Allow us to make an introduction: Meet Sweet Jane, our ski town advice columnist. Not her real name, also not that sweet. This sound advice was first published in the November 2017 (46.4) issue of POWDER.
How do I ditch my splitboarding boyfriend this winter? I love him, but he's slow and I've got to figure out how to leave him behind.
—Natalie, Girdwood, AK
Patience is a virtue many of us lack. I am all for slow-boarders finding a way to skin into the backcountry, but I get it: You can't stand waiting for him to play Legos with his set-up while you are clipped in and ready to drop. Most would argue that if it's true love, you'd wait for him no matter the speed or stakes. But I ask you this: Does your boyfriend wait for you to finish first when you're in bed? Probably not. Therefore, you can ditch his ass whenever you please and say something along the lines of, 'Sorry babe, I just can't help it.'
I'm the only one of my friends that is smart in the backcountry. I constantly fear that I'm going to have to dig them out if something happens because they are all idiots.
—Delilah, Alpine, WY
Your concern is valid and you're well within your rights to tell them "no, thanks" on skiing in the backcountry together until they wise up. Who's going to dig you out if you get buried? Last winter, I met a man skiing alone in the backcountry in southern Montana. I asked him to check my transceiver signal, to which he said, "Oh, I don't have a satellite phone."
Some people are clueless.
It's fun to laugh at the guy with his goggles on upside down, but with safety in the backcountry, you have to speak up. Be Team Mom. Give them tips, lessons, demonstrations, and scold them if you must, but don't coddle them. Kids with daddy issues get a bad rap, but the ones who were over-mothered are intolerable. We've all had a roommate who didn't have to do chores growing up and somehow made it into adulthood without the slightest clue how to wash a dish or wipe their ass.
Sure, you could avoid hurting their feelings and clean up after them, or you could kick their soft, supple trustafarian ass into gear and stop enabling them. And while dirty dishes are enough to make you want to throw an egg-encrusted breakfast plate at an entitled roommate, lack of knowledge in the backcountry is serious and the consequences deadly.
My granola environmentalist friends freak out when I don't recycle my beer cans, but they have no problem driving their huge trucks to the mountains. What gives?
—Parker, Ogden, UT
Dude, you don't recycle your beer cans? What is wrong with you? Your friends are totally allowed to give you shit for that. However, the hypocrisy is clear. Your friends sound like the Portland hipsters who pride themselves on living in a secluded A-frame cabin in the woods with their hand-chopped firewood but are desperate for Wi-Fi to give them access to all the succulents they need on Amazon Prime, not to mention Instagram. How else will they show the internet and society their rejection of the internet and society?
Same as those who won't eat meat because cows create too much methane in the atmosphere but have no problem brappin' around on a snowmobile. You're not going to change their minds, just as I won't change yours. But that won't stop me from telling you to recycle your damn beer cans, dude.