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“I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.”

Pee-wee Herman – Pee-wee’s Big Adventure


One of my top five favorite things in life is a day spent snowboarding. The allure of winter bliss, combined with exercise, adrenaline, and mountain camaraderie is my ideal and, during the season, usually ranks number one.

I consider myself both privileged and lucky, but, unfortunately, I don’t always have the luxury of a companion on the mountain. The drawbacks of lonely isolation are outweighed, however, by the benefit of the “singles only” line. Waiting with your gang in a lift line that makes Disney’s Magic Mountain pale in its never-ending frosty shadow, only to look over to see a single skier shoot past everyone and squeeze in on the next chair, sparks instant envy.

Call it the benefit of being a lone wolf, but the bonus/curse of riding solo is that the singles line pairs you up with an array of interesting characters. Here’s my short list of the general packs that the single-line rider encounters and the pros and cons of riding in their company.

  • The Family – Unit Nuclearum
    • Pros – Usually keep to themselves. Always friendly and well-behaved.
    • Cons – Might be trying to load a toddler or even a puppy onto the lift bringing the entire line to a halt.
  • The Social Media Influencers – Experientious Secondhandius
    • Pros – Bolstered sense of existence by being tagged in their posts.
    • Cons – Danger of being stabbed when they whip out the selfie stick to capture the excitement of a 20-minute lift shutdown.
    • (Added Pro – Dropped phones, gloves, poles, hats, etc. Hilarious!)
  • The Partiers – Gangani Legalitus or Spirit Intoxicatii
    • Pros – FUN FUN FUN
    • Cons – Sparking a bowl on the lift or, worse, throwing up.
  • The Old Timers – Durangatangus Knowitallus
    • Pros – Tend to keep to themselves.
    • Cons – Can’t help but regale you on what the mountain was like back when there was only a tow rope and they skied on aspen bark behind Teddy Roosevelt.

Complaining about a bad day snowboarding is like saying a plate of oysters are bad because there’s not enough mignonette sauce. It’s a First World problem, and if I don’t like oysters there’s no reason on earth I should waste my time and money eating them. So, I’m not complaining about riding single, the conditions, and, especially, the great people that I get to meet on the way. I’m just along for the ride.

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