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Special Issues & Guides » Winter Adventure

Ski Bums: Then vs. Now

A side-by-side comparison

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The face of snow-riding has changed tremendously over the last few decades—all without really changing at all. Ditto for the definition of "ski bum."

Today, being a ski bum isn't so much about scarfing free ketchup-saltine soup in the lodge cafeteria (though for some that may still hold true). It is about hi-tech gizmos and creating films that would make Warren Miller blush. And, consider the modern day ski—shorter, lighter, crafted—all which make the 1970 Oliv IV look like something a caveman would use. Want to know the snow conditions? In the '90s that meant driving to the mountain. Today? Ask Google.

But even with all the technological advancements—from Clif bars, to shaped skis, to fully loaded all-wheel-drive, military-grade personal vehicles—the core of any good winter adventure has remained unchanged. The basic ingredients are snow, friends and plenty of enthusiasm (or "stoke," for all you whippersnappers). •

Then Now

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