I grew up on East Coast ski hills with names like Canaan Valley Resort, Winterplace Ski Resort, and Snowshoe Mountain Resort. At the very most, there were 1,500 feet of vertical drop and 50-some runs. And at the very least, there were always two inches of solid ice on which your skis chattered and on which you prayed you could set an edge. Still, there was something charming and, for me as a kid, magical about those small resorts, where my parents let me ride lifts with my friends long before cell phones became de facto tracking devices for teenagers.

Three decades later, many of those modest resorts are still around but have become more accessible—and maybe more name recognizable—as they have hitched their chairlifts to the megapasses, particularly the Colorado-born Epic and Ikon passes. Of course, U.S. skiing destinations aren’t the only ones on those passes. In “Chasing Powder,” Daliah Singer explores the farther-flung (read: international) resorts that Coloradans with Epic or Ikon passes should consider building a winter trip around. “Sure, we have amazing skiing right here in the Centennial State,” says Singer, who usually opts for the Epic Pass, “but your pass is also a figurative passport to other countries’ best resorts—at a discount. You’ll still have travel expenses, but if you’ve already shelled out for the turns, why not make them while on vacation?”

Why not, indeed? I’ve long wanted to visit the French Alps, heard about Japan’s epic snowfall, and understood the draw of taking a ski vacation in Chile in…July. Of course, as an Epic Pass holder, I might also consider more nostalgic (for me!) destinations: say, Seven Springs or Hidden Valley. Either way, I’d be taking advantage of something I’ve already signed up for—and getting a great experience, too.

Kelley Manley
Freelance Journalist

Kelley Manely
Illustration by Arthur Mount

Kelley Manley had been helping to report stories on policing across America for the New York Times when the newspaper sent her to Aurora. After spending time in Denver’s eastern neighbor, Manley, who lives in the Mile High City, realized there was a local story to be told. She reached out to 5280 with a pitch that became this issue’s “Internal Affairs” (page 84), a piece about how, in many ways, the Aurora Police Department (APD) serves as a microcosm of the country’s ongoing struggles with police reform. The feature, which Manley spent five months reporting, details the many scandals APD recently has faced as well as the changes that interim chief of police Art Acevedo has been trying to bring to the department. Her takeaway from the investigative deep dive? “Policing in America is very complicated,” Manley says. “It’s not as simple as good guys versus bad guys, whatever that means to you. There’s a huge spectrum of gray, and we have to be willing to look at both sides of the fence very critically if we want better outcomes.”