From the Vault: “For those non-skiers out there…”

Posted: April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized
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(Present Day Ian: I haven’t been blogging much lately. But that doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to share stuff with you. This was a piece that originally appeared on January 7, 2012, a week after the blog went up. Which means that most of you probably missed it. Well, since I thought it was kind of funny, here it is again. Enjoy. ~Ian)

I understand that not everyone in the multiverse is a skier, and since I understand that there may be some confusion when I refer to ski terms, I have compiled this list of trail ratings for those non-skiers out there. Now you will know what I talk about when I describe a “blue” or “black” run. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

~ Ian

Standard American Trail Ratings:

Brown Line: Completely flat. Nothing interesting ever happens on these runs, because there is no challenge. Most skiers refer to the brown slopes as the “shits”.

Hazards: None whatsoever.

Green Circle: Mild difficulty. The “green” runs are easy, and for that reason, are constantly clogged with screaming children, screaming adults, adults going at walking speed, and people who generally have no idea what they are doing. Because of the various people clogging these runs, they are actually more challenging for experienced skiers. Finding your way down a green run is a bit like playing a game of Tetris on snow. In fact, most green runs are equipped with speakers that play the Tetris theme, speeding up as you reach the end of the slope. For this reason, the end of the run is usually the place where the most crashes happen. Watch yourself.

Hazards: Small children of indeterminate gender in enormous puffy board jackets that make them look like pink or yellow marshmallows; snowboarders who decide to sit down RIGHT IN YOUR BLIND SPOT to adjust their bindings; massive clumps of adult skiers from Southern California who have never been above a thousand feet in their life and flock together like spray-tanned chickens, going as slowly as possible and NEVER LETTING YOU PASS THEM; medium-sized children on snowboards who fall down in the middle of the run and NEVER GET UP, grannies on snowboards.

Blue Square: Moderate difficulty. Most ski resorts consist of mainly “blue” runs. However, do not be decieved by the rating: blue runs can range in difficulty from glorified green runs to ice-covered bowls that shoot you down the hill at forty miles an hour and leave you a battered, shivering wreck at the bottom of the slope. As always, decide what is best for your own difficulty level before you choose to go down a blue run. Everyone else on the mountain will thank you for it.

Hazards: Trees; rocks; chairlift poles; gondola towers; people going slower than you; people going faster than you; asshole teens on snowboards; asshole sixty-year-olds on telmark skis; blind skiers; deaf skiers; people listening to loud music on their headphones (so they might as well be deaf); snowmobiles going uphill; snowmobiles traversing across the run, just suddenly coming out at fifty miles an hour AND GIVING YOU A FUCKING HEART ATTACK; snow bikers.

Black Diamond: Advanced difficulty. The “black” runs consist mainly of high-elevation bowls near the peaks of the mountain, narrow chutes, Olympic-class mogul runs, and runs that look more steep than they actually are. These runs are specifically for more advanced skiers, and the lift operators will look for the black diamond tattoo placed in a secret place on your body after you take the Advanced Skier and Snowboarder Holistic Orientation and Learning Examination (also known as the ASSHOLE Test). Don’t be afraid to lie about your qualifications before getting in the lift line– if you are an attractive young woman, and you show enough skin, the lift operators may be fooled into thinking that they “saw” a black diamond tattoo that wasn’t actually there.

Hazards: Cornices; powder; small cliff drops; icicles; ice patches; moguls; professional snowboarders on their days off; people who like to ollie over other skiers/riders as they come down the mountain; people who run into you from behind (watch your back); overzealous ski patrol; underzealous ski patrol; chutes.

Double Black Diamond: Experts only. Don’t think I’m kidding– these runs are for only the best of skiers. Only the fabled Octarine Tesseract runs are more difficult than the “double blacks”. Do not attempt these runs if you doubt your courage, or your strength– for death awaits ye with big nasty pointy teeth.

Hazards: Broken bones; perforated spleens; abraded testicles; post-traumatic stress disorder; incontinence; paraplegia; quadriplegia; Bleeding Everything Syndrome; other skiers who are being escorted down the mountain on stretchers by Ski Patrol after snapping their necks like a twig; blood patches; scattered limbs; entrails strewn from various trees; large cliff drops; that sinking feeling you get when you realize the peculiar smell that has been following you around for the last ten minutes is coming from your own pants.

Octarine Tesseract: The most challenging of all ski runs, the Octarine Tesseract Runs are so difficult that they ACTUALLY BEND REALITY. Have you ever wanted to ski inside one of M.C. Escher’s nightmares? Well, NOW YOU CAN!

Hazards: non-Euclidean cornices; gravity vortices; temporal anomalies; bowls that are bigger on the inside than the outside; Möbius chutes; secret ice caves that teleport you to various other locations on the mountain WITHOUT WARNING; vomit; tears; hatred; madness; a slow but unmistakeable feeling that the world does not have any order, and NEVER REALLY DID;  the Abominable Snowthulhu.

Gold Star: VIP ski runs. Most people are never allowed to enter these exclusive portions of the mountain. In fact, they are never shown on the trail maps. However, savvy skiers know that they exist. Gold Star runs are always surrounded by “AREA CLOSED” ropes, but savvy skiers know that the ropes blocking Gold Star runs from the public are made of red velvet. Plus there is always a bouncer standing next to the ropes. That’s a dead giveaway. In Gold Star runs, there is always champagne powder– not the ordinary type, but SNOW THAT IS MADE FROM REAL FROZEN CHAMPAGNE. Look for the halfpipe filled with caviar at the bottom.

Hazards: Drunken celebrities; helpful butlers; murderous butlers; coked-out record executives lying in the middle of the run, blitzed out of their minds; Kardashians; very exclusive call girls; the 1%.

Platinum Star: Wait, you actually believe in the Platinum Star runs? Those are only an urban legend!

Pink Triangle: These are the gay sections of the ski resort. Originally imported from swinging French and German ski resorts, certain progressive states such as California and Vermont regularly have Pink Triangle runs. You can tell that you have entered a Pink Triangle run by the fact that loud techno music is playing from speakers on the chairlifts, Gore-tex and fleece jackets have been replaced with baby oil and black leather, and the seven-foot-tall Austrian gentleman who rode up the lift with you is trying to put his tongue down your throat.

Hazards: Regular Gay Pride parades coming down the mountain; Fetish Night (every second Thursday of the month); AIDS; one-night stands; the possibility that you may come to question the foundations of your own sexuality; the possibility that you will be shanghaied into a mob of impeccably-clad gentlemen with nice hair and lisps and forced to sing old Judy Garland showtunes.

Red Pentacle: Red Pentacle runs start on the actual mountain, but once you start going on the run, you suddenly realize that you are going down, down, down, into a fiery cavern filled with magma and hate. Soon you grow to realize that you can’t stop, and as you descend, you go faster and faster, skiing on the frozen corpses of damned souls. Eventually you see it: the vast, vulvoid iron gates of the Nether Realm. They swing wide, and a handsome, smiling man is there to greet you. He wears an impeccable suit, and sunglasses that seem to reflect flames in their lenses. “Welcome to Hell,” he says. “Our Dark Master is awaiting you.” It is only when he turns that you realize that he has a long, pointed tail…

Hazards: Sulfur; brimstone; eternal damnation; herpes; the possibility that you will have to spend eternity with Jerry Falwell.

The Bunny Slopes: In the Swinging ‘70s, Hugh Hefner purchased small portions of every ski resort in North America to turn into a Playboy Mansion-themed amusement center. However, when the financial recessions of the late ‘80s hit, Playboy Enterprises had to turn their ski runs back over to the ski resorts. Even so, the “bunny slopes” still have hundreds of gorgeous, exploited young women, bouncing out of their scanty bikini tops as they go over moguls on their pink diamond-studded skis. For those guests who want to look at a different kind of scenery as they glide down the slopes, the bunny slopes are the place to go.

Hazards: Boobs; tits; drunken celebrities; people having orgies in the middle of the run RIGHT IN YOUR BLIND SPOT; the vodka-filled sex grotto that’s located just to the right of the unloading area at the top of the lift.


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