There's a slight frisson in the mountain air...
That's because the world's best Alpine racers are about to hurtle down the fastest downhill courses, tear up turns on the slalom, and grind through the super-G in pursuit of a dream far greater than a giant crystal globe and the overall title.
So who is set to dominate next year on Sochi's world stage? Who will be peaking at just the right time at the Winter Olympics? And who is determined to etch their names into the history books?
Here's CNN's guide to the seven skiers to keep an eye on over the coming months.
Last year we all watched with disbelief as the American ski star's season dramatically unraveled.
The 28-year-old Vonn had started the Alpine season chasing Annemarie Moser-Proll's record number of World Cup victories, after making a promising start with wins in Lake Louise.
In December her confidence was at such a high that she even spoke to CNN at the time about gutsy plans to legally contest the sports governing body, so that she might have the opportunity to race against the men.
Such optimism proved short lived.
A stomach illness forced her to take a three-week absence from the circuit in January, during which she admitted to suffering with depression.
She returned just in time for the World Championships in Schladming only to suffer a horrific fall in the super-G during her first race of the competition.
Airlifted to hospital, many thought her season and chances of making the Olympics were over.
Vonn had hoped to be back for the new World Cup ski season, which begins in the Austrian resort of Soelden this weekend, but the Olympic gold medalist and four time overall world champion will not be able to take part as she continues her comeback from a serious knee injury.
"I will go home to Vail and continue my preparation for the Beaver Creek races and my ultimate goal in February!" she said on her website earlier this week.
Her ultimate goal in February is, of course, gold in Sochi.
An Alpine season without Bode Miller always feels a little flat, but next month the U.S. skier who is loved by fans and loathed by coaches -- for his antics on and off-piste -- will be back from injury with his eyes firmly on the Olympic podium.
Despite his reputation for his love of the good life, Miller has earned his pedigree as an incredible athlete and competitor after career wins of five Olympic medals, five World Championships and two overall titles.
In November 2012 a persistent knee injury put him out of competition for the entire season and he's been undergoing rehabilitation over the last year to be race fit for Sochi.
Ski fans are likely to see a different Bode this season.
Weighing some nine kilos lighter than in recent years, his troublesome knee is back in shape and he's spoken out about how we won't be the go-for-broke skier of his youth.
At 35, he'll be the oldest U.S. Alpine skier to compete in the Olympics and if he wins, he'll be the oldest Olympic champion in Alpine skiing.
A tall order, but no doubt Miller will want to go out with a bang.
If Maze's form is even half as good as it was in the 2013-14 season, we'll surely be seeing this Slovenian medal in Sochi.