Candide winning was the only hope I had for the poll. I like Sammy, but there is no way he had a better year than Candide.
Given the choice between Sammy and Wallisch, it is Sammy easily. Wallisch should not have even been one of the 16 in the poll. Until he shows me he can ski something steep, forget it.
I would really love to have some data on who is voting. If everyone in Montana votes for one guy, and everyone in New York votes for someone else, well that tells me something.
I would guess that most of the people who vote for Wallisch have never skied a steep, western mountain. Until they have, their opinion does not mean very much to me. It is sort of like a contest where people are asked 'what is the most important thing in surfing, tricks in small waves, or getting barreled?' All the kids who have never been barreled vote one way, all the people who actually have been tubed(and can also do tricks) vote the other way.
I don't know anyone, who is experienced in both steep skiing and urban, who thinks urban is a better measure of a skier.
Years ago I remember looking in SKIING magazine, at their reader poll of the hardest resorts in the country. Every year, Mad River Glen would place 9th or 10th, while resorts like Mt. Baker, Alpine Meadows, Sugar Bowl, Mammoth, Big Sky, and numerous others would not place. All of the resorts I mentioned(and many I didn't) are MUCH more challenging than Mad River. I love Mad River, and I used to ski it growing up, but there is no way it belongs in the top 10 for challenge, anyone who believes that it does is simply ignorant.
The point is, reader polls are flawed. They are flawed because not everyone knows enough to have their vote be reasonable. No one with a diverse skiing background thinks that Tom Wallisch is the skier of the year, but a kid who skis the park at Mt. Snow is given the same input as someone at Squaw, who skis both the park and the Palisades. Obviously the latter skier has a much better handle on skiing than the former.
Oh well, go vote for Tom Wallisch. In doing so, you will validate all the things crusty old guys say about Newschoolers. I was hoping Candide would win, as that would give this site a bit more credibility.