21 People You'll Definitely Meet in Ski Country
Despite being generally cold, Colorado’s ski resorts are a grand melting pot... a preferred destination, workplace, and hometown for some of the most eccentric individuals in the state and beyond. Next time you're there, take some time between runs (or drinks) to look for these 21 characters, because they are most assuredly out there.
The "Well-Traveled" Lifty
In an incredible feat of spoken word, this long-winded "local" manages to tell you about his summer working lifts in Argentina, his best friend’s pro-model snowboard, and his 200-plus days on the mountain last year... all in the five seconds before your chair arrives. But hey, gotta find a way to justify that terribly skewed on-mountain time-to-runs-taken ratio.
The Perpetual Hero
GoPro’s tag line, "Be a Hero," really hit a soft spot in the snow community. Camera on a stick... scratch that -- TWO cams on a stick, POV helmet cam, and a hidden lapel cam to round out the media package. His most recent vid has 17 views!
The Amendment 64 Lifer
Chillum for the lift ride. Rice rolling papers for the smoke shacks. Vape pen for each and every instance in between. The mountain experience just isn’t the same unless you’re lifted, man.
The Wholesome Greeter
Keystone probably has the single most recognizable greeter in Colorado (perhaps you know her), but this elderly smile is always good for an morning pick-me-up and a handful of Nature Valley bars on your walk to the first lift. Much appreciated (and needed) after a rough evening.
The "Sponsored" Claimer
Usually found near the terrain park, or in the lift line accessing said park, this person is easily recognized because he keeps asking at the top of his lungs, "Do you think I should spin the 100ft jump again? Not sure I nailed it perfectly." You know, just so you know he rips.
Mr. Winter Warrior
There’s no hat hiding these gray hairs, and absolutely no shame in the game. Rockin’ the same gear their sponsors gave them during Reagan’s presidency, these rippers couldn’t care less what you think, because they know (and know you know) that they’ll burn you down the mountain. You’ll have to be out early to catch a glimpse of these wildcards; they’ve been around the block way too long to bother with midday crowds.
The Start-Up Boss (plus crew)
Convinced the world needs another apparel or belt brand, this crew may be your first encounter upon pulling into the A-Basin parking lot. A generous group, no doubt, they have few qualms about approaching strangers and offering free dab hits and stickers so you can "rep" their glow-in-the-dark tall-tee company.
A classic and unmistakable mainstay in the Rockies, and a vital part of the mountain economy, this visitor doesn’t have to be from Texas, but... good chance he's from Texas. Hint: Look for cowboy hats, tasseled jackets, or a meandering family of five decked out in matching '14/'15 blue Patagonia outerwear.
The Hustlin’ Bartender
She knows how to make the most of these testosterone-topped towns, wooing eager male patrons with her knowledge of whiskey and craft beer, and running their hopeful pockets just in time for her local hero boyfriend to scoop her at the end of the shift.
The Bachelor Badass
This player is on hill for two things: "females and freshies," and will remind you of that repeatedly. Unfortunately, his firm has been slammed this fiscal year, so him and "his boys" couldn’t make it out until late spring. Ladies, beware.
The New Age Guru
Spotted most frequently in the waxing hours of the morning or in the golden light of the late afternoon, this mountain guest is likely sans skis, perhaps instead snowshoeing or simply hiking up the hill, whatever the amethyst and tourmaline indicated that particular morning. Often trailed by a pair of pups that -- make no mistake -- were rescued, not bred.
The Broncos Die-Hard
50 and sunny? Elway jersey. Five below and dumping? Elway jersey.
The Après Beer Snob
Usually subtle characters, you’ll hardly notice them until you hear a scoffed snickering following your order of a crisp domestic. "Really!? We’re in the craft beer capital and this guy ordered an American lager! Let me order you a real beer." If you can tolerate them, it's a good way to get free beers!
The Agro Ski Patroller
Aspirations of law enforcement discharged into a career of scrambling winter dreams. With more and more "slow down" signs popping up at resorts each year, it’s getting increasingly difficult to avoid these encounters.
The Mid-Management Mom
She’s 45, in the best shape of her life, and ready to tear you a new one. If you’re in this office, might be time to start tiptoeing if you’d like to save that season pass. Likely, you’ve already crossed the Agro Ski Patrol in some "irrevocable" fashion and are now pleading your case. Prepare for a sermon involving the words "resort" and "liability" more than you thought possible.
The Vacationing Celeb
Despite her insisting that she “really just wants a normal person’s life, with normal people vacations," her massive entourage and social media-spamming makes it a tough sell.
The Snow Princess
Might have forgotten her mittens, but she’s got her MAC. Dressed to the nines, her weekend agenda is simple: A) score someone who’s "hot and pro" and relive the ‘ol college years, if but for an evening, or B) score someone who’s "hot and rich" for misguided sample of future fantasy.
The Press Professor
Polite, eco-friendly, and one of the only people you’ve met who can explain the Kopi Luwak coffee process, this character can whip together a hot cup with a snorkel, a nine iron, and an ice tray.
The Lost Child
Inconsolably hysterical or standing completely still, alone, and oddly complacent, these little guys can create quite the moral dilemma as you're zipping into your next pow run. Might as well snag that run -- their parents clearly did.
The Low-Lying Legend
The most elusive and infrequently spotted of this list, these locals have grown up in town, won major events during their heyday, and are known in the county over by their first name. Well-versed in all things rugged, they hold down behind-the-scenes jobs -- perhaps head of mountain maintenance -- and anchor the end of the local dive. They are the masters of ambiguous quips like, "I reckon these things come and go."
The Thrifty Ripper
Eager to both spend every day on the mountain and not spend a dime, this person is the one staring down your lunch and flinching each time it looks like you’re preparing to leave.
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