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Ski Instructors Confidential

No way out, JohnTwo years ago, I was enjoying a green run with a group of students when we happened to stop in front of one of the mountain’s less celebrated landmarks: An outdoor restroom. This ADA- (Americans with Disabilities Act) approved facility was a step up from the typical outhouse, in that it was built with a gentle ramp and large door that provided easy access to and from the slopes.While explaining the finer points of a wedge Christie, I heard yelling and banging coming from inside the men’s room. I called a timeout with the class and went over to investigate.I pushed open the door and standing before me was a fully dressed, 220-pound man standing on antiquated skis, poles in hand. Relieved that someone had finally come along to rescue him, he recounted his story to me.That morning, Lester jammed his old, rear-entry boots into the bindings, gave them a “click” and shoved off. It wasn’t until “the call of nature” that he discovered that he couldn’t get out of the bindings.With time rapidly running out, Lester spotted the outdoor restroom with a large door. He skied up the ramp, through the door and into the restroom. Through a feat of magic, he managed to turn himself around and back into the stall just in the nick of time.When it came time to leave, Lester realized that the restroom door opened to the inside. Standing approximately midway on a pair of 215-cm skis, his fingertips were more than a foot short of being able to grasp the doorknob. After numerous failed attempts to reach the door, he finally started banging on the inside of the door with his ski pole in hopes that someone would happen by to rescue him.When I asked him why he didn’t just pull his feet out of his boots and open the door, he shrugged his shoulders and said,”What? And get my socks dirty?”- AnonymousThe allergyI was skiing with a new group of clients all morning under a light snow when we decided to break for lunch at the Wildwood Smokehouse. The Smokehouse sits atop Vail Mountain and provides one of the most picturesque views in central Colorado.After taking a vote, we decided to sit outside at the picnic tables to enjoy our lunch. However, one member of the group said,”No I can’t. I can’t sit outside.”I asked her, “Why not? Everyone else wants to sit outside and enjoy the great views.” Once again, she insisted, “I can’t sit outside.”Again, I asked her, “Are you sure? It’s not that cold outside.” To which she responded, “I can’t sit outside. I’m allergic to snow.”We sat inside.- Rick Birchall, VailUltimate GroomingOn a midwinter morning, following a night of freezing rain, two young ladies approached an instructor working the ski school desk to inquire about lessons and skiing conditions.In his usual affable style, Leonard proceeded to answer all their questions until it came to the subject of skiing conditions. At this point, he reached for the morning grooming report and, with a flourish, handed it to the two snow bunnies.”Let’s look at the grooming report to see how conditions are for you two lovely ladies,” said Leonard. After studying the report, he continued, “Oh yes, the conditions are spectacular. All of the slopes are marked UG. That stands for Ultimate Grooming.”As the ladies headed for the hill, a supervisor took Leonard aside and explained, “UG stands for ungroomed, not Ultimate Grooming. If you recall, we had a freezing rainstorm last night.”Fearing that the ladies would return, Leonard leaped over the ski school desk and dashed out the door, He spent the rest of the day hiding from the two snow bunnies pursuing the purveyor of “Ultimate Grooming.”- Bert ProbstHoliday Valley Ski Resort, New YorkBoard-faced liarSince the evolution of snowboarding, an unspoken rivalry has taken place on the slopes as skiers compete for their rightful place against the new kids on the block. While truly a fine sport, snowboarding has still not been completely embraced by many old-school alpine skiers.A friend of mine, who was already a very accomplished alpine skier, decided that she wanted to learn how to snowboard. During her first morning on the board, she cautiously inched her way down the beginner’s slope attempting the most rudimentary of movements.About midway down the hill, she came face to face with another woman on skis that appeared to be her snow sports equal. As one woman would creep down, the other would follow. As one would move right, the other would follow suit.After several, minutes of unsuccessfully trying to avoid each other, the woman on skis finally lost her composure and yelled at my friend, “You damned snowboarders! You’re always in the way!”Forgetting where she was and what she was doing, my friend instinctively yelled back, “I am NOT a snowboarder!”- Katie GaylordVail, ColoradoThese stories were taken from “Ski Instructors Confidential: The Stories Ski Instructors Swap Back At The Lodge,” a collection of more than 160 tales from ski teachers around the country. The book, compiled by freelance writer and ski instructor Allen Smith of Vail, is not in stores yet, but can be purchased at http://www.snowwriter.com, or by calling 1-800-201-7892, ext. 97. The book is $12.95, plus $4.95 for shipping and handling.


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