Skiing and community

If you have ever been snow skiing on a mountain with many strangers, then you may know about a skier' code.  It is a very loose list of which those who are on the mountain will enter into a social contract with the other skiers and live by them.  So things like, respect others space or those downhill have the right of way are general rules that make skiing more enjoyable for all.

But there are other unwritten observances that are present each time I go skiing.

First, while you ride the lift it is socially acceptable and expected that you will talk with the people you are riding with.  Small talk mostly, but when you are minister small talk can quickly turn to something else.  If you are on a lift and discover you are sitting with a minster, do not feel like you need to apologize for not going to church.  We are not packing clipboards checking off people as they give their excuse.  Also, do not feel afraid to share your religious views, most of us will not try to convert you but we do like your story.

Secondly, skiing on a mountain is a very quick and humbling reminder that there is a socio-economic divide.  I can count on my two hands the number of ethic minorities I have a seen yesterday and today skiing.  If you ever find yourself forgetting there are a ton of people who are without, just stand next to a ski line and see who is not there.

Third people trust one another when skiing.  Each time you go for a bite to eat or stop at the restroom, you take your skis and boards off and place them on a rack.  Much like a bike rack you see at parks, but these racks have tons of skis on them.  Not one of the skis are locked onto the rack.  Everyone leaves their stuff for a long time and trusts that they will be there when they return.  And guess what, they are always there.

Finally, I have noticed that those who work the mountain and those who work surf shops in Hawaii are the same type of people but they like the snow and not the surf.  

P.S. we were in line and something much like a flash mob broke out and sang Silent Night while everyone waited in line.