Red: Dirtbag No More. So reads the headline of an article (if you can call the regurgitated press release an article) in the latest (Vol.21#4) Ski Press Magazine. It claims that Red is on the verge of being transformed from a retro, experts especially ski area (Ski Press are creative manglers of prose), to a beginner friendly boutique experience. I know it’s not happening (it’s still rundown and empty), but Red’s strategy seems to be to be to just lie (by asserting their fantasies as reality), blatantly and repeatedly. It’s going to a huge challenge to convince rich gapers to come to Red and buy overpriced condos, because the skiing’s too difficult (surely they have more appropriate options), the facilities too Spartan (though we dirtbags love it), and it’s just not exclusive enough (these people seem only to want to associate with more of their kind). The new fixed grip quad replacing the Silverlode chair will actually devalue the skiing experience for most of us (slowing access to Granite and interupting skier traffic), and is designed only to add value to Red’s private land holdings, but it’s being hyped as a major new terrain expansion (though effectively closing access to almost as much terrain as the small amount it opens). Back to reality: today I was basking in the afternoon sun on the deck, drinking a cold Kootenay after an afternoon of fall-line Spring skiing on Red. Appreciating a lodge that was built in 1947, and a lift built in 1972, the small crowd unified by the smiles on their faces after a great day. I doubt any of us are going to buy a condo, nor set foot in some boutique hotel, and though to Red’s owners and management that makes us dirtbags who don’t matter at all, we’re the ones who are actually skiing and loving the mountain. Long live the dirtbags.