Skiing and snowboarding are pretty much the only things that make the winter months tolerable — in fact, they’re so much fun that people use them as justification to live in the otherwise unbearable state of Utah … that's how great they are.
But, as with most fun activities, the people who enjoy them — who’ve created entire cultures around them — tend to make them nearly unbearable. Nowhere is this more true than at ski resorts, where ski and snowboard culture has bred a few distinct species of trash people you're bound to run into sooner or later.
So, in the name of totally uncalled for saltiness (we've had too many run-ins with them to play cute), here are some of them now.
1. Other People's Spawn
For some inexplicable reason, there are people in this world that like children. Not so at a ski resort.
On the slopes, there is a weird, collective, silent understanding about this — everyone hates the kids, but no one really says anything about it because how can you hate something so pure an innocent?
Pretty easily, it turns out.
From the 4-year-olds pizza’ing their way down the entire mountain to the 8-year-old wannabe racer kids recklessly darting across trails like an injured hummingbird, every child is sucking the fun out of what would otherwise be a good day on the mountain. Oh yeah, and kids yell. Like, a lot … which really fucks with our hangovers.
Sure, call us irrationally jealous because they're better than us, but come on — that precocious younger Chadwick just learned to snowboard last week and he already thinks he's better than us. Not all of us have rich parents and the cartilaginous flexibility of human bubble gum, Chadwick. If that's even your real name.
2. The Denim Dans
Cotton is the categorical worst material you could possibly wear skiing, but somehow, denim manages to be even worse. Sure, functionally cotton and denim are one in the same, but when you take denim on the mountain, there seems to be some sort of neurological interaction between its wearer’s brain and the indigo fabric that disrupts all reasoning and motor skills. Under its influence, people don’t zig -zag down like the rest of us — rather, they seem to follow the same flight path as a bee on DMT, weaving in and out and up and down in a way that makes no quantifiable sense, occasionally bursting out of some mountainside shrubbery like fucking 007 James Bond just to prove that their skiing style is as unconventional and racy as their soaked jeans.
This causes anyone wearing jeans on the mountain to be an immediate risk to themselves and others. If you see denim on the mountain it is imperative to keep your distance. Luckily Denim Dans are easy to spot — much like a colorful poison dart frog, they stick out in the wild and look so unnatural that most would never dare to approach them.
3. The Costume People
The banana costume people, the gorilla costume people, the middle-aged woman wearing a pink ruffled tutu, the person in the elephant or monkey onesie, the person in the inflatable sumo wrestler costume, etc. … stop it. Just stop it.
Your costume isn’t funny, and what you think looks quirky and shows off how much fun you’re having is actually ruining everyone’s day because you’re so painfully unaware that no one else finds your outfit ironic. You seem to be positively begging for attention and acknowledgement, but hey, that's not our bag. We didn't come here to affirm you. The secondhand embarrassment is debilitating, so please, save your costumes and antics for the next So-and-So-Con or furry cuddle party.
4. That Family in the Lodge
You know which one we're talking about —every ski lodge in America is plagued by one.
How is it possible that a family of 4 manages to take up 6 tables in a lodge? Why the hell do you have a 40-gallon cooler with you? This isn’t a tailgate before a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. What could you possibly have in there? Are you planning on taking the snow home with you? Get your cooler out of here and give up 75 percent of the lodge real estate you’re occupying with your plethora of gear and lunch boxes. Space is at a premium here, people.
5. Chair lift People
The scores of annoying people you’ll encounter on a chair lift are so bountiful that it’s only fair to break this section into three subsections.
The chair lift novices
Yeah, we’ve all been new to skiing and snowboarding at some point. Getting on and off the lift isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it also isn’t as hard as so many people make it seem. It’s hard to say which is more annoying — the people that can’t get on the lift or the ones that can’t get off. Wait, who are we kidding? Those are all the same people!
The over-eager safety man
Half the time you get on a chair lift, there will be that one dude that takes it upon himself to guarantee the safety of all passengers by ripping the safety bar down within 2 microseconds of getting on the lift. Hey buddy … relax. You just nailed 3 people in the head with the bar because you want to impress your 19-year-old boss with your unwavering commitment to safety. Even if we all fell off the lift right here, we’re pretty sure we’d survive the 4-foot fall. Thanks, though.
Your new best friend
Sometimes, lift rides can be spent chatting to a nice stranger. Sometimes.
Other times, the overwhelming amount of information that complete strangers feel the need to divulge on the 10-minute lift ride is unbearable. We don’t need to know that you’re here with your great aunt that you haven’t seen since you lived in Tulsa 18 years ago, and that you think Tulsa was a good place to grow up but you’re glad you moved. Oh you met your husband in Tulsa? No way? That’s incredibly interesting, Janet! Now let’s pretend like we’re not sitting next to each other, how about that?
6. The Agro Ski Patrol Dude Who Flunked Out of Police Academy
Ski patrol provide an invaluable resource on the mountain, but there is always that one ski patrol guy who really wanted to be a cop but didn’t possess the smarts or glowing personality required to pass the police exam. Now, he's taken to the slopes to lay down the law … and satitate his bloodlust for sanctioned bullying and control.
We get it dude, you have a red jacket on and you demand respect. No need to be the mountain hallway monitor writing everyone warnings for going too fast or having too much fun.
7. Skiers when they’re not skiing
Walking behind a person wearing ski boots is like what we imagine it’s like to get boxed out by LeBron James in game 7 of the NBA Finals. With their constant flailing about and awkward heel-to-toe robotic gait, they are nearly impossible to pass on a walkway or even worse — a set of stairs. Also, how come no skier can manage the seemingly simple task of carrying a pair of skis and poles at the same time? Is it really that difficult? Is the over the shoulder method really the best? It’s certainly the best method of nearly decapitating everyone that comes within a 10-foot distance of you.
8. The Girl Whose Boyfriend Is Teaching Her to Snowboard
If you want an easy and surefire way to break up with your girlfriend, try and teach her how to snowboard — it’s a bonafide fact that more guys have ruined their relationships by trying to teach their girlfriend to snowboard than through infidelity.
If you value your relationship with someone even the smallest amount. then you cannot try to teach them to snowboard. It isn’t going to work. They are going to hate you, think you’re an idiot because you can’t teach for shit and they will blame you every single time they fall. Tears are likely and regrettable things will be said. Pay 40 bucks for a lesson and save yourself the embarrassment of getting yelled at by an irate girl on the bunny slope.
9. The People Who Don't Understand Peripheral Vision
Something happens to reasonable people when they’re at a ski resort — they inexplicably lose all ability to see what’s next to them. And no, don’t even try to blame ski goggles for this phenomenon, because this happens when people are wearing goggles and when they’re not. It might make some sense if this only happened during the act of skiing but people are running into each other in line for overpriced chili. Sure, goggles shield your periphs a little bit but not to the point that you’re wearing horse blinders. Look around you people, come on.
10. The Overconfident Novice
Oh, the overconfident novice. What a peculiar bunch indeed. Is it logical to attempt the gnarliest trail a resort has to offer after barely making it down a green trail without shattering your skull? No. Does that stop the overconfident novice? Of course not!
Novice skiers and snowboarders a like love to find the trail named something like “BONEYARD” or “GUARANTEED DOUBLE ACL TEAR, HAVE GOOD INSURANCE” and skid their way down the near vertical drop. It never ever works out for them, thus leaving you to dodge the corpses of these overconfident novices as you make your way down the trail unfazed. Isn’t skiing fun?