Mt. Badass Rules!

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Something ugly has happened to our ski areas. Where once towering mountains glistening with untouched powder beckoned skilled skiers, there are now hordes of rude, low-functioning tourists and a toothless hill girded by investment real estate. At SEC SKIER, we're dedicated to bringing back the Golden Age, returning skiing to skiers. We know this is what you want, too, so we're starting our own resort. After a couple minutes of careful thought, we figured out what it should look like.

We started thinking from top to bottom. It would be a not-forprofit cooperative, locally owned and operated. No remote corporate kingpins or puppet strings. All profit will be democratically allocated for the good of the ski area and the resident skiing population; a mandated percentage will (obviously) be spent on beer for the end-of-season party. This would be a 24-hour resort, welcoming shift workers, after parties and insomniacs. To minimize energy usage, trails and trees would be lit with fairy lights. In the spirit of pay-as-you-play, passes would be cheaper around the full moon.

As for eats, there would be no on-mountain food monopolies. Unlimited restaurant concessions will be granted, and each structure must include a comfortable drinks lounge with taps featuring mineral water, real juice, Italian espresso and microbrew beer. We at SEC SKIER can't stand inefficiencies. Unskilled and seasonal labour would be minimized on the mountain: passes will be scanned by electronic turnstile, and lift-loading largely monitored by sensors. All work that does occur is done on a job-sharing basis with maximum four-hour shifts to facilitate riding by employees. We would reward loyalty with daily lift tickets beginning at $95, and becoming significantly cheaper with each purchase. After buying 100 passes, the skier becomes a "preferred customer" for life, paying only a $10 nominal fee for ski-area upkeep. The de-escalating price structure is an incentive to ski more-and more.

And of course it would be inclusionary. Snowboarders are always welcome ... If they are wearing skis.

BASE ELEVATION: +1,000 metres VERTICAL DROP: +1,500 metres AVERAGE SNOWFALL: +1,500 cm LIFTS: Few but fast and high capacity TERRAIN MIX: Black diamond, equal mix high alpine and steep forest LOCATION: At least three hours from any major city LIFT TICKET: The better you are, the cheaper it gets

• To eliminate lineups, all lifts will hold at least 10 people and move at subsonic speeds They will use a French system called chaise a grande vitesse, which runs their trains at around 320 km/h.

• Beginners (and their instructors) would be sequestered in a separate, secluded area unti l they could prove, via general-knowledge test and practical exam, that they won't annoy or endanger other skiers. The area would be serviced by the Purgatory Chair

• The mountain would have easy access to vast and gnarly DB, with transceiver-triggered gates (i.e., you can't go out if you don't have a beeper); there would be both car-drop backside runs accessed by a short hike and others where a dedicated Cat would pick up skiers at the bottom.

• There wi ll be no parking lots at the resort and ergo, no traffic problems. A high-speed train line brings skiers into the resort; only two rail cars contain standard seats, the other 10 are licensed.

• To prevent accommodation shortages and discourage absentee ownership, the region would uphold squatters' rights. If a house remained unoccupied for more than 300 days, anyone could move in.

• A minimum of 1,000 cm average annual snowfall at the base. A unique microclimate would cause snow to fall mainly at night-even during three-day storms, orographic and upslope events-and the sun would shine most days

• Avalanche control would be organic. Accomplished backcountry and avy savvy skiers known as the Guinea Pig Squad would pack down slopes and ski-cut runs for lift privileges. This would save huge amounts and money on pro patrol and explosives.

• Ski-out trails wou ld all have a single file "s low lane" and a much wider "fast lane" (minimum speed 20 km/h). Violators of the latter a re remanded to the Purgatory Chair.

• Tickets will be clipped for chair lift stoppages, obstruction of faster skiers, holding poles in a horizontal-or anywhere within 10 degrees of horizontal position and dressing like a gaper on non-gaper day without irony.



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