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The Independent Culture
WEAVING effortlessly through chest-deep powder, executing a faultless stem christie in a graceful slide: at this time of year, the ideal snow motion is a dream to lighten dank days. The flurry of brochures falling through the letter box is as close as many of us will come to the perfect ski experience for at least another two months. But as thoughts turn to booking ski holidays, Doug Sager offers an eight-page guide that is practical enough to help turn dreams into reality.

The Skier's Calendar tells you where to be at the right time in the season. When you go is at least as important as where if you want to avoid the holiday crowds but improve the odds on finding good snow. On page 76, ski professionals talk about their choice of the ultimate destination. There's a brave new world of daredevil activities to choose from this winter, from scuba diving under ice to careering downhill in an inflatable Zodiac dinghy. Turn to our round-up on page 78. Finally, do you know what's cool - and what's totally unacceptable - on all the best Continental slopes? Discover how you rate by completing the Euro-cool Quotient quiz on page 83.