Things go downhill fast when skiers get geek on


Things go downhill fast when skiers get geek on

With Snowdown coming up this week, what is the proper way to carry snow skis on the roof of your SUV? And what is the geek way? Tips facing the front or back? Sandwich them or separate them? Sign me, Robert the Geek Ski Bum

Let’s take a slow chairlift to the summit of nerdy ski transportation techniques in honor of Snowdown’s theme “iSnowdown 2.01.3: Get Your Geek On.”

When it comes to winter sports geeky faux pas, Action Line witnessed more than his fair share during a 10-year stint up yonder.

It was the ’90s, a decade that began with fluorescent day-glow green and pink and ending with jewel-toned fur trim. Roof racks were cool back in the day, and they still are – when they are used to carry sports gear.

When a roof rack is used for other purposes, say for transporting the family dog in a crate on a 12-hour drive to Canada, there are issues. Just ask Mitt Romney. But that’s a different matter.

But today’s true outdoor gear freak-geek has a “rocketbox,” a torpedo-shaped container attached to the roof rack.

There’s nothing really geeky about these, other than the proliferation of stickers.

If you want to really be a geek, you could do what an old friend, Alan, witnessed one day.

Alan was driving up the mountain in a blinding snowstorm. He passed a car with out-of-state plates. On its roof was a rack full of skis. Tips forward and bases facing down. But that’s not all.

The people had snapped their ski boots into the bindings before putting them on the roof rack, thus ensuring everyone will have an unspeakably miserable day of cold, wet feet.

Another dorky occurrence involved a winter-sports enthusiast who had a roof rack, but no ski attachment. Bungee cords and duct tape did the trick.

From the parking lot to the slopes, a favorite geek technique is the “Texas suitcase,” in which one ski pole strap is slipped over the tips of skis and the other pole strap slipped over the tails.

The skier then holds the poles like a handle and totes his long baggage to the lifts.

It looks really geeky, and unless things are perfectly balanced, the skis will slip out of the straps and crash to the ground, creating a yard sale and reaffirming one’s status as a gaper.

Action Line checked with Kim Oyler, spokeswoman for Durango Mountain Resort, as to the status of geekiness this season.

“It’s not too bad, but you still see folks in the rental shop put on their equipment and try to ski out the door across the concrete,” she said. “And there’s the usual jeans and Carhartts.”

“You also see a ‘onesie’ every so often,” she added, referring to a regrettable one-piece ski jumpsuit.

But geeks will have their day this Sunday, when DMR hosts the Snowdown “Dummy Big Air” event.

Purg’s website has all the details. Build a geek-themed dummy on skis or a snowboard. Once the dummies are judged, they will be hauled up a slope, most likely the run Demon, according to event organizer Tori Ossola.

The dummies are then pushed downhill toward a massive jump built for the event. There are prizes for the most creative dummy, farthest traveled, biggest air and best crash. It’s free to enter and free to watch.

The dummy judging begins at 10:30, and the downhill race begins at 11 a.m.

If you’re building a dummy, be sure to get it to the mountain before that. So a roof rack will come in handy.

Imagine zooming up to DMR with not only skis on your vehicle’s roof, but a dummy strapped on top. Now that’s geeky.

Email questions to or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you still have a pair of straight skis hanging up in the garage.

Things go downhill fast when skiers get geek on

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