The mountains evoke images of lean, chiseled, hardy hunks who crunch couloirs for breakfast.
After all, for many years, mountain air was considered an apt cure for any disease. Sure, you'll be gulping up clean air by the lungful and these days, on any slopes, you'll have a plethora of eye-candy, simply oozing swag.
But beneath the snazzy garments, and perfectly primed Instagram shots, lies the (oft reeking) realities of riding.
Greasy hat hair
Wearing a helmet is a must whilst riding. Although braids do look cute hung down from the sides, once you peel off a helmet, underneath tends to reveal a damp bowl of sweat-ridden roots.
Solution? Wear a beanie under your helmet so you can wash it, or take a beanie that easily crams into a pocket, to jam on quickly after removing your helmet in social situations.
The strong smell
Jamming your feet into boots all day creates sorely stinky socks. Plus, after a decent morning’s splitboarding, an odor can emanate quite quickly from one’s armpits. Put simply, if you ride hard -- you smell quite hard, too.
Solution? A great natural deodorant combined with merino wool socks/base layers.
Beneath those jazzy snowboard pants lies a sadly sagging secret. A pair of long-johns were never the most flattering of items -- even more so mid-season when they start to stretch and sag, turn grey and obtain a mildewy odor.
Solution? Opt for some decently fitting base layers (Kora's are made with yak wool) to keep you snug and sassy. Or, at least cover up any delicate brocades of mold with a durable (and eco-friendly) Big Agnes jacket.
If you're a beginner, you'll fall a lot. If you're a shredder, you'll still be falling a lot when practicing park skills, or just perfecting your carving. Expect to be riddled with marks making you look like a bizarrely bruised peach.
Solution? Padded shorts -- may not look sexy but they'll protect your nether regions.
Mountain life leaves you with the oddest of colorings: picture a nut brown face, with panda eyes, or a nut brown head compared to a shockingly white body.
Perhaps worst of all is the strange “strip burn” tan -- where you have an ill-fitting helmet pared with your goggles, leaving an unsavory slice of tan across the forehead.
Solution? Make sure you get a pair of goggles that fits your helmet, wear a buff to protect your face from the sun, and slather up on suncrean. You'll always have a bit of coloring, but protection is key.
Getting racy with someone from apres-ski
Firstly: kissing with goggles is not easy -- it’s like having a chastity belt around your face. Added to this, if you do manage to lure someone home in the ether of twilight, you’ll both spend at least five minutes taking off the many items of clothes you’ve layered on to keep out the chill. This can quickly dampen any desire if your date is asking for help pulling his/her socks off -- especially if you remove said items to see the luridly pasty flesh beneath.
Solution? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
When you’re panting up a mountain, or soaring into pow, the last thing you’ll be checking is the cluster of frozen snot (or drool -- depending on how hard you’re frothing) around your face … Most unsassy.
Solution? You could wipe them away with a glove but if they’re too frozen, just rock ’em. They’ll defrost eventually -- often in a wildly inappropriate moment.
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