A State Representative Who Rips

The man behind two ski magazines moves into politics.

We like to read other magazines, sometimes literary ones like Cat Fancy. We also check out Backcountry, Telemark Skier, and Alpinist, produced by Vermont’s Height of Land Publications. So imagine our surprise when we found out that their editorial director (and Skiing contributor), Adam Howard, had been appointed to Vermont’s House of Representatives. We called him to find out the deal.

Vermont State House of Representatives. How? Why?

My degree is in political science and anybody who knows me knows I’m into that. I volunteer a lot and have always been involved in one nonprofit or another. The former representative from this town [Cambridge] was made state tax commissioner. Our families go back a couple hundred years. So when he decided to move on, he asked me if I’d be interested. In Vermont, it’s a part-time legislature. They meet four days a week for 16 weeks in the winter.

So there was no Blagojevich deal?

No, no. I got this position for a six-pack, you know.

Have you thought about how you’ll get in ski days with your new responsibilities?

I have, absolutely. The session runs from January through April, and if I start skiing in November I can usually get 20 to 25 days before January. That puts me on pace for a 60-to-80-day year. One or two early-morning skins a week. One or two weekend days with my family. I think I can get 60-plus days this season.

You’re taking the seat as a Republican. That seems a little unusual for a ski bum.

I’m no longer a ski bum. I’m a 30-something father of two. I own a business. I’m a skier. When I was a ski bum, you’re right, but Vermont’s a very progressive state. If you run a business, you have to balance a budget, and that’s been very hard for our state lately. I believe government’s role is to provide a certain amount of services to the people. I think we’ve gotten a little extravagant. The economy has poked holes in that and we need to rein it in a little bit.

Four More Skiers Gone Government

Gerald Ford

Never mind the klutzy Chevy Chase impression, Jerry Ford was a skier and one hell of a model American. He started skiing in New England in 1939 while attending Yale Law and became a fixture at Vail, Colorado, before becoming the most forgettable president since William Henry Harrison.

Gary Johnson

The governor of New Mexico from 1995–2003, noted Libertarian Gary Johnson advocated the repeal of drug prohibition, ran triathlons, climbed Everest, and skied a lot. A ski bum before becoming governor, Johnson now shreds at Taos Ski Valley. He also shares a name with a Team America: World Police character.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Governator is Austrian, so you know he’s all about feeling ze carve. He feels it every winter at Sun Valley, Idaho, and does so on a pair of Atomics given to him by famed Austrian racer Hermann Maier. He bent those planks till they damn near snapped, though his femur snapped first.

Jon Huntsman Jr.

As the governor of Utah, this Mormon signed legislation repealing some of the state’s draconian liquor laws. A champion of the ski industry, Huntsman worked with the mayor to successfully woo Salomon and Atomic to Ogden. And he once jammed out with REO Speedwagon at the Utah State Fair. Not bad. 



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