How to Know if You’re Finally a “Local” Skier
Being local in a ski town is often a bit of a misconception. Except for the minute percentage that actually was born and raised in the mountains, most people have another hometown from whence they grew up. When many arrive on the scene, they are so enthralled with the fact they are finally living the dream that the term “local” gets thrown around a bit casually, so much so that it has slightly lost it’s meaning. I’ve heard people with every foreign accent under the sun exclaim they are local, only to find out that they had been in town not even a month!
It’s understandable, though… who wouldn’t want to associate themselves with the rad lifestyle that goes along with living in a ski resort? Not to mention all your jealous friends who will see the update when you change the “lives in” section of their Facebook profile. But doing so diminishes the status of those who have earned it the hard way – through years of squalor, injury, hangovers, and endless stoke that comes from a lifestyle that is the envy of many.
In case you didn’t know yourself, here are a few signs to know that you have made it into the status of “Local” in a ski resort town.
- “Getting it on” on the Gondola – A gondola can be a safe haven in a storm, and a perfect way to heat things up if necessary. If your resort doesn’t have a gondola, a lifty hut or patrol shack will do. Even bigger bonus points for a chairlift. That one is a bit dangerous though… watch out for frostbite!
- Claiming a closet, crawlspace, or attic as a bedroom – We all have to make ends meet somehow, and using any available house space will help save some money. Plus, who wants to spend extra money on a room that you’ll only be passing out in? Save that money for gear and beer.
- Getting up the mountain without a pass – No money for a pass? If you are truly local that won’t stop you from getting your turns in. There are many ways to sneak your way onto the hill. I had one friend who did over 80 days in a season with no pass, using seemingly jedi-mind-trick skills to simply walk past the ticket validators without batting an eye. Once you have your figured your tactic, you are well on your way to earning your local stripes.
- Losing the aggro – Many “false” locals – the ones who have not been here long but long enough to think they know everything have a bit of an attitude. They feel that the mountain is theirs, and that they have the right to treat others as beneath them. Yet they fail to acknowledge the fact that in relation to real locals, they still don’t have a single clue. After a few years on the hill doing what you love, you begin to realize that no, those tourists won’t be poaching your lines, and you don’t need to budge ahead in the lift line. You find out that being nice to people is just a good way to live. You also stop rushing, knowing that you’ll get there when you get there, and there is always tomorrow. Once you figure that out, you are almost at the level to call yourself local.
Finally, the #1 reason that you will know that you are local:
- You don’t need to check a list to see if you qualify as being local.