How to Not be a Dumbass Local

A simple guide to living in a ski town

PHOTO: Chris Figenshau

1. If all you do is complain about tourists in a ski town, you might want to pick a different place to live.

2. If all you want is cheaper rent, cheaper gas, cheaper groceries, and ripe fruit, you might want to pick a different place to live.

3. If you think you’re going to live here and still have a 401k in 20 years, you might want to pick a different place to live.

4. There’s no such thing as no friends on a powder day. Unless they’re being dumbasses.

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5. Please refrain from being an arrogant asshole on the chairlift or in the bar. Somebody, somewhere, is way more of a badass than you’ll ever be.

6. If you’re going to sleep around, just know that it’s gonna come back around.

7. If you don’t have a steady place to live, you might want to hold off on getting that husky-malamute-wolf mix you found during your offseason #Freedomfest Instagram tour of Southern Utah.

8. If you’re slow on the bootpack, pull over so others can pass. If you’re fast on the bootpack, don’t be a dick about it.

9. Take an avalanche class. Don’t just follow tracks. And don’t drop in on people.

10. Make it easier for girls to go skiing. Girls like girls who ski. Guys like girls who ski. Together, we can achieve world peace, and throw killer fondue parties.

11. Ski patrollers like beer. Plow drivers like cookies.

12. If you make plans to go skiing with your friends, keep them.

13. Every ski area has different lift line culture. Be patient and learn it, or suffer the consequences.

14. Be thankful—and tip-ful—when you don’t get charged full price at the bar.

15. But don’t expect a “local” discount all the time.

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16. Being in the three- to five-year range of living in a ski town will be the best time of your life. It’s totally acceptable to be young, dumb, and stupid, but you’re also figuring it out. However, you can’t call yourself a local until you start giving back.

17. If your residency stretches beyond the decade mark, don’t act like you’re better than everyone else just because you moved here back in the day. That only means you’ve had more time to screw it up for the rest of us. Like you, 40-year-old guy who has never cleaned up his dog shit. And you, 58-year-old real estate developer who had the good fortune of being born before the rest of us, moved here in the ’80s, got his real estate license in the ’90s, developed the hell out of the place in the 2000s, and now wants to seal it off from anyone else who doesn’t have a gazillion dollars.

18. “Mountain time” is not an excuse to be late. Neither is that minivan full of tourists driving five below the speed limit. Stop riding their ass and set your clock five minutes ahead.

19. The cop parked across the street of the bar just saw you stumble into the driver’s seat at 1:30 a.m. Keep that car parked and take a taxi instead.

20. If you want to share a secret stash with your friends, remember this very important rule: Show, don’t tell. And do not hashtag sacred spots.

21. Here’s an idea: Put down your phone, chat up the person next to you, and look at the view.

22. According to Davie Agnew, a septuagenarian who has been skiing the Tetons for more than four decades, “There’s no such thing as bad snow, only bad attitudes.” Try to be more like that guy.