Richard Carnes: Embrace the SNOW flu, Vail Valley |

Richard Carnes: Embrace the SNOW flu, Vail Valley

A true disease in the minds of those choosing to be infected with it, Skiers Needing Others’ Wealth (SNOW) Flu has been spreading in the mountains around Happy Valley since the early ’60s.

Like most infectious bugs, SNOW is seasonal and appears to only contaminate those who come into direct contact with the white gold, in most cases never reaching pandemic proportions except for semi-rare occasions known as Delightfully Unusual Massive Poundings (DUMPs).

Although difficult to afford on a regular basis, many go way out of their way to catch the fever, so to speak, never bothering to deal with the consequences of their actions until Melting Under Duress season (MUD).

These are known as “true locals,” not so much for their longevity in the valley but for their uncanny ability to hang on despite the fact that they still owe two months in back rent, subsist mainly on beer and Ramen noodles and routinely toss utility bills into bear-proof containers.

Yet, as we all know, it is not their fault, for even those who can easily afford it also are afflicted with the same disease, although chances are high that it is a different, more advanced, strain of the virus.

One needs only to witness names such as Slifer, Gorsuch and Lazier for confirmation of SNOW flu’s growth process over time, thus providing more than enough data to prove evolution does indeed exist, especially for those with patience and foresight.

There is a cure, unfortunately, and it is somewhat simple yet also complicated in that it takes a village of wealthy outsiders in order for the goals of the infected to ever actually be achieved. We, the lucky-plagued, are automatically cured if these well-financed groups do not show up during extended periods of high season (anything non-MUD), thus not allowing our dreams for contamination to be fulfilled.

Lately, these wealthy outsiders have not been as ” how should I say ” fiscally regular as they have been in seasons past, and it is this lack of transmission of wealth (the actual contagion) from the outside that is going to cause the unfortunate loss of many friends, neighbors and businesses during the next few months.

Though this makes us horribly sad, the local version of the CDC (known as VRI) consistently issues official statements of concern over the infections whenever needed, doing its best to help spread the disease over large swaths of the country and even internationally as annual budgets allow.

While the idea of senselessly slaughtering thousands of innocent skis, snowboards and related equipment has occurred to a few in the island-beach travel industry, we can all sleep well knowing they will never come close to our level of (real) bug-free superiority, as long as we don’t count pine beetles.

Either way, it’s nice to know that we can sometimes be relieved during anti-SNOW seasons by another version of influenza thoughtfully known as Gracefully Older, Living Fuller (GOLF).

Now that I mention it, I do feel a little swing coming on.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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