Bailey: Stop putting so much emphasis on skiing

Fynn Bailey

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. 

Many of us have had the experience of someone asking us “Do you ski?” after we say we’re from Colorado. Because, really, what could be considered more Colorado than skiing? That’s what people who ski think, anyway. Living in Colorado, it can seem like everyone skis. More people ski in Colorado than live here.


As a non-Coloradan, skiing hasn’t been a big part of my experience at all. There’s a lot that goes into that, but it’s mostly that skiing is impossible to break into.

When I tell people I don’t ski or snowboard, I get a few different reactions. Pity is usually first. Oh, how sad my life must be if I don’t ski! What else could have filled my winters, if not skiing?

Then come the entitlement and assumptions that I have never truly experienced winter if I don’t ski. People who ski are so excited to tell you about snow and “the pow” and all these scary things that, of course, can only be experienced in the Rockies.


I’ve been skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, and the last one was by far the most fun because it was the most inviting. There are several reasons skiing can feel unwelcoming to newcomers.

First, if I can’t understand a word you’re saying while we’re out on the mountain, then how will I learn? Why is there so much lingo and outside language that is necessary to understand to enter the conversation? All that wording doesn’t put the person you’ve brought out to mountains at ease.

Skiing is also exorbitantly expensive. At its cheapest — including a place to stay, ski equipment and a lift ticket — it’s around $200 a day. That means a weekend of skiing is around $400. At Vail or Breckenridge, where the real ski buffs will insist you go, that weekend costs over $1,000.

Of course, I am exaggerating how confusing the lingo is and how cold the mountain can be. I am not exaggerating about how skiing is unsocial.”

Ski people expect you, a college student, to use up your limited funds almost entirely for one weekend of renting costs, lift tickets, meals that should be made of gold based off the cost and lame lodges. Then, because they’ve skied their entire life, they’ll leave you in their dust.

Does this sound like a good time? You’re cold, isolated, losing money and surrounded by people you don’t understand.

Of course, I am exaggerating how confusing the lingo is and how cold the mountain can be. I am not exaggerating about how skiing is unsocial.


Think of it like this: Someone invited you to go hiking for your first time, and you said yes. Then, the two of you hiked different trails at different speeds. Then you chat for an hour or two at the end of the day about your own hikes over beers. Then you both go to bed because, you know, you had hiked all day. Would that trip make you love hiking? Would it have been better if you had hiked together?

Spending a weekend with someone is usually a good opportunity to grow that friendship and make some memories, and that’s just not what skiing will be if you haven’t done it your entire life.

Comparatively, going sledding down a hill on a cheap piece of plastic is more fun and is insanely cheaper.

I don’t want people to stop skiing, nor do I want them to love it any less or get any less out of it. Just stop constantly talking about it because it’s the same feeling as talking to a Magic: The Gathering player. Actually, skiing is a lot like Magic. Both are expensive, not too social when overdone, generally confusing and aren’t a replacement for a personality.

Fynn Bailey can be reached at or on Twitter @FynnBailey.