Our industry is full of unique terminology and ideologies. We have Jerry’s and Gapers, Park Rats and Steezebots, Two-Plankers and Slowboarders. You can straight bomb the run in your best Texas Tuck, or jump and jib at every opportunity. While most of these phrases are usually silly, there are some that are taken very seriously if you’re someone who frequents the ski slope. For example, if you ski with a large gap between your goggles and helmet, or ride around with a Bluetooth speaker in your backpack at max volume, you’ll most definitely be awarded the title Jerry by anyone who skis for more than a week a season.
On the more serious side of things there are traditions which are to be upheld for your safety and the safety of others. “If you don’t know, don’t go” comes to mind here. This refers to skiing in the backcountry properly. If you don’t know where you’re going, you shouldn’t be leaving the resort. This goes for leaving the resort alone or unequipped with the proper gear as well. Doing so could put your life at risk, as well as anyone else’s life above or below you.
Everyone has their own caveats when it comes to following these traditions, and if you’re a ski town local you and your crew probably have your own set of “rules” while you’re out on the mountain. One of the more common phrases we hear from people is “no friends on powder days”. This phrase roughly translates to “if there’s deep snow, I’m not waiting for you”. If you’re too slow, you fall and get stuck, or your skill level doesn’t match up you will be left behind.
I’ve always had a bone to pick with this ideology. Now don’t get me wrong I love a good solo soul shred, but skiing is ALWAYS better with the homies. For me, it’s more about assembling the proper crew than a cutthroat every man for himself mentality. If I know you can’t keep up, you’re probably not getting the invite for a powder day. It’ll be a see you at Après kind of day. Just because you’re a heel-side-hero or can only go down pepi’s face in a power wedge doesn’t mean I won’t rip a shot ski with you at the end of the day. It just means I’d rather hit the slopes with you on a groomer day, not when mother nature blesses us with 20” of the that sweet, sweet bam-bam.