Trail Side Etiquette

Every year we go cross-country skiing on one of the winter 3 day weekends. Last year I observed trends in ski clothing. Fleece is OUT, wool is WAY OUT, and shiny, stretchy, astro-bright artificial fiber outfits are de rigueur cross-country wear, at least on Mt. Spokane.

Last weekend skiing the Lolo pass, which straddles the Idaho-Montana border I was aware that I was likely to make several woolly sightings. What surprised me was rude anarchist (devil may care) skiers. This is a sport where everyone shares two little tracks in the snow. If you are not skiing, you should step out of the track. I had to detour around several skiers addressing wardrobe malfunctions while stopped in the middle to the track. I might add I’m not generally skiing at some supersonic speed that you wouldn’t see me coming. The exception is when I’m going downhill. Then I snow plow out of control from side to side down the trail and you really don’t want to be in my way.

The “I’ve Never Seen this Before & Please NO MORE!” prize goes to a man with a puppy (numerous no dog signs posted) stopped in the middle of track, apparently changing his clothes. Looking back, after skiing around the guy, I commented to my husband that I had observed that the man was sporting Hanes gray cotton briefs identical to those I’d recently purchased for him. My husband felt I was paying way too much attention to other men’s underwear on Valentines, end of story.  PICTURE IS NOT LOLO PASS.  This is Patee Canyon on the outskirts of Missoula.  There is just barely enough snow to ski.


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