A few seasons ago, Dave and I bought brand new snowboards. It was a big purchase for us and one that made us a little apprehensive, since we try to be careful about what we consume. We love our winter adventures though, so we gave REI our credit card and bought beautiful Arbor boards. Literally, they are beautiful.
That weekend, we went snowboarding with my dad at a little hill near home. It was tons of fun until a skier took on a hill he couldn’t handle and smashed into me from behind. He hit the back of my board and sent me tumbling. I eventually ran into the chairlift post, which was uncomfortable but not disastrous. The saddest part was that he chipped by gorgeous board.
I think about that story whenever a skier says that boarders need to get off the mountains, which happens a lot. We get blamed for taking up too much space on top of the runs (no more than little ski school babies), scraping all the snow off the mountain (ok, this we do), and just generally acting recklessly (flying down a snowy mountain on a wooden board is inherently a little crazy, regardless of whether you’re strapped to one or two planks).
So that brush with death (or a mild concussion) was at the top of my mind when reading about a recent skier/snowboarder scuffle. While on a chairlift this weekend in Aspen, a skier got angry at a snowboarder’s joke. Honestly, he probably just didn’t understand the humor between all the “dude” and “man” mumblings. The skier got so mad that he pushed the boarder off the lift. While it was heading up the mountain! In Aspen! Falling off a chairlift is one of my worst nightmares, so I wasn’t happy to read that my fear could be realized not only by mechanical malfunctions or my own stupidity, but also the jerkiness of strangers. Luckily, the boarder was totally chill (as they are), landed in some powder, and went down the run.
The best part of this story is that the boarder didn’t report the situation until the end of the day, because he didn’t want it to ruin his time on the mountain. Because, priorities, bro.