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One of the pleasures of living and traveling in Europe is the sight of majestic, snow-covered mountains, even at the height of summer. Now, as winter approaches, we can easily get to the snow without helicoptering to a glacier. This week, Stars and Stripes presents its annual European ski issue ... a look at what's new in the sport, and how and where to take advantage of it all.The storiesBack-country boards, new parabolics head list of what's new in ski gearGet to know Europe in the company of a ski clubAFRC packages offer first-time skiers what they need to get startedHopes are high for a good snow year in EuropeSkiing is great on either side of Switzerland's Kleine ScheideggPeak experience awaits skiers at Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountainSun, sea, ski slopes: Spain offers it allSpain's Sierra Nevada resorts keep late hoursAye, you can ski at Scotland's majestic highlandsFrance's Chamonix region marked by choices and challengesSkiing in Hemingway's tracks at Austria's Montafon ValleyHemingway in Austria: Outdoor sports, lots of wine ... and marital intrigueSki patrol mends bones, saves livesLooking back ...

Stories from last season's Stripes European ski preview.(Please note that stories have not been updated since otherwise noted. If you're planning to visit any of these places, it would be wise to call ahead or consult local Web sites.)AFRC courses, equipment and advice await at two Bavarian resortsBus trips save your energy for the ski slopes and your money for a lift ticketGroup ski trips make skiing a fun run even in dubious conditionsLatest ski gear takes its cues from versatile snowboardsLinked resort complexes offer endless skiing in FranceScotland offers the best ski slopes, but the weather can be diceySet your sights high for year-round skiing on glaciersSkiing around Italy's Sella Ronda can be a challenge, even for expertsWith a multitude of areas to choose from, it's smooth sailing on Swiss ski slopes

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