From the #vanlife couple to the rent savers, here's every type of relationship you're bound to find in a ski town. Which one are you in? All illustrations by the talented Ryan Dee.
Ah, love. Just like people are basically the same all around the world, so are relationships. Unless you are in a ski town, and then, you will promptly find yourself in the midst of a bunch of confusing new stereotypes. These, tiny, cold, debauched towns have an exceptional way of bringing out some real peculiarities and somehow marking some real differences in what is otherwise a pretty much entirely homogenous population of people.
Of course, some people never quite get past the debauched category, but for those who make it to the next level, these are just a few of the many things that they can aspire to in their very own ski town relationship. Happy hunting!
#1: The #Hashtag #AdventurePartners
From the day they met, the hallmark of #best #adventurepartner couple is the six mirror image Instagrams posted each day, shared to Facebook (and Twitter if they’re really stepping up the game). This also guarantees that everyone will see each image many times.. so many times. Often, #adventurepartner couple is doing pretty rad things, but now that they’ve found each other, their love for selfies, self-marketing, and hopeful sponsor hashtagging is a serious – and growing - bond That they are sharing with the world every four hours with lots of @mysponsor @yoursponsor #awholebunchofgearcompaniesthatareorthatIwishweremysponsors #PC @eachother posts. Selfies at the bar, selfies on the skin track, selfies on summits! But for everyone else, it’s okay to stop following them after the first 12,000 co-posts. Which should only take about two and half weeks.
#2. The Rent Savers
Sure, they just met, but after several drunken hookups, they decided to move in together. After all, those first three days were a blast, so it only made sense. Plus, now there’s a spare room to AirBnB to weekenders from Cali, so they can halve their living expenses and, for the price of tossing a few English muffins out in the morning, price gouge some visiting schmuck! It’s a pretty enviable arrangement, that is until they sober up somewhere between 3 and 37 weeks later and break up.
But of course, each one will refuse to move out, so a power struggle ensues, one person moves to the couch, they’re not speaking to each other, and it’s really awkward for everyone. It’s best to just stay away from them until summertime, when one of them moves into a tent, and the tension that was bumming everyone else out goes away.
#3. The secret significant other
There’s only one public side of this couple. It in fact took everyone else two to three years to realize that person is even in a relationship – but they are. One spends all day skiing, and having some beers, and the other one does things like not ski and not hang out drinking beer. It’s possible they don’t leave the house. But who knows, because no one else has ever met them. There is some suspicion, but the public side just laughs, and keeps telling everyone he/she is totally in a relationship.
#4: The Alpha female
It turns out that sometimes or all the time, when female successful professionals flee big cities for the pristine mountain towns, she soon finds that there are actually only twelve other professionals in town. But after learning some ski lingo enables her to communicate and flirt with the vast pool of hot ski bums working nights in rental shops and bars, the dating world really opens up! Of course, when she gets pregnant, her chosen ski bum’s 150 ski days a year are numbered, because someone has to stay home with baby, and it's not a tough choice when her job pays about 112,000 times more than being a ski tech. It’s not so bad though – in five to seven very long years, the kids will be in school and then – tram laps all day every day are back on!
#5: The Queen and King of the Tram Dock
You don’t need an actual tram dock to have a Queen and King of the tram dock, because every ski hill has their own version. They met as part of a shred posse, but they soon broke off, and now only ski with each other, every day, speak only in their very own ski lingo, pound simultaneous cheap beers at aprés, and are back in line first thing in the morning. Every day. Some people love them, some people hate them, but now that they got matching sponsors, it’s hard to ignore them. Their reign will continue on until the next duo comes on the scene with fatter skis, lighter bindings, way trendier kits, and a cheap beer brand so trendy Brooklyn doesn’t even know about yet, and handily stages a coup d’tram dock.
#6: The Workaholics
As far as anyone can tell, these two don’t even hang out with each other ever. They met at work at a restaurant, or landscaping, or some other skid job, and they work all the time at four different jobs. Each. They have no shifts that line up either at work or outside of work, and people forget they are a couple as you never ever see them together. But it seems to be working for them, as they’ve just invited you to their wedding that will be timed in between shifts on the one day a year they have several hours off at the same time. You feel sorry for them until they quit their nine combined jobs, take off and travel the world skiing for three years with their huge cash savings fund, and turn into an #adventurepartner couple.
#7: The #VanLife Couple
The #vanlife couple met on social media when they discovered each other’s Instagram documentation transforming their scrap heap camper van/schoolbus/RV from 1982 into a new ski home for the winter and/or next six years. Logically, they sell one and move into the other one with 1-3 dogs and sometimes a baby on the way. This couple can span many tax brackets, and range from the ex-corporate litigator duo that connected over $80,000 Sportsmobiles, or the pair in the $1500 van parked near the playground you think might be eating cat food to save up for gas money so they can chase the next storm. Regardless, they will all likely annoy/inspire you for the next season/six years on social media posting epic road trip images and a lot of smug little #vanlife inside jokes and decorating tips.
#8: The Unequal Skill and/or Stoke Couple
A common ski town match is a super amped (not necessarily good, just… amped) skier paired with a more nonchalant skier. You can spot them on the skintrack, with the amped skier about 3 miles ahead of their partner. At transitions, amped skier, ready to head to shred down ten minutes ago, will be making snide comments about the inefficiency of nonchalant half and inability to buckle their boots faster. Inbounds, you’ll find them on their own chairlift, because amped person is already super pissed to have to spend half the day schussing around, stopping for hot chocolate, and thinking of ways to make insults about skills sound like encouragements so they don’t get yelled at. They will compensate by suggesting their partner ski things that will paralyze them with fear, based solely on amped skier saying, “You’ll be fine… you got this!” followed by the traumatized partner going in for the day, while relieved amped skier heads off to find more amped ski buddies.
Ski towns are small towns. Really small. Whether you want to or not, you know too much about everyone else. And you keep seeing that one person that you like, but he/she is always in a relationship. But with different people. And you start to wonder how you can become one of those people. You’ve finally caught on that most relationships in said ski town are short-lived and doomed to fail. Hence, the development of the relationship vulture, a phenomenon where onlookers of both sexes wait out the four days to three weeks of a clearly doomed to fail partnership. As soon as it does, they move on the dibs, ask them out, and the vulture line shifts down one. Some people call this serial monogamy – in a ski town, it’s dibs.
From The Column: Ski Town Caricatures
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