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The Skier's List: 51-75

Features
posted: 07/07/2000

51. Pack 10 people into a one-bedroom condo.

52. Sleep in your car in a ski-area parking lot.

53. Scam a lift ticket.

54. Memorize Squirrel's lines from Hot Dog...The Movie.

55. Ski a long bump run without stopping—and nail it.

56. Ski alone all day, telling outrageous lies about yourself to the people you meet on the chair.

57. Ski all day with a group of ripping locals. Tell them what you really do.

58. Own a classic wool ski sweater.

59. Rely on duct tape to keep something essential together.

60. Be a ski bum.


Face it: Unless you've just floated your own Internet IPO, the only way you're ever going to log 100 days in a single season is to hop on the dirtbag highway and become a ski bum. Okay, so you'll probably share a shoebox condo with several other couch-surfing bottom feeders, eat more mac and cheese than J.L. Kraft himself, and slowly go broke washing dishes. So what? In return, you'll be able to pick your powder days, pay the local's price at the bar, and smugly tell tourists, "You shoulda been here yesterday." Embrace your inner ski bum now; the real-world rat race of responsibility, pressure, and boardroom meetings isn't going anywhere. In the words of über-ski-bum Warren Miller: "Because if you don't do it this year, you'll be one year older when you do."--Rob Lovitt

61. Hike and ski a fourteener.
Colorado has more than 50 peaks higher than 14,000 feet; California has 15. The elevation means not only bragging rights, but that the snow sticks around into late spring, sometimes summer.

62. Ski across a border.
Whether from Switzerland to France, in the Portes du Soleil; or from Massachusetts to New York, at Catamount. Bonus points for India to Pakistan.

63. Make as few turns as possible in a single run (i.e., straight-line it).

64. Make as manyturns as possible in a single run.

65. Jump a cornice.

66. Ski perfect California corn snow in the spring.

67. Wear a helmet.

68. Pond skim during a spring fest; make it only half way across.

69. Ride down the mountain in a ski-patrol sled.

70. Later, tell war stories about your injury in the bar.

71. Cartwheel in deep powder; get up laughing hysterically.

72. Ski a halfpipe...without looking stupid.

73. Go heli-skiing.


Imagine going through life never having tasted filet mignon, not even one bite. Or never experiencing a Broadway play. Or a really good massage. What kind of existence is that, friend? Sure, heli-skiing is pricey—but a life worth living can be, at times, expensive. The adrenaline high of flying through the mountains in a heli, under the roar of rotors, alone is worth the cost. In Alaska, experts can handpick their own 3,000-vertical-foot line down a mountain and name it while breathing heavily at the bottom. Intermediates visiting places like CMH and Wiegele's in Canada can finally float down deep, dreamy runs without 50 ski-resort locals dive-bombing around them in a moment of powder panic. And beginners have something epic to aspire to. So take out a second mortgage, drive a beater car, spend your kid's college tuition, whatever. On your deathbed, don't let your last words be, "I wish I'd gone heli-skiing."--Kristen Ulmer

74. On a sunny June day, hike and ski Tuckerman Ravine
on New Hampshire's Mount Washington. Have lunch on Lunch Rocks like thousands of skiers have done since the early 1900s. Then spend the night in one of the AMC lean-tos with your significant other and eight perfect strangers. Over a dinner of mac and cheese, make a toast to Toni Matt, who straight-lined the headwall in 1939.

75. Ski in summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

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