We got a goodly dumpage of 12-14" of new snow late this last week. Yesterday, from the lift line, it appeared that a whole lot of real skiers--wearing helmets, technical clothing, top o' the line boots, and all the fattest, longest, raddest skis--had come out to play. I felt like an interloper--no pontoons, no helmet, no pack--just little ol' me, my Pieps, and my Tough Luvs. Finally we get to the head of the line and start up the hill. This is no ordinary hill--this is Schlausman's at Bridger Bowl, lift-served, backcountry terrain. It had been closed during the storm and has accumulated an untracked bounty of new snow. And what do we see on the ride up but a whole lot of hackers sitting way in the backseat steering their tails, straight-lining, traversing, and sitzmarking their way down the hill. The good skiers were notable for their rarity. I'd generously estimate one good skier for every 10 hacks.
So, what's the deal? Is the idea to look authentic in the lift line and leave a pretty corpse on the hill?
Should the management of Bridger Bowl institute a ski test before allowing people to use the lift that takes them into "expert" terrain?
Have you seen a similar trend at your area--of woefully incompetent (but well-equipped) skiers putting themselves and the ski patrol who may have to rescue them at risk?