Carnes: Charging a ski pass |

Carnes: Charging a ski pass

What’s the difference between charging a ski pass and charging “up” a ski pass?

About the same, actually, now that our BOBO (Big Organized Brother Overlords) have made the bold decision to allow locals and ski mountain guests to use their smartphones as a ski pass.

No dumb phones allowed.

Phone technology has progressed to the point where we can take and edit photos, record and watch movies, pay or borrow money from a friend, buy and sell damn near anything, play games, see what our annoying friend had for lunch, have video chats, watch football games live, track teens who say they are one place but really someplace else, use GPS to help us get lost in more creative ways, text to say “U up?” or “We just landed,” keep notes and reminders, use calendars and have instant access to an entire world of information — or, during election season, extreme misinformation.

Oh, and evidently they are convenient to call people and use for emergencies from time to time as well, and this season, as a test, to replace those planet-killing, RFID-implanted plastic and waterproof paper ski passes of yore.

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“But what happens if my phone dies?”

Stop asking questions, that’s my job here.

Sure, a dead phone means a dead ski pass, but just think of the portable charger vending machines they can make available at the bottom of the lifts — BOBO will make a fortune.

Or perhaps I should say another fortune, as their net income almost tripled last year.

The town could also be full of charging stations, all free of course, or the advent of wireless chargers in lift lines could be implemented, beaming low-impact energy straight through jackets and frozen snot rags directly into our phones.

What could go wrong?

Anyway, gone are the days of the tourist-envy-in-a-bar ski pass attached to a jacket for drunken pride, and we can now look forward to roommates stealing phones instead of passes that “sort of” look like them along with the collective creative genius of enterprising phone hackers.

I suppose if your phone bites the big one after a yard sale down Pepi’s Face you might be screwed, or when it’s below zero outside and your fully charged phone plays dead no matter what.

But I’m sure the powers that be have a plan for that.

In addition, using Bluetooth Low Energy to read the phones from a distance will allow them to “track the asset” (your phone, along with the rest of you) all over the mountain. I can see it now, an app allowing me to see the largest clusterfudge of skiers and boarders, and thus going out of my way to avoid that particular area (which could be the entire mountain at times, but at least it would be good to know).

Seems ideal, as long as one is not concerned in the least about BOBO knowing who is where and doing what at all times within their grasping range.

I’m sure no one is too concerned about that, right?

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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