Going on a Ski Date

February 10, 2014 D'Arcy McLeish

There’s nothing like a first date. A test of sorts, first dates are the shopping experience for romance. Meeting someone one-on-one for the first time is always a little nerve wracking. Will they like me? Can we relate? Is this guy going to turn out to be Joe Weirdo? Will she tell me kids are the number one priority right as dinner is being served? In most cases, first dates usually come in the form of dinner or meeting for a drink. In a ski town, however, there is another option: going on a ski date.

The Ultimate Ski Date Photo - Dave Silver
The ultimate ski date
Photo – Dave Silver

For those of us that live in ski towns, ski dates are the real test of possibility. Why meet for a coffee when you can meet at the hill and shred a few laps? For skiers, be it a guy or a girl, going on a ski date is the ultimate test. It gives both parties a chance to really suss the other person out. But it’s a double-edged sword. While a ski date can be great, it can also be awkward. If the other person shows up carrying their skis like a gaper with a sweet gap between their toque and their goggles, things aren’t going to last. One experience a friend of mine had, the guy showed up for a day skiing groomers in his ABS bag and avalanche gear. Really? Was it that important to demonstrate how hard-core you are? To top it off, he could barely ski.

Last Frontier Heliskiing Offers Up Ski Dates That Last A Week...and They're Worth It. Photo - Rand Lincks
Last Frontier Heliskiing offers up ski dates that last a week…and they’re worth it.
Photo – Rand Lincks

The ski date has lots of options and even offers some natural boundaries. First off, you’re skiing, which always goes down smooth. Second, conversation is limited to the chairlift, which means there is always a little break between chats. This is a good thing, because it provides both parties with an opportunity to collect themselves and enjoy a little solitude on each lap. Another benefit of the ski date is if things aren’t going super well or Joe Weirdo is getting a little too close for comfort on the gondola, you can split at anytime.

If Your Date Can Handle This... Photo - Dave Silver
If your date can handle this…
Photo – Dave Silver

The other aspect of the ski date is that it puts both parties under just a little duress. It’s easy to fake it in a coffee shop. On the hill, it’s tougher. Skiing brings out our true selves and is a form of expression all on its own. Skiing with someone is intimate but distant, and allows us to see the other person in action, and that will always speak louder than seeing them across a dinner table.

If You're Ski Date Shows Up In A Downhill Suit, Just Hope He Can Ski. Otherwise...
If your ski date shows up in a downhill suit, just hope he can ski. Otherwise…

One recommendation I would make, however, is to limit ski dates to non-powder days. Otherwise, you may get into a conflict between shredding waist deep turns or hanging with your date. That being said, if your date can shred, a pow day might be the best day for a ski date, but it’s risky. Waiting for someone to catch up on a pow day is difficult even when you’ve been married for ten years. A first date might not survive.

So go on a ski date. Ask that guy or girl to meet you at the lift at 9. Spend a morning or afternoon shredding laps with someone you have a crush on. Skiing with someone will give you a pretty quick idea of whether there’s potential for long term possibility, short term excitement or skiing away, shaking your head.

Be safe, ski hard.