The Jaded Index

Figures cited are the latest available from an empty bottle of Tuaca

“The Jaded Index” is not a registered trademark. This story originally published in the January 2016 issue of POWDER (44.5). PHOTO: The Jaded Local contemplates the numbers of all things skiing at Mammoth Mountain. Photo by Christian Pondella

FIS mandatory specification for a men’s downhill ski: At least 218cm

FIS mandatory specification for a men’s slalom ski: 165cm

How much more entertaining ski racing would be if those specs were switched: 100 percent

Odds that a ski-related Instagram post will contain a majestic backdrop and inspirational hashtagging: 99/100

Cost to access 13 miles of eastbound express toll lane on Colorado’s I-70 during busy weekends this winter, per mile: $2.31

Rank of that cost among toll lanes/roads nationally, per mile: 1st

Odds that a weekend traffic jam on Colorado’s I-70 will lead to a post-apocalyptic Mad Max scenario: 1 in 3

How #inspirational that would be on Instagram: 100/100

Annual economic impact of Colorado’s legal weed market: $700 million

Its percentage of Colorado’s economy: 0.25

Degree to which the legal and illegal weed economy is subsidizing American ski towns: Thanks, hippies, for making it possible for thousands of ski bums to survive, and for tourists from Oklahoma to open their third eye, legally.

Number of U.S. ski areas in 1998: 521

In 2015: 470

Number of them that Vail would like to own: 470

Estimated growth in U.S. snowsports since 1998: 0

Maximum cost of unlimited season pass to Jackson Hole: $1,750

Where that ranks among other U.S. ski resorts: 7th, behind Deer Valley, $2,435; Sun Valley, $2,399; Stowe, $2,224; Aspen, $2,099; Telluride, $1,989; and Okemo, $1,809

How all those numbers make me feel: Shitty

Number of unmarried women in the ski town where you live: 400

Number of those who are between boyfriends right now: 56

Number of remaining women after you subtract your friends’ ex-girlfriends and your ex-girlfriends: 3

Best places to “accidentally” bump into them, ranked: 1. Organic food section of the supermarket; 2. That steep-ass trail above town; 3. Coffee shop adjacent to the holistic massage studio; 4. Post office

Number of skis you have to file before you are proficient at hand-tuning, according to a 35-year veteran: 500 pair

Number of times you file your skis before you remove enough edge material to make them un-tuneable: 10ish

Number of ensuing cuts plus steel splinters in fingers: 5 to 7

How your hand-tunes will probably ski, rated on a four-star system: Half star

Cost of a tune at a ski shop: $40-$60, or beer equivalent

Likelihood that a ski tech who works for beer is proficient in ski tuning: 1 in 7

Number of times you actually need to tune your skis per season if you don’t crunch a bunch of rocks like a beater: 1

Chance that someone will start an innovative new ski company in 2016 based on the radical fusion of “art, music, and life”: 100 percent

Chance that someone will start an innovative new boot or binding company in 2016: 1 in 1,000,000

Chance that the new ski company’s skis will be fun and functional: 4/5

Chance that the new ski company’s skis will actually innovate: 1 in 1,000,000

Number of ski areas building zip-lines and alpine coasters: All of them

Odds that I can make Backcountry Alpine Coastering a thing: With some epic POV edits and a stimulant beverage sponsorship, it should be no problem.