Magee Walker

6 Signs You Should Be a Ski Bum

You love skiing. You really, really do. That’s why you spend every single weekend up in the mountains, living the life.

The thought has crossed your mind more than once: what if you could trade in your weekend warrior card for full-fledged ski bum status? Imagine starting every day with a few mountain laps and always getting first tracks on a pow day. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Many ski bums are former weekend warrior converts, and they’ll be the first to tell you that moving to the mountains is the best thing they’ve ever done for themselves.

You may be wondering if now is the time to take the leap. If you nod your head in agreement to the following statements, consider this your wake up call.

You Feel One With the Mountains
You feel completely at peace when you’re up in the mountains, while cities make you feel choked for air. Nothing clears your head better than that first run of the day. Other people just don’t get it, man—the mountains are where you belong.

You’re Proud of Your Quiver
Let’s see here, you’ve got your early season rock skis, your skinny skis for icy groomer days, your powder skis (gotta love the powder skis), your park-ready skis and, let’s be honest, you’re contemplating picking up a new pair shortly. If your ski collection is your most prized possession, then you might secretly be a ski bum.

It’s Not Fall…It’s Ski Movie Premiere Season
Autumn means two things: your annual countdown-til-the-mountain-is-open is officially underway, and you’re reorganizing your schedule to catch this year’s crop of ski movies. You know your MSPs from your TGRs, and you have a serious opinion about how significantly Warren Miller Productions’ films have changed since the man himself stopped being involved. When you care more about ski movies than regular movies, it might be time to convert to being a ski bum.

You’re Willing to Make Sacrifices
Reasonably priced groceries? Your own private bedroom? A good-paying job? None of it matters. You’re willing to throw it all away in order to live, work, and play full-time in the mountains. If you’re willing to drop everything you’ve worked for in the name of skiing, you’ve got the makings of a ski bum.

You Resent Being Called a City-ot
You roll your eyes when the lifty who has been there a few months calls you a tourist. Please. You’ve been coming here for ages. You’re on a first-name basis with the local bartenders and you know the only place in town where you can eat a reasonably priced plate of nachos. You’re no city-ot; you’re a ski bum in training.

You Can’t Think About Anything Else
After a weekend on the slopes, you spend Monday obsessively reliving your best lines. Come Tuesday, you’re already planning next weekend’s trip. Wednesday, you’re compulsively checking the snow report. Thursday you’re packing your bags, and Friday you’re too preoccupied to get any actual work done. All signs point to ski bum.

To Use a Running App…or Not?

Once upon a time, the only thing I needed to go for a run was a pair of running shoes.

Those were simpler times. These days, I find myself using awkward contraptions—bouncy running belts or homemade Ziploc bag carriers—so that I can bring my phone along with me on my run.

It’s not that I think I’ll actually need my phone to make calls or check my Facebook feed mid-stride. It’s that my phone holds my precious running app, and I simply can’t do without. After all, if I run X number of miles but my app didn’t record it, did I even run them at all?

On a recent trail run with a friend, I accidentally left my phone behind. My heart sank temporarily when I realized that those precious miles would not be added to my monthly total, and that my workouts for the week would show one less session than I actually did. The pain was real.

It’s around then that I realized that I missed the feeling of running without even a watch, where the data didn’t matter and the numbers were irrelevant. As I contemplate ditching my running app for good, I believe it important to weigh out the pros and the cons.

Pro: Tracking Progress
I picked up my first running app last September when I decided on a whim to run a half marathon that was only five weeks away. Miles mattered, and so did my speed. I planned out each and every run and used the app to make sure I stayed on track. I ended up finish the race strong and healthy, and quite a bit faster than I anticipated. Point: App.

Con: Running Apps Are Dumb
I felt a ping of pleasure the other day when my running app notified me of a new achievement: a new highest elevation of 3,143 feet! I was elated—until I realized that the number didn’t match the mere 300 or so feet I actually climbed on the run. Thanks for boosting my ego, app, but please stop feeding me lies.

Pro: The Motivation Factor
I will admit that I run faster when an automated lady informs me of my distance travelled every five minutes. She’s my own personal trainer, and I can’t let her down.

There are also apps that allow you to compare your time to others—strangers, even—who have run the same segments as you. If you’re the competitive type, this is golden.

Con: The “You Suck” Factor
I once tried this app that had a separate heart rate monitor. After my run, it rated my effort on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest. I was busting my butt trying to keep up with the uber fit people in my running group, yet it scored me a “2”. Are you kidding me? Compared to Ussain Bolt, maybe.

Pro: Numbers Are Satisfying
If you’re the type of person who keeps a customized Excel spreadsheet that tracks every aspect of your life (guilty as charged), you will lose your mind over the beautiful data that these apps provide you with—barring, of course, the inaccurate stuff (see “Running Apps Are Dumb”, above). Comparing your logged miles or how you fared last week compared to this week is embarrassingly addictive.

Con: It Takes the Fun Out of Running
When you avoid stopping for water because you fear it will skew the data on your running app, it’s time to slowly put down your phone. Ask a trusted loved one to delete the app. Now, go for a run—with no phone swinging around in your pocket—and remember how good it feels to run with no app attached.

7 Essentials for Surviving a Music Festival

Did you hear that? It’s the sound of music festival lineups being released around the globe.

If you’re not too busy gathering your best pairs of high-waisted jorts or hand-weaving a daisy crown, take a moment to reflect on this list of true music festival must-haves. Only the strongest can survive a multi-day festival, so come equipped.

Walkie Talkies
Cell phones are okay, but they’re not always reliable in overcrowded fields with spotty reception—not to mention the risk you take in using up your whole battery filming Milky Chance’s set (more on that later).

Enter the walkie talkie: it’s truly shocking that more people haven’t figured out how awesome walkie talkies are at music festivals. Connect with your friends instantly, listen in on the backstage gossip by tuning into the right channel, and pretend that you’re a 4-year-old playing Spy. Trust us: walkie talkies are absolutely a festival must-have.

Cheap Shades
The most important accessory of all is six pairs of cheap sunglasses.

The cheap part is important: there is a 90% chance that you will not be returning home with these suckers. Since you’ll be watching shows from mid-day to sundown, you probably won’t have time to put them away responsibly in your tent. Instead, you’ll hook them onto your collar, forgetting that they’re there later on in the mosh pit. That’s why you bring six pairs.

A Water Bottle
If drinking water is not part of your festival regimen, then you’ve got yourself a one-way ticket to the first aid tent, where you’ll be mashed up with all the other dehydrated folks.

You could drop a month’s rent on the water sold on the grounds, or you could bring your own empty bottle and fill it up at the water stations that more and more festivals are incorporating. Check your festival of choice’s policies, but most are okay with empty bottles.

Portable Power
Remember when you used up your entire battery filming that Milky Chance set? Well, if you’d brought along some portable power, you wouldn’t be in such a pickle.

Outdoor Tech just so happens to make a few power banks, including one that’s waterproof (you never know). Don’t leave home without it.

Wet Wipes
Wet wipes are not just for post chicken wing hand cleaning.

No matter how hard festival organizers try, porta-potties are always going to be totally disgusting. You can probably contract 26 different diseases just by looking at one. Bring wet wipes. Use them often.

Sunscreen and/or a Hat
When you’re rolling into your campsite, that blazing sun will be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen—but you’ll be cursing its existence the next day when you’re a shade of red that’s somewhere between strawberry and fire hydrant. Your mom was right: wear sunscreen and bring a hat.

For the love of the guy standing next to you as you wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care, bring (and wear) deodorant.

6 Ways to Make Friends in a Ski Resort Town

In a ski resort town, your friends are your family.

Mom and Dad still aren’t sure why you quit real life to move to a ski resort town, but your buddies understand. They’re the ones you’ll share Thanksgiving dinner with, the ones who will deliver some Campbell’s soup when you’re not feeling so hot, and the ones who will pick you up from the medical clinic after a nasty spill in the park.

Needless to say, in a ski resort town, it’s important to choose your friends wisely.

Luckily, making friends in a ski resort town is incredibly easy (second only to making new friends the first week of your freshman year at college). Here are 6 handy ways to find your new brother-from-another-mother.

Buy a Pitcher
The number one easiest way to attract a crowd of potential friends is to offer to buy a pitcher for the table or to get the first round of drinks.

Nobody moves to a ski resort to make money. It goes without saying that funds are tight. You, on the other hand–new to the world of resort living–still have some savings saved up. Buy a pitcher, and the friendship thing will fall into place.

Engage in Chairlift Chatter
Lifelong friendships have been forged on slow chairlift rides. You’ve already got a love of skiing in common, so becoming BFFs with the guy or gal next to you on the lift shouldn’t be too tough.

Ask about his or her skis or inquire as to whether he or she has been over to (insert peak/glacier/bowl here). Assess his or her skill level, and if it matches up to yours, suggest doing a lap together. Let it be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Ask the Magic Question
Get to know your fellow ski bums with this one simple question:

“What’s your gypsy story?”

Nobody living in a ski resort town landed there by accident. Everybody is from somewhere else and gave up something important to live a ski-centric life. You can learn a lot about someone by his or her pilgrimage tale, and you’ll probably have plenty of follow up questions to ask based on their response.

Leave the House
Ski resort towns are typically pretty small. Maintaining a friendship is pretty easy because you’ll bump into the same people over and over. Having said that, you won’t make any friends if you stay holed up in your house. Put down the Xbox controller, pause your Netflix, and go outside. Look–there are people! Now go talk to them.

Know Your Value
The underground economy in a ski resort town is a beautiful thing. It’s important that friends take care of one another, so know what you have to offer in return.

Your contribution will often be related to your job. For instance, bartenders can swing free drinks for their friends, while tour guides can offer discounts when their pals’ parents are visiting. Hostesses can find you a table even when the best apres spot is packed, and retail workers can hook you up with pro deals. Tit for tat.

If your work skills aren’t shareable, valid contributions can also include baked goods, giving free rides, or being the person who lets people borrow his truck when they move. Get creative.

Branch Out
You’ll get to know your housemates and coworkers pretty quickly, but more friends lie beyond the horizons of your immediate circles. Find ins in other industries and take advantage of different kinds of friendships. Zip line guides will always be up for a hike. Servers will show you the best party in town. Yoga teachers will never say no to a shared cup of tea. Variety is the spice of life—find friends for every occasion, and you’ll be a very happy ski bum.

6 Holidays You’ll Discover in a Ski Resort Town

In a ski resort town, the usual holidays don’t matter.

Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter all mean the same thing: bigger crowds, extra shifts, more check-ins, and longer line-ups. Time off? Visiting family? Presents? Ha. That doesn’t happen.

But don’t feel too bad for ski resort residents—they still manage to find ways to celebrate (just never on a long weekend). Here are 6 unusual holidays that you’ll encounter in a ski resort town.

The First Snowfall of the Year
When that first white flake floats down through the late autumn sky, it is truly a religious experience for ski resort town folk. After a grey and dreary shoulder season spent watching ski flicks and doing squats, the first snowfall is a sign that winter is coming once again.

Don’t be surprised if you see a local or two shedding a tear, or possibly dropping to their knees, praying to Ullr for a prosperous, snowy season. And then there’s the newly arrived seasonnaires, many of who have never seen snow in real life. Yes, the first snowfall of the year is a special time indeed, for it means that Opening Day is just around the corner.

Opening Day
Christmas Eve at age seven—remember how that felt? That same feeling sweeps over ski resort towns the night before Opening Day.

In preparation for the first turns of the season, skiers and snowboarders will obsessively tune their gear so that it’s ready to go when the chairs start spinning. Opening Day ritual includes laying out your outerwear the night before, setting your alarm clock obscenely early for first(ish) chair, and assembling the perfect crew to celebrate with.

The hardcores take things to the next level: these kids (few over 19 can stomach this ritual) set up tents in the lift line up and spend the night (or nights) before Opening Day camped out. Don’t forget to bring snacks.

Gaper Day
All good things must come to an end, even a glorious season of skiing. Gaper Day is something like New Year’s Eve–skiers and snowboarders say farewell to the mountain, reminiscing on the many good times shared atop those snowy peaks.

Snow lovers pay their respects by adorning retro ski regalia and partaking in Gaper Day activities like skiing on stairs, skiing on grass, and skiing on rocks–because that’s pretty much all that’s left by the time Gaper Day rolls around.

Australia Day
Unlike the other holidays listed thus far, Australia Day is a proper holiday celebrated on the 26th of January. Few people outside of Australia partake in Australia Day–with the exception, of course, of ski resort towns.

For reasons unbeknownst to most, Australians flock to ski resort towns en masse, and thus Australia Day is a big deal in these small towns.

The beauty of Australia Day in a ski resort town is that it is often celebrated on both January 25 (which is January 26 in Australia itself) and on January 26. Ever heard of Triple J’s Hottest 100? You will.

The best part about Christmas in a ski resort town is that you’ll likely earn holiday pay while you’re attending to a rich family’s wants and needs. The other best part is when the Christmas holidays adjourn, offering a brief respite from the crowds, chaos, and madness. Gather your buddies and celebrate with a seasonal cocktail and some discounted Christmas chocolate–you’ve survived another year.

20 Centimetre Day
I’m not sure what the imperial version of the 20 cm day would be, but here in the Great White North, 20 cm is a big deal. If you wake up from a deep sleep and realize that 20 (or more) cm of snow has fallen over night, grab your gear and head to the mountain–it’s officially okay to be late for work.

Don’t worry, your boss will understand—you’ll probably bump into her in the lift line. Lifties, you’re an exception. We need you to make the magic happen.

6 Ways to Piss Off a Mountain Town Local

When you’re heading off for a ski vacation in the mountains, you’re bound to come into contact with varying degrees of locals*.

*The definition of local is a hotly debated topic that will be saved for another time.

Locals will check you into your hotel, tune your skis, pour your beer, and mend your sprained wrist. Get on their good side, and locals will also show you some sweet powder stashes, advise you on what activities are tourist traps, and let you in on the best place in town to grab a breakfast burrito.

And if you get on their bad side? Well, you’ll have to wait and see what that’s like. Here are 6 easy ways to piss off a mountain town local. (Warning: we are not responsible for the consequences of doing the following).

Don’t Tip
Money can’t buy you happiness: that’s the message you want to send to your server/bartender/cab driver/etc. Forget the fact that they’re overeducated and underpaid: they didn’t move to the mountains to make money. So after you’ve enjoyed a multi-course meal, asked for every modification humanly possible, and imbibed in custom-created cocktails, put a big fat zero on that tip line. Sign on the dotted line, give your server a thumb’s up for the great service, and go on your merry way.

Be a Know-It-All
You spent your lunch break scouring TripAdvisor and brushing up on your Wikipedia knowledge. Don’t let those facts go to waste. That guy you’re sharing the gondola with—the one who was born and raised in this very mountain town—doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Correct him about anything and everything, ranging from what time the mountain opens at to where they put the moguls in the summertime.

Be Condescending
“Aren’t your parents disappointed in you?” is a perfectly acceptable opener when talking with a mountain town local. Mountain town locals don’t make as much money as you, their house isn’t as pretty as yours, and their job title is totally lame (they probably don’t even have a business card). Assert your superiority, and don’t hide your smugness.

One Up Them
One of the best ways to piss off a mountain town local is to pull out the old bait-and-switch. Start conversing with them as though you actually care about what they have to say. Be kind, polite, and interested—then sweep the rug out from under their feet. Any time they express happiness or pride in their mountain town, one up them. “Yeah, the terrain here is okay, but it’s nothing compared to Chamonix.” “You think THIS is snow? Have you ever even been to Japan?” “This place is a hell hole. I don’t know how you live here.”

One easy way to rub salt in the wound is to throw in a casual post-remark, “No offense.”

Trash the Place
Being on vacation officially entitles you to throw away every shred of common sense and decency within your being. Don’t waste your time looking for a trash can—toss it on the ground! Drink ‘til you have to puke, and when you do, be sure to puke directly on a store window. Learn some tips from these guys—they know what’s up.

Announce Yourself
“Do you know who I am?” Those six magic words are the key to getting everything you want. Don’t be afraid to name drop the fact that your neighbor’s sister-in-law’s dad is the guy who runs the mountain… even if it isn’t true.

How to Brag About Your Ski Trip on Social Media

In this golden age of social media, we all know that no experience is complete unless it achieves X number of likes from your herd of dedicated followers.

Like, what good is a ski trip if you don’t successfully make 25% of your friends jealous along the way? Make sure that you don’t run out of power by grabbing a Kodiak portable power bank.

We know that it’s not easy to navigate the world of tagging, Tweeting, and favoriting – that’s why we’ve created this guide to help you triumphantly brag about your upcoming ski trip on social media in just 7 easy steps!

Step One: Announce Your Presence


You’re gracing your favorite ski resort with your presence. The least you can do is give them the head’s up, giving them plenty of time to roll out the red carpet for your arrival. The week before your departure, be sure to tweet “Only 7 days til I’m shredding the gnar at @skiresortname”. Bonus points if they retweet you, and bonus bonus points for also naming the specific hotel you’ll be staying at.

Step Two: Document the Journey


Whether your travels consist of trains, planes, or automobiles, you must record every moment of it. Constant Snapchats to your friends are the way to go: it helps build the anticipation.

Step Three: Show Us Your Stuff


Before you get ready to dress for the mountain, artfully arrange your ski gear into a deliberate, picture-perfect pile. Add the filter that hones in on the goods and blurs out the edges – you know the one. Don’t forget to tag each product’s brand – they’ll probably see your sweet shots and want to sponsor you.

Step Four: Only Excellence Will Do


So conditions are sub-par and you’re finding yourself skiing more ice than snow. Never show weakness: your social media announcements must present the illusion of perfection, otherwise your peers will not feel so bad about missing out. For instance, if you missed a bluebird day, just amp up that saturation level to make the sky the bluest of blues – no one will know otherwise. Use hashtags to emphasize the awesomeness – we suggest #bestdayever, #harddayattheoffice, or the ever endearing #lovemylife.

Step Five: Costume Change


Warning: put your phone down for this step; you do NOT want to document the costume change that takes place between skiing and apres. Posting a photo of yourself ruddy-cheeked with sweaty hair stuck to your face? Please – that’s for amateurs. Take a shower, don your favorite Nordic-inspired Christmas sweat (you know, the one that you bought specifically for this trip), and tousle your hair so that it straddles that fine line between supermodel and just-pulled-off-my-beanie.

You’re officially ready for Step Six.

Step Six: Selfie the Shit Out of Apres


You look great. That jug of beer looks great. Don’t let that greatness go to waste: selfie, selfie, selfie, and repeat. While the rest of the world is watching cat videos on YouTube, you’re basking in the post-ski glow enjoying the best pint of your life. #winning (just kidding – that’s not cool anymore.)

Step Seven: You Know What to Do on Thursday…


Four days after you return home, that magical day will roll around: Thursday. It’s time to reminisce back to your ski trip – enter #tbt, or Throwback Thursday for the uninitiated. No, it’s not too early to get nostalgic about your trip – plus this is a great opportunity to share that B roll you never got around to boasting about.

Snowskater’s Close Call in Colorado Avalanche

It’s been a rough year for avalanches, but this latest clip from Colorado’s Vail Pass adds a new element from some of the others we’ve seen: the guy caught in it wasn’t on skis or a snowboard—he was on a snowskate.

For the uninitiated, a snowskate is a sort of hybrid snowboard/skateboard. In other words, this guy rode out of a slab avalanche without bindings—he essentially snow-surfed his way out of what could have been a major disaster. Play safe out there!

6 Ways to Survive a Rainy Day on the Mountain

Forecasts of precipitation in your favorite ski town are usually a good thing—after all, the magic equation is precipitation + cold = pow.

But if you remove the cold element from that equation, you’re left with a slightly nastier result: rain.

No matter how you frame it, a rainy day on the mountain kind of sucks. You’ll get soaking wet pretty quickly, and the snow that’s already on the mountain will get heavy and weird (or melty and miserable).

As the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons, whip up a tasty batch of lemonade. Here’s how to make lemonade from soggy mountain conditions.

Gear Up

OT_Blog_Featured_01Continuing with the grandpa sayings, there’s no such thing as bad weather—there’s just bad clothing. In other words, if you’re wearing the right stuff, you can have a good time in just about any condition. So bust out the GoreTex and pack along an extra pair of gloves and go skiing.

If you don’t feel like springing a month (plus) of rent on waterproof snow gear, you could always resort to the old fashioned garbage bag poncho. If it’s good enough for the lifties, it’s good enough for you.

Switch Your Stick(s)

OT_Blog_Featured_02If the rainy conditions limit you to groomers or if you know that it’s unlikely that you’ll last more than a few hours up top, have a little fun with it. Get everyone in your posse to switch their sticks: if they usually snowboard, have them pick up a pair of skis, and vice versa. Laugh at each other as you flail madly down the mountain in unfamiliar gear. Given that you’re learning in horrible conditions, you’ll undoubtedly walk away with full confidence that your initial gear of choice is by far the best.

Get High

OT_Blog_Featured_03Unless you’re experiencing some funky inversion action, the general rule of thumb is that the higher you go, the colder it gets (duh). So if it’s pouring down low, it just might be snowing like crazy up in the alpine. If you get really lucky, you might get the most magical pow day of all time—and the lift lines will be non-existent, since the rain will have scared the masses away.

Just Give ‘Er

OT_Blog_Featured_04Of course, there’s always the option to just suck it up, buttercup. You’ve come this far to go skiing—are you really going to let a little rain scare you off?

Remember what’s waiting for you at the end of the day: a warm shower, a cold brew, and a hot plate of nachos. Keep that in mind as you power through soggy lap after soggy lap, you hardcore snow sporter.

Give Up and Be Lazy

OT_Blog_Featured_05If you can’t stomach the thought of spending your money on a lift ticket to shred in horrible conditions, then give up on the dream and make other plans. Throw on your rattiest pair of sweatpants, invite some friends over (instruct them to bring snacks and pizza), and indulge in a marathon session of ski movie watching. The powder on the screen is definitely better than the non-existent powder outside.

Give Up and Go Crazy

OT_Blog_Featured_06Too much pent up energy to spend the day on the couch? Then get creative and enjoy the other aspect of a ski town: the partying. Plan your own original pub crawl: aim to try every drink on the menu between your crew, or hop from bar to bar and order their signature beverage.

There you have it: the proverbial ski town lemonade.

6 Ways to Ruin a Season in the Mountains

You spent months—or years?—saving enough money to spend a season in the mountains. You secured the elusive ski resort job and the even more elusive ski resort accommodations. You’ve got your gear. You’ve got your crew. You’re ready for the best season ever.

Now don’t screw it up.

The vast majority of seasonnaires leave in the springtime, a smile pasted on their face and a snowball-shaped hole in their heart. But without fail, every season there are a few who mess it up for themselves. They’re easy to identify—they’re the ones muttering “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” under their breaths as they board the plane back home. Here’s how you can join that party.

Break a Bone
The cardinal ski resort sin, breaking a bone is a sure way to ruin the season. The earlier you break the bone, the worse you’ve ruined the season—a broken femur on opening day is as bad as it gets. On the plus side, you probably broke it in a really cool way, making for an awesome story. On the down side, you get to sit at home playing Xbox while your buddies are out shredding day after day.

Party Too Hard
Partying too hard in a ski resort town—is there such thing? In short, yes. If you’re partying so hard that you sleep through first chair on a powder day, you’ve crossed the line. If you wake up with a bear in your bed, you’ve crossed the line. If you head home in a body bag, you’ve definitely crossed the line (yep, this happens).

Run Out of Money
Being the guy who buys everyone rounds of shots seemed like such a good idea back in November. So did dropping your cash assembling the perfect quiver—a pow board, a rock board, a park board… but now you’re broke, and as you’ll soon find out, you can’t pay rent in snowboards. Congratulations, you’ve ruined your season—hope you saved enough for the flight home!

Get Booted
If you’ve ever been fired or evicted in a ski resort town mid-season, you know you’re pretty well screwed. Ideally, you’ve made enough friends to have your choice of couches to crash on—otherwise, it’s going to be a long, cold season. Getting booted from your home or job is bad, but there’s one kind of booting that is worse than the others…

Get Banned From the Mountain
Getting booted from the mountain is pretty much the biggest way to ruin your season. Having your pass revoked is akin to getting a lobotomy. Hopefully, you’re well-versed in backcountry, otherwise you’ll be spending a lot of time playing Xbox with the guy who broke his femur on opening day.

Destroy Your Friendships
You came here with your best buddy on earth, only now he’s not talking to you because you stole his girlfriend/ate all the cereal/borrowed his ski poles and lost them. Whatever it is you did, patch it up. A ski season only lasts a few months—don’t ruin friendships that last a lifetime. And don’t forget to call your mom every so often.