Sunday, January 17, 2010

the life of a ski bum...

My name is Anne Johnstone and yes...I am a ski bum.

The reason that I have not gone out and gotten a "real job" is because my parents introduced me to skiing at a young age. Yup, I am blaming it on my parents. All of those romantic stories about skiing the most incredible snow in Alta, Utah and Aspen, Colorado really had an affect on my young brain.

Because my parents are skiers and made a point of taking us skiing all the it downhill or cross country... I feel that I can safely blame my ski bum life style on them. And nope, I am not going to feel bad about it. Every type of skiing I have done on that wonderful cold white stuff has brought me so much joy over the years. I moved to Colorado, the most awesome place to downhill ski in the world for crimeny sake. See, you can tell that I am a ski bum because I can't spell a word that for all I know is a made up word. Maybe I should Google it.

Skiing has changed a lot over the years. There are the new shaped fat boards that are "oh so fun" for those 'terrain park punks' with baggy pants, huge jackets made for giants and those lovely Gramma crocheted hats...See?...can you say 'run on sentence'? I can't even write a normal sentence without rambling on and on and on.... and on.......

Tess and I are still kicking ourselves for not mass producing those dandy crocheted beanies.... Our Gramma's would have been so proud.

Skiing in today's times comes with every accessory you can imagine....fleece neck ups, helmets, goggles that don't fog, gore-tex, soft shells, I-pods for jammin' to tunes, heated boots, killer shades and hand warmers....yes, hand warmers. Can you believe it?

When we got to go downhill skiing as kids we were PUMPED! We got on the chairlift first thing when they opened and kept on skiing until the chair closed. By the way, this was in Minnesota where it wasn't balmy and warm like it is in Colorado. I remember my sister Angela and I wearing our hooded sweatshirts backwards so we could flip the hoods over our faces for the ride up the chair. Such great conversations were had going up the lift....NOT! The frozen lift attendants hated us by the end of the day because we were the last ones on the chair and we weren't about to stop skiing until they closed. Our eyelids were frosted together and we were forming ice beards on our facial hair. Facial hair you say? Yup...I said there...what are you gonna do about it?

Those were the days....Thank you Dad and Mom for introducing us to skiing for where would I be without it in my life? I met my my hubby at a ski area...not sure if I should thank you for that or not. But, he's here now and you just gotta love him even with his "foot in mouth disease".

And yes...I would probably have some kick butt job traveling around the world as a famous photographer or something but I would have missed out on all of those powder days...something I just can't bare to think of. Unless I would have become a ski photographer or I think of it! Ugh!


Send us some of your fun childhood memories of skiing or other memories of the great things your parents did for you....we would love to hear it!

Here is a VIDEO I made....check it out...WOW, I could have been a film maker...I always think of things too late.

Until next time....Anne the ski bum.....


  1. Anner, OMG! I am wiping the tears out of my eyes from laughing. I cannot believe the sweater trick. Most of my friends from Arizona wouldn't go outside if your facial hair froze. Who has facial hair??? Oh, that is right. We are Northern European and we have a bit of facial hair. Hopefully we had it for survival and it's all that is left over from this incredible Viking ancestry that we have. Awesome blog sis. Tess

  2. the altitude is getting to my brain! :)

  3. I remember $2.50 lift tickets, bringing weiners to cook on the open fire pits(where were the lawyers?), and being warned if we didn't use those leather glove covers and the rope tow chewed up our gloves, we were in deep do do.

  4. It seems I remember those fire pits too. And ripping my mittens to shreds on the tow rope. Or here is a classic...the string from my hooded jacket getting wrapped around the rope and going for a nice ride in the air once I reached the top of the lift...until my hood ripped half way off and I came crashing to the ground. But, I kept on skiing anyway! :)

  5. You know those signs at Ski areas that have the stick person with the scarf around the neck and a big red slash through the sign? This person must have been from one of the many ski areas that had tow ropes. I remember the one at Trollhaugen was real fast,usually burning my gloves everytime I went up the hill. Tess

  6. Wow. I really enjoyed this post of Anners. It really did bring back a lot of memories. My only alpine skiing these days is at Buena "Bump" I mean Buena Vista. It is a small and charming place ut always cold. They don't call it Burrrrmidji for nothing. The memories of skiing at Trollhaugon and Wild Mt. are so strong that I find myself humming popular 70's hits when I swish down the verrrry short runs at B.V. While trying to teach my 5, almost 6 year old there over the holidays I became a little frustrated trying to convince him he had to work on turning. He insisted on "bombing" the bunny hill. It was then I realized that it was this same age that I was taken alpine skiing for the first time. I vividly recall my mom mom saying and trying to show me..... "just turn like this" Ya right I thought. I bombed the hill all day alongside my brother Mark and fell at the bottom. I regained a lot of patience for my boy and later in the day life was good. It was then I found myself doing precisely what my dad did with me later that same winter with my own son. Teaching him to use the "whooooooole hill". I can still hear him saying it and find myself thinking about those tips he gave me and still to this day is the only instruction I had for alpine. Thanks dad. I also have mom to thank too. When I left my son alone on the hill that day and returned, he had figured out things on his own and that's how she wanted it to be for us. She knew best!!
    The video was incredible and sure makes my wizh for some Colorado Mt.skiing again some day.
    AS the Minnesotans say, Once you ski out west, your'e sort of spoiled for life.
    Make Tracks

  7. I remember my childhood friend Anne Claus's long scarf getting caught in the rope tow. Twirl your baton at that Anne, how graceful was that? Smile!

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  9. Just watched the video again - great! Is that Jimmy at about minute 3:00?? I'm bookin' my air - need to get out there!