Skiers and snowboarders negotiate snow-covered slopes the way they negotiate interstate highways. Very poorly.
I refer not to actual locomotive ability. I am a wonderfully mediocre and incapable skier, and I know what it’s like to learn—it sucks. I’m about as likely to criticize a beginning skier’s ability as I am to complement an advanced skier’s prowess. Which is to say not at all.
No, I speak instead of an apparent absence of courtesy and lack of respect for other snow sports enthusiasts. We all share a common space when we’re out there, and presumably we all want to have a nice time. But the outright dangerous behavior of some of my fellow skiers and snowboarders often leaves me as pissed on the piste as I am on the road. I think one’s conduct as a skier or snowboarder and one’s performance as a motorist are probably identical. To wit:
- Listening to an iPod while skiing is basically the same as texting while driving.
- Leaping out of the trees and onto the ski run is pretty much the same as failing to check the mirrors and blind spot before merging into traffic.
- If you’re skiing too closely behind the person in front of you, I’m willing to bet money that you tailgate on I-25.
- If you routinely come close to mowing down the five year old who zigs and zags her way across the slope, then you probably drive a big shit-kicker truck and intimidate your way down the interstate.
I guess my philosophy for both skiing and driving are the same:
- Be kind
- Common sense above all else
- Just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should
I suppose I expect more out of humanity than is frequently offered in return, which is probably why I’m usually disappointed, whether on skis or behind the wheel.