Photo and illustration by Tess Wood.
There are a myriad of ways to get what you want, and in a ski town one’s coffers can include much more than the traditional dollar. Knowing what you’ve got, and identifying what others are bringing to the table, can go a long way toward “making it”. Below are a couple of categories in which one could be rich:
1. Social Currency
Are you the hot (literally) new thing? Or maybe the most fun, drunk guy at the bar? These things can get one far, but certainly not all the way, and unfortunately not for very long. You’re a fixture in the scene now but looks fade, and being the drunkest 38 year old is not always cute. Be prepared to back it up with another one of the following.
Being a good skier (or snowboarder) is arguably most prized of all. People know your name, recognize your steeze from chairlifts above, and dream of the day they might be invited to take some turns together. Use this impressive aura to your advantage, but don’t let it go to your head. An inflated ego can put you in the red real quick.
3. Backcountry knowledge.
This makes one a very desirable touring partner, beta source, and relationship material. With this in your pocket you can have your pick of associates and friends, assuming they’re savvy enough to know what a precious resource you are.
4. Currency currency.
There are trust-funders and secret investment bankers everywhere, and this includes ski towns. This type of coinage pays off (pun very intended) in many ways, especially in a small town where the dream of home ownership hinges on a hefty down payment, mortgage, etc. No matter where it comes from money is money, and if you have it you’re more likely to be able to stick around.
5. Baked Goods
My personal favorite. Not to be confused with the green, herbal sort (which, truth be told, probably has a strong exchange rate). I actually have paid for many an item or service with pies, scones, cookies, and doughnuts. When combined with a smile, and knowing the right person, delicious treats can get you a ski tune, demos, early tram, a cheaper oil change… and the list goes on.
At the end of the day, work with what you’ve got and strive to build more of what you don’t. Nothing in life comes for free, but the smart ones seemingly never have to pay.
From The Column: From One Bum to Another
MOUNTAIN TOWN, USA — Saying she’s ready to “seriously f**k with some customers this summer,” pro river guide Kailyn Wright, 28, earned her Advanced Level 9 Bullshitting Certification on Friday. The issuing authority, the Guild of Deceptive Guides (GADG), said Wright is one of a very small number to attain the elite distinction, which confers advanced techniques for messing with customers who are largely ignorant to anything that doesn’t take place on their phone, in their living room or
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A groundbreaking academic study commissioned by Harvard University’s Department of Anthropology sent shockwaves through the action sports world Friday when preliminary findings confirmed what many have long suspected: Skiers and snowboarders share common ancestry — and have been interbreeding for over 45 years. Co-funded by Harvard University and the Ski & Snowboard Reconciliation Foundation, the study traced the genetic divergence back to a particularly raucous 1977 wet
4pm is right around the corner and you’ve been on the slopes since first chair, making turn after turn, lap after lap. You’ve had lunch and snacked along the way, fueling your adventure. Now, as you wrap up a day on the hill, your mind turns towards your plans for the night and the eventual hunger that will consume you. With the day you just put in it’s bound to happen. But you – clever you – you’re simply patting yourself on the back and smiling. You’ve done your research and are