Saturday night Crystal patrol crowned the Dirtbag King and Queen for the 2016-17 season. Every year, we vote on male and female candidates that best embody what it means to be a “Dirtbag.” In the parlance of our ski area, being a “Dirtbag” is a good thing. A very good thing.
It’s more than simply being a ski bum. You could be a ski bum at any number of ski areas with far more options–more couches to surf, more singles to date, more bars to frequent. At Crystal, you have to be dedicated to the sport. You also have to be dedicated to the lifestyle. To be a ski bum here truly means that you’ve given up other *ahem* amenities in favor of dedicating yourself to skiing at Crystal. But in my humble opinion, there’s no better place to be a dirtbag.
This season’s honorees are no exception. These two have both dedicated their lives to Crystal. Your new DB King is Arlington Ashby. You know him from the Snorting Elk, where he has either a) served you a drink at the bar with an enviable efficiency and/or b) showed you the door because you 1) danced on a table and tried to swing from the chandelier, 2) got a little too rowdy with the shotski or 3) let your dog come inside and drink from your beer stein. Either way, Arlington did his job with a thousand-watt smile and a generosity of spirit that demonstrates one thing: Arlington loves this place. When not slinging drinks at the bar, Arlington can be found snowboarding, alpine skiing, telemarking or touring in and around Crystal. He’s a man of many talents with true dedication and a kindness that pervades his every move. We on the ski patrol and within the royal court are so pleased to welcome Arlington into the fold. Congratulations Arlington on your dedication to this place. You’re going to make a great King.
Your new DB Queen is none other than the amazing Kate Markquart. You know her from her Airstream Trailer–the one with the wood stove–that can often be found in either B Lot or F Lot. Kate and her husband Nate spend most of their nights camped in that trailer (leaving only often enough to fulfill the USFS policy of 14 consecutive nights camped within the boundary.) Kate can also be found riding (or skiing) the mountain on any given day, that shy smile and blond hair carving a wake of beauty and grace. Kate has the face of an angel and a heart of gold. Just try keeping up with her. To know Kate is to love her, and she’s going to make a great Queen. Congratulations Kate!
We consider the DB King and Queen to be ambassadors for the patrol, and we take their role seriously. We honor their dedication to the sport we all love. It takes many years to become part of this Royal Court. For those of you that have ever given up something in your life–a mortgage, a better job, a girlfriend/boyfriend that just didn’t get it–in order to pursue your passion for skiing or snowboarding, then you understand a little of what it takes to wear the crown (or Wapiti Woolies Dirtbag Hat in this case). When you see Arlington and Kate out on the hill, throw them a high-five. They deserve it.