Guys, your chances of finding female companionship in a ski town are better than you think.
Know this: Despite the traditionally skewed male-to-female ratio in ski towns (some say it's 10 to one), we women skiers are far from spoken for. Ski towns are littered with guys suffering from Peter Pan syndrome -- the delayed onset of maturity. Guys for whom anything more than skiing, the occasional chick, and an adequate supply of Budweiser is superfluous. Subtract them from the mix, as many of us do, and all of a sudden your odds improve remarkably.
That's not just my opinion. I've spoken with women skiers from Crested Butte, Aspen, Vail, and Summit County -- and it turns out life is pretty much the same everywhere. Together, we came up with a cheat sheet of sorts for single guys.
For starters, go with the tried-and-true places for mingling with the opposite sex: lift lines, slopeside bars, and hot tubs. The relaxed, beery atmosphere of après-ski is especially good for low-key introductions. Your conversation starters don't have to sound Einsteinian, but avoid punctuating them with "hey, man"; "right on"; or "dude." Wit and intelligence help: "Multiple syllables are a turn-on," explains Pam, 25.
Remember, women love to talk, not just listen. So instead of just telling us how much air you got in the halfpipe, bring up things we can chat about together -- where the best powder stashes are or how awesome the hike up that ridge was. These can provide perfect openings for suggesting that we go explore that stuff together the next morning.
If you don't have a foreign accent, fake one. Preferably Aussie. Or Kiwi. Or maybe Scottish. "The accent gets me every time," admits Allison, 29. We're suckers for the transoceanic. You could spew utter nonsense for an entire evening, but cloak it in an accent and we'll listen the whole time.
Chair rides are a great way to meet women -- after all, you'll have our undivided attention for a good five to 10 minutes. It's wise, though, to play it low key. Carry on about how much you rip, and you'll have to prove it at the top.
Be ready to hang with us on the hill, whether that means skiing fast or being patient. And remember: Just because we're women doesn't mean we stick to blue groomers. "I really don't date skiers if they can't keep up with me," says Asia, 24 -- though she admits she's happy to dole out a ski pointer or two to guys who seem willing to listen.
If, on the other hand, you're the better skier, pretend that you don't mind waiting. Avoid dragging an intermediate down a gnarly bump run. And at all costs, resist offering unsolicited tips -- nothing kills a budding relationship faster than yelling, "Just turn!" If you really want to ski faster than us, just go, and we can always meet up again later.
As for skiwear, dress for success. "You can tell half a guy's personality by what he's wearing," says Asia. "He shouldn't look like a dork when he's skiing." Dork qualifiers include hat gap (that unattractive line of skin between your hat and goggles); a lift pass flapping up against your chin; and a baseball cap worn while skiing ("Then we know you don't go fast," says Asia). And don't forget the sunscreen. Tans are great, but a sun-fried face attached to a mealy white neck is not.
When après-ski is over, lose the skiwear -- fast. If we see you at dinner or at the bar at 9 p.m. still in your ski boots and neoprene ski mask, we're not going to think, "What a ski enthusiast!" We're going to think, "Loser."
So you've successfully chatted up the cutie you rode up the chair with, and even skied a couple of runs together. What next? Asking us out on a real date (and perhaps even paying for it) is sure to impress. It doesn't have to be anything fancy; a simple dinner or outing to the skating rink is fine. But whatever you do, don't be a total cheapo. Linda, 35, remembers the date from hell: When the bartender askedd what they'd be having, the guy said, "I'll have water. But if you're buying indicating Linda, I'll have a beer."
Here's an important aside. If you make it home with a woman who lives in a ski town, you may be subject to the canine sniff test. Dogs are everywhere in ski towns, and many of them belong to the local women. We've come to trust their instincts as much as, or more than, our own. So it doesn't hurt to carry a few doggie treats in your pocket.
If all else fails, we can occasionally be plied with alcohol. Who's above the influence of that age-old aphrodisiac? "The old shot of Tuaca will do it every time," admits Sue, 34. Worst-case scenario, you get hammered.
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