Summertime. The time where the shred community, a generally homogenous gore-tex clad group, diverges into several dozen sub-cultures of mountain dwellers. Sure, on the mountain we have different styles, ideas, and equipment, but we’re all the same species. When summertime rolls around, however, all bets are off. People that you’d happily share a chair with on any powder day might as well be aliens. The cliques, each with their own uniform, badge of honor and M.O., have unspoken rivalries based on their views of the best way to kill time between closing day and the first snowfall. Ski towns are filled with odd characters, and nothing brings them out like hot temperatures. Here’s a quick overview of these enigmas, who behave oddly, dress poorly, and defend their right to do both religiously.
The Fly Fishermen
Outfit: Croakies, Simms hat, Khaki everything.
Between the half dozen flies in the bill of their Simms hat, their Croakies, and moisture wicking collared shirt, the fly fishermen flawlessly (and unnecessarily) pulls off the “I’m-here-for-a-beer-but-if-town-floods-I’m-ready-to-fish” look. Their outfit is a tribute to the versatility of khaki and has technical specifications that would make you think they’re trying to outwit another person on the battlefield, not a fish.
The Road Biker
Outfit: Mandex, Live Strong bracelet, absence of leg hair
Often found riding two and even three wide on crowded streets and highways, the road biker insists on “sharing” the road. The mightier-than-thou cyclist sees the bike path as a sign of weakness, insisting on riding on the road, parallel to the bike path. Be particular weary of the road biker between mid-June and mid-July, when they’re most active and aggressive.
The River Guide
Outfit: Collared Hawaiian shirt (two or more buttons undone/missing), visor, Croakies.
Although the government would like you to think the river belongs to everyone- that’s wrong. The river is the guide’s and you’re just a guest on it. No matter what you do in his or her presence, you’ll somehow do it wrong.
Outfit: Chacos, visor, shorts that are hemmed above the knee- by several inches.
No matter what time of day, month or year, the climber just got back from something super gnarly…but they don’t want to talk about the specifics of where. When not getting extreme, the climber can be found slack lining in the park as they unwind with some microbrews.
Outfit: T-shirts from sponsors (you’ve probably never heard of), board shorts, GoPro, PBR
The hipster of the ski town, the bro hates on everybody else on this list. Naturally, the bro’s only natural enemy is, err, everybody else on this list. Don’t be fooled by some sort of “bro code,” sheer power in numbers is the real reason they flock together. The bro expresses exuberant enthusiasm upon seeing another bro from the ski season, usually offering a bro hug (one arm hugs as one arm shakes, ensuring no pelvic contact).
Outfit: Sweatpants, lots of sunscreen when venturing outside,
The armchair quarterback of the ski town, the blogger hides behind a keyboard and calls out locals that are actually having human interactions- usually under a pseudonym of a character from a cult-classic ski flick. Getting rad takes a backseat to talking about how rad they got/are going to get, and pissing matches on forum boards are their preferred past-time during the summer…and winter for that matter.
Outfit: Ponytail (both sexes), frown, t-shirt of event held before you were born
The super local is lost in better days gone by. Their thousand-yard stare seems like it’s more suited for slowly stirring a glass of whiskey as they gaze off into the distant than speaking with you. Not afraid to talk about the past, their nostalgia is almost overbearing. You usually leave the conversation seriously contemplating if you should move so this guy could be happy.