When you see someone ripping down the Mountain, jamming to their iPod, do you ever wonder what they’re listening to?

I do. So I decided to ask.

And who else do you ask such a question to but your Facebook friends — a group of people who you may or may not actually know, but who you are pretty sure have better virtual lives than you.

The question struck a heartstring with many and the full responses are too long to post here, but I am posting excerpts verbatim, because to change the wording would be artistic suicide. You simply can’t make up the sh#* skiers and boarders say, and if you tried, it just wouldn’t be as good.

From snowboarder Jereb Carter: Jane’s Addiction’s Coming Down The Mountain is my all time favorite. I start almost every bluebird or powder day with it. Never hit play until you’re ready to ski! Some other greats are Blues Traveler’s, Mountains Win Again, it’s great for hiking up Mt. Quail. When there’s no pow pow on the meow I always like to Rock AC/DC or Rage Against the Machine — awesome for crushing cruisers! My constant for good turns and a good vibe is BOB MARLEY; he makes up most of my 276 songs and is great for all Mountain skiing and riding the sky couch!

From skier and patroller Lisa Chism: Old Crow Medicine Show for hiking up Palmyra Ridge and Peak.

From snowboarder Craig Wasserman: I listen to Jimi Hendrix instrumental solos while I ride, but it’s not on my pod, it’s loud and clear in my head. I also like to listen to the wind and trees and the sound of my snowboard on the snow, as well as other skiers around me and people yelling funny sh#* from the lift.

From skier and patroller Pete Dahle: I would be over-stimulated if I could hear the heckling coming from the chairlift. Thievery Corporation, Garcia, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Black Sabbath & Zeppelin make up the bulk of my 4000 song iPod on shuffle and keeps me company when I can’t keep up with Root.

From skier Lindsey Canon: For Lift 9, DLZ by TV on the Radio.

From skier Micah Page: I listen to lots of music on the hill. But, there is one song that stands out amongst the rest, and has stood the test of time season after season, She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult. It is my Mak’m juice. If you see me lying under the reef with gear scattered, it is because I drank too much Mak’m juice.

A text from the lift from skier Rick Fusting: Right now Cake, Short Dress Long Jacket.

From skier and snowboarder, Aura Zink: Naming a favorite song is impossible — there are so many variables involved. Is it bluebird? Snowing? Is it morning or afternoon? Cruisers or hike to? Park or Palmyra? Not to mention that every season has a different playlist. As far as this season is concerned Florence and the Machine is rocking my world; I start every ski day’s first lift ride listening to Cosmic Love. I usually then transition to M83, Gotye, Kavinsky, and Feist.

Music while skiing has created memories. I can recall listening to Pennywise as a freshman riding up lift 4 when it was slow and a 3-person lift; listening to the Pixies as a Sophomore going from lift 5 to 6; listening to Modest Mouse in Lake Tahoe in College riding up the lift at Squaw and all those times in between skiing with Matty and Zach listening to Bob Marley and Widespread. Music has helped me to remember some of the happiest moments of my life and created a soundtrack for it.


As for me, I ski with music when I’m skiing by myself or with someone else who is also plugged in. I do find it puts me in a different zone, keeps my turns snappy (or smooth depending on the song) and puts a smile on my face. I love Jay Z and MIA on soft days on Dynamo, Mak’m and Stairs and I also love songs with big background instrumentals like those from Coldplay or Ray Charles and Gladys Knight’s Heaven Help Us All. And now, after reading the responses, I’ll definitely be adding some reggae to my ski playlist –and maybe even some Jane’s.

What do you listen to when you ski or snowboard?

Snow Sunday is a weekly column by Jesse James McTigue and sponsored by Jagged Edge intended to deliver tips, news, musings and stories about the people, places, events and experiences that make the Telluride winter an epic adventure.

  • //A-Z
    Posted at 08:55h, 07 February

    Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Pingback:Finding Some Peace on a Powder Day
    Posted at 14:10h, 09 February

    […] line, it is nice to check out for a while. Especially when the snow is great. My friend Jesse wrote a column about what music people listen to while they’re skiing or boarding. Whether it was thumping, energizing punk rock or smooth, […]