An Ode to My Ski Bum Dad

Father’s day was last Sunday, and it got me thinking about something other than skiing: my ski bum dad. Like a lot of us in the ski and ride community, my parents taught me how to ski. I started skiing at two years old, because my parents were willing to take me to the bunny hill and push me downhill over and over until, at some point, I made a turn or learned how to stop. From the very start, they supported me through skiing, which has gotten me so much farther than I could ever imagine. So I wrote an ode to my old man (shout out to my mom too! she’s the bomb and a badass ski lady, but it’s not her holiday). I hope this resonates with you and your ski bum old man, too.

Dear Dad,

Thank you for teaching me how to ski and giving me the resources to do it. Thanks for every summer sale and showing me every secret “trail”. Thank you for getting me up early every weekend to beat the crowds and keeping me out there even when I complained. Thank you for buying all my gear and teaching me how to make it last (brief intermission to say that this post is sponsored by the duct tape on my Kinkos).

Thank you for tuning my skis and having the pride to let someone else tune them when you couldn’t anymore. Thanks for squeezing me into my boots until I was old enough to do it myself. Thanks for driving home while I was asleep in the back seat, even though you were tired, too. Thanks for all the mountain breakfasts, hot chocolates, and chairlift candies. Thanks for all helmet stickers, and all the helmet hair.

Thank you for telling me about the good old days; the stories of when you were a ski patroller, and your trips to Whistler, Steamboat and Squaw. Thanks for telling me about all the times you met great professional skiers and geeked out over the first pair of K2’s that had rocker in them. Thanks for every race, competition, ski trip and every little thing you didn’t have to do, but wanted to do.

Thank you for inflicting the best possible childhood on me. For teaching me to not hate winter, but to rejoice in it. For teaching me how to read a trail map before a book. Thanks for giving me a passion that has been a factor in every decision I’ve ever made (like coming to UVM). Thanks for teaching me to love skiing, because through skiing I have made the best of friends, met the greatest people, worked with the best companies in the best industry, and had a life full of excitement and thrill.

I know a ski pass every year wasn’t cheap, but I didn’t do drugs on the weekends and I got into college, so what I’m trying to say is that we’re pretty close to even, Pops…~ZING~

If I haven’t said this enough--and I know I haven’t--thanks for being my ski bum dad. You have given me a life full of adventure through skiing, and a true love for the rest of my days. Above all, you have given me hundreds of memories with you, and the time I got to spend with you are the most important things to come out of our love for skiing. Thank you for being my ski bum dad.  



By Cian Duffy, UVMSSC Events Coordinator