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第97期 闲话美国:Winter Sports嗨起来!

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Hello again and welcome back to America under the Microscope, hello James.
Hello, Lulu.
It's getting really cold now in Beijing.
It is quite cold, which reminds me, so since it's winter, do many people in China like to hit the slopes?
Hit the slopes. I know the words but hit the slopes, is that like a ski reference?
Yeah. It's a phrase we use in America, and I think Canada too, when we're talking about going skiing or snowboarding.
So winter sports.
I figured that would be a good thing to talk about since it's winter.
That is really something that I'm quite interested in. Actually I was going to try to do it for the very first time, but I have to admit that it's an area that I really know nothing about.
I know quite a bit about it, but me personally, it's not an activity that I have much interest in. It's cold; when you fall, it's cold; snow seems like it's soft until you fall on it.
I guess nothing really beats sitting at home was heating.
Nice fire, warm drink.
Exactly. So talking about winter sports, I know it's not your personal favorite, but what about people in America in general, is skiing, snowboarding, are these popular?
Yes, in fact they're very popular, especially the region of the country where I'm from, because I'm up North. Skiing and snowboarding is a very popular activity in parts of the country where they have lots of mountains. In these areas you would find many different ski resorts or you can easily buy a ticket and you can go there, drive yourself, take your equipment and go up and go down.
But that's obviously in winter. What is winter in these areas?
Funny you say, but that's winter. There are ski resorts in America. Some of them are open year round because the elevation is so high, they always have snow.
Ok.
So there are places you can always go skiing in America, but not everywhere. And the most it's winter. And usually it means late November until March, but this is flexible. It just depends on when the snow falls.
So that's quite a long time to have winter sports.
Mountains, higher elevation.
So these places, they don't have to be that cold, the general temperature.
No, if you go skiing or snowboarding on a sunny day, it will be freezing, but it won't feel frigid, like really bitingly cold. But yes, usually it's quite cold.
And I suppose you dress for it anyways.
Yeah.
When you said it's popular, sometimes I think of winter sports and I think winter sports are expensive. So is it for people of certain, let's say, certain social class or certain economic background?
It is not a cheap activity even in America, but it is affordable for most middle class Americans. To go skiing at any of these resorts, you're gonna have to buy what's called a lift ticket.
A lift. Is it the cable car?
It's not really a car, it's a chair. You sit in the chair and the chair takes you up to the top of the hill. So these can range from $30 to $100 depending on which resort you go to.
Hang on a minute, not just for one ride, is it?
No, that's per day. So they let you go down, then go back up and then go down.
Like a day pass.
It's a day pass. They also have season passes as well if you really into it, and it's cheaper if you go a lot more.
So that's 30 to 100 for the day pass. But the gears, all the clothes and the equipment, they all look very expensive.
You can rent the skis and those things from the resorts. They do do that. Most Americans will just buy their own. And you have to buy your skis or your board if you're snowboarding, you need boots, you need bindings which are the things that connect the boot to the board.
Let's slow down first, ski or board. Ski are the basically the two. I don't know even know how to explain it.
Long skinny boards on your feet.
That is skiing, and board as snow board. Snowboard is more difficult isn't it?
Yeah, because when you snowboard, you're not gonna use poles in your hands.
And then boots, and bindings, I don't even know how to say that in Chinese. It's the one that you said connecting your …?
It connects your boots to the board or boots to the skis so they don't fall off while you're using them.
OK. Very necessary.
And also have a helmet and goggles and poles. All and all for decent equipment, $1200 for all of this.
That is still quite a lot of money.
And that doesn't include clothing.
Oh yes of course, that's only equipment, and you still have to buy what ski clothes?
Warm clothes, because you're gonna be on a mountain, windproof clothes because you're gonna be going down the mountain.
And those are specific cloth for skiing right? Not just any down jacket.
No, you specifically want ski jackets because they are windproof and waterproof. But they're not really any more expensive than other coats they are just designed differently.
Okay. And what about beginners, like if I actually go skiing absolutely knowing nothing about it, I wouldn't know how to start, will I be able to find trainers, instructors?
Oh yes, absolutely! Almost every large resort will have instructors you can hire, they will have classes that will teach you how to ski, know all the basics. And you can even find instructors for snowboarding, although most people who start snowboarding probably have already done skiing first.
So they wouldn't really need an instructor.
Usually not, they do it trial and error, they fall a lot.
You fall enough times, I guess you learn it that way. So back to where you actually can go skiing, my geography really isn't great, but Colorado is one of the places …?
I would say Colorado probably is one of the most famous places to go skiing in America. It's in the rocky mountain.

Winter Sports


I heard of Aspen.
Aspen, yeah.
Is that like a very expensive ski resort? Because …
Yes, it's the Malibu ski resorts.
Oh really?
Yes, Aspen is where rich people go and play. It's got the ski resorts. But if you go to the town itself, it'll have luxury dining, luxury restaurants. This is a very high end area, very expensive.
So would you say that if you say to an American, you say I went skiing in Aspen, that means something to an American.
Yes, it'like wow, you've got money or wow, you wasted money. We have a ski resort over there.
Alright! So apart from Colorado, and ….?
Well, we have ski resorts in many states, but some of the bigger states would be my home state Washington, place like Snoqualmie, Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, there are ski resorts in all these places.
Some of these names don't really sound that English-ish. They don't sound like …
Neither do American. Snoqualmie is a Native American word. And then we have Oregon which is next to Washington, and you got Mount Hood. And this place is really famous if you like horror movies, the movie The shining.
Really? That is still open?
Yes, the resort there was called Timberline lodge was used in the making of that movie.
The overlook hotel?
Yes, that's a real lodge, I've been there it's very nice.
And did you see any ghosts?
Big dog. It's very gentle, have a picture of it.
That was the hotel and it's still open.
Oh yes, it's still open. And one place that people always find it interesting is you can go skiing in California.
How is that possible? The whole state it looks really warm.
California is a very big state and has some very high mountains in it. And northern California especially in the mountains gets cold with lots of snow, so yes, California.
Because every time I think of California, It's always sunshine, beach, surfing.
That's southern California, go to San Francisco, it's all clouds, rain and hills.
Good. So getting back to actually skiing, for people like me total beginners, do we have a special area that we can practice, so that we don't bump into the experts?
Yes, it's called the bunny slope.
The bunny slope, that's cute. Why?
Just because it's bunnies where we can describe someone who is beginner. It's gonna be a very very easy slope, it's where they teach people and they'll use a sign in the market with a green circle to let you know that this is a beginning level, very easy to go down slope.
So it's all marked with a circle.
And then we have intermediate slopes, steeper little bit, higher, marked with blue squares. And then we have the expert slopes which are marked with black diamonds.
Are these really really dangerous looking slopes.
Mostly it's gonna be higher longer and steeper, and maybe more obstacles.
So if you go, which slope would you be at?
The sofa slope in the lounge, drinking.
It could be like you guys go out skiing.
I'm just gonna stay here and drink my drinks. You guys go, be cold.
You said that you know quite a lot, but you don't really like it. Does that mean your family members went to winter …?
Not family, friends, I have lots of friends have done it, classmates, lot of … when I was in high school, it was something that a lot of kids did.
So obviously that was kind of a … just like a common activity
Oh yes, very common.
that teenagers or like young adults where they would get together to do.
Some people went by themselves just because they like the activity.
Can you go on your own, just on your own?
Yes sure, you can't really talk to somebody else while you're going down the mountain. You kind of focused on not falling!
Great, and then the passes, are there really people purchasing season pass.
Yes, avid skiers and snowboarders will buy the season pass is because in the end it's cheaper if you do go many times.
I suppose so that's what season passes for.
Okay. So I guess we'll wrap up here in the advanced episode.
We're gonna talk a little bit about stereotypes.
Of the type of people who go skiing.
As well as a little bit about dangers.
Yes, I think we have a lot to say on that front. Alright on that note let's wrap up. If you have ever had experience of skiing, snowboarding in China or elsewhere in the world, share with us in the comment section. I'll see you next time.
Bye everyone.
Bye.

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absolutely ['æbsəlu:tli]

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adv. 绝对地,完全地;独立地

 
elevation [.eli'veiʃən]

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n. 提拔,海拔,提高
[计算机] 标高

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decent ['di:snt]

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adj. 体面的,正派的,得体的,相当好的

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rocky ['rɔki]

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adj. 岩石的,像岩石的,坚硬的,麻木的,困难重重的

 
social ['səuʃəl]

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adj. 社会的,社交的
n. 社交聚会

 
waterproof ['wɔ:təpru:f]

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adj. 防水的,耐水的
n. 防水材料

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