What Happened to the Dirtbag Skier?

Gore-Tex or tweed, does it matter in the end? PHOTO: Matt Small
Gore-Tex or tweed, does it matter in the end? PHOTO: Matt Small

This story is supposed to start with “I remember,” so I’ll just start with that. I remember when we used to wear garbage bags to ski in the rain. I remember when CB Sports made the most waterproof winter jackets on the planet and they weren’t even close to waterproof. I remember skiing in boots way too big and skis too small. And it wasn’t just me. Most everyone on the slope around me had a duct tape patch somewhere on their outfit.

Back then, being uncomfortable was an integral part of skiing. It was something that folks on the hill were proud of: black-and-blue shins, frostbit fingertips, soaking wet clothes. It added to the adventure and the subtle insanity of flying downhill on slippery pieces of wood. (That’s what we do, by the way.) In the current age of altimeter watches, wifi on chairlifts, and apps that tell you if you are skiing or sitting at the bar, some of the adventure of the sport has been lost. Or at least hidden behind a commercial façade.
Along with that went some of its spirit.  Read on..

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