I’ve never done the whole Cancun spring break plan or Daytona or Miami beach or any of those booze infested frat boy/girls gone wild shit shows….surprise surprise. I mean partying and scorching the shit our of my pasty white skin while screaming woooooo for days on end is not really my thing and since I’ve spent every “spring break” of my life on some snow covered peak doing fun shred sorts of things it’s not really all that surprising. Am I a square? Maybe….I mean my brother did call me a loser once and not in one of those sibling screaming match sort of ways but in that “I’m just trying to help” brotherly tone. Ouch. Maybe he was on to something, in my lifetime spent at resorts, I have never done the après thing which is kinda like an adults version of spring break. Generally speaking, that rosy faced beer spilling crowd kind of scared me and I avoided them at all costs. It just never made sense to mix snowboarding and drinking, both are just fine on their own and I think I remember my 5th grade teacher saying something about the fact that athletics, driving and most things other than dancing don’t mix well with alcohol. And the whole European dance in you ski boots and once piece til midnight gig never really resonated with me…boots are uncomfortable enough as it is, why put in the extra time mashing you toes away when you really don’t have to? Apres = spring break for old people….
Yeah yeah yeah. Anyway, my point….I guess I don’t exactly have one except that these last few weeks in Aspen where every weekend is some mountains end of the season ragger feels like the spring break I never had. In general, Aspen is a bit of a party town for people of ages and here regular après is a way of life, people even pretend like they’re European and do the whole big lunch with wine on top of the mountain thing with their expedition sunglasses and wool pants and all that. So inevitably this place has broken me into the idea of apres….I mean what’s the harm in a hot toddie after a long day schussing down the hill? It’s the end of the season after all…. flexing feels appropriate for a spring break like moment….on a side note, I still hold my title as pastiest person in the world.
So despite my loser laden history I ended up at Aspen Mountain on closing day and caught the last gondy up in time to see some shit faced one piece suit wearing skiers bomb the mountain in super sketchy form and then somehow ended up following the après mob to the Sky bar’s closing party in time to see the entire town with it’s face melted off grinding in their ski pants….eew. Anyway, cheers to après and thank God the season is over in these parts….
A week after swearing off spring break and apres for good, I happened to be passing through Copper on my way to Denver and as fate would have it I caught another expression of spring break, this one in the form of end of the season lifties and mountain employees. I guess on a random Wednesday in April, Copper hosts the annual Cardboard Box Derby, which is basically another reason for grown adults to dress up in costumes and binge drink in the daylight. It’s also an unbelievably awesome display of creative expression and role playing. Here’s the deal or at least what I gathered from a slurring Greek Goddess as she explained the situation, each mountain ops or shop or department enter a Derby “Craft” made completely of cardboard, paint and a little duct tape for good measure. They are judged on creativity, speed and accuracy as they attempt to “sled” down the hill. Drinking also seemed to be highly encouraged. After adequate inspection and booze, the entire 40 craft entourage stumbled up hill with their prize possessions to prepare for their downward jaunt. Looking at the crafts and the fact that they were Captained by some pretty sauced souls, it seemed impossible that the tamales, or hotdawgs or family trucksters would even move on the snow. But in reality a bunch of motivated people lubbed up on alcohol will surely find a way to kill themselves…brakes you say, yeah they got those…but they’re made of cardboard too. Spring Break bitches….suck it…garden variety gnomes…the maintenance crew doesn’t eff around…Hot tube time machine…. you get the idea….there were a lot of snow burned, sunburned hungover peeps in Copper the following day. Happy Spring.