The Snowplow Theory Deconstructed | VailDaily.com
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The Snowplow Theory Deconstructed

Kent Roberg

I was riding the chairlift this weekend with a gentleman who had recently returned from a trip to Taos. We chatted about the snow conditions in Taos, coverage was thin, slopes relatively empty. No high speed quads makes for a more contemplative experience.

He looked over saw I was on a board and said “You know, they don’t allow those at Taos.”

I rattled off the list of the other remaining dinosaurs with the same restrictions. I had to ask, “How was it skiing without snowboarders on the mountain?” He was tactful in his response, not wanting to offend. “Well, I guess when they don’t have the snow it makes a difference. Those things can move a lot of snow off the hill,” he replied. I wanted to say, “So can a snow cat, they should be banned.” but instead I responded, “They sure can if you don’t know how to ride.”

I came to the conclusion they don’t have enough snow to justify opening a resort. They are simply selling an elite experience. (see “Free the Snow” in the Planks archives)

I discovered another thing about skiers I didn’t know – they love to bitch. Too icy, the suns not out, lift lines are too long, there are no good bumps and on and on.

When a boarder holds an edge straight down the hill they are considered reckless, threatening, unsafe and a general menace. If they slow down, or happen to be in the early stages of learning they push all the snow off the mountain, all of it, off every single run. It is part of the secret society you join when learning to ride. It’s like the freemasons or any other “secret” society. We enjoy blasting all the snow off the edges of runs and back into the trees where only the riders can get at it. After all, the skiers pushed it to the tree line. Why not finish the job for them? Join us and get your free decoder ring now.

Skiers are old guard, they get defensive when they are forced to admit change. Just like any other older athlete they are forced to acknowledge a passing of the torch. When ridden properly a snowboard is a superior all mountain tool. Tight trees, deep snow, greater agility-we all know the advantages. Young males 16-25 have always been full of piss and vinegar, they just happen to be letting it out on boards as well as skis. As the newcomers, we’ll take the heat. Skiers need to acknowledge the fact there are simply more people on the hill than days of old. With more people come more conflicts, plain and simple.

I would like to turn my attention for a moment to the incredibly offensive and prevalent off mountain demeanor of many skiers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been walking down Bridge street or up the stairs to the Transit center and nearly had my jewels sliced open by a stray ski pole. Not to mention smacked in the head by a pair of planks. Seems skiers, while struggling to navigate flat ground in their tight awkward boots, no longer feel the need to pay attention to their surroundings. The rules of common courtesy don’t apply. People swing around to talk to their unitard – suited friends and nearly wipe out the rest of the public. Bad form people, bad form. Skiers who heighten the conflict by bad mouthing boarders on the mountain need to abandon the passive aggressive behavior and take a look at their own actions on and off the mountain.


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