Time: 3-7 hours
Difficulty: Pretty Darn Difficult
Hippininess Level? 7 hand nit hemp toques out of 10
Level of Satisfaction when complete? Mmmm Yis
How is skiing for free even a thing?
The concept of skiing for free is based on the idea that many large hills stop scanning your lift passes after the first lift. If you can get past that lift without being caught, there is a good chance you will be able to ski to another higher up lift and not have to pay for the lift pass . As long as you don’t accidently ski to the bottom (which is much easier to do than you would think), you will be shreddin the slopes the rest of the day with an extra $100 to spend on beer (or dacories, if you’re into that sort of thing).
How to make this happen.
Step 1–Make Sure You’re in Good Shape:
Remember, you’re going to climb up the side of the mountain. If you’re out of breath after a flight of stairs, this probably isn’t for you. I like to think I’m in okay shape, and there were many times on this treck I felt like putting on my snowboard and boarding face first into the nearest tree.
Step 2–Identify and Research the Hill you want to Attempt this on:
Though most hills adopt the bottom ticket scanning strategy as mentioned above, some check for them at all the lifts. Make sure you know how the hill operates before making the 3-6 hour journey to the top. Also, you want to decide on the most efficient route up before heading out, and share it with someone else who is skiing that day. If you stay in bounds while getting up the mountain, nothing life threatening should occur, but its always good for at least one other person to know you’re out there just in case.
Step 3– Make Sure you have the right Equipment:
This can be the difference between getting past the main chairlift in 3 hours or 6 hours (or never). I would suggest renting the items on this list that you don’t have. You will need:
- Really Badass Snowshoes
- Hiking Poles
- Skiing/Snowboarding Gear
- A Large Backback to hold all your gear
- A shit ton of water
- And even more snacks
Step 4– Don’t Get Caught:
Just because I did this, does not mean I condon it. This is an activity that will be considered illegal if you’re caught by a ski patroller I’m not sure what the consequences are for doing something like this, but be prepared to be fined or kicked off the hill if you’re discovered. When planning your trip, try and find runs that are off the beaten path you can walk up and stick to the trees when possible. And if you’re caught, be super polite and play dumb.
What Did I learn?
A wise old man I encountered in a cave during my trek told me “that mans greatest strengths and greatest faults come from our ability to make totally illogical decisions”. And as he threw his feces at his pet rabbit to play fetch with he said “To do things that make zero sense, but will satisfy us emotionally…that’s the good stuff”. Climbing this mountain was one of those times. My family told me I couldn’t do it, and even though it was a pretty idiotic thing to do, I had to prove to them (and myself) that I could. A hot damn did it feel good when I did. As we all know, sometimes making illogical decisions can lead to some pretty bad outcomes. But…more often than not that gut feeling and desire to accomplish something insane can lead to some of the most positive human experiences possible.
Thanks for reading, and we’ll talk next week 😉