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Definition: The powder-day chaos that ensues when ski patrol is rumored to be opening new terrain and skiers line up en masse behind the rope to wait.
Remedy: Ride up the chairlift with a ski patroller and simply ask them when they expect to open the prized terrain. If they say it’ll be 30 minutes, go take a run and check back. If it’ll be five minutes, it might be worth joining the queue.
Definition: The symptoms associated with an inexperienced or lazy lift operator who fails to properly bump your chair as you sit down, causing you get to bucked, pinched, or nearly thrown off.
Remedy: If you sense that the liftie isn’t paying attention to his job, brace the back of the chair yourself as you sit down.
Definition: The unseemly space that occurs between your hat or helmet and your goggles. Often found on beginner skiers (known as “gapers”). Worsened when hair actually sticks out of the gap.
Remedy: Buy a long hat (we like the ones from Discrete Headwear) and be sure to pull it all the way down under your goggles. If you’re wearing a helmet, make sure your goggles and helmet fit snugly together—sometimes if helps if you buy a helmet and goggles of the same brand (like Smith or Poc).
Definition: The uncomfortable and often painful twisting, grunting, and heavy breathing associated with cramming your feet into cold ski boots in the morning.
Remedy: Don’t leave your boots in the car or garage overnight. Better yet, remove your liners and put them near a heat source to dry out overnight or invest in a portable bootdryer [we like the ones at Dryguy.net].
Definition: The pleasurable sensation you experience upon removing your too-tight or ill-fitting ski boots at the end of the day.
Remedy: Go see a professional bootfitter to get your ski boots properly shaped and molded to your feet. Find a good one at www.bootfitters.com.
Definition: When traveling to ski, the Tetris-style process of cramming all of your luggage and ski gear into small, European-size rental cars.
Remedy: Some rental car companies offer ski racks, so be sure to ask when you book your car. If they don’t, pack a couple cam straps (buy some online here) and be ready to strap your ski bags to the roof.
Definition: A skier who accesses roadside backcounty terrain (like Colorado’s Loveland or Berthoud passes) by hitchhiking for his laps.
Remedy: If you’re driving by and have room in your car or the back of your truck, you can pick them up. Or not. It’s up to you.
Definition: Five or more guys crammed in an après-ski hot tub. Frequently found in mountain towns worldwide.
Remedy: Find a girl or two to help offset the ratio.
Definition: An acronym that stands for Willingness To Buy Overpriced Burgers, which refers to your bizarre compliance to pay a hefty $12 for a low-quality hamburger at a ski-resort cafeteria simply because you have no choice and you’re hungry.
Remedy: Pack a lunch. Or order the soup instead—it’s cheaper, you get free crackers with it, and you won’t have such a heavy gutbomb during your afternoon of skiing.
Definition: A hand-dug hole in a snowbank that stores and chills beers.
Tip: If the refrigerator at your ski condo is too packed with food to store that 30-pack of beer, simply dig a small pit out the back door, flag it with a ski pole (in case it dumps a foot in the next hour), and place the beers in one at a time.