The 7 Habits of Skiers: Think Win/Win

By King of Après Oct 20, 2017
The Fourth Habit of Highly Effective Skiers is to Think Win/Win and experience the Spirit of Abundance. Skiing is art, not a competition. Let's stop competing and start spreading some stoke.
The 7 Habits of Skiers: Think Win/Win

The Seven Habits of the Highly Effective Skier will take you on a seven-week spiritual journey as you develop the habits necessary to be best skier and aprés-skier you can be!

Habit 1: Be Pro-Active
Habit 2: Begin With The End of The Season In Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win and Make Friends

Habit 5: Communication - Understand First, Then Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize?
Habit 7: Sharpen The Skis
Habit 4: Think Win/Win

The Fourth Habit of Effective Skiers, Think Win/Win, and the Spirit of Abundance, is the habit that allows us as skiers to appreciate the skills and abilities of others without feeling personally inferior. The real world can be a competitive place. In order for someone to Win, someone else has to Lose. Skiing doesn't need to be treated as a Win/Lose scenario.

Life is competitive. Skiing should be a break from the competition.
One of my favorite things about skiing is that it such a diverse sport. From mountaineering to cross country cruising, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy sliding on snow with skis on one’s feet. Some forms of skiing are done competitively, but for the vast majority of us recreational skiers, skiing is more art than competition.

That brings us to Habit Four: Think Win/Win and the Spirit of Abundance. For too long, we’ve been told that skiing is, formally or informally, a competition. The obsession with being “the best skier on the mountain”, having the newest gear, and being the first up the bootpack goes against the very reason why we ski to escape everyday life. Skiing is a hobby, a way to challenge oneself, and does not need to be competitive to be fun.

It is time we break away from the biggest lie ever told in skiing:

“No friends on a powder day”—Some kook that no one wanted to ski with anyway

How this saying stayed relevant over time is beyond me. Skiing is fun, but skiing with friends is more fun. My fondest memories of skiing are the high-fives shared with good friends at the bottom of the hill. Not from bragging about how much radder I got than everyone else. Save that for the bar.

It’s time we embrace the Spirit of Abundance, rather than the threat of scarcity, and get away from the competitiveness, the ski-xenophobia, the Jerry-shaming, and the stay-off-my-line mentality that permeates the skiing community. It’s time to share experiences, knowledge, and, yes, even give up a powder stash or two.

I am a firm believer in the concept of karma, and that Ullr, the Norse God of Snow, rewards those who make sacrifices for the greater good of the skiing community.

Share some powder knowledge. Stop to give advice to the lost vacationer. Compliment someone on their line. High-five a stranger. Help Jerry put their goggles on right-side-up. Do so, and Ullr will abide.

I’m not suggesting we sacrifice an actual virgin, but maybe a little virgin snow.

Even off the hill we need to think Win/Win. We need to adopt this Spirit of Abundance. A photo of someone else skiing powder in no way threatens your ability to ski powder. Mentioning the name of a peak on Facebook doesn’t mean your powder stash is ruined forever. Someone getting rad doesn’t mean you are any less rad. Not everything needs to treated as a competition. Don't harass someone on social media in order to prop yourself up. The simple fact that you took the time to write something negative on the internet makes you look like a kook with no better purpose in life.

Caroline Gleich documented her story about overcoming online harassment to become a ski mountaineer. She wasn’t competing against anyone. She was out doing her own thing. In doing so, she became the fourth person, and the first woman, to ski 90 iconic/obscure/insane lines in the Wasatch. If you ask her, I’m sure the distinction as the “first woman” wasn’t even a factor in choosing to ski these lines. And if someone else sees her story and decided they wanted to do it too, she would be there to help them reach that goal. Check out this incredible film documenting her story below:

Caroline is obviously not alone in saying that the negativity needs to stop. Skiing is a sport of abundance. It’s time we stop competing for likes and views and recognition. Stop mocking others who are new to our sport. Stop trying to make everything a damn competition!

Skiing is not a Win/Lose scenario. Share your passion. Share your knowledge. Spread some stoke. Share a powder stash — maybe like your third or fourth favorite. Stop and teach Jerry the right way to carry his Skis. Say something positive. Create some good karma. Do this in Abundance and everyone will Win.

Ullr is watching, and he will abide.