SoulPoles – “PLANT YOUR SOUL”
An Apres loyalist and former Snow Stud of the Week shot us this site last week, and when a guy with that kind of style speaks, we listen. SoulPoles are handmade customizable bamboo ski poles that are hand made in Salt Lake City Utah. The eco friendly and hand made nature of this product is compelling yes, but truth be told, they look sick too. The jury is still out for me on the quality of these poles (because I have not had the chance to use them) however the 1-year no questions asked warranty is a pretty good sign that they can hang.
Excerpts From the Sawtooths:
Winters can be hard for east coasters, born to indulge in the endless treats of the ocean on all of our summer days. We lavish in our unbeatable Atlantic lifestyles from May to September, only to have that pampering pinched by ever shorter days and air that bites with frozen teeth. During these darker months, those thrill-seeking, inner youth-embracing, and sun-loving among us become stifled by the miles which separate us from another of nature’s emboldened boundaries – the big mountains out west.
No big surprise, then, that I landed last weekend in Sun Valley, ID, for a revitalizing retreat in a sensory playground that was sure to recharge my spirit. I felt as light as the air as I geared up at 52xx feet in Ketchum, on our way to Bald Mountain with discounted lift tickets we had found last minute on liftopia.com. While we weren’t getting fresh tracks that first day out (it hadn’t snowed for two days before our arrival), we never waited in line for a lift or gondola ride, had free reign of groomers, and were able to cover the mountain from Warm Springs to Seattle Ridge, with so much in between. We finished up the day at the Roundhouse summit lodge, sipping on local brews watching the sun go down behind the Devil’s Bedstead in the Pioneer range.
We were each granted a healthy goggles tan from that first day out, but we didn’t settle for bronze. Day two brought backcountry snowshoeing fresh tracks on foothills just north of town, on a day so bright that I shed 3 layers until reaching comfort on my upper half with only a thin capalene longsleeve, neck gaiter, and shades. Once complete, we celebrated our phenomenal five miles with beers at Grumpy’s, happ hour eats at the Cellar in town, and then moved on to the one place that anyone who is anyone would be on this particular Friday night in Sun Valley – the Sun Valley Skating Center. On agenda for the standing-room-only crowd was an intense match-up between the Sun Valley Suns and the Boston Stumpgrinders (aka Gutter Snipes). The ice was littered in stars, with famous filmmaking funny guy Bobby Farrelly in net and ex-NHL big man Jeff Norton on the visitor’s end, adding to an already electrifying environment fueled in part by the kegs flowing at both ends of the arena.
Day three led us north over Galena to Stanley and the Sawtooths, where a long drive through snowy plains awarded us with priceless views (shown below) and a long soak in local hot springs. The journey provided some rest for the evening’s activities, including plans to strap on the skins or snowshoes to ascend the mountain we had so enjoyed skiing down a few days earlier. We assembled at 5 pm at the base lodge and hiked for over 2 hours as the sun set behind us. Meager headlamps announced our slow upward migration to busy Cats preparing the hill for the next day’s crowd, as we pushed on under a starlit sky. At the top, out of breath and ecstatic for the summit, I announced proudly to my friends: “Yes. I skinned baldy.” The steady turns I took on my descent in the dark were some of the most rewarding of my life.
Perhaps it was the final soak in yet another hot springs after our Baldy ascent – intermittent with dips in the adjacent icy creek and much appreciated astronomy lessons by the locals of our group, responding to those of us city-folk for whom stars have become something of a novelty – but I boarded my plane to Philly on Monday feeling rejuvenated and newly alive. The mountains have done it again, and I’ll keep going back for more.
– E. Slotnick
Top 10 Place for Apes (USA Today)
39 Degrees in the Sky Hotel
“Trendy cocktails, funky lighting, thumping beats and imbibers’ outfits that cost more than most ski bums’ cars make this the see-and-be-seen gathering spot in the see-and-be-seen capital of ski towns,” DesLauriers says. “After a crazy martini, I pretty much lost track of why I had gone to Aspen in the first place — or maybe I actually discovered it.” 970-925-6760; theskyhotel.com
Sun Valley, Idaho
The Bier Stube
Near the lifts in Whitefish’s Upper Village, “The Stube” is a traditional apres joint, heavy on exposed wood and beer taps and light on decor. It features live music and it is reliably jammed by 4 p.m. on ski days. It’s known for its free beer giveaway Wednesdays at 5 p.m., when a local is named Clod of the Week for a winning on-slope mishap, says DesLauriers. 406-862-1993
For ages, this has been the first place to stop on the road from the ski area to town. It recently added a martini bar. DesLauriers characterizes it “as classic a party spot as Stowe mountain itself. Locals and tourists mix it up like a top-shelf cocktail.” 802-253-8198; matterhornbar.com
This large bar has been a slope-side fixture at the base of Vail’s Lionshead area for years. Since a recent redevelopment made Lionshead the epicenter of apres at the nation’s largest single-mountain ski resort, Garfinkel’s is busier than ever. “It’s the quintessential après ski bar with a huge deck (and) incredible views,” DesLauriers says. 970-476-3789; garfsvail.com
Lakeview Lounge at the Chateau Lake Louise
Lake Louise, Alberta
The classic alpine hotel in the heart of Banff National Park sports a sedate lounge where the mixologists’ signature cocktails pale before the view. “It’s one of the most dramatic mountainscapes you can imagine,” DesLauriers says. “That view was on the Canadian $20 bill — enough said.” 866-540-4413; fairmont.com/lakelouise
A stop at the Moose is a rite of passage for skiers coming off Jackson Hole resort’s challenging mountain. “This two-story, vintage, tchotchke-laden spot offers excellent live music, scorching chicken wings, a massive fireplace and an expansive deck. The history of skiing, ski bums and general debauchery permeates the place,” DesLauriers says. 307-733-9779; mangymoose.net
The Sitzmark Club
This classic, intimate bar features a roaring fireplace, antique wooden skis on the wall, and hand-hewn rustic furniture. It sits above the main lobby of the 1939 Alta Lodge. “The Party Marg and giant platter of free appetizers will throw you deep into the old-school Alta world,” says DesLauriers. “Everyone gets a view of the famous High Rustler run, and the 30- or so seat place is usually packed with great local skiers, especially after a classic Alta powder day.” 801-742-3500; altalodge.com
The bar and grill is at the base of the Whistler Village Gondola, the main lift at North America’s largest ski resort, and is known for high-quality live music nightly in ski season. “(It’s) very Canadian — pictures of (former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his wife) adorn the restroom doors. It’s loud and raucous, the way we — sometimes — like après,” says DesLauriers. 604-905-2220; restaurants.whistlerblackcomb.com
Le Chamois & The Loft Bar
Squaw Valley, Calif.
This vast establishment is a popular locals’ spot, with great pizza, cold beer and a sun-drenched deck. Located in the original gondola plaza complex, it’s off the beaten path, but worth seeking out, DesLauriers says. 530-583-4505; www.squawchamois.com
Breaking news: Skiers need apps to conquer the slopes
I’m kidding. They are apps, for iPhone. Let me first just say that, as an iPhone user any app that better prepares me for the slopes is cool, but where I deviate from the masses here is actually using cell phones/pda’s on the slope. I have a hard enough time opening a Snickers bar on the lift let alone Tweeting or checking in at a particular trail head. The app that measures speed and turns seems pretty cool, but again, it involves using and operating your phone on mountain. I think technology will be important to keep the ski industry moving forward, that is if there is any hope of the industry moving forward. But what I believe will never change is that skiing is done on snow, snow needs cold temperatures to exist, cold temps lead to cold fingers, and cold fingers fumbling your PDA make for a less than satisfying app experience. Here is the list of secret new apps. http://mashable.com/2010/11/11/apps-for-ski-and-snowboard/
Get Him to the Greek:
We recently found time to catch Get Him to the Greek and had a few thoughts. The Jonah Hill and Russell Brand motion picture was a fun break from every day life that celebrated recklessness, excess and some good old fashion rock’n roll culture. Overall I really enjoyed the movie and would rank it a 7 on the “Wedding Crashers Scale,” for funny movies, and although there was no skiing there was plenty of snow. It started with a bang as Jonah Hill quickly finds himself in a hot mess while chasing down the lunatic rock star Aldis Snow, played by Russell Brand. We’ve all felt out matched at one point or another, but this takes “being out of your league” to a new level. Without giving anything away, I would say the highlights included the party scenes, classic one-liners and unreal, awkwardly uncomfortable situations, which Aaron Green (played by Johan Hill) finds himself in. In fact, the movie could have focused more on the partying and less on the Snow family reunion. Check it out and let us know if you agree. Here’s the link for the trailer, but be warned that not all the scenes in the trailer are actually in the movie.
Apres takes an off-season adventure to the Ryman Auditorium.
What an absolute treat! Second only to the acoustic of the Mormon Tabernacle, a few Apres elites took in the sounds this past Saturday of “the Maverick of country music” Dierks Bentley along with bluegrass phenoms the Punch Brothers, music icon Delman McCoury, as well as the Travelin McCoury’s at the historical Ryman Auditorium. There is a very real connection between the once in-a-lifetime experience we took in this weekend and our more typical stories of unreal ski adventures. On a recent trip to Jackson, you could feel the same kind of significance radiating from the top of Corbett’s and yet hearing the unique sounds and collaborations between artists brought us back to more specific memories including a magical afternoon and evening in late March of 2007 on the peak of Brighton at an event known to few as “Marcharitaville.” Like Corbett’s and the majestic secluded back woods of Brighton, the venue added immediate significance to the experience. However, as the evening wore on it was clear that the mesh of Bentley’s charts topping hits with the crisp twang of his guests, like the congregating of wandering ski bums and weekend warriors alike, at a perfect moment in time, was what made this night special. (Not to mention the collection of offensively sweet cowboy boots, belt buckles, and Dierks’s always popular hair.) Bentley even covered Perl Jam’s “Nothing Man,” which incidentally has made it onto multiple Apres ski mix’s in the past.
For an off-season experience that may bring you back to a special moment on the slopes, at Apres, or just to hear some music that may get you going for a great day on the mountain sometime in the future, I’d strongly recommend putting the Ryman Auditorium and all the other amazing sounds of Nashville on your calendar. When asked after the show, how he would rate his evening at the Ryman, Apres’ own “The Biz,” was quoted as saying… “nothing I can say at this point would be enough to summarize what just happened in there. My heels are numb from stomping so hard and I may be flying out to Jackson early tomorrow morning to go fishing with the Texan who was sitting next to me. This night will long live as a monumental memory in my life, and dude seriously, I have been holding it for the whole show, so I gotta hit the men’s room. Lets get moving”
Hot Tub Time Machine:
I can imagine that the trailers, ads, and word of mouth will attract many of you to this movie, as I was, so I won’t ruin it. However, let me say that Hot Tub Time Machine was a few bucks very well spent. I’ll get the cons out of the way early and get right to the good stuff. Basically, the whole time line was ridiculous. Centered, obviously, around a hot tub time portal that a few buddies end up in after an interesting and believable turn of events. That’s about where the believability ends. But seriously, did you really go to see “Hot Tub Time Machine” for a shot of reality? (I hope not)
Ok, cool. So its unbelievable, cat’s out of the bag, so let’s move on. I actually thought the message, although I’m not totally sure what it was, was decent. Do what makes you happy and keep it real with your friends and everything else will work out. In this case, what made the movie so entertaining, was the “everything else,” which included copious amounts of recreational drug use, boozing, completely unnecessary frontal nudity, and Oscar worthy costumes. I guess the term “costumes” is sort of a loose term, what I mean is tight fitting very bright clothing, large sunglasses, furry boots, turtle necks, mustaches, and the occasional perm. There is really no skiing involved, which is fine, but the setting is a New Hampshire esque ski area that, in it’s hay day probably seemed more like frat row USA than modern day ski town. To give you an idea of what your in for, think Ski Patrol meets Old School, and Enrique meets Sweet Child O Mine!
Enjoy and let us know what you think.
So, earlier this week, in one of our favorite ski towns, Steamboat Springs CO, more than 60 professional Cowboys hit the slopes for the 36th Annual Cowboy Downhill. The race takes place as a dramatic conclusion to the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, which is held in Denver every year. Not only does this event include two of our favorite things, cowboys and Steamboat Springs, but its generally one of the most unique (and insanely sick) events of the year. The Cowboy Downhill was created by ski legend Billy Kidd and rodeo star Larry Mahan 36 years ago, and has turned into an international event combining the strong western culture of rodeo with the cowboy town feel of Steamboat. There are multiple disciplines tested combining skiing events such as dual slalom and cowboy skills such as roping. Needless to say, the primary strength of the competitors is the later, which makes for some impressive spills and entertaining styles. I would have to say though, that while I wouldn’t recommend modeling your skiing technique on the slopes after these fella’s (and I stress FELLA’S), I would strongly recommend emulating their style! A recommendation that I am confident our CFO and resident cowboy would definitely support.
Apres YouTube Debut… 2007 Solitude
Après Weighs In on Injection – No not Steroids
Probably one of the few articles talking about injection that doesn’t deal with Mark McGuire and his obvious steroid abuse; this article talks about water injection for Alpine World Cup events – specifically for the Olympics.
The short version of what water injection entails is this: a long tube with multiple nozzles (think irrigation systems) is hooked up to the snow-making pipes, and injects water into the snow one to two feet below its surface. This is done for the entire length of the hill, or for only certain portions (for example only the Downhill track). This is generally performed at night so that it will freeze when the temperatures drop. The aim of this is to create a very solid surface, (almost skating–rink–like conditions), that is still grippy enough for World Cup racers to hold an edge and won’t break down as the competition progresses, which in the case of Downhill and Super-G races can be as many as 4 days (2 training runs and 2 race days).
As several athletes have pointed out, such as current World Cup leader Lindsey Vonn and former World Cup overall winner Anna Pareson of Sweden, this can create “pond-like” conditions where the surface is more ice than snow, and these slick conditions are not consistent over the entire length of the course. Injected snow has been put forward by some people as the cause of the recent rash of injuries seen on the world cup (20 athletes with season ending injuries in the first 20 World Cup events). Thomas Vonn, husband of Lindsey Vonn and former US Ski Team member has said that skiing officials’ use of water injection would be the equivalent of car-racing officials deciding to “spray oil randomly every couple hundred yards” on a track. Going from grippy-snow to ice can cause some serious problems if you aren’t expecting the change.
The response to these complaints is this: does the surface of a NASCAR car race literally fall apart with every passing car? No. This is often the case when events are held in warm temperatures or after recent snow or rain falls, both of which are high probabilities at the Olympics given the climate at Whistler. Course conditions under these circumstances can deteriorate to the point where ruts from previous racers are over a foot deep. In an event that is decided by hundredths of a second, this can effectively eliminate the chances of racers starting further back. Yes, conditions can become incredibly slick as a result of injection but it creates more consistent conditions where everyone has a chance to challenge for a win. Furthermore, with out its use certain events just wouldn’t happen because of snow loss and deteriorating snow conditions. As to the recent rash of injuries, some athletes point to the regulation changes allowing for wider skis as the cause of many of knee injuries, particularly in Slalom and Giant Slalom, not the use of injection.
So what’s the consensus at Après? It’s going to happen regardless of how much some people complain about it and it probably won’t affect Bode Miller’s Apres performance in Whistler.
For more discussion on water injection at the Olympics check out: Slippery slope? Skiing official expects Olympics to have injected courses.
BACK IN BIZ:
Location: LAKE PLACID VILLAGE
Nearby Lift Lines: WHITEFACE MOUNTAIN
Biz is back to tell you about Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Company.
We had spent the entire day ripping our sleds through the Adirondack Mountains. When it got dark it got cold and the -25 degree temp with wind to match had finally taken its toll on us.
Back at the lodge; a six pack, shower and some dry socks made me feel like a new animal. If I wasn’t half in the bag I would have admitted that I thought I saw Geoff Bodine in the lobby. For all of you who don’t follow the world of car racing, I included a link. LEGEND!!
Anyway, food was needed ASAP and it didn’t get any warmer. The first place would have to do. Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Company! JACKPOT!
While being greeted by plenty of hungry people and a twenty minute wait wasn’t sweet, its fires were warm and the restaurant bar was ready and willing to provide. The rustic log cabin decor, memorabilia filled walls, and friendly staff was exactly what I needed. Nice people and plenty of things to stare at!
Advice: These next few moments will be crucial for your visit. With all of the variety this place offers the prompt service can be a little over whelming at first. Most people would pull the rip cord and order their “safety” drink. Be sure to take your time and pick one of the award winning local brews from The Great Adirondack Brewing Company. It’s made on site and serves up the tastiest beverages around.
APP1: Baked Mozzarella Block
APP2: French Onion Soup
Dinner: 24oz Bone-In Prime Rib-Eye (Great Piece of Meat)
(Incl. Salad, Baked Potato, Veggies)
-Dewars and Ice
(Definitely order this!) Beer Sampler!
-Ausable Wulff Red Ale
-Whiteface Black Diamond
I think I also had 1-Large RBV to help fight off food coma but I was pretty blitzed at that point so it’s all a little hazy! I am happy I didn’t drive!
Check out there website and stop by while in the Historic Lake Placid Village.
Thank you to the Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Company for an awesome experience! I will be sure to visit soon!
ON A GREAT CAUSE: Theodore Roosevelt Association Teddy Bear Gift Program
Teddy Roosevelt was known for many things in his day which, had he still been around, might have made him a modern-day Apres favorite. The first thing that comes to mind is that the guy tried to start a party called “the Bull Moose Party,” undoubtedly the sweetest party name in the history of politics, he was the 26th president of the United States, and is widely remembered for his “Cowboy” image. What some of our readers may not be as familiar with is Teddy’s love of Teddy bears and strong desire to make people smile. An obsession that lead him to start the “Theodore Roosevelt Teddy Bear Gift Program,” which today is very much alive here in Boston and brings thousands of smiles to young patients throughout Hospitals all across America by way of a teddy bear. So you don’t have to read up on the program twice here’s the link. You’ll notice that I linked the “donation page.” Not a mistake. Make a donation to help a Child. If you can afford a day of skiing (and since its 55 degrees out today your clearly not skiing), you can afford to make a donation so that a child who may be missing a ski trip due to illness or may not be able to ski, gets a teddy bear.
Thanks for your generosity,
After reviewing the last few “Weighs In” posts I realized how negative I sound. Granted my feelings towards Big Feet have not changed, I felt it was time to turn the tables and bring to you, the single best Ski meets Music video I’ve ever seen. If your in an office follow these steps before playing video…
1. Clear you schedule for the rest of the day. (Actually if you follow these steps it probably won’t matter so forget that step)
2. Loosen your collar, lose the tie, and maybe cut off a sleeve or two.
3. Check on the where-about of your boss. Turn the volume up on your work computer as far as it will go (make sure the speakers actually work.)
4. Stand on your desk, scream “its effing ski season,” click play with your foot, and absolutely rock out!
Seriously this video is amazing. I still recall the first time the C.F.O and I watched it. It was truly love at first sight. Again, the video is amazing as well.
First off I would like to say that I find this topic disgusting and utterly offensive. If you haven’t already put an end to your “skiing” career and you use “Big Feet,” do it NOW! Just so there are no mistakes, take a second if you are still confused as to what we are talking about and think you may be a “Big Feet” skier, and take a look at the equipment above, the “Big Feet” skies that I am speaking of are the ones marked “BIG FOOT.” Oh, I sorry, am I speaking to you as if your an idiot? Well good, because I can’t hold my tounge any more. Snowboarders, Tele skiers, and even folks who snow shoe up the side of trails… let’m in, but not these morons who use “Big Feet!” Seriously, I hope you choke yourself with your digital camera loosely flailing around your neck or accidentally knock yourself out with one of your out of control hands that you insist on waving around in the air. “Big feet” are nothing more than short skies with idiotic designs on them that, do to their size and shape, allow for no real turning, no tecnique, no poles and no style. NO STYLE, that says it all, CFO am I wrong?! Honestly if I were to make the analogy that maybe short skies make me think of short busses, that may be taking this too far so I won’t, but I want to. Perhaps this rant may fall on deaf eyes as it is written in English, but I hope somewhere out there somebody has done us all, and most importantly themselves, a favor and BEET THE FEET!
Topic: Should snowboarding be allowed at all resorts?
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First let’s take a look at a few of the big name mountains that do not allow snowboarding… The two that come to mind are Alta and Mad River Glen, two completely different mountains that to this day restrict their customer base to only skiers. Both resorts are sandwiched between other major resorts that do allow snowboarding yet neither mountain is showing any sign of a policy change. To present an accurate argument it must be said that as private resorts it is completely within their right to restrict or allow whomever they choose to access their terrain. Having said that, the first thing that comes to mind as a skier are the infinite number of over matched novice snowboarders that slide down trails sideways pushing snow off the trials. Skier or snowboarder you know that sound, it drives me nuts! But to be fair, the same over matched novice skier that yard sails in the middle of a run sending god knows how many pieces of equipment all over the trail is no less frustrating. The blood boiling frustration of a novice skier or snowboarder on a trial he or she clearly has no business tackling pretty much equals out any potential argument directed at snowboarders tilting our decision towards “no snowboarders.” Another argument towards no snowboarders is that bump runs sans snowboarders are in better shape simply as a result of less snow being thrown around. However, even with the bumps being possibly tainted, it is my feeling that snowboarders should be allowed to ride wherever their skiing counterparts can. The truth is, a solid snowboarder presents no more or less impact on those around he or she than a solid skiers. As for Mad River and Alta, who knows. They are both sick mountains that skiers will continue to enjoy regardless of their policies, but in the long run it seems they are simply missing out on potential business in a tough economy, honestly it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a change.
Topic: Walkie Talkies
Well, to be honest I have never used one, but unlike listening to music while skiing or riding, I think there is value to walkie talkies. In the back country they are a must for safety reasons, but I think there is a place for these inexpensive devices all over the mountain. I see them most used by parents checking in on their kids. Why not right? Let the kids have the freedom to ski where and how they choose with the safety net of immediate communication in case of emergency. In my opinion this is a win win, because while Jr. is ripping daffies, rails and hiking the pipe in the park Mom and Dad can ski wherever they choose, which in my experience has not been the park. They don’t bother others and have no fashion relevance either. Verdict: walkie talkies are cool with me.
O.k first of all, just calm down, and listen to what I’m saying here. First, I am in complete agreement that when used properly a backpack can literally be a life saver. That is exactly NOT what I’m talking about. I mean to bring up the East Cost Broseph wearing a backpack that costs more than my skies equipt with a shovel, ice axe and most likely other accessories he or she doesn’t even know about. Oh and did I mention, nothing inside said “pack,” cuz that’s much cooler than calling it a backpack, which in reality is exactly what it is. Thats the thing, there is nothing inside of these back packs, even if there was a sandwich or Gatorade inside them I would at least feel a little better about it, but there isn’t, I know that beacuse if there was anything at all inside them the owner wouldn’t be able to comfortably ride the chairlift. Really chief, although I can site sincerely unfortunate examples of avalanche accidents in the northeast, I doubt your gonna have to dig out from the middle of “Easy Street” over in the Sunbrook area at Mt. Snow. Back packs have become a near bulls eye for other skiers and snowboarders to avoid here in the Northeast and the number of “phantom packs” only seems to be increasing. If your reading this site and you are in violation of this disgusting offense please, for all of us, just leave the back pack at home next time.
Topic: Drink limit at Apres?
Apres: Absolutely not. Does that answer this reader submitted topic? Are we advocating drunk driving, trust me no! Find somebody else to drive. There, problem solved. Let me tell you a little story about what would not have happened had there been a drink limit at Apres 3 years ago at the Snow Barn at Mt. Snow (known to some as the “Bro Barn”). For one, Duncan and I may never have come up with the concept for ApresSki.US. Without mentioning names, I will let you all know that one of us had to drive the other ones car home along with the car’s owner, who not only couldn’t find his way out of his ski boots but back to his car after apres either. How we came to leave the establishment is debatable, some would say by choice, others may insinuate there were some less than kosher comments made and we were invited to call it an afternoon. In any case, it was at some point during that car ride home over a blaring rendition of Perl Jam’s “I am mine,” that we decided that there was more to what we were doing than just the Jager shots. Apresski.US in some way was born on that 15min car ride home along with a very sweet story. NO DRINK LIMITS at Apres, grow up.
Topic: Skiing with headphones on.
Apres: O.k, this one is going to raise a debate because I definitely think this is a major issue/problem. To be clear the chairlift does not count nor does a huge kicker with a spotted pedestrian free landing zone. You can do whatever you want on the chairlift, that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about headphones on while skiing down the mountain. There is no way anybody can tell me that they ski and are generally in the same state of awareness while listening to music blocking outside noise as they are sans headphones. Am I wrong? Look, in most cases its hard enough just to avoid the people who are skiing that shouldn’t be with all your senses about you. Not to be pessimistic here, but there are so many things that can and do go wrong while skiing, I think that listening to music while skiing is ridiculous. Furthermore I can not believe that this issue hasn’t received more attention. In fact in checking out some helmets for the last “Apres Weighs in” I found helmets with built in headphones. That’s just great, your doing yourself a huge favor by protecting your meat gourd and then just blowing the whole thing by making yourself a liability towards everybody else. It blatantly puts other skiers and snowboarders at risk just because some kid can’t wait to blast the Jonas Brothers until he hits the lift line. You are on the chairlift and in line far more of the day than you are actually skiing, save the tunes for the lift and line.
Chime in, let us know what you think! Answer the poll or leave comments at the bottom of the page.
Apres intellectual Mans:
RE: headphones, I think that you are probably in just as much danger (if not more) on the way to the mountain from the same Jonas-loving kid cranking “Look me in the eyes” while driving up I93 in his parents’ Suburban, armed with his 3 month old driver’s license and an age-appropriate sense of indestructibility. The same concept applies – too much noise and too little experience/responsibility doesn’t let him concentrate 100% on his surroundings, and the group’s safety suffers. Does that mean we shouldn’t let Ford outfit Suburbans with stereo systems?
Personally, I don’t listen to tunes on the slopes, but I am not against them for others if used responsibly.
Topic: Should ski areas make helmets mandatory?
Apres: No. Helmets make a lot of sense and now can almost be disguised as fashionable, but the bottom line is that wearing a helmet makes no impact on anybody other than the person making the choice to wear or not wear one. I don’t wear a helmet and I fully understand the consequences but the point is, by not wearing one I am not in any way impacting anybody else around me. Furthermore as a sport that tends to turn people away because of rising costs I think adding to that it would be in the sport’s best interest not to add to those costs. No on mandatory helmets.
TOPH: Not for me and my melon… but for shredders with a youth lift ticket… I say YES!
Chime in, let us know what you think! Answer the poll or leave comments at the bottom of the page.
RE: Helmets. Maybe it is because I taught myself to ride a motorcycle in the great state of New Hampshire, sans protective gear of any sort (or a lisence, inspection sticker, and registration, for that matter). Maybe it is because I’m still young / dumb enough to think that head injuries only happen to other people. Maybe, and probably most importantly, it is because there is nothing I value more then a little salad flowing right out of the back and sides of a swix hat as you rip down a bumps line. In any case, my position is clear – no mandatory helmets. As an old friend in the business likes to say – ski fast, take chances.
And to those of you that do wear them – of course I have no problem with that, as long as your flow is long enough to fly out the back, and your husbands / boyfriends let you engage in the occasional hot tub shenanigans.
Topic: If weekend crowds and lift ticket continue to increase in the Northeast, does it make more sense to save your money, ski out West, and bail on the East?
Apres: No. While we completely support trips to all corners of the world to seek out the greatest snow, challenges, and of course Apres locations, you can’t sell out on where you come from. Again, I don’t think that all resources need to be sunk into skiing exclusively in one location, but if you grew up skiing the East you have to at least continue to try. There are ways around crowds and increased lift ticket prices can be made worth the money if you do it right. We all know that brutally cold days, bad conditions and huge crowds are a horrible trifecta, so don’t do it. Pick your times and places and make it count. Example, the 5 days you waste trucking up to Killington just because you think that is your only option could seriously dampen your season and equally important, your spirit. Check the weather, maybe save a few of those days and do 1 or 2 slam dunk days either during the week if you can or at a location that promises to have smaller crowds and worthy conditions on the weekend.
Two seasons ago during one of the worst winters (lack of snow) in recent memory, a small Apres crew made a last minute decision to chase the snow up to Mad River. I honestly cannot tell you what the price of a ticket was or how long the drive was because the only thing I remember is that it was one of the best day I’ve ever had on the East coast. By picking your days wisely you can have the best of both worlds, enjoy the East and save to go out West, but the notion of bailing completely on the areas you grew up on, in my opinion is a no go.