Peter Shelton

Test Your Early-Season Ski I.Q.

Posted in At the Movies, Ski evolution by pshelton on November 10, 2009

1. SNOW STORMS IN NOVEMBER inevitably lead to:

a) predictions by newcomers and marketing types for a big winter to come;

b) Coors Light commercials;

c) mud.


a) Training really hard for the upcoming ski season has the opposite effect on the weather as washing your car.

b) You don’t need rock skis for the early season because you are such a good skier you won’t hit any.

c) Those skis you really want will still be there at the Ski Swap even though you slept in and won’t get there until after noon.


a) the greatest thing since sliced bread;

b) “the Gangola”;

c) a real challenge for the romantically gymnastic.

4. IT WILL ONLY SNOW IN EARNEST when (check one):

—you have to drive to Iowa for Thanksgiving;

—the last leaf has fallen from the Ute Council Tree;

—The Broncos are playing on Monday Night Football;

—The Weather Channel says it won’t.

TEST TIP #1: Wear ski boots around the house while doing the dishes, watching TV, hanging out the laundry, taking this test. Do not wear them to bed, unless you sleep alone.

5. REACT TO THE FOLLOWING statements with either: “Strongly agree,” “Strongly disagree,” or “I can’t allow myself to even begin to think about skiing right now or the rest of my day is toast.”

a) The ski bum in America is dead.

b) The ski bum in that movie Aspen Extreme was really cute, but for reasons of plot arc he had to die.

c) Spider Sabich, the inspiration for Robert Redford’s character in Downhill Racer, was really cute; it’s too bad his girlfriend, Claudine Longet, shot him stepping out of the shower and now he’s dead.


a) a verb;

b) a noun;

c) something you do when you forgot to close the ski rack on the roof of your car and you only found out just now in the rear-view mirror;

d) dead.

7. A SEASON’S PASS is not more important than:

a) your health;

b) taking the next step on your career path;

c) life itself.


Define life itself.

9. IN THIRTY SECONDS, ARRANGE the following word clusters into their natural groupings:

Cat skiing / bar scene / cougars / core shots / “short skis suck” / “Single!” / high-speed quads / screaming quads / face shots / shots of aquavit.

10. COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING by filling in the blank. Example: Carving is to skidding as Thanksgiving turkey is to happy-hour buffalo wings.

a) Man-made snow is to powder as Rush Limbaugh is to ———.

b) Thirty Rock is to Jack Benny as cashmere underwear is to ———.

c) Not skiing is to skiing as ——– is to Lindsey Vonn.

TEST TIP #2: Do not, repeat DO NOT cut pictures out of Skiing magazine and hang them in your bathroom. This will only make time pass more slowly.


a) the snow on runaway truck ramps looks good to you;

b) you’ve tuned and waxed your skis twice already;

c) you have a daisy chain on your fridge counting down the hours to opening day.

d) you actually considered stopping and hiking back to one of those emergency truck ramps.

12. AVALANCHES ARE NOT A WORRY in the mountains this time of year because:

a) the Colorado Avalanche Information Center is not on line yet for the season;

b) Democrats hold majorities in both houses of Congress;

c) Housing is so expensive in ski country, early-arriving snow crystals have mostly entered into stable, long-term bonding arrangements.

TEST TIP #3: Have a friend or loved one shower you with soap flakes in order to simulate deep powder immersion. In the bath tub is good.

13. SEEING TRACKS this early on Red Mountain Pass makes you want to:

a) get out the old Bonnas;

b) go to sleep for another few months;

c) order plane tickets to Cabo.

14. (Extra credit) Describe your last run of last ski season. (Bonus) Count the number of days in the intervening months when you have not entertained a single thought of sliding on snow. Be honest.

2 Responses

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  1. Cecily said, on November 10, 2009 at 3:49 am

    I love it!

  2. cloe shelton said, on November 16, 2009 at 4:21 am

    too funy….
    I like the runaway truck ramps the best!

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