Above: Slim Slidell says ... "Pay attention!" Photograph by Dan Leeth / Alamy Stock Photo.
Slim Slidell is a hero. Whenever Taos Ski Valley has “slider” conditions—firm, challenging snow—there he is, at the top of Chair 2, baby-blue one-piece suit, red boots, Boeri helmet, facedown in the snow, modeling proper self-arrest technique. What if, while on a steep slope, you fall and start sliding down the hill? The sign next to the splayed body lays it out: Slim Slidell says: “Know how to self arrest!” 1. Feet downhill. 2. Dig in with hands & feet. 3. Stop yourself before “you can’t!” Slim won’t reveal his true age, but TSV Ski Patrol Director Alex Fiss says that for nearly 30 years, “Slim Slidell has been our best patroller at educating the public on how to keep themselves safe when they make a mistake and fall down in the steeps, and as most folks know, Taos has more steeps than not steeps. He never loses sight of the fact that education on how to self-arrest and not go for Mr. Toad’s wild ride down the steeps is something no one really wants to do. I imagine he’s saved lives before.” When conditions warrant, Slim will be back on the job this winter. Says Fiss: “He’s looking as healthy as he ever did.”