This story originally published in POWDER’s November 2016 issue (Vol. 45 Issue 3). PHOTO: Jay Goodrich

I. Guy who doesn't want to talk to you on the gondola:
Yes, I'm acting like a dick with my hood up, goggles down, and earbuds in—but not because I have anything against tourists. It's just that I know exactly what's coming. "Are you from here?" you'll ask. "How long have you lived here?" You'll say how great it must be to live the ski life and how you wish you could, too, and I won't mention how I live in a drafty woodshed, work three jobs, and suspect that my girlfriend is sexting an Australian named Simon who works with her at the ski shop. I have to clock in at the bar in 45 minutes where I might see you again and possibly also Simon, who will vigorously hit on your wife. These moments of crystalline swooping freedom are all I'm living for right now. So I'm just going to stare at my boot buckles and pretend that I can't hear you. Please don't take it personally.

II. Guy who doesn't want to talk to you on the gondola because he actually is a dick:
Yeah, I'm a local. Moved here three years ago and it's awesome. But tourists are kooks and too much conversation is bad for my rep. Being a local is all about the image, which is why I sag my pants just perfectly, and bought the fattest skis I could find. Well, Dad bought them, and for some reason I'm always in the backseat. But they look badass on the gonjola! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to shove your kid out of the way so I can follow that guy with the beard over there—he's supposed to know all the sweet OB stashes.

III. Bearded man cursing at you for following him through the backcountry gate:
Right now, you need to go back inbounds. It's storming, you don't have a beacon, and you're about to traverse over a cliff band where people have died. If I was really an asshole I'd just shrug and let you blunder to your doom, but I don't have time to dig you out.

IV. Australian ski instructor hitting on your wife at the bar:
G'day mate, name's Simon. I know this is a bit awkward, but it's a bloody sausage fest up here. You've brought your wife to Testosterone Town and I've an obligation to give her the attention she deserves. She doesn't seem to mind, either—intrigued by the accent, no doubt. Look, I get it: A busy man can't always give a Sheila all the love she needs. But wouldn't that be the ultimate loving gesture, to just look the other way while we go for a quick sweaty fumble in the loo?

V. Waitress who won't give you the time of day:
Feel free to stiff me if you want. My flirty smile is used up for the day and my feet are killing me. I know you guys came up here on a boy's ski trip and now you want to meet girls. You should have brought some with you. We've already got a surplus of horny, half-lit dudes, and like every heterosexual woman in town I have one—a strapping skier who hand-carves furniture from reclaimed wood and tends bar at night. But honestly, between groups of dudes on vacation, third-year locals acting like dicks, and Simon hitting on me all day at the ski shop, I'm ready to move to the city where you wouldn't give me the time of day. Really, all I want is to do gondola laps by myself with my hood up, goggles down, and earbuds in.