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You’re not a real skier unless you [fill in blank]. August 15, 2011

Posted by Wendy in General skiing.

Ever hear anyone say something like the following:

“You’re not a real skier unless you:

……ski x number of days;

……ski off piste exclusively. No groomers;

……ski first chair to last;

…..don’t stop for anything, not even to go to bathroom (you can go in the woods);

……[fill in your own qualifier here].”

I know, I’m a sap. My first impulse is to check to see if I’m doing whatever it is they say I’m supposed to do. Am I a real skier? Oh, please let the answer be yes. But then I give myself a good dope slap. What are you, crazy?

It’s mystifying why anyone would set parameters for what qualifies someone as a real skier. I mean, what is that, exactly?  Isn’t anyone who skis a real skier? What’s the alternative? And anyhow, what’s the difference?

In case anyone’s forgotten, skiing is supposed to be (now get this, folks) fun. And last time I checked, skiing didn’t require any sort of certification or license, like practicing medicine. You can call someone a real doctor, as in someone who’s qualified to write prescriptions and perform surgery. But a real skier? Naaah.

Perhaps they don’t mean “real” at all. Maybe they mean “committed.” But how can anyone measure someone else’s level of commitment? Is someone who lives five minutes away from the mountain and skis everyday more committed than someone who saves for weeks for a lift ticket, gets up at 4AM, and travels five hours each way for a day on the slopes? Maybe someone who skis a lot is geographically lucky. Maybe they just have more time on their hands. Maybe they’re unemployed or retired. Or perhaps they’re incredibly rich.

You can see my point.

All I’m saying is that before we get our thermal underwear in a knot about whether or not someone is a real skier, let’s not lose sight of why we’re out there, folks. And let’s set all this silliness aside. Really.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.


1. Annalisa - August 15, 2011

I love this post! I’m the one that drives 5 hours each way for a day at the slopes, and saves for weeks to get my lift ticket. But, I truly enjoy skiing! It is, fun! So if there is a scale of how “real” of a skier I am, please don’t judge me based on the number of times I get to go skiing every year, or that I don’t have all the gear like the pros. Rather, I spend months anticipating the few days I get to go out there on the slopes, and do something I love. My heart beats faster and I feel more alive, that’s what I consider a “real skier”.

2. Mary - August 15, 2011

Based on the examples above…whoever would say such things would not be someone I would enjoy skiing with, LOL!

I figure that if I can start this insanity at age 47 and get pretty decent at it, it’s all good. Even I can see the benefit a lot of lessons have had – I’m a better skier than a lot of people on the hill. That’s not to say I don’t have my off days though.

And by the above criterion…..Lindsey Vonn would not be considered a real skier. Kind of like the BMI indices showing that LaDanian Tomlinson is technically obese because he carries so much msucle mass!

3. Kim Kircher - August 16, 2011

I couldn’t agree more. I often hear that a “real” ski day must consist of at least 5 runs. Some days, I skin up 2 hours after work and get one run in, but that’s still a ski day in my book. Any day on the slopes is a ski day. And any skier on the snow is a real skier. Like you said, what’s the alternative? They’re faking it?

4. The 10 Best Resorts for Off-Piste Skiing - Share Your Experiences! - August 25, 2011

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