Ryan creary soul skiing main

The Soul of Skiing (Pt. 2)

Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog

Words BY:
Mike Rogge
Photos BY:
Ryan Creary

This Story was Published in Issue #24, Purchase one today: HERE.

The soul of skiing is probably on an Apple Watch somewhere in the Wasatch. Maybe it’s in a ranking list on Strava. It’s most definitely in an upcoming marketing campaign for Vail Resorts.

Rogge billboard

Frankly, the soul of skiing is everywhere because, like the term extreme in the 90s, we as a culture have exhausted the phrase. The soul of skiing exists in the back of a pickup truck, but that truck is a Ford 150, Built Ford Tough, neatly parked in the Protect Our Winters Parking Lot at a Mega Resort on a Megapass all shared through the MegaApp, which just updated so you can Find Your Friends. It’s my belief that if you need an app to find your friends then you must reevaluate your friendships and skiing abilities. Try and keep up.

Like most of American subculture, outdoors and mountain towns are the latest trend to get washed through the marketing authenticity machines, squeezed dry on the other side in the form of black-pumped photographs on huge billboards in the middle of Manhattan. It’s played. It’s overdone. But it hasn’t killed the ski bum. It’s simply redefined what it means to be one.

Rcreary soul of skiing

A week ago, I skied with the founder of a very large outerwear company worth slightly less than $100 million. He wiggled his way into our group of ski industry nerds who spend weekdays skiing Alpine Meadows like we’re 13. We’ll call him Yvonne, but not the one you’re thinking of. Yvonne and our crew talked our shit on the lifts, spoke hopefully of this incoming storm, and how the best skis are the ones made for that day’s snow. A good ski quiver is a big part of the soul of skiing.

The soul of skiing is a verb. It requires constant attention. If you don’t feel it, maybe close the laptop, put down the phone, and run for the hills.

Mike Rogge
Rcreary jan soul of skiing

I wasn’t intimidated by Yvonne’s net worth, which he did share with us strangely. I was more taken aback by what it means to be a skier or a rider. Success in the mountains shouldn’t, and isn’t, measured by how much money is in the bank account.

The soul of skiing doesn’t mean you pay local property taxes. The term exists in your mind and it’s mathematically an equation that roughs out to what is the amount of skiing you’d like to be doing compared to the amount of days you’re actually on-hill. If you’re like me, it’s never enough and the desire to go more, ski more, see more, dance more, drink more, laugh more, parking-lot-hang more is always there. The soul of skiing is a verb. It requires constant attention. If you don’t feel it, maybe close the laptop, put down the phone, and run for the hills.

And I swear to you on the soul of skiing it’s not the Yvonne you’re thinking of. I’m told that guy lives in Jackson where everybody knows the soul of skiing rents a room in the Hostel Benny Wilson, co-founder of the Jackson Hole Airforce, grew up in. Everybody knows that.

Mike Rogge is the editor of Mountain Gazette.



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