The Mountain: Jay Peak, Vermont
(800) 451-4449 or www.jaypeakresort.com.
Though it's located in the perennially icy northeast, Jay Peak is a bit of an anomaly. In fact, Jay regularly receives more snow than most western resorts. Too, the terrain is wonderfully varied, with groomers, glades, and pristine backcountry aplenty.
Skier/Rider Profile: Favorite lullaby is the sound of wind whistling in your ears; favorite sight is anything blurred by speed. Spends majority of the winter on well-groomed slopes with minimal traffic.
Gear Profile: Stiff boards for tenacious edge hold on hard surfaces at speed. Plenty of sidecut for responsive turning.
Ski: Salomon Crossmax 10 Pilot
$1,195, bindings included; (877) 272-5666 or www.salomon-sports.com.
One of a new generation of ski/binding systems, Salomon's Crossmax 10 Pilot is engineered for the rigors of Skiercross, a frenetic racing event in which multiple competitors do battle over a course littered with jumps, icy turns, and unforgiving steeps. You may not be so keen to risk your neck (or any other body part); fortunately, the Crossmax displays its remarkable edge hold and "riding on rails" responsiveness at saner speeds, too.