The Inertia for Good Editor
snowboard wipeout

“These edibles aren’t doing anything…” Mattias Olsson // Unsplash.

The Inertia

According to data from the California Department of Health Care Access and Information, ski-related ER visits in California rose 50 percent between 2016 and 2022. However, the number of people hitting the slopes remained mostly the same throughout that period. According to the Times, some 6,000 people went from the slopes to an emergency room in 2022.

So, what’s the root of the problem here?  According to the LA Times and local tv news station KTLA, it’s all the weed, alcohol (Fireball whiskey, to be exact), and selfie sticks running rampant on our slopes. Pardon my sarcasm, but to test this hypothesis, KTLA turned to the age-old sociological research method of asking people over 50 for anecdotal evidence.

I now stand corrected. Weed, alcohol, and selfie sticks aren’t entirely at fault here. As one skier pointed out to KTLA, the wildly unique “this generation doesn’t get it” phenomenon is at play too. She’s observed something no boardsports enthusiast has ever discussed (ever): the etiquette that once held order is now completely gone.

“We used to say — as we were coming downhill, whoever was downhill from us — ‘On your right, on your left,’ as we were passing them,” she explains. You can hardly hear that now, the reporter confirms. This one, of course, checks out. As somebody who wasn’t alive in the Nixon era, I was never told accidents on a groomer could be avoided simply by telling people to look out.

Speaking of the Nixon era, the report suggests his war on drugs may not have worked, which is also news to most of us. When asking others why today’s California slopes are so dangerous, the obvious evil is…weed. More people are taking photos and videos on their phones, their GoPros, “and yes, even taking pot-laced edibles before hitting the slopes,” KTLA reports.

POT? And snowboarding? Since when????

“You’re on the lift, sitting on the lift, and it’s like ‘smells like a skunk up here.’ It should smell like pine trees,” says one man in an actual elf hat, glossing over the fact that somebody developed a gummy potent enough it can be smelled from lifts and you smoke it.

Oh, but it gets worse.

“Today, I’m skiing down one of the slopes and I see a little bottle of Fireball,” says another person. “That’s the thing you’ve gotta worry about.”

So, there you have it. Skiers and snowboarders are doing things they absolutely never did before this modern era. Danger lurks at the top of every lift, where people are addicted to gummies and they do alcohol.

Kids these days.


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