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Summit Up

SUMMIT UPSummit County, Colorado

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the worlds only daily column that was wondering who those people were poaching the pow at Keystone yesterday.So there we were, patiently awaiting the opening of the Gondola at 8:20 a.m., when a whole slew of snowboarders came ripping down the untracked new snow that had accumulated on top of Keystones perfect corduroy. They werent wearing employee uniforms, so we have no idea how they got special privileges. But we were particularly miffed when, after hopping onto the first gondola open to the general unwashed public (i.e. us), we found that they already had tracked some of the ungroomed lines, 10 inches deep, as well. We want to know: Did they pay extra for the early access? Do they know a lift op who snuck em up early? Were they resort quality-control professionals disguised as neon-wearing knuckle draggers whooping and hollering down the mountain? And how can we become one of them? (But if it involves washing so as no longer to be part of the unwashed public, we suppose youll have to count us out. Theres no money in the budget these days for luxuries like soap.)

There actually are many jobs at the resorts that we envy. Wed love to be the ski instructor who gets turned loose after not having enough people for a group. Working as a lift op, sitting outside the top shack on a warm, sunny spring day, would be fun, especially if there are lots of hilarious Warren Miller-worthy wipeouts off the ramp. At lunch time, we wish we had access to the stray onion rings like the kitchen staff, rather than paying $3.75 for a measly eight of those delicious golden halos. And running sweep on ski patrol sounds right up our alley except when there are tourists struggling to get down that need assistance …unless theyre exceedingly good-looking and incredibly appreciative of our heroic help.Then, of course, are the jobs at the ski areas that you couldnt pay us to do: bumping chairs during a blizzard, caring for screaming toddlers, selling lift tickets or working as a restaurant cashier. (Three seventy-five for eight delicious golden halos?!? Are you &%$ing kidding?) Those are the people who we really appreciate.

Its Wednesday, and were thinking of bringing our sleeping bag and hopping into a gondola at the end of the day so as to get first tracks on the next powder day. Send us your comments at, and, if we like em , well print em or riff on em, one. Either way, you win!

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