This week we surge into the ski season, with journalistic powder snow flying in several directions. At home the 1967-68 season brings the opening of Snowmass, Colo., a major new contribution to the American ski scene, along with FIS sanction of skiing's World Cup, which was so successful last winter. The new cup competition may well provide the North American ski scene with another cliff-hanger, since the last, all-important races take place in Aspen, Colo., Rossland, B.C. and Heavenly Valley, Calif. in March and April, just before everyone heads for the beach.
This also is a winter to discover some very new, architecturally astounding places like Avoriaz or La Plagne or Flaine—names you may never have heard before. For this is a French Olympic winter. France, which is blossoming with ski champions, ski resorts and ski style, could not have timed its Olympics better. The country is truly ready, not only for the Games but for the overseas ski tourist in search of new snowfields to conquer.
Our love affair with the French Alps began more than a year ago when the advance guard of our winter-sports team was dispatched to find out what Grenoble, and the French Alps, were all about. Assembling a crew for this sort of assignment is not exactly one of publishing's toughest jobs—we could have emptied the SI offices. Our staffers were joined in their search for the new and the best by Frenchmen who have spent their lives skiing the Is√®re, the Savoie and Haute-Savoie: Dr. Michel Delarue, who conveniently found things very slow in surgery that week, ski area directors who left their desks to go and play, and mountain guides who knew where the worst crevasses and the best wines were hidden. Dan Jenkins, for his third season, followed the U.S. Alpine team on the competitive circuit, and Bob Ottum covered the pre-Olympic meets and inspected the Olympic bobsled run by walking all the way down the thing, nervously looking over his shoulder. Both leave soon for last-minute pre-Olympic assignments in Europe. Ski Reporter Felicia Lee researched the scene. Jerry Cooke and John Zimmerman photographed the athletes most likely to win the medals. Assistant Managing Editor Roy Terrell went over to check on Grenoble's Olympic preparations. For Jack Olsen's report on that state of affairs see A Shook-Up Town's Great Shape-Up, page 80. Ski Editor Fred Smith has been commuting to France—and has turtlenecks in the laundry on two continents.
Fashion Editor Jule Campbell, in a new plum ski suit, directed the photography of Michéle Rosier's Olympic-year collection, the most advanced ski look of the moment, working with that remarkable photographer, Ernst Haas (he was a slalom racer in his native Austria), who produced the color essay starting on page 46. Haas and Campbell gathered some of the loveliest girls in France: Merja Alanen, who is Finnish (see cover); Rita Scherer, Swiss; and Kyra Bester, a Russian beauty born in Paris. All of them, as seemingly all of France today, are avid skiers. What better way could one find to welcome winter?