>what is…Community?

>This has been on my mind lately as i’ve been following the drama in Jackson Hole over the concept of sled assisted skiing. Did they break the law? That’s what it sounds like. Is the law completely ridiculous? In my opinion, yes. But what make this whole ordeal sad to me is watching members of that community who all share the common bond of skiing/snowboarding, piss on each other. Like a rabid dog pack they care not who they attack, furthering their separation of community. Some bark that “those guys are lame cause we did it more hard core and didn’t use a sled”, or “our way is better, than their way.” Regardless of what side you’re on, i view it this way…

Today my favorite color is yellow. Tomorrow it might be different. Your favorite color might be blue, and that may change too. Who’s to say that yellow is more hard core, or superior to blue? It’s just a color preference, right? When was the last time you publicly ridiculed someone for liking a different color than you? That would be a jack-ass thing to do, eh cause it’s just a color. Sure that yellow may hurt your eyes when you look at it, but i bet you’d come across as a complete douche if you said something about it. Some people don’t like the smell, sounds or terrain accessibility of snomachines, but did you ever think about those folks who don’t like to see ski tracks messing up their winter scenery… i’m serious. There really are people who don’t like to see ski tracks. Get what i’m sayin? Each to his/her own. We are not the only users and lovers of the backcountry. The irony comes from those who think we are looking up to their Jackson Hole ideals, when in reality many of us on the outside are looking…well, down in the “hole” at their egos.

Skiing, like climbing is a selfish pursuit and does not really do much other than make us feel good, both mentally and psychically. We often get to share those good moments with others who may also like the color yellow, or blue or whatever is your favorite way of doing something. We live in America where we can think and for the most part, act for ourselves -within the law of course! Sure there are those slednecks who break the law and ride in places they are not permitted, but how many of you have skied out of bounds when it’s closed? More commonly, how many like to smoke the dope? Against the law? Sure. Do alot of people do it? Well, you know the answer to that! I for one can’t stand hypocrisy. Either you bend the rules to fit your life style or you don’t. If you’re a rule bender why do you feel inclined to piss on others for doing so?

It’s sad but not surprising to see a community such as Jackson Hole continue to destroy any common ground that makes a mountain town enjoyable to live in…and that is unity regardless of your favorite color! Ego is destructive in my opinion. It’s just skiing. Is what you did or how you did it more important than being a decent human and respecting the fact that others do and see things differently than you? The irony for me comes from knowing many of these guys who bark that sleds should not be used to access backcountry skiing, but will skin up a snowmobile track or utilize the machine groomed trails to access their favorite stash! They too are benefiting from the use of a machine. If you’re opposed of machine assisted access for skiing wouldn’t it make sense to break trail off to the side? Isn’t that the way of the pure and hard core? If i ever get that hard core, i’ll leave a sweet yellow note on the summit in the snow that says… NO ASSIST SKIING RULZ AND IS BETTER THAN WHATEVER YOU DID TO GET HERE! (Hey, that was pretty funny!)

If you have no idea what i’m talking about, check out the link to TetonAT.com.

I know a lot of folks don’t care for our community, sighting that we are too conservative or there are too many Mormons, or other various reasons. That’s cool if it doesn’t work for you, but for those of us living here, despite various religious convictions, political ideals, or other various reasons other people don’t like eastern Idaho (outside of Teton Valley) we at least have a community of outdoor enthusiasts that get along, support each other, and simply respect one another. Although we boarder the Jackson crowd, our small community reflects more of a southwest Montana user group, who is supportive, informative, and have a “live and let live” code of ethics. Thanks east Idaho.

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6 responses to “>what is…Community?

  1. >Great Op ed. I feel the same way, hypocrits are my least favs (even thou I sometimes slip into the fray). You have done a great job creating this blog and promoting the east idaho BC ski community. Keep up the good work and I hope we can get out together next week sometime.

  2. >Let’s stop skiing and just go ride the snowmachine. This is Idaho ya know. Yeehaa! This sounds like the old battle over who did the winter GT in style or not. Good friends fighting over bs….

  3. >Interesting discussion. I think the publishing of the video forced the park’s hand in making a comment against Koch’s trip. If he hadn’t done that, I don’t think anyone would have said boo about it because it’s not an uncommon thing. The TetonAT blather is typical Jackson Hole.

  4. >Being rude on the interwebz? Sadly, behavior all to common in this day and age.Using the Internet’s anonymity to act badly in ways that few would dare do in person is, well, sad……and lame.Did they break the law? Yes. Capital offense? Hardly, though I would not like to see more of the same. Don’t like the law? Change it. Easier said than done. I know.My .02 cents, though you know what they say about opinions! ;-

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