Brad Northrup: Ski Bum Advice – The Mountain Translator

Like most folks out there, I am locked up in a cubicle Monday through Friday in order to pay the bills, put food on the table, and keep myself and my better half geared up during ski season. Thankfully, I happen to work with some super nice people, many of whom share my love of winter. Once the season is in full swing, it doesn’t take much effort to witness my mind wander to untracked powder fields and smooth groomers. Alas, this usually occurs during any one of the numerous meetings I find myself attending during the workweek. As conditions in the mountains get better, I find myself replacing the things I hear in these situations with what I want to hear. If you love winter like I do, try using the following handy dandy mountain translator during one of those endless meetings; it will help pass the time until the weekend.

Plan Your Trip to Whitefish, MT.

These numbers don’t appear to be accurate. Can you review and advise?

Anyone who works in the business world has likely heard this before as it applies to darn near everything. Sales, marketing, accounting, you name it.

Translated: The local snow report is claiming ten inches of new snow overnight. If you can make first chair, you will likely be able to drop in on the leeward side of the ridge and lay down at least five untracked runs before the hoards track it out.

Management needs this project expedited and completed before COB Friday.

The big cheeses always seem to need things done quickly, and it’s up to us minions to get it done.

Translated: Halfway through a 10-minute chairlift ride, you realize you made a grave tactical error this morning when you stopped for two sausage biscuits with gravy on the way to the hill. Once unloaded, you calculate it will take five minutes to get back down to the lodge. Due to the severity of the situation and some intestinal motivation, it only takes you two.

We will have some upper-echelon corporate visitors tomorrow, so dress appropriately.

Looking sharp for important people goes with the territory in the business world, though few people I know actually enjoy ironing. Unless its wax.

Translated: Saturday looks to be a bluebird day with temps in the teens and possibly a foot of new snow. It pays to pre-pack your ski bag and ensure you have an extra layer, extra gloves, and some darker goggles. Also, make sure the bota bag is full.

So we need you to come in early and stay late to ensure this task gets completed.

This is just how it goes in the real world. Sometimes you just have to put in a little extra time to get the job done right.

Translated: You better get your backside outta bed early on the weekend if you want to enjoy fresh tracks, or at least quality turns for that matter. And no, you can’t go home at 1 because your legs are tired. Suck it up and make a few more runs. //

Brad Northrup is a former ski racer, coach, and ski industry professional. How he makes it through the workweek is anyone’s guess.

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