THE SPECIES ISSUE YOU CAN SPOT THEM A MILE AWAY: the masters racers. Same with ski parents. Big mountain rippers too. Ski resorts are full of different groups of skiers. The differences are obvious and hard to mistake – as clear as the difference between a shark and a fish, or a crocodile and a lizard. Like the animal species, skiers’ differences are vast. Vancouver Island writer and skier Ryan Stuart had some fun (Ski Taxonomy, page 40) grouping skiers into five “species”: the masters racer, the big mountain skier, the ex-ski bum, the family and the power couple. Ryan fits into two groups. Where do you fit in? There was a time when skiers bordered on cookie-cutter specimens. Skis were standard, ski hills stuck to the lower part of the mountains and skiers had not yet pushed the envelope in terms of how they got down those mountains. But the industry has come a long way in its technology, development, ability and presence. The same is true for skier adaptation.