It’s a little embarrassing to admit this where thousands of Coloradans will read it, but here goes: I’m not a great skier. Competent? Yes. Able to make it down greens and blues? Sure. After two decades in the Centennial State, though, I’ve never gotten truly comfortable on the slopes. Some friends have said I lack the confidence, not necessarily the skill. Others have suggested a private lesson. But last year, after my 19-year-old discount ski boots finally broke and I had to borrow a slightly ill-fitting pair of quality ones, I had a revelatory moment. Sometimes it is about the gear.

Lindsey Vonn I was not, but with boots that actually buckled and padding that protected my shins, I was able to make turns when I wanted to—not just when my ancient footwear and 12-year-old skis grudgingly allowed it. I had three of the best ski days I’ve ever had during the 2020-’21 season. And so, this past Labor Day, I braved the sales and bought myself new boots, new skis, and new bindings. For maybe the first time ever, I’m excited about ski season.

Of course, shiny equipment can’t fix everything that can make skiing or riding in Colorado frustrating. The traffic, the lift lines, and the outrageous prices, among other things, remain. However, in this month’s 10 Ways To Make Skiing Fun Again, senior editor Nicholas Hunt explores solutions that could remedy some of the problems that have plagued the local ski industry in recent years. Unsurprisingly, none of them is as easy as swiping a credit card at Christy Sports’ Powder Daze. But, as Hunt’s story suggests, if the resorts and the state were to begin incrementally implementing these measures—with an assist from regular Coloradans—we might all feel a little more stoked when the snow really starts to fly