Marolt: Here’s to a splash of carbonated winter water in your face

Roger Marolt
Cluster Phobic
Roger Marolt

The list of unmentionables has expanded. I used a descriptive term in my column last week and was threatened with a lawsuit if I ever utter two particular words together again in print, and they are not ‘base” and “village” or “ski” and “company.” At least the people who might be offended by me frequently using these word combinations have a sense of humor, or are at least patience.

Nope; out of the blue sky came a cut-the-crap order from the folks up in Steamboat Springs demanding I stop using two certain words together, or else.

I apologize, but you will have to excuse me for a slight delay here …

… OK, it’s all good. I had to Google the terms “blue sky” and “cut the crap” before proceeding. You never know what might be copyrighted these days. As I have discovered, you can’t be too careful.

I wish I could just come out and tell you what two words I used that got me into hot water. … Naw, “hot water” couldn’t be a protected phrase, could it? Ah, what the heck? I’ll throw caution to the wind and take a chance. If I have to double check every common phrase, cliche and colloquialism along the way, I’ll never get this piece finished.

Let me take a roundabout (I think it’s OK to use this term) way to see if I can convey to you the taboo (c) (just in case) words I illegally pirated. The first hint is that it has to do with a description of a certain quality of plain-old dry, Colorado snow. I’m not talking about any type of snow that can be manufactured by man. Speaking of which, Ski Company should maybe think about copyrighting “boiler plate” or maybe “pucker patch.”

No, I’m talking about snow that falls naturally from the sky and, by the grace of God, usually covers most of our state abundantly and, in many cases, no more so than right here in Aspen and Snowmass.

The name of the type of snow I’m talking about has been commonly described with these protected words by skiers all over the world for as long as I have been alive in the very same way that you can now be thrown in jail for saying them publicly without proper attribution. In fact, if I had a dollar for every time I have heard this phrase, the people at Steamboat Resort (c) would indeed have a large sum to take from me in a legal action. Ironically, the term is so overused now that it’s not even worth two cents.

The first word is actually the name of a city in France where they first made a type of fermented beverage that has natural bubbles in it that nobody really likes, but lots of people serve it at the most important and joyous events in their lives anyway. It is an alcohol-based liquid that will give you one wicked headache if you are drink too much. Hint: It’s not “Cologne.”

The second word in the protected phrase rhymes with “Chowder.” Ironically, “Chowder” is commonly used to describe a kind of wet, heavy snow that usually comes in late March that few like to ski in. Nonetheless, I wonder if the folks at Steamboat (c) have copyrighted that word, too. I am sure, if they have, I will find out very soon. I plan on wearing long sleeves for the next few weeks to protect myself from handcuff bruises, just in case.

It would be unfair to say that the Tugboat Ski Company (I can’t resist this temptation to see if “tugboat” is a legally challengeable pejorative term for “steamboat”) has left me high and dry (c) in describing snow. They very politely informed me that I am free to use words like “blower,” “fluff,” “freshies” and “pow” without risk of penalty, as far as they know.

But, I have already said too much. I will have to leave you with the uncopyrighted term, “Cologne Chowder” (c), and let you use your imagination do the rest of the work to figure out what the actual illegal term for snow is.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that any use, description, or account of this column without prior written permission of “Roger Marolt” (c) is strictly encouraged, especially by the local newspaper in Steamboat and all travel guide publications.

Roger Marolt can’t wait to ski some carbonated winter water. Email at


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