The Bode Miller Experiment (Part I)
Bode Miller is a stud. In '05 he became the first American to win skiing's overall World Cup title in 22 years. What does that mean? Simply put, he is the best ski racer on the planet. Bode also likes to have a good time. Even before his recent "60 Minutes" interview, Bode has talked about how cool it is that he gets paid to ski, that he gets paid to visit some of the coolest towns in the world, and that he can party while doing it. To be fair... who wouldn't want to live the life that Bode lives? We'd all love to be Bode Miller. To get paid over a million dollars a year to kick ass at skiing, party all the time, and (presumably) pull loads of tail would be most guys' dream come true.
Unfortunately, Bode has a big yap. He claims that he "hates the media." But instead of shying away from them, he gets himself in hot water by making stupid comments. Most recently, Bode made news by claiming athletes like Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong "knowlingly cheat" (AKA take steroids). You already know our thoughts on Barry Bonds, and there certainly have been many rumors flying around about Lance Armstrong, but that's just not something you say, especially with the Winter Olympics coming in a month.
Earlier this month (January 8th, to be exact) Bode Miller appeared on "60 Minutes" in a segment titled "Bode Miller on Skiing Drunk." CBS's Bob Simon was asking Bode about partying while at ski races, namely Saturday nights. Bode responded: "There's been times when I've been in really tough shape at the top of the course." He also added: "If you ever tried to ski when you're wasted, it's not easy." Awesome.
Now, those of you who have been on ski trips with me (Breckenridge, Park City, and Steamboat come to mind) already know this, but skiing drunk can also occasionally be fun. I'm sure there are more than a handful of readers out there who have needed a toddie to help work off the hangover from the night before, needed a swig of Hot Damn 100 proof to warm you up on a cold day, or needed a quick pull of Rumpelminze to stop the headache and help you get down the hill. These are facts. I've done it before, and I'm sure many of you have.
However, there was something in Bode's interview that got the wheels turning in my head: When he said "If you ever tried to ski when you're wasted, it's not easy." I can say that I've been skiing while drinking, maybe even a little tipsy, but never when I was "wasted." The only way to see what this would be like is to test it out.
According to Science Buddies, there are 7 steps to the scientific method: (1) State the question (2) research the topic (3) State the hypothesis (4) Test your hypothesis (5) Analyze the results(6) Draw the conclusion (7) Report your results and conclusion. Fair enough. To see if Bode's statements about skiing wasted are correct, we might as well conduct a solid scientific experiment. Without further adieu, Noobsports.com presents:
The Bode Miller Experiment
(1) State the Question:
- Is skiing wasted hard?
(2) Research the Topic:
- Although we couldn't find any solid research on the subject, we assume that skiing "wasted" is more difficult than skiing sober. There are a number of deaths from skiing that are alcohol related, so we can assume that it is more difficult. Also, if you've ever had more than 1 drink, you understand that the more alcohol you consume, the slower your reaction time becomes, and your gross motor skills are severly reduced. Both reaction time and the coordination of gross motor skills would probably be considered essential to skiing.
(3) State the Hypothesis:
- We hypothesize that skiing wasted is, in fact, hard (but not THAT hard).
(4) Test Your Hypothesis:
- In order to test our hypothesis that skiing wasted is difficult, we must set up an experiment. A proper experiment needs a materials list, a procedure, and then a test with a control group and an experimental group where we change the independant variable. In this case, the independant variable will be "drunkenness."
1 - Test subject (In this case, SEL)
1 - Mountain (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Crested Butte, Colorado)
1 - Set of skis (Line Mavericks, 180 CM)
6 - Alcoholic beverages (For the purposes of this experiment, we will consider 1 alcoholic beverage either: 1 shot of liquor, 12 OZ beer, or 1 glass of wine. Since SEL doesn't pee while sitting down, there will be no wine consumed).
1 - Stopwatch
1 - Digital Camera
The test subject shall take three runs: (1) A run down some "extreme" terrain, (2) A timed run down groomed slopes, and (3) A run through trees and moguls, at the end attempting a 360. After completing these three runs, the test subject shall consume 6 drinks in the span of 2 hours. These drinks can come in the form of shots, beers, or wine. At a height of 9,500 ft, a test subject weighing 155 lbs will have a blood alcohol content of approximately 0.2; enough to be considered "double the legal limit." The test subject will then head back out to the mountain and attempt the first three runs again. Data will be recorded, both subjectively and objectively, and the results will be presented.
Here, in greater detail, are the 3 runs that the test subject will be skiing:
The first run will be down a slope called "The Headwall." The Headwall is a double-black diamond run (for you skier Noobs, that means very difficult and extreme), but one of the milder double blacks on the mountain. It's also only accessible by a T-bar, which could be an adventure in it's own right. Anyway, The Headwall is a very steep run (about 40 degrees), with many rocks and boulders... however there are no cliffs and no trees, so it's probably considered the least dangerous double-black run on the mountain to ski while wasted. That way, if a fall occurs, it will be a 100 foot cartwheel that probably won't kill the test subject; but many bones will be broken.
Assuming the subject survives The Headwall, the next run will be a timed run. This will take the subject from the top of the Paradise bowl to the bottom of East river. The entire run is on groomed trails, all of them blue squares (which for you skier Noob's, that means intermediate). Although there will be no immediate danger to the test subject, there will be many other skiers on these runs, and the chances of the test subject plowing into one of them at high speeds while drunk is strong to quite strong. This run has the highest probability of producing a lawsuit.
The final run will be a run on East River called "Double Top." It's a black diamond run that starts off in the trees, and turns into a nice long mogul field. This run has the highest probability of producing a "Sonny Bono" moment. (Let the record show that I HATE skiing moguls, and I think that they're a horrible waste of time and space on a ski mountain. However, they are a part of skiing, and they take a considerable amount of skill, so a mogul run is necessary for the experiment). Also, at the end of the mogul field, there is a cat walk with a jump on it. The test subject will try a helicopter (360) off of it.
If you'd like to see where these 3 runs fall on a trail map of Crested Butte, click the image below:
Alright, now that we've got steps 1-4 out of the way, we can't go any further without actually performing the test. Hopefully, if things work out the way they're planned, the test will be conducted on Sunday, the 29th of January. If this is the case, results will be published on Monday.
If you have any suggestions for what the test subject (SEL) should drink during this experiment, please leave a comment, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All drink nominations will be given equal consideration, but the final judgment will be left up to the Noobsports family.
[Editors note: SEL is a very experienced skier. He has been skiing since he could walk, and has successfully ski'd some of North America's and Europe's best and toughest terrain. On a scale of 1-100, 1 being a total noob and 100 being World Class, SEL is probably a 92. The Noobsports family doesn't encourage drinking and skiing (at least not yet), so please don't try this on your own. However, if you don't listen to our advice and do try this on your own, please email us and tell us all about it at email@example.com. Thank you.]