Writing Switch: Decoding downhill dialogue | AspenTimes.com

Writing Switch: Decoding downhill dialogue

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith
Writing Switch

Knowing proper vernacular on the mountain can be useful — like skier’s right versus looker’s left — but most of the time it’s a lot of jargon created to make tourists feel left out amid gondola conversations and sound dumb when they try to use it.

From off-piste to on-mountain, here we try our luck translating each other’s slang-infused sentences/situations; some terms well-known and others we invented to sneak into the lexicon. Like Ben snowboarding the Wall in Snowmass, some things got lost in transition.

BW: “I’m really looking forward to a major dump tomorrow — let’s see if the dumps are open. We should be getting face shots of gnar all day on the T2Bs.”

SB: I’m really looking forward to a lot of snow tomorrow — let’s see if Cone Dump 1 and 2 or Zaugg trails are open. We should be getting waves of snow in our face all day while repeatedly snowboarding the mountain from top to bottom.

SB: “The last der day when we were mobbing down that Bumpy McSteez field, I got a little too sendly and ended up turtled out with a wet diaper.”

BW: Ahh, another example of Sean unable to keep his balance after a few inches of freshies. You say I’m slow but I purposefully stay back a safe distance so when you inevitably biff it on a tree run, I don’t dog pile on top of you.

Amped up over the new powder fallen overnight, you got too excited while traversing with your friends in a mogul patch, and losing control, fell on your back and slid down thusly, accumulating snow on the inside of your pants and, presumably, whitey-tighties.

BW: “After a couple Buckhorn beers or helmet-hiders, be careful on the noon groom and avoid getting overly cocktail confident cruising the corduroy.”

SB: Following a couple of beverages at Buckhorn, be careful on the run Skico grooms at 12 p.m. and try to avoid alcohol-impaired confidence while skiing newly groomed snow.

BW: “I was straightlining past a ‘slow’ sign on the way to a safety meeting but had to snowplow when a bro-brah didn’t notice the dust on crust and ragdolled down an adjacent double-black onto the catwalk.”

SB: I was going really fast without turning past a “slow skiing” sign on the way to go smoke marijuana with some friends but had to sharply brake because a young skier didn’t a recognize a light layer of snow on a patch of ice and violently tumbled down the adjacent expert run onto the flat runout.

SB: “I was chatting with a snow bunny the other day and she started talking about the Alpenglow, which I had to Google because it sounded like a cleaning product. I’d follow her through an asteroid field of death cookies on a pair of snowler blades if it meant a trip up the foggy gondola.”

BW: You met an attractive woman who mentioned that one John Denver song, but you had to look it up because you couldn’t remember all the lyrics anymore. You would chase her down terrain way out of your skill level on children’s toys if that meant defrosting in the Silver Queen together.

BW: “A jerry who thought he was a park rat bailed off a kicker and scorpioned onto a groomer. He wasn’t wearing a brain bucket and really took a dinger.”

SB: An obvious beginner thought he could navigate the terrain park but backed out after going off a jump and fell in a way that made his legs bend to look like a scorpion’s tail while sliding face-first on groomed snow. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and took a substantial fall.

SB: “I was getting off the quad the other day and one gaper shot hard skiers’ left across the offramp and took out his buddy and another guy but luckily I was able to one-foot it around them. I was strapped in and riding before the lifties and trial bobbies even had the lift spinning.”

BW: You were downloading on the Exhibition chairlift when a never-ever crashed into the lift line forming to your left. She knocked over two children but you were able to hop around them unscathed with a single leg strapped into your binding. You decided to do some Panda Peak laps while lift operators and ski patrol sorted out the carnage.

BW: “I went to get a tune after taking a core shot on my directional and a Trustafarian at the board shop told me about needing MRA after ducking a rope.”

SB: Since apparently we’re not actually translating slang and just rewording each other’s segments to demean the other, here we go:

After Ben hit a rock doing a falling leaf down Fanny Hill on his quarter-life crisis snowboard, he went to the ski shop to talk to a white guy with dreadlocks whom he admires greatly. There, Ben relayed a story about the time he forced Mountain Rescue Aspen to come save him after he fell asleep on the Skittles gondola because he’s homeless.

SB: “We kept trying to do party laps at Bromass but Ben decided to bring out his disco sticks despite the hero snow. Waiting wasn’t so bad, especially when he yard-saled for our enjoyment after jerry chattering down most of the run.”

BW: The insuBOARDinates are kicking off apres early at Gwyn’s, watch out! They might even try to poach a hot tub later. But because I’m a ripper I like to challenge myself with learning new talents; it’s not like I have difficulty keeping up with you tomahawking beneath Lift 3 in mashed potatoes after a Sundeck party anyway. As for “yard-saling,” the only time I lose my equipment is when I forget skiers have poles and leave them on the bus back into town.

What are your favorite ski-related slang terms? Does “dope” mean A) Sick B) Weed or C) Heroin? sbeckwith@aspentimes.com bwelch@aspentimes.com


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