Dear skiers, boarders and snow-junkies,
There’s a lot to love about belting down a double-black (OK, blue) ski run atop slivers of flexing fibreglass, before retiring to a warm chalet – even if the goblet of hot wine they serve would be a horrendous practical joke at any other time and place. That said, let’s get a few things straight before we get really piste. Firstly, you don’t have to dress like a fluoro-flecked Andre Agassi, circa 1992. Are you working maintenance in a mine or are you on the slopes? Please, for all concerned, save the hi-vis for the job site and wear something that doesn’t belong in the bottom of a quarry. Also, what’s with the queue jumping? Don’t be that ski-douche whose journey to the summit surmounts everyone else’s. Unless you’re transporting a replacement kidney for an emergency operation, settle down and wait your turn, champ. Speaking of lifts, that bright-eyed Canadian running the chairs has heard absolutely every ‘clever’ response to her question, ‘are you riding single?’ So don’t. Keep shuffling forward – that’s your only job. By the same token, the chairlift is not some alpine version of Tinder, either – the ‘snowbunny’ isn’t there just to meet someone. And even if she was, you’re not that someone, especially if you use the word ‘snowbunny’. In any case, the French ski instructor – the guy with the accent – has closed that door on you. If this is a once-a-year pilgrimage – and, being an Australian skier/boarder, that’s likely the reality – understand that you’re perhaps not as good as you think you are. There’s a good reason that ski professionals call novices ‘Whoa-fucks’ – it’s what they say, right before they make shards out of their femur. And the people who do have skill are pretty tired of having to drag some self-anointed maverick with a snapped limb off double-black runs. This is a genteel sport, not a validation of your warped ‘the rules don’t apply to this renegade’ masculinity. By which we mean, stay out of areas you’re not meant to be in or you’ll be fronting a news story that begins with the sentence, “Hopes are fading for a skier tonight...” Be kind, be courteous, and be aware that you’ll crash into others, just as they will crash into you. There’ll be plodders with no sense of direction, preeners with no sense of decorum, and those Milo kids with absolutely zero fear – and talents that easily surpass yours, even though they’re only six. Finally, there’ll be those who stop mid-run for no apparent reason – that is, to take a selfie. Your job is to be a gent and deal with it. Finally, for the love of those hired ski boots that cut off the blood flow to your already numb extremities, please, speak like an adult, not some Thc-addled teen whose main ambitions in life are the perfect Gopro video and a threesome – possibly at the same time.