I think this might be my first blog post for another site actually. Well at least one that I was paid for.
Being a local at a huge ski resort allows for some interesting insights. You see things at a much different pace than others who populate the mountain. The constant cycle of the seasons allows one to see patterns in personalities – characters if you will – people who may look different on the surface, but seem to parallel the same attributes of many others before (and after) them.
Here is a brief rundown of some of those characters that I have noticed throughout the years. There are also many more, and I’d love to hear some of your favorite in the comments below.
For now, here is a list to get you started:
The Uber-Keen Seasonnaire – This person is pretty easy to spot, as all their gear is brand spakin’ new. They probably maxed out their credit card (or got a ‘loan’ from Mom and Dad) and are taking a year off traveling after University before going back to “The Real World” of the rat race. Hit them up for drinks at the bar, they just might have a bit of credit left on that card…
The Hardcore – This person works 60 hours a week and still manages to get up every day. They are there on good days and bad, for powder days and ice, and everything in between. Don’t get in their way, as they will not stop for you. Don’t ask where they are going, as you won’t be able to catch up anyway.
The Rich – These people are what make the resort a resort. They provide jobs to the workers, as well as great material for any resident comedians about the things they say. Woefully ignorant, you gotta wonder sometimes what the state of our society is when richest 1% of the population can drop $2,000 on a ski outfit they will wear for one week while the rest of the world goes hungry. But alas, these people are here to stay, and until it all comes crashing down I’ll still call them “Sir/Ma’am” until the paycheck is gone.
The Peter/Paula Pan – These characters are living the dream, and have done so for the past 20 years. They have no intention of growing old, and you will see them in the same bars as kids half their age, and they might even have a kid who is older. But they love the lifestyle, and look the part too. Maybe it’s something in the water.
The Olympian – While everyone else is praying for powder, this character wants the ski runs to be as hard as possible so they can shuss down it in a skin suit as fast as possible. They follow a strict protein diet, and you’ll never see them at the bar until after a competition. For them skiing or snowboarding isn’t recreation, its serious business.
The Loudmouth Almost-local – This person has spent a few seasons in town, and now is ready to self-proclaim themselves a local. They will tell you how much they know, and where to go, and give plenty of unsolicited advice, just to reassure themselves that they are part of the inner circle. What they fail to realize is that it takes many, many years of blood, sweat and tears to be considered a local. You can’t jump into that description willy-nilly. Yet people do it all the time, and I show them how little they know by asking them to show me where to go. If they sheepishly admit to not knowing everything, then if they are lucky they might get shown a new spot that the real locals know about.
The Master Local – The Master Local cannot be attained, it must be bestowed upon either birthright, or the general consensus of everyone else knowing that this person belongs here. They have a calm, quiet… almost zen-like attitude while on the slopes. They shred like it’s nobody’s business, but don’t care for the publicity and hype of the industry recognition in sponsorships or shots in a magazine. They live a simple, yet comfortable life, and have found a way to capitalize on the tourist economy somehow. But above all else, they are here for the mountains and the happinness it brings them. In turn, they share that happiness with others. It is these types of people that make a true ski town what it is… and should be the “character” that everyone in a ski town should aspire to become.