When you ski alone, you run the risk of riding the chair with someone awful.
Here are the four worst people you’ll meet on those never-ending chairlift rides and a few other honorable mention candidates, too.
That hotel? Wasn’t there when Mr. ThingsHaveChanged started skiing here. Neither was that lift, or snowboarders, or women for that matter.
The only reason why he’s still able to ski is because of advances in modern technology, but that modern technology also ruined skiing.
Detachable quads? Hand warmers? Helmets? HELL NO!
Things sure are different around here, he’ll tell ya. When Mr. ThingsHaveChanged started skiing here, there was one rope tow, no base lodge and it was -60 degrees every damn day.
Mr. ThingsHaveChanged starts every story with the year in which it happened and who was President.
Mr. ThingsHaveChanged is a hard one to deal with. I’d just let him tell his stories, get wound up and nod along. And DO NOT, under any circumstances bring up politics.
Whatever he’s listening to, everyone else is too. His headphones are blaring something likely very offensive to your taste and at a volume fit for no ears.
His tunes set the whole ambiance for his ski run. It builds and builds on his way up the chair and it propels him down the hill.
The key here is to not even make eye contact. He does not want to talk. He’s Major Tunage. If you try to engage him, he’ll either scream back at you without any semblance of voice modulation, or he’ll awkwardly fumble with his headphones, only to ask, “What?”
Let him be. He’s feelin’ it.
Your skis are barely off the ground before he asks you, “How do you like those?” gesturing at your setup.
The not-so-secret here is that he does not care about you or your skis. He wants you to ask him about his.
My suggestion: Just take the bait and ask him. It’ll make his day.
He’ll tell you all about them. Length, width, rocker/camber, radius, where he sets his bindings, how they’re the best pair he’s ever skied on. Then, he’ll launch into the rest of the skis in his quiver. His race night skis? Also amazing. His powder sticks? Phenomenal.
It’s nothing but the best for The Technician. He’s never skied on anything that wasn’t perfect and he would know, because he knows everything.
R.I.P. any skiers riding the Hollywood line under the chair, because the Heckler will chirp anyone. Nobody is safe.
Someone coming down on what looks to be their first run of their life? He’ll ruthlessly attack their form. Or a seasoned skier with his form under control? He’ll decimate their style.
Children? “Losers!” Old folks? “Washed!” Any female? “OW OW!”
God forbid anyone falls. Or worse…says something back to him.
Honestly, your best move here is to adequately cover your face with whatever you have on and use your body language to signal that you are not skiing with this guy.
The Cartographer: It takes him 2-3 painful minutes to unfold the map. Then he reads off every possible run by it’s exact name, but can’t make a decision. He then inevitably can’t get the map back into his pocket in time to get off the lift and causes a scene.
Mr. Misery: His boots hurt. His skis don’t work in these conditions. He can’t see anything out here in this visibility. Skiing isn’t for everyone, but especially not for this guy. He’s hungry, but everything is so expensive. The chair is SOOO slow and uncomfortable. He might just go in. Here’s to hoping he does.
Dr. TallTales: You think this is powder? Last year he skied a week of blower powder at Alta. It snowed 60 inches every night for 7 straight days and it was bluebird every day, too. Also, there was nobody there. Skied into every chair. Or was it 70 inches? Yeah, it was 70 inches.