The Foggy Mountain disappearing act | VailDaily.com
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The Foggy Mountain disappearing act

Compiled by Allen R. Smith

One day I was relaxing in the base lodge on a day where a thick shroud of fog blanketed the top of the mountain.Recognizing my ski instructor uniform, a non-skiing gentleman walked up to me and asked, “Excuse me sir. Can I ask you a question?” I said, “Sure, go right ahead.””I’ve been watching all those people ride that chair thing up into the fog. And I notice that all of the chairs on the other side of the cable seem to be coming back down empty. What happened to all of those folks?”I did my best to maintain the seriousness of the moment and said, “Well, you see all of those people skiing down the hill?” He nodded yes, that he had. “Well, that’s them. That chairlift takes them up to the top of the mountain and then they get off so that they can ski down.”He backed off, and then looked at me as if I was trying to sell him some Nevada beachfront property. Desperately trying to understand “the joke,” he walked off shaking his head.”Getting off at the top. Heh, heh, heh. That’s a good one.”- Mark A. Anderson, Cannonsburg Ski Area, MichiganFast one on the wrong foot flopsIn the early 1950s, Austrian certification criteria weren’t nearly as stringent as it is today. As long as a candidate could perform the basics, they were in.During one particular exam, a candidate was having trouble demonstrating a snowplow to the satisfaction of his examiners. This was back in the days of double-laced leather ski boots, which were much easier to pop off without removing them from the bindings than today’s plastic models.One attempt after another, the candidate could not seem to spread the tails of his skis wide enough to perform an effective snowplow. The examiner offered him one last chance. If he couldn’t demonstrate a good snowplow, he would fail his examination.Fearing he was going to lose face with his peers, he told the examiner that he needed to make a “minor adjustment” to his boots. While the examiner’s head was turned, the candidate skied over to a bench, slipped off his boots and put them on the opposite feet.He stood up and somehow managed to limp back to the examination area, where he performed a perfect snowplow.When the demonstration was over the candidate asked the examiner if he might have a moment to “visit the restroom,” thinking he’d have time to switch his boots back again.The examiner said, “In a couple of minutes. First, we need to see your mogul run.”- Herb Schneider, Conway, New HampshireVail, Colorado


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