It’s the ultimate mountain-town caricature: the shaggy semi-athlete who lives in a van (or truck or crowded apartment), works a number of crappy jobs (pizza delivery, barback, liftie), and skis 100 days every winter. This is the ski bum: a hero to some, a loser to others, and an enigma to everyone—until now. In this episode, bona fide ski bum Paddy “Paddy O” O’Connell presents irrefutable evidence that the campy ski flicks of the eighties and nineties—cult classics like Hot Dog, Ski Patrol, and Aspen Extreme—are what inspired so many vulnerable youth to drop everything and head for the hills. He should know. As a young man, Paddy O fell so deeply under the spell of one very special film that, despite never having skied before, he abandoned his life in the Midwest and ran away to the Rockies forever.
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