Snowbunnies Thrive in Cozy Lodges, Spurn Frigid Trails

There comes a time in every schusser's life when he or she must decide the main purpose of skiing. The experts who hurtle nonchalantly down the slopes say it's the actual schussing; others who hurtle awkwardly into snowdrifts aren't so sure; the beginner can't stay on his feet long enough to reach a conclusion. A small portion of male skiers and a far larger female contingent end this conflict by deciding it's the social lift that makes the ski weekend. These, dear reader, are the snowbunnies.

A snowbunny is a discouraged slatser, an aborted expert, a perennial beginner. The bunnies never remain on the slopes long enough to make any headway; but are driven indoors by ten o'clock, where they are content to watch the schusser from plush leather chairs in the base camp. Bunnies are the last to leave the ski lodge and the first to return, just in time for a change and five o'clock cocktails.

Life magazine recently said that all beginners are snowbunnies. This is not true. A snowbunny is a permanent beginner with no hope for improvement, and no ambitions in that direction. In this way she is like a Student Council Committee.

One of Radcliffe's more adept snowbunnies is shown above in a touching and not unfamilar pose. In fact, medical science is forever amazed at the pretzel positions assumed by the rubber-legged lasses from the city. Small wonder they would rather stay in bed.

There are two schools of thought on the origin of the term snowbunny. The first, led by ski professional Torger Bartle, maintains that snowbunnies are so named because they pick up enough snow on their costumes during a descent to be camouflaged almost as perfectly as the winterplumed rabbit.

But crafty concessionaire Ale Bell had a different angle. "They're called snowbunnies because they're like rabbits emotionally," he smirked.

Yet the phenomenon of snowbunnies is not so simple as it seems, for just as there are various grades of skiers, snowbunnies too have their nuances. Most baldfaced fraud is the towrider. This young lady goes up the tow bright and early in the morning wearing her immaculate Saks ski suit and carrying a pair of brand new skis. She hovers around the top of the tow (snowbunnies ALWAYS go to the resorts with tows) for an hour and then slyly hops on it again for the ride down.

More subtle is the lounge. She always comes up with a broken ski (see picture) or a slight sniffle and must retire to the ledge post haste. For her it's always either too icy or too cold to go skiing, and this "little ol' couch is so-o-o comfy."

For sheer misuse of apparent purpose, perhaps the "night crawler" deserves special mention. No one knows what this young lady does with herself during the daytime, but like the stars, she comes out at night. Fall of vim and vigor, she easily eclipses the she-skiers, and ogles all tired but available males.

Last but not least is that hardy individual common to all spectacular sport, the Mexican athlete. As the fire roars in the lodge living room, our here holds up his glass of Canadian beer C'a little habit I picked up while taking in Tremblant with Tony Matt and the boys") and asks suavely, "What I want to know is how can I get down the Headwall at Washington with one instead of the usual two turns?" But never worry, the Mexican athlete in always leaving in the morning