It’s 8:45 a.m. and first chair-seekers are populating the base lodge at your favorite ski hill.
They’ve come from far and wide in the common search of turns, but none of them are even remotely common people.
Here are 5 people you see at the base before the lifts open:
1. The Stressed Out Father of 5
A weary pack mule, this man schleps equipment and outwear for five young children into the lodge as early as he can.
His wife took the option on this ski day, leaving this once adventurous skier alone to get 10 ski boots and 10 skis onto 10 legs of his five unruly children.
At no point are all five kids moving in the same direction and they refuse to gear up, go to the bathroom or stand in the ticket line at the same time.
This man wants his turns so badly, that he chooses to herd the nonexistent attention spans of five kids onto the lifts and into the alpine, just to hear them complain about boot pain, the difficulty of runs and the behavior of their siblings.
2. The Full Dresser
He lives just 15 minutes away from the hill, but refuses to put one single piece of gear on before he gets to the base lodge.
In walks this specimen with a full ski bag, boot bag and duffel bag full of under and outerwear.
He unloads all of the gear at a common table and starts laying it out, shuttling back and forth to the bathroom to put on long johns and other paraphernalia.
After 45 long, agonizing minutes, he’s finally dressed and now has to try and jam this three different bags under a random table and hope for the best.
He, of course, gets the last laugh, as he gets to drive home in comfort in his street clothes…after a 45-minute undressing and re-packing process.
3. The ‘It’s Never Too Early’ Gal
A *Skkkrrrrpopppp* breaks the sleepy silence in the base lodge as this wonderful human cracks her third to fifth beer of the morning.
After all, it’s a ski day and you have to make the most of it, no matter how early that means starting things off.
People around her, their Midwestern judgement pouring out of their eyes, know she’ll be asleep one some random bench or Adirondack chair in just hours, secretly wish they were joining her.
Why wait for the bar to open and pay a pretty penny for your drinks? Bring your beers along and you don’t have to pace yourself.
She operates under Midwest Ski Journal’s principal motto: “Skiing’s expensive. Do what you have to do to enjoy it.”
4. The Loudest and Least Informed Guy in the Room
One of skiing’s (and life’s) greatest mysteries is why the least informed and most ignorant person in the room is also always the loudest.
Our guy here stomps into the base lodge just after dawn with A LOT to say.
Among the topics of conversation he’s having with seemingly nobody: How this place used to be so much better, his last night’s dinner and today’s breakfast, his plan of attack for his first 15 runs of the day, his lunch plan, the equipment tweak he made that everyone MUST do, why the Packers are a lock for the 2021 Super Bowl, and why his trip to Big Sky four years ago proves that he can ski anything (as long as his boots fit right.)
Listening to this guy is exhausting. If you’re in this lodge without headphones or someone to commiserate with, you might just snap. BUT DON’T! That’s exactly what he wants. He needs to know you’re listening.
5. Mr. Hardcore
He click-clacks through the base lodge ready to CRUSH some vertical on this Saturday morning.
Head to toe, he’s wearing about $4,500 worth of equipment and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Don’t compliment him on any of it, though. That’s not a 2.5-hour conversation you want to sign on to.
By the time you turn your head to look his way, he’s already in the lift line buckling, unbuckling and re-buckling his boots.
His bibs are done up tight, his powder skirt is fixed in place and his technical shell is snug and impenetrable.
He knows exactly where he’s going when he gets to the top of the lift and he’s rolling his eyes in the front of the line as you ordinary people plot your far worse course down the mountain.