Chairlift thoughts: If I could change anything about skiing…

Chairlift thoughts: If I could change anything about skiing…

WORDS — Neil Stebbins

If I could change anything at U.S. ski resorts it would be the way the runs are named.

Currently, all easy runs—the Green ones—
are given warm and fuzzy names like Bunny Trail and Powder Puff.  

The most difficult ones—Double Black monsters—
all have daunting, studly, fearsome names like Death’s Door and Dragon’s Kill.

I think this should be reversed.
Because all newbies want to feel brave.
And all experts like to appear cool.

This is true no matter where you ski and has remained true pretty much forever.

Beginners have always wanted to feel proud and daring when describing their runs to their fellow beginners and impressionable non-skier friends.

Similarly, experts—knowing understatement is cool—will quickly adjust
to renamed runs that downplay dangers and evil reputations.

Implement my new naming protocol and beginners, recovering from
their ski school adventures at lunch, will happily tell their friends
how they mastered Buttwhomper, shredded Grim Reaper and why
they just might risk it all and ski Sphincter Constrictor next. 

A few tables away, scruffy experts will calmly challenge
their equally scruffy friends to join them for giant bumps on Baby Bouncer,
big air at the dreaded Popsicle or, if they feel up to it,
the treacherous cliffs and steeps of Teddy Bear and Cuddle Hug.

I suspect corporate lawyers employed by ski resorts
will not approve of my changes and envision lawsuits up the wazoo.
But creative marketing mavens hired to differentiate their more progressive clients
from every other ski resort might see the brilliance of my design and prevail.

Kudos, then, to the resort that tries it first.

And when one does, I’ll look forward to seeing you there
on Gummi Bear or Easy Street, or maybe even Cupcake
if you think you can handle it.

Just take the Big Comfy Chair and make a hard right turn at the top.

But, don’t worry, if Cupcake looks too scary, you can always take Godzilla or Dynamite Destroyer back down. And later, tell your less daring friends you did.

This story originally appeared in FREESKIER Volume 25, Issue 02.
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