Allow us to make an introduction: Meet Sweet Jane, our new ski town advice columnist—because we're just trying to help skiers get some. Not her real name, also not that sweet. Illustration by Daniel Frost. This sound advice originally appeared in the September 2015 (44.1) issue of POWDER.
Will a beard up my game in a ski town? What about a goatee/soul patch?
Chad, 29, Seattle, Washington
Allow me to clear up this misconception with some straight talk: Being a hipster douche is not sexy, and beards—as a hipster-douche trend—are about as hot as mom jeans. Unless you can fix your own truck, bag and tag an elk, effectively wield a chainsaw and a drill, or just generally be a useful person to have around in the Apocalypse, you have no business rocking the facial-hair styling of Real Men. It might help you in Brooklyn, but in a ski town it's just false advertising, and us ladies really don't appreciate that. I'm going to pretend you didn't ask about the soul patch.
Want to watch my GoPro edits?
Sam, 27, Breckenridge, Colorado
Is your name Sage Cattabriga-Alosa? Is your POV footage going to make me feel the intensity of your first descent down a high-consequence Alaskan spine? Am I watching it on a massive screen with surround-sound at a TGR premiere? No? Then no, man, I don't want to watch your GoPro edits. Neither does anybody else. That said, my friends and I really enjoyed making fun of your helmet cam and selfie stick while standing in the lift line. So your efforts haven't been a total waste of time.
At what age do I technically become a cougar?
Molly, 34, Bend, Oregon
Any age you want, Molly. He's 18 and you're 24: cougar. You're 31 and he's 21: Raaaawr! You're 41 and he's 21? You get a standing ovation. Date of birth is irrelevant, grasshopper; cougar is a state of mind.
Where did all these yuppies come from? And since when did tacos cost 13 bucks?
Steve, 40, Jackson, Wyoming
Since the first chairlifts were installed in the mountains surrounding mining and ranching towns, the shape and character of what we now call "ski towns" have been in a near constant state of evolution. In all this time, what has never changed is that each of these towns is home to generations of old, crusty locals who all believe that what they experienced there when they were in their 20s was the most authentic version of it. Tacos started costing 13 bucks when the starting wage for a ski town dishwasher was raised to 12. If you can't afford it by now, babe… at least you've got some really great memories.
"You don't lose your girl, you just lose your turn." Why are ski town chicks such skeezing flirts?
Troy, 23, Tahoe, California
That cliché is older than you are, Troy. You can do better. Want to know why she left you? Try this pop quiz: If the ski industry wasn't so cliquey, would you totally have a movie part by now, or at least some free gear? Does smiling in line on a powder day make you less hardcore? When you can't land tricks in the park, do you throw tantrums? Is it possible that you were so focused on being the most extreme/pro dude ever that you failed to notice how bored she was? Does her new boyfriend do other fun, outdoorsy stuff with her? Does he make her laugh? Did you? If she asked you to take a break from holding hands with your bros in Gnarly Town, would you? Would you secretly resent her for it? Was she ever actually your girlfriend? None of that applies, you say? Well then… Maybe she's just the wrong girl for you, and good riddance. Or maybe you're just a really shitty lay. Hard sayin'.
Have something you want to ask Sweet Jane? Hit her up at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject: Sweet Jane.