The goal of the Powder Project was simple: We wanted to profile you, the type of people who work for a living, but live to ski. In our narrow world, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that every real skier is either a bum or a pro. A dish dog with a college degree who gave it up to live in employee housing, or a former dish dog who now gets paid to film and compete.

Reality, however, is starkly different. In two years of digging, we found that the core skier, the people who spend every disposable cent on equipment, passes and getting to the hill, are bankers, lawyers, retailers, salesmen, dentists, journalists, auditors, brokers, and just about every other occupation you can think of.

In the 2011 Photo Annual, on stands until January 17, we profiled a few of them: A horse logger from La Grave, France; a Vancouver firefighter; a housewife from Aspen; a young pro from Rochester, N.Y.; a smoke-jumper from Idaho; a retired ski instructor from Vermont; and Nikki Frey, revenue manager at the Ritz-Carlton, Denver. We recorded Nikki’s interview for you. Check it out here, and then go pick up the Photo Annual to read about the rest. —The Eds