 feet up, with vertical drops exceeding 4,000 feet. And the thrills don’t end at back-of-beyond hurtling: HHA’s après offerings include hot springs, temples, Tibetan monasteries, the Manali Bazaar and “snow leopards preying on flocks of goats.” That last bit isn’t such a good thing for the goats, admittedly, but it’ll make for an interesting anecdote to tell when you get back home.

Indy Grab

The most basic of myriad snowboarding grabs; involves grasping the edge of one’s board, midair, in an effort to elicit gasps from onlookers.
So you’ve finally figured out how to execute a turn without doing a face-plant or sliding down the mountain on your back. Congratulations. Your sense of accomplishment, however, will rapidly falter when you find yourself surrounded by a swirl of 720s and flying tail-grabs on the trails. Don’t fret—help is at hand. From the company that helped define the sport comes Burton Snowboards’ Learn to Ride, covering everything from how to avoid getting snow up your nose to all manner of freestyle shenanigans. Company founder Jake Burton launched the program back in 1998 with three locations; today there are more than 200, with each individual ski resort gearing the LTR curriculum for its clientele and terrain. So it is that we have people in various parts of the world shouting things like “Bon shifty, Pierre!” and “Gut indy, Hans!”

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