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Oh, the people you'll meet in the ski resort parking lot

click to enlarge From bros to kids, they're all in the lot. - JIM CAMPBELL
  • Jim Campbell
  • From bros to kids, they're all in the lot.

There's an aspect of skiing and snowboarding everyone has experienced — the parking lot scene. It's not typical to see all of these subcultures at the same time, but you can guarantee that you'll witness most of them at some point during your skiing career.

The Parking Attendants

Don't get me wrong: anyone who can get to work before the sun comes out, stand in a cold parking lot and deal with drivers suffering from powder anxiety has got my respect. That said, the parking lot attendant is also my nemesis. If I don't stand my ground when arriving at the spot they're directing me to, I'll be parked about three centimeters away from the car next to me, or placed in the middle of a mud puddle on warm spring days, or positioned to have to make a million-point turn to exit my space after my day is done. They basically test every single one of my boundary issues.

The Well-Organized Family

I can only imagine what it's like packing up a car full of ski gear for an entire family. Let alone trying to get all the kids and yourself outfitted with gloves, goggles, helmets, boots and clothing, all while trying to keep feet dry and clothing off the snow-covered parking lot, while trying not to get run over by other cars. Some families have a system in place: plastic bins, carefully labeled and color-coordinated for each family member. The bins then double as seating for booting-up — genius!

The Not-So-Organized Family

This family arrives at the resort and starts wondering where certain pieces of gear might be located. "Honey, where is my other glove?" Followed by "Kids, where did you put your goggles?" The spectacle continues into the village as the walk to the chairlift becomes one reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel; instead of breadcrumbs, the trail is littered with ski gloves, goggles and other equipment.

The Skier Chick

Most likely drives a Subaru. If she doesn't currently, probably has had dreadlocks or another hygiene deficiency typically amplified during ski season. Methodically, she boots up, assembles her gear and efficiently makes her way to the chairlift.

The Dudes

This subculture, the easiest to spot and to hear, is my favorite. They arrive in some sort of front-wheel drive, packed as full as capacity will allow. They fall out, immediately crack beers, light cigarettes and crank up their favorite tunes for all of their parking lot neighbors to hear. They hang out for an abnormal amount of time, swilling beer, chatting about previous days on the mountain and the adventures of the night before. Then they just repeat the whole routine — as always, starting in the parking lot. ♦

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