Features, stories, and reported articles written by Julie Brown.

The Time Is Now

Intro to the 2016 POWDER Resort Guide

Published in POWDER (44.3) | November 2016

Every year, around this time, when the days get shorter and the sunlight takes on a slightly different and richer hue, I get antsy. Shops rotate their summer gear for winter toys. Ski resorts host job fairs. And familiar faces saddle up on barstools to talk about their excitement for winter, planning dream trips and tossing what-ifs around a table littered with half-empty pint glasses. The arrival of winter is a fresh start, a chance to wipe the slate clean. Our hopes for the deepest winter in recent memory are alive and fresh, not yet dashed by an over-exaggerated weather report. Nothing is set in stone. So what are you going to do? Where are you going to go? This is the time of year when my mind races.

I’m going to quit my job, load my 1998 Subaru, sell everything that won’t fit, and drive to Canada to ski the fabled Powder Highway. Or maybe I’ll keep my job, scour the weather report, and when the big one hits, drop everything and chase it from the Sierra Nevada across Utah and up to Wyoming until it fizzles out in the High Plains. This year I have to ski Taos, and Alta, and Jackson, and Sun Valley, and Big Sky, and Baker. I’m going to smash my 60-ski-days-a-season slump and finally join the century club. Screw it, I’m going to Japan.

I don’t buy lottery tickets. I’ve never found a four-leaf clover. I don’t know much about the universe or my fortune. I do know this: You reap what you sow, and whatever you put out there, you’ll receive back abundantly. So this winter, say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. When someone says, “Let’s go to Telluride,” or Revelstoke, or Alaska, don’t hesitate. Because when you’re in the right place at the right time, doors open.

Look at this year’s resort guide as a map to the best winter of your life. If you could be anywhere, at any time, without any restrictions like cost or distance, what would you do? We dreamed big, and for every week from Thanksgiving to April made plans to score the best skiing of our lives, party all night, and live a winter worth a lifetime. Take this guide to the bar, throw around some out-there ideas, and see what sticks. Then pack your car. Get on the road. And go. —Julie Brown