First off, we’d like to say congratulations on your decision to pull the trigger finally. You’ve decided to put your life and goals on pause to pursue what matters most, skiing your dang face off. Whether you’re headed to Aspen, a warm place where the beer flows like wine and where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano, or some other equally as dreamy winter wonderland, we have some tips and concepts to introduce to you before your first season on the slopes. So you’re moving to a ski town…
No Friends On A Powder Day
Ahh, Powder Day. The single greatest thing about moving to a ski town. Gliding, slashing, and flying through freshly fallen snow is Romeo to our Juliet. As such, skiers treat powder days like they do the embrace of a brand new lover, they’re obsessed, and good luck getting ahold of them.
Unless you’re in line before the lifts open, and you happen to locate your friends in the mad feeding frenzy to the first chair, you aren’t having much luck getting in touch with them. It’s widely accepted in ski culture that if 12 inches of snow fell overnight, all bets are off. Including work, dates, laundry, your poodle’s obedience lesson, or your cousin’s flute performance—no friends on a powder day, period.
Embrace Apres Ski
Apres ski is as deeply embedded in ski culture as skiing itself. Literally meaning “after ski”, it means you get drunk after a long day of slashing pow or ripping groomers. Who’s gonna know you went skiing if you aren’t relishing your glorious turns over a pint in the pub after catching the last chair? Ski culture is all about having the most fun you possibly can, and more often than not, a great ski day ends up with a beer or ten. Embrace the party. Just remember you still have to wake up to catch the first chair tomorrow!
Learn Ski Culture Lingo
Just like most other cultures and sports, there are slang words that go with it. For starters, you’ll likely hear the term, Jerry. Jerry refers to a new skier or someone that skis twice a year. You can spot a jerry in the wild by the upside-down goggles, backward helmet, and North Face ski jacket from the ’90s. They are hilariously bad and can often be found yard sailing, another term to learn, meaning losing every bit of gear they own to the run during a gnarly or alarming and hilarious tomahawk tumble. Never fear, you aren’t a jerry. Believe us.
Other terms such as “Stomp the Landing,” “Shred the Gnar,” or “Gaper” will be revealed to you in due time. It may all seem confusing at first, but you’ll soon adapt the language into your own vocabulary. You got this, dude.
Prepare To Get Really Scared While Driving
Hopefully, moving to a ski town means that there will be apocalyptic amounts of frozen water (also known as snow) falling at an alarming rate. You and or your automobile may have never experienced this phenomenon at length. Every skier has a story of that one time they slid out of control and did three consecutive donuts, colliding directly into the snowbank on the other side of the road. This WILL happen to you. Be prepared with snow chains or snow tires and know how to install them. Drive WAY slower than you think you need to, and know that slipping out at some point is nearly inevitable. And please, don’t drive in a snowstorm after your aforementioned nightly Apres-ski shenanigans.
Say Goodbye To Solitude
Ski towns are notoriously expensive. Unless you’ve been banking a ton of cash for your season, prepare to have way too many roommates. It’s not uncommon to have three, four, or eight roomies in a way too small house. This will not only interfere with your reading time, but it may interfere with your Apres shenanigans, and more importantly, the sleep you need to get up early to shred. Nothing kills a proper night of sleep like your roommate’s cousin, Luke, the aforementioned flute player deciding to pick up the clarinet at 3 am.
Try to pick your roommates carefully and make sure they align with what you want to get out of your ski season. And if you can’t locate your perfect arrangement, don’t worry, it’s just for a season. Sleep is for the weak, anyway.