Skiing Lame? Huh?


Cruising the links I find the following at Ski=MC2:

Then, sometime between Shane McConkey’s death and now, skiing got really, really, really boring. Look around the lodge now. Where are the partiers? Where are the chicks in stretch pants? Where are the zany antics? Where are the mustaches? All I see now are Transpacks and Ski Totes, corporate ownership of big mountains, contractors doing food service, and lame people doing lame things on lame mountains with lame rules. Did you know that there’s a state law in Vermont that says you can’t drink your own beer on a deck outside of a ski area bar (or the bar loses its license)? WTF? The state where Fred Pabst founded multiple mountains (including Bromley) can’t tolerate a cooler full of PBR on a warm spring day? If the people from 80’s ski movies were subject to these rules, the movies would have been 15 minutes long.

Yes, the Fred Pabst referred to is Fred Pabst Jr. the son of the man who turned a small Milwaukee Brewery into Pabst Brewing.

Anyway, is skiing lame?

A few things. I am not familiar with the ski scene in Matt’s hangouts, but I don’t believe any of the things noted in the post really apply to the scene here in Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan. I sit out on the porch of any resort and can bring my brew, and if I am in Wisconsin I can bring my own supply. Nothing quite as nice as having a beer in the sunshine on the deck on a nice March day.

However, there is talk of ski resorts not being cool because of their usual corporate ownership and the atmosphere imparted. To be sure, a lot of people like the certainty of standard corporate product. They are plunking down lots of cash to spend a week at a destination ski resort and want to be sure of at least an average experience. Most people want groomed runs and will pay for that. It is not like all resorts groom 100% all the time, in fact, today’s grooming report from Beaver Creak shows extensive, but far from 100% grooming coverage. Around about this area one can always go to Whitecap if they want ungroomed snow.

In the end the value of my ski experience is determined by the people I am with and by how well I am skiing regardless of the conditions. I don’t value my skiing experience by the amount of beer consumed, by the conditions, or the the fact my post-skiing munchies were standard cafeteria fries (actaully they are good, but they are still standard product.).

Good Stuff!


  1. Thanks for reading my blog. I write a lot of blog posts that are meant more to light my own fire more than anything else. So, I end up with a lot of motivational blog posts that are attempting to get my lazy a$$ off the couch, aspirational blog posts about places I want to go so that my plans don’t just go up in smoke, and, in this case, blog posts that try to encourage me to have more fun while skiing.

    I definitely wanted to mention the corporate aspect that takes a freewheeling, rowdy sport and transforms it into a bland, soulless family activity enjoyed by the masses (not just skiing, either – bungee jumping, kayaking, mountain biking, even sky diving have been adopted and corporatized in recent years).

    I don’t know. Part of me yearns to go back and experience the freewheeling 70s and 80s, but part of me appreciates the improvements that come with the age of the mega-resort (better food, grooming and – especially this year – snowmaking).

    I’m definitely not going to stop skiing and switch to the next “rebel” sport (Red Bull Crushed Ice?) before “the man” makes it uncool. I’m just going to try to make each day as fun as the days that it sounds like you have. Thanks again for checking out my silly little blog.

  2. Hi Matt,

    You picked up on something I wrote last year, again, it was some KJ action at some ski resort in Utah Ski Patrollers with a radar gun and cracking on riders going too fast.

    There are a ton of forces all pushing the small time owners out of the business and cause big time corporate takeover of ski resorts, however, to go into that more deeply would bring in discussions I decidedly do not want here.

    Most of the ski resorts I ski at are small time but even here we see resort ownership consolidation occurring. Blackjack was a family owned establishment, but for reasons not known to myself they got out of the business. Another resort ownership group (that owns Nordic Mountain) picked up Blackjack and operates the place now. Not big time corporate but consolidation none-the-less.

    Most of the resorts around here have their own flavor and are not yet corporate homogenous. I don’t suspect they ever will, as they are not real big (even the ones in Big Snow Country).

    I hang out at Ski Brule after the day and there is a party atmosphere, people hanging out sharing pitchers, watching some NCAA hoops, or NFL football, etc. We hang out and chat with the regulars have a few beers, and head home and then either cook some dinner or hit a local supper club.

    I hear you on the first paragraph. The weather around here has been lame and even up North they are getting the snow & cold we need.

    Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting here!

  3. Great blog post and discussion!

    If you’d ever like to repost on, we’d love to have you. Still lacking a blogger on skiing.

    Keep up the good work!

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