So let me weigh in from a perspective that is probably uncommon on this message board.
I am, I suppose, an atypical skier. Born and grew up mostly in India--during the socialist Indira Gandhi years not the shiny Bollywood post-economic reform years. Lived and moved about on-and-off in SE Asia because of Pop's job. Saw a bit of Africa and Europe as well.
While I'd seen plenty of snow--mostly from my dorm window at boarding school in Darjeeling--skiing was something that women did in Europe wearing stirrup pants and tight sweaters.I couldn't be bothered and even if I HAD cared the skiing infrastructure in the Himalayas in the 70's was non-existent.
I moved to the States at 17 to go to college in the snowy upper-Midwest and that's where the bug bit. It all started off because a drinking buddy was dating a gal who happened to be on a local ski team. Went to grab a few beers and some skiing broke out. Jeans, crashing in the lift line, the whole rookie bit. But there was something about it that got me to come back--I think the exotic physical sensation, the dramatic tension of speed against balance, the sound of the snow under my ski, the wind in my face. There was something deeply gratifying about it all. And it kept me coming back until I was good enough to HAUL ASS down those wee black diamond runs on that little midwestern hillock (aah the ignorance and hubris of youth!). Then real life interrupted and I landed up in a place with no mountains and no snow.
20 or so years on and I'm living in the Pacific NorthWest. Husband of one, Dad of two. My kids learned to ski at Bachelor with their cousins, have season passes (with their buddies) at Hood. I, on the other hand, had skied maybe a handful of times since those glory days of my pomp. I'd tried Mt Hood and Mt. Bachelor; and before that Montana and Tahoe. But the experiences were always singularly unpleasant. The lift tickets were expensive, the boots were uncomfortable, the mountains intimidating, the wife uninterested in it all. I figured I'd 'aged out' of skiing and resigned myself to being the ski dad who drives the kids up and then spends the day with his kindle in the lodge.
I don't know what changed a couple of seasons ago--maybe it was watching the kids, knowing that they won't be with me forever, wanting to share in an experience that I once had loved as much as they do now. So I forced myself to get back on the slopes. I took lessons for the first time in my life--some were awful, some not so awful. Suffered through rental queues and packed-out boots. Finally bought myself a season pass this year and I'm happy to say that while I can't keep up with the kids I can at least stay within screaming distance (OK, I know, they're sandbagging).
The point of the exhausting autobiography is this: Yes, I was forced to abandon skiing but I think skiing also abandoned me. It's been bloody hard work to get back in, for one thing. It takes a great deal of deliberate effort and will and determination. The misery starts in traffic on the way up, then there's the chaos of the lodge parking lots, the clusterf**k that is the rental center. And let's talk about gear for a minute--it's taken 23 years and a dozen bloody ski shops to finally work out that I should ski a 26 boot instead of a 27. Really? Then there are the lessons, christ the lessons--I had one instructor who was baked and likely drunk as well (the resort comped all of us on that one); the flavor of the month theories (pressure your tips? no power your tails!) that seem to vary like hair color from instructor to instructor; the educational discourse that sometimes confuses more than it educates cloaked in mystifying verbiage cribbed from biomechanics and things like kinesiology and specious interpretations of physics.
And that brings me to the culture, most germane to this thread. It's all so bro-tastic dudes! To paraphrase Mcconaghuey--"I keep getting older but the ski bros stay the same age". For me it's like 1994 all over again--gnarly rock-on hand-signs and stuck-out tongues and all. At 20 it (mildly) amused me, at 40 it's just boring. My wife, a woman from an athletic midwestern family, a cross-country skier herself, was turned off downhill skiing years ago by what she remembers as cliquish tribalism, brand snobbery, and immature one-upmanship. Now I happen to disagree with her position because I believe that it reflects only a minority of the skiing population--but I cannot in good conscience deny that the undercurrents exist. They continue to be perpetuated by the vocal and highly visible promotion and characterization of alpine skiing as some sort of extremist cult.
Fell free to tell me to go and F**K myself--I'm a fat, foreign, middle-aged c**t. I'm soft, I can''t nut up and deal and get with the program. But I'm laying this down as somebody from the outside looking in. Given the incestuous nature of skiing world I'm the guy who's coming at you with the view from the muggle world of people who don't know from skiing. And, frankly, if skiing is to have any sort of healthy future it needs to engage blokes like me. The numbers don't lie; the deja vu that is the faces in the lodge at the end of the ski day (it feels like I''m seeing the same people over and over again--across thousands of miles and decades) doesn't lie.
I'm resolved to keep skiing until I punch out; my kids will carry on after I'm gone. It's their kids that I worry about--will there be any sort of ski industry left?