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Mountain Culture

Tuned Out? Or Tuned In?

What do you do when you realize that the social sport you love isn’t so social?

It was about five minutes into a 12-minute lift ride when I recognized the strangeness of the situation. Second from the left on
a quad, I was listening to music piped wirelessly from my phone to my helmet speakers, while three strangers—all seated within inches of me and one another—each listened to his own virtual concert, wrapped in an audio cocoon. None of us had spoken a word. We faced forward, isolated by goggles and helmets and digital silos. Two of my chairmates gently bobbed their heads in uncoordinated rhythm to inaudible beats.

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