Sunday, 8 January 2012

Culture of a Ski Bum

We live in a strange society as we all know.  The stress, long work hours and the corporate ladder that we all try to climb, if not for status, for our egos.
It is a breath of fresh air.  Literally, when you are outdoors and breathing heavy. A breath of fresh air leaving society behind and living and breathing in a culture where pig tails, hairy faces, and tan lines much like a sorry looking raccoon is acceptable.  It is a lifestyle when everyone has a big smile and laughter is heard throughout the waking day.  Sleep is inevitable!  Try to stay awake after a playful day outdoors, breathing in fresh, clean air and basking in the sunshine, or free facials in the cold crisp wind with snow pellets slapping your frozen cheeks red.
Our daily routine begins with; first of all, waking up.  The most difficult part of the day is lifting our heavy head of the pillow.  We look out the window for new snow and off to the bathroom, brush our teeth, and the rest of the body necessities.  Next, vitamins, coffee...more coffee and a BIG breakfast.  Meat, eggs, toast, plenty of fruit and more meat. (unless you are a vegetarian.  Don't forget the oatmeal with honey!  Pack on the calories.  You will burn it off by lunch time.  Bob does not wear a watch.  His stomach is the most accurate form of timekeeping we know of.  It knows when it is noon as his belly is empty and he is running out of steam.  Time to have lunch.  Dinner is the same routine. 
After breakfast, it is the routine of dressing up in our gear.  Layer upon layer of clothing.  Why is it the bladder alarm signals as soon as the long johns are pulled up.  Don't forget to put on the ski pants before the boots!  We talk from experience.  You don't want to repeat that process too many times.
We wait......and wait, until we see the chair squeak its first round and the safety check is complete.
Time to load up and we are swept off our feet and travel on a high speed quad to the top of the mountain. 
Skiing on natural snow is luxurious.  Soft silky powder that is silent and hypnotic as we dance and sway through the powder above the clouds as we watch the sun rise over the next mountain range a warm our faces and hearts.  Time to play in the trees. 
Tree skiing or glades is a rush.  We have become Snow Junkies!  You just can't get enough.  The more there is, the more you want.
At the end of a typical ski day.  (when the lifts close and ski patrol sends us home) it's time for beer.  The skiing population now migrates to the closest pub.  Here, it is the T-Bar.  Standing room only and a jug of beer to share.  Apr es ski is compulsory. Here, we drink locally brewed beer, exchange stories, compare injuries, and vote on the best yard sale and the craziest ballerina move and face slide in the snow.  Here we alert our fellow ski bums of all the snow cookies, death pies, snow snakes and land sharks we have spotted on the mountain.
The fashion trend of apres ski bum is slippers/ski boots, long johns, turtle necks and helmet head and toques.  Lip balm and Vaseline replaces lipstick. Bandages and knee braces replace any form of bling.
On a powder day, the towns work on a skeleton schedule.  Work on a powder day!  Are you out of your mind!  First tracks and to the top.  This is the unwritten rule of living the life of a ski bum.  Schools will close, banks will post a sign; back tomorrow. Pubs will have the special of the day.  And SKI we will.
We love frozen faces, snotty noses and face masks! Hurting is for pansies and princesses (I'm only repeating what I was told) Suck it up and ski.  Heal at home.  Your physiotherapist is your best friend. And, of course, play hard.  There is always Tylenol and Hot chocolate and amaretto to sooth the body and soul at the end of the day.

WE ARE THE TRUE SNOWBIRDS... We flock to the mountains where there is snow, plenty of sunshine and great cold, crisp weather..Yes, we do suntan!

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