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Dear Badger: What’s proper tram line etiquette?

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Dear Badger,

Was I wrong to cut 4 people who cut into the Tram line to join their group? 5-cabin wait and the skiing was good.

-anonymously submitted via Explore Big Sky Website

Dear Lone Wrongedler (I make up names if you don’t give me one),

I’ve been on this earth a long time and I’ve seen a lot of long lines and dingbats who abuse systems. The tram line is a sacred one. Everyone is up there to worship at the top of the mountain. Some people ski it as many days as they can, and some people paid out the nose to ski it for one glorious day where they thought they were a better skier on the East Coast and now they are about to tomahawk down the Big in front of a bunch of worried/amused onlookers waiting to feel or prove something that day. My point is, it’s not like you’re waiting in line to ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Disneyland. You’re waiting in line to complete a quest. The snow stakes are higher and it’s way too cold to wait extra time in line.

My first bit of advice is to… ignore it and use your anger on some sick turns down the mountain. The person who is allowing their friends in line could be any one of these things: a young moron who works for the resort and has literally no conscience (yet… there’s time); a Make-a-Wish group so let’s just leave that where it is and happy best day ever; a family who is mad that they just paid a ton for this vacation and by golly we just paid more for the tram so we’re gonna do whatever we want because the world owes us; or it could be a group of friends who lost one of their pals and they just found them so they could all ride together. I choose to believe that most people wouldn’t do that unless they had good reason.

Such line-cutting behavior—theirs or yours—would never fly with a rule-following mountain goat, but mankind has a lot of variables when it comes to reasoning. We often assume it’s one thing when it’s something wholly different so the best route in that situation is to choose kindness and hope that they had a good reason for their friends arriving late. The sacred tram line is simply not a place to take petty revenge.

This badger is afraid of heights, so I will leave all of the tram line to you and your fellow risky buddies while I pretend that Pomp is a triple black. I think that responding in anger only creates more anger or fear. I’ve seen so many moose do it. But seeing the world as a cooperative place where moments of kindness and understanding, one stick at a time, build a strong foundation for a better world. Just ask the beavers.



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