We’re all sliding down the same mountain
By Emily Palm
While riding the chairlift earlier this season we witnessed a rather unbecoming display from a skier. After a rider biffed it and fell board over teakettle, a skier whizzed by yelling, “Dumbass.” Albeit funny, ‘twas not kind.
Seeing such poor snowboarder-skier relations led me to thinking. Sure, I dislike getting cut off on the way up to the mountain by Honda Civics with grenade stickers. True, when I smell cigarette smoke in the lift line it tends to be a troglodyte with super-baggy pants. And yes, having fresh powder scraped off the mountain by inexperienced boarders grinds my gears. But maybe it’s not just the snowboarders keeping relations tense, a notion that should have been previously obvious.
My gripes certainly do not apply to all snowboarders, for it’s only the 90 percent that make the 10 percent look bad.
I jest; in fact, I’ve heard resort executives acknowledge that snowboarding saved the snowsports industry back in the 1990’s.
Actually, more and more rapscallions on the mountain are donning skis these days. I’ve seen many a mixed pack of youngsters wearing pants so baggy I wonder how they can maneuver down the slope.
With the next generation of riders and skiers on the mountain embracing the styles they like, it begs the question if jackets and pants companies will still differentiate between skier and snowboarder garb or if there will soon be just park style and backcountry style.
As the season wanes, so does the time to help build bridges between boarders and skiers. Yesterday I saw my first mountain bluebird of the year. Many Front Rangers are putting their planks — whether single or dual — away for the summer (though the season’s not dead yet! A-basin has concerts lined up for May, and backcountry spring skiing is a fine way to spend an April day).
So go ahead, reach out a pole the next time you see a boarder doing the penguin dance on a catwalk. You’ll give them a whole summer to think about how kind skiers are.
Telemark skier and freelance writer Emily A. Palm Mulica lives in Golden, Colo. Check out her Web site at www.emilypalm.com & follow on Twitter and Facebook.com/SteepShots. Share with her your favorite joke at firstname.lastname@example.org.