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Ski Resort Life

2001 Adventure Guide: Make Contact


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> If you are a female aged 18 through 45, you will not have a problem making friends in a ski town. Feel free to skip the rest of this story. Enjoy your trip.

Gentlemen: The average ski town has a male-female ratio of eight to one. You are structurally unwelcome here.

This is not cause to consider getting a sex change.

Still, bring females with you.

> Become familiar with the following words: gaper, gomer, pelican, scud, fudgie, tourist.

Any and/or all of them refer to you.

Say you raced four years at Dartmouth. Say you spent two weeks in the Chugach with Doug Coombs. Say your buddy, an Oakley rep, has referred to your new sunglasses as “the tits.”

Any and/or all of those words still apply to you.

> Billy Kidd can pull off skiing in a cowboy hat. Just barely.

You cannot.

No one can pull off skiing in a court-jester hat.

Not even you.

> If you wear a one-piece ski suit, do not be surprised when you are physically blocked from entering a gondola car. >

“Oh my God I can’t stop!” is generally ineffective as an introduction.

> You will have a raccoon-eye goggle tan when you leave. You will not have one when you first arrive. If, in order to achieve a raccoon-eye goggle tan, you wear goggles in a tanning booth before your trip, you will be found out.

Do not be surprised to find urine in your ski boots.

> Hotel publications and magazines produced by the resort itself are not to be trusted. >

Ski with a bag of cookies.

> Complimenting a local on his or her mountain is like complimenting a teenage boy on his car. You will win instant loyalty. >

The ski world is small and incestuous.

Drop names. >

There is no such thing as too much duct tape.

> Microbrew will win you drinking partners. Pabst Blue Ribbon will win you lifelong friends.

If it is shared after a day of heli-skiing that you have paid for.

> Couloir is a French term for chute. Do not pronounce it like the French do. Narrow your eyes and slowly nod your head. Say “cool are.” >

Don’t whine.

> Do not yank the chairlift safety bar down on someone’s head unannounced. > No matter how many drinks you’ve had, do not claim that you are a former member of the U.S. Ski Team.

You are a sausage salesman.

> One sure ticket to local celebrity: In the tram line, sew up a wound (especially facial) with dental floss. > In the West, wider-waisted skis will decrease the likelihood of your getting ditched.

You will still get ditched.

> You may bump into your waiter, waitress, or ski instructor on the mountain or in a bar. Tip well. > Refer to yourself in the third person only if you are a card-carrying monarch or certifiably insane. Both circumstances will win you friends. >

Do not attempt to hump anyone’s leg.