If you have spent any time on any ski hill you will come to understand there is a set role of characters on the hill.
Here is a not quite comprehensive listing of the characters we find on a typical ski hill.
The Cast of Characters
- Stanley Scraper
- Oscar Outtacontrol
- Diana Divebomber
- Charlie Carver
- Todd Tumbler
- Katrina Kid
- Steven Skidder
Stanley is a snowboarder and is not very skilled yet. His habitat is on slopes that are too advanced for him but he fearlessly charges down them anyway. When it becomes obvious to Mr. Scraper he is in over his head he is usually at the point of no return. To get down the slope Stanley puts his board perpendicular to the fall line and digs the edge in. He then works his way down the hill by releasing the edge, slides a bit and then digs the edge back in thereby scraping the snow off of the hill.
You may frequently find Oscar hurling down the hill usually standing fairly erect with his arms flailing away. Oscar is very new to skiing and has decided the best way to learn is to go the steepest run on the hill and point the skis downward. Oscar skis in only one direction and that is the direction his ski tips were pointing when he pushed off. His arms are frequently flailing. Furthermore, Oscar does not stop until the energy from his descent is finally used up. One often observes Oscar poling his way back to the lift line after overrunning it. Watch out for Oscar and do not get into his way!
Diana Divebomber is closely related to Oscar. However, Diana has more experience, can stop, and is not restricted to one direction. Diana likes to go fast and points her skis down the fall line and tucks. She goes straight down the hill and when she gets to the bottom and when enough speed comes off she is back in control and stops and steers herself back to the liftline for another bombing run. Sometimes Diana Divebomber is in complete control from start to finish, but I would not count on it.
Charlie Carver is the guy you wow at when going up the lift. He skis confidently and perfect control and it is obvious. He makes the steepest runs on the hill look like bunny hills. No need to beware of him as he is aware of you and skis around you effortlessly. He is the skier you try to emulate. He not only is in control at high speed but knows how to work his skis to go faster.
Todd is not all that bad of a skier. In fact he is pretty good, he can carve, he is not afraid to schuss a run for a bit, he tucks, he can stop etc. However, Todd doesn’t quite have it all together and is prone to having the epic wipeout from time to time. You really have to be patient and watch, but when Todd wipes out it is worth the time and effort. When you ask him what happens he will not know because one moment he is doing just fine and the next moment he is in the middle of an explosion of snow and equipment. Lucky for him he is lucky and usually gets out of these incidents without major harm, in fact it is the uninteresting wipeouts that usually do him the most harm.
Katrina is just a child and being small and close to the ground usually has little fear of the hill. In fact, you can find them snowplowing down nearly every groomed run. On the steeper runs they snowplow straight down but usually manage to hold on. Sometimes though they need coaxing to get over a headwall and who knows which way they are going to go.
Steven Skidder is an occasional skier. You see, he and his family will go skiing once maybe twice a year. Steven is able to ski down most runs, but takes his time because he turns by skid turning. He pushes the snow around but not so bad as Stanley Scraper does, and actually it can be fun to ski on a hill reshaped by a large number of Stanley Scrapers. Don’t worry about Steven, he may be mediocre but he is in control.
In all seriousness, The Wisconsin Skier reminds all who take to the slopes not to emulate Oscar Outtacontrol and it is probably a wise idea to avoid the ski habits of Diana Divebomber as well. Out of control skiers can not only harm themselves or others but have the very real potential of killing themselves or others. It does not take a “out west caliber hill” to get enough speed up to kill. Get out of control and go into the woods and you are seriously hurt or dead. Get out of control and run down a four year old and that four year old is seriously injured or dead.