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What Your Method Of Snow Travel Says About You

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Winter is upon us, and white stuff is falling from the sky in most of the United States. How will you interact with it?

Cardboard Box: You believe in environmentally responsible sledding, i.e. recycling; or perhaps you just don’t believe in buying another $35 plastic sled.

Plastic Sled: You have at least one child whom you will take sledding at least once this year. Your ratio of Time Spent Getting Kids Ready To Go Outside to Actual Time Spent Outside will be 3:1.

Saucer Sled: You learned nothing from Clark Griswold’s near-death experience in Christmas Vacation. You don’t mind not having control of anything. When sent to the store to buy a sled, you picked the cheapest one.

Toboggan: If you sled, you sled with a nod to nostalgia, whether or not you actually grew up using a toboggan to slide down hills. You are fine with a product built without any consideration to steering.

Runner Sled: You believe winter memories should look like a series of Norman Rockwell paintings.

Innertube: You are going sledding and have a 1 in 3 chance of bruises, bone contusions, or missing teeth.

Fatbike: You live in Anchorage or Minneapolis and bike to work year-round; or, it had been a while since you’d bought a bike.

Commuter Bike With Studded Tires: You bike to work year-round and live in a place where ice is a bigger problem than snow.

Commuter Bike Without Studded Tires: You are a ninja, in the metaphorical sense.

Four-wheel-drive Vehicle: You are not going to get stuck in the snow. Perhaps you also enjoy helping other people get un-stuck from snowbanks.

Rear-wheel-drive Sports Car: You can go fast during three seasons; the fourth is kind of terrifying. You are somewhere in front of me every time I drive up Vail Pass.

Crampons:You don’t like skiing; or you enjoy getting windburn and/or the Screaming Barfies. You may rip a pair of very expensive pants.

4-inch High Heels: You are only walking a few feet from the car to the door of the club; or you are just visiting Park City for Sundance and maybe haven’t really thought things through.

Microspikes or Yaktrax: You are a mail delivery professional; or you don’t stop trail running just because there’s a little snow on the trail. Alternately, you are scared shitless anytime there is a little snow on the trail.

Snowshoes: You don’t like or don’t live near skiing, but you’ll be damned if you’re going to spend your entire winter sitting inside or only working out at the gym.

Skis, Nordic: You are into skiing for the exercise, not the adrenaline rush; or you are a person who spends the other three seasons training for triathlons or marathons. You may have a spandex fetish.

Skis, Alpine: You are doing well enough financially to afford lift tickets. You might be more proud of your goggle tan than the tan you get on the rest of your body during the summer.

Skis, Alpine, current year’s model: You either a) ski 100 days a year, b) are a pro skier or photographer, c) get free skis from a company, d) think about skiing as much as most people think about eating, e) only ski when you’re not golfing, and get valet parking at the hotel when you get to the resort.

Skis, Telemark: You don’t mind being heckled for a more spiritual skiing experience. Whatever, they’re all jealous of your skills.

Skis, Alpine Touring: You also carry a shovel and one of those avalanche beeper things when you go skiing, and don’t have to buy lift tickets very often. You also may really enjoy pain.

Just one of many painful moments in a ski mountaineering race; photo by Sean McCoy

Snowboard: You enjoy being able to walk in your boots. You also don’t mind a good sit in the middle of a run. You avoid flats at all costs.

Splitboard: See “Skis, Alpine Touring.”

Snurfboard You have logged hundreds of hours on a snowboard and thought you’d “give it a try.”

Snow Blades: You don’t care, or are oblivious, to what other people think of you.

Snowplow: You don’t mind getting out of bed in the middle of the night; you also may enjoy being an unsung hero.

Unsung Heros; photo by SnowKing1

Snowcat: See “Snowplow,” but you also live near a resort and ski 100 days a year.

Snowmobile: You like going fast on snow, including uphill. When purchasing recreational equipment, you prefer things with engines.

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