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Back Talk – December 2000

First Tracks

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The following is a letter from the four Caltech students featured in “Ball Busted” (Skiing Scene, October) who were arrested for streaking Mammoth Mountain, California.¿Ed.

We would like to share a little of what we have learned from this ordeal with the readers of Skiing:1) Free skiing a.k.a. streaking is a glorious activity that we highly recommend. Besides, in 1972 the California Supreme Court ruled that simply being naked does not immediately imply being indecent.

2) Steer clear of Mammoth security. We say this in response to the decidedly uncheerful demeanor with which this prank was handled and the excessive force used to restrain a naked man in ski boots who would have surely frozen to death should he have decided to evade capture.

3) Cops aren’t always right. You know something is wrong with the charges against you when, during your arraignment, the entire courtroom (including the judge) is laughing.

Finally, we salute three outstanding law enforcement officers by inducting them into the Mammoth chapter of the Not Funny Diarrhea Club (you know who you are). Oh, and if there are any readers who have the legal expertise to retrieve our camera from the Mammoth police, please drop us a line at
Nick Lorenzen: Assault with a deadly weapon (his ski) and indecent exposure, acquitted.
Max Kullberg: Indecent exposure, acquitted.
David Marcus: Indecent exposure, acquitted.
Brian Collins: Trespassing and obstructing a peace officer (by taking his picture), acquitted.

I’m a junior high school librarian. Looking through your October issue, I was disappointed to find the picture and short article entitled “Ball Busted.” This is inappropriate to have on our shelves, so the page was removed. I sincerely hope this isn’t going to become a problem. We are located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Big Sky resort is just down the canyon, and winter outdoor sports are very popular. I would like to continue ordering Skiing magazine so the students can enjoy it. Please consider all audiences when deciding upon articles and pictures.
Diane C. Shearer
via the Internet

Wow! We’re as controversial as Huck Finn. Only time will tell who’s doing more damage to our children.¿Ed.

Dear Glen Plake,
If you read this, I will be so grateful. I just read the article about you in Skiing “Soul Man,” September 2000, and I want to thank you. Nothing is going right in my life these days, and it really helped me out to know that even you got into trouble. My parents have been all over my case, and now I realize it is for my own good.

So, hey dude, thanks so much for being someone I can look up to. Oh, and if you’re ever in Oregon, I’ve got a room for you.
Nick Papailiou
via the Internet

Reading Glen Plake’s story makes me feel pretty lucky. He came to my local ski hill in Duluth, Minnesota, when I was just a scrump. There were no big cliffs and no cameras¿just Glen and his wife. All of us kids clambered around him as he jumped off our local ski jumps on downhill skis. To this day, I look back on what he did as being the coolest, truest way to touch kids. To have the biggest, baddest skiing role model come to the smallest, dinkiest ski hill and live it up¿wow. Thank you Glen Plake, and thank you SKIING for giving him proper recognition.
Charlie Cannon
Salt Lake City, Utah

I know this is a skiing magazine, and thanks for all that, but seeing the review of the new Samiam CD was sweet. I’ve been listening to them for quite a while now, and you are the first major publication I’ve seen that has really mentioned them at all. Keep up the good work.
Tony Schenke
via the Internet

If you liked that, you can look forward to our review of ‘N Sync’s new thrash-metall album next month.¿Ed.

Why are you spreading the news about all my favorite places to ski¿places where no American tourist ever goes until they read about them in a magazine? Lyon was ruined, as were Strassbourg and Chamonix. Now Vars and Briançon “Chasing Elephants,” October 2000 will be ruined by the hordes of tourists. What’s next? Stubital and Hintertux?
Sandra McKinney
via the Internet

Thanks a lot, Sandra¿we were saving those two for ourselves.¿Ed.

Write us at or Back Talk, Skiing, 929 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Boulder, CO 80302

Letters to the editor should include the writer’s full name and hometown. Letters are subject to editing for style and length.