No pair of skis at any ski area in the world is immune from the highly contagious disease called: OH, SHIT. SOMEONE STOLE MY SKIS.

The only prevention is locking them.

Many skiers have the odd idea that if they separate their skis in the racks they won’t disappear. They will and they do if they’re either new skis, or skis with new and valuable bindings, when the pros are at work. Here’s why:

The average theft takes place within a few minutes from the time the hapless victim has been singled out by the thief for the skis she’s carrying over her shoulder as she heads for the base lodge. He knows that once the chosen victim has stacked her skis and tromped inside it will be several minutes, at least, before she returns. Ergo. Grab and disappear, skis and thief.

The thief has already outwitted the skier who didn’t lock up her skis. If she separated her pair, he simply spotted where the two skies were placed.

My twin daughters and I discovered the hard, expensive way how fast the pros operate. The two young ladies had each gotten sparkling new skis and we were off for their first day on the slopes with them. Around mid - morning we decided to duck into the lodge for a hot drink. We each locked our skis. We thought. But within minutes after walking into the base lodge, one of the twins said, “Dad. Look!” She was holding her lock in her hand. “I forgot.”

“Well,” I said. “Let’s lock them up.”

It had only been a few minutes since we’d stacked our skis. But by the time we walked back to where they were, one pair wasn’t.

A variety of locks are available in ski shops. The most popular model is a cable from 2 to 3 feet long with a male and a female end. The cable can be looped through two pairs of skis and around a post with the male

end locked inside the female. The most intelligent lock is one that uses a dial for opening and closing, not a key: Keys do get lost. However, almost any cable lock, cheap or expensive, will deter a thief. It’s not smart for him to take out a pair of chain cutters to work the skis free. Someone might start screaming.

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