Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that thinks vacations confound most Summit County visitors. We’ve seen a lot of frustrated tourists on the outskirts of Summit Up Land recently, people who are ostensibly on vacation but physically in a state of great stress. Mothers and fathers are carrying Atlas’ share, which in the High Country means two extra pairs of skis, and in the worst cases, two crying children. Footwear proves the biggest fashion challenge with this crowd. We do live in the Wild West and all – just travel 15 miles out of Silverthorne and farmers in cowboy hats become as ubiquitous as snowboarders in beanies – but cowboy boots are not appropriate for the ice and snow. Nor are stilettos, platforms or Birkenstocks. But some visitors have found a fashion loophole – the Ugg boot. We think most out-of-towners tack on $150 extra to the normal expenses of a ski vacation so they can put their tootsies in some Australian sheepskin boots. We’d like to send a message out to the ladies in this group: Don’t tuck your pants into your Ugg boots if you have hips. At all. If you look at your shadow in the snow and see a slight curvature below the waist, keep those pants out of your boots. You are not flattering yourself, even if you spent $150. Lucky for business in Summit County, families who ski together stay skiing, but maybe not together. Our favorite market segment: the twentysomethings. The mascara and bad pick-up lines that have walked through the doors of local watering holes have left a greasy film on our nightlife experience. We’ve always marveled at people who can ski all day and go out all night and spit game like they’re playing JV basketball with freshmen cheerleaders on the sidelines. But we do have to give this latter group props for knowing how to play. Like the ski instructor in every ski bum’s favorite South Park episode: “If you pizza when you’re supposed to french fry, you’re not gonna have a good time.”By the way, if you’re reading this and you fall into one of these groups, we want you to know we understand. We’ve been there. We’ve even gone far enough into the depths to relate this next nugget of wisdom. It’s a personal story, and we’re glad this column is anonymous. Think of us as Aesop. Before we lived in the mountains, we lived in the flatlands. And living on level ground meant keeping level at all times. We didn’t think skiing sounded fun. We think we were out of touch. But a significant other wanted to show us otherwise, as persons of that position are wont to do. Our sig-o took us to Mammoth Mountain in California and tried to teach us how to glide effortlessly down the mountain. Sig-o broke through our steely facade on the first bunny slope. We cried. We refused to get up. We were laughed at. Sig-o refused to teach us any more and put us in ski school. The moral of the story: Don’t teach your boyfriend or girlfriend to ski. It promises disaster.
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