PHOTO: Ashley Barker
PHOTO: Ashley Barker

How To Be The Best Local Ever

The Jaded Local's do's and don'ts of living in a ski town

GEARING UP

Do:

-Cultivate local hook-ups and then sell all the gear on eBay.

-Haggle shop employees making $12 an hour by trying to pay for a tune on your $1,000 all-carbon skis with a six-pack.

-Always make sure you're outfitted head-to-toe in Next Year's Shit so everyone knows that you're Kind Of A Big Deal.

-Only ski on the biggest, rockeredest, rad-guy, deep-pow, ultra-shred skis regardless of conditions. Then, blame the gear.

Don't:

-Cultivate a relationship with a shop in town and pay for your equipment and tunes, ensuring that your rig works and that you'll probably get some hook-ups down the line.

-Use whatever works.

-Ski on all kinds of skis and figure out how to have fun on all of them.

WHEN GETTING DRESSED

Do:

-Always wear Carhartts around town as if you just left the Job Site, especially if you are a bartender, massage therapist, weed dealer, or real estate agent.

-Wear your fanciest, high-performance technical apparel inbounds on sunny days as if you're doing something serious.

Don't:

-Wear silly shit on the ski hill that makes people laugh and remember that recreational skiing at a ski resort is anything but serious. The founder of the Jackson Hole Air Force normally wears a denim jacket and leather pants for OB laps, and the coolest skier in Aspen mostly sticks to acid-wash jeans and a sport coat. But what the hell do they know?

IN THE BACKCOUNTRY

Do:

-Posthole in my skin track.

-Carry a $1,000 airbag backpack in case you get in an avalanche, and a flimsy shovel with a tiny blade in case your partners do.

-Post everything you ski on Facebook and then bitch when POWDER runs an article "blowing up your spot."

Don't:

-Skin track in my posthole.

-Learn as much as you can about snow safety and practice digging a lot with your large, sturdy shovel.

-Keep the direct coordinates of your secret stash among friends.

AT THE BAR

Do:

-Expect to get hooked up by the bartender for being a local.

-Try to hook up with my girlfriend.

-Vibe your exes when you see them out and about.

Don't:

-Style the bartender and buy a round every now and then.

-Try to hook up with my ex, thus distracting her from vibing me.

IN THE TUB

Do:

-Blatantly poach condominium/hotel hot tubs and make a ruckus, get shitty drunk, and pee in the shrubbery until they put a chain-link fence around the spa area.

Don't:

-Stealthily poach condominium/hotel hot tubs with a leave-no-trace ethic, thus preserving a valuable resource for future generations.

WHEN COLLECTING FIREWOOD

Do:

-Ask to borrow my chainsaw and, by the way, where's the best spot to get wood?

-Ruin it when you stick the chain in the dirt bucking up a log on the ground.

Don't:

-Get some dust on those Carhartts and find your own damn firewood.

-Keep your chain out of the dirt by rolling the log over to finish the cuts.

ON THE FIRST SUNNY POWDER DAY AFTER A STORM

Do:

-Freak out.

-Pass cars wildly on the icy road up to the resort.

-Bitch about how long it's taking patrol to open terrain.

-Vibe people while waiting in line for the gondola to open.

-Sprint out of the top station and straightline your first run so you can get a better spot in line for the second.

-Traverse all over the place hunting for just the right aspect/line/snow conditions.

Don't:

-Trust that patrol knows what they're doing.

-Chill out and make some new friends in line.

-Traverse high on the face and then ski the fall line so I don't have to ski over a bunch of goddamn traverse tracks.

-Take the time to enjoy that first run on a powder day, pause at the top to absorb the ambiance, and be grateful that you're lucky enough to Live Here before you send it into the weightless white embrace of a billion frozen feathers.

This Jaded Local column originally published in POWDER’s December 2017 issue. Get more Jaded by subscribing here.