I went skiing at Blue Mountain yesterday. Arrived to find a lot more people on the slopes than usual for the day of the week. With considerable dismay, discovered this was a university “reading” week crowd. It spoiled the evening for me. The reasons, in increasing level of significance, were:

1) Lineups;

2) Snowboarders;

3) Lineups of snowboarders.

Snowboarders are different than you and me. While riding the lift, I do occasionally admiringly observe a solo boarder carving sinuous, artistic lines down the slopes. But these solo guys are rare, probably some kind of mutants of the breed that typically:

1) Skis in packs;

2) Congregates at and clogs access points;

3) Races in and out of each other’s (and everybody else’s) lines; and

4) Exhibits obliviousness to any inconvenience it causes.

I’ve been skiing a long time. I ski carefully. The ONLY collisions I’ve ever had were two boarders running into the back of me. Yesterday, one rode over my ski tails; another forced me to take evasive action into the woods. That’s in less than two hours.

I grudgingly packed up and left. Reading week will end. The crowds with thin out. And for a while yet, I’ll be able to just enjoy the slopes in curmudgeonly solitude. Like I said, I’m spoiled.

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