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Back Talk – October 2001

First Tracks

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Back Talk


929 Pearl Street

Suite 200

Boulder, CO 80302

I am writing about your sex survey “You’re So Bad,” Skiing Scene, January ’01. Many of us have been pondering the conundrum of sex and skiing since we first learned how to do both. When I have a choice between skiing and sex…well, I check out the weather report. There are times when powder is more scarce.

“Is skiing better than sex?” It depends on the weather.
James J. Clarke III
Portland, Oregon

“Last Runs” December ’00 delivers a timely social commentary. There is a strong feeling of immortality among skiers (I am guilty, too, so I am not proselytizing) and a strong desire to outdo friends and win bragging rights. We are driven to jump roads, grab chairlifts, and essentially ski out of control. Everyone has to realize his or her ability and ski accordingly.
Jared Criscuolo
Canton, New York

I couldn’t agree with Josh more on his advice on ski lengths Ask Josh, March/April ’01. When in doubt, go long. Too many people are undersizing and regretting it down the road.

You are right to imply a lack of knowledge among many shop employees. However, specialty ski shops (like mine) usually have well-educated staffs. I learn more about what I sell than all of my reps have ever known.
Dave Newman
ELITE Ski & Racquet
Farmington, Connecticut

Josh, tell all the guys out there to let long skis go! Shorter is better. Why? If you go shorter, you can use your edges more effectively and get more energy and rebound from the ski.
Svein Berg
Boulder Ski Deals
Boulder, Colorado

We’ll tell them, but you know what they’ll say: “Big skis, big…” (For more on the length issue and the incredible shrinking ski phenomenon, see page 108.) — Ed.

As I was reading about freezing Camel-Baks Ask Josh, December ’00, I was surprised that Josh didn’t suggest the obvious: lowering the freezing point of the water by adding some alcohol. Yes, this could defeat the purpose of hydration, but you wouldn’t need much, and you could choose what your water tastes like.
Guinevere E. Tiffin
via the Internet

An idea that’s worth a shot. Absolut Citron, perhaps? — Ed.

Appalled at your recipe for a hot toddy Back Talk, January ’01, I offer this recipe for a proper Scottish toddy:

1/3 mug Scotch whiskey (Since the hot toddy comes from Scotland, accept no substitute!)
2 teaspoons honey (To soothe the throat. Sugar’s no good. After all, the toddy is meant to be medicinal.)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (More medicine.)
6 cloves (Optional, but does help.)
Please note: no water. Don’t you Americans want hair on your chests?

Blend to taste. The honey should balance out the whiskey, the lemon balance out the honey, and the whiskey balance out the lemon. Whilst a lengthy trial period can be very enjoyable, it can cause a tendency to fall over and an inability to see straight when pouring the drink, wasting valuable whiskey (although this can be licked up when you hit the floor).

Finally, don’t overheat the mix, as this will boil all the alcohol away.
John Ray
Letchworth, England

Due to a printing error and a certain degree of editorial bungling, the Health & Fitness story “Fueling Up” by Lara McGlashan, which ran in our September ’01 issue (page 150), did not appear in its entirety. We did, however, run the very compelling first three paragraphs twice. If you’re dying to know how the story turns out, log onto for the full text, conclusion and all. Our apologies to reader and writer.