No matter what splendid ski resort he enjoys in the United States or Canada, a dream lurks in every true skierís soul of carving down the great slopes of Europeís Alps. And why not?

The scenery is spectacular. Skiing is generally above timberline on mountains of snow that extend from horizon to horizon. Most ski resorts have base-to-summit verticals that average 5,000 to 7,000 feet. Only a dozen in the United States are actually higher than 3,000 feet.

European ski areas range from large to enormous. Some are even larger. Consider, for example, the Val dílsere-Tignes complex in France: 102 lifts, including T-bars, cable cars, gondolas, chairlifts, high-speed

detachable quads, and an underground funicular, looking much like a New York City subway, which can whisk 3,000 skiers per hour from the base to the soaring glacier snows. The complex of lifts serves an impossible 200 square miles of skiing.

How about the Arlberg region of Austria? Five interconnected resorts - Lech, Zurs, St. Anton, St. Christoph, and Stuben - offer skiers 162 square miles of trails served by 86 lifts.

Nothing elsewhere in the world compares with the Trois Vallees in France - - Val Thorens, Courchevel, Mirabel - with 200 lifts, 400 miles of marked runs, and an uphill capacity of 230,000 an hour.

Or ski with a guide from country to country, from Zermatt in Switzerland to Cervina in Italy, or from Courmayeur, on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, to Chamonix, on the French side, or between France and Switzerland.

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