Music on the Slopes: Yay or Nay?


Listening to music on the slopes: yay or nay?

Listening to music while shredding the slopes is a debatable matter in the SNS world. To listen or not to listen? That is the real question. There are people who are adamant music listeners while going down the mountain. But others are against it. Here are some pros and cons the SNS exec board thinks on the matter.


  • Many members prefer just one ear bud in for music
    • This way you can hear what is going on around you while still getting some tunes
  • It’s a motivational soundtrack to your life
  • For those alpine ski racers, music can help get in the zone before the race
  • Listening to music can simulate being in a ski movie
  • If you are riding alone, listening to music is a good way to spend time with yourself
  • Some nordic skiers like listening to podcasts while out for hours training in the woods
    • It passes time and keeps the mind focused on something
  • The clicker on the headphones cord allows for easy access to volume and song changes
  • Music can get you hyped in the process of working a new trick
  • Jammie Packs are the best of both worlds; can listen to music while still aware of surroundings
    • These are fanny pack speakers that you can carry on your body while skiing
    • They also make it very easy to never lose your partner on the mountain
  • Listening to music can get you in a rhythm of riding, especially when riding alone

Although some people are strong advocates, others think listening to music while riding is nothing but an inconvenience.


  • In order to actually hear the music, it has to be turned up to an unreasonable volume
  • It is hard to keep track of ski partners when plugged in
  • You completely miss the social part of riding - even when riding alone
    • You could miss out on some valuable chairlift talk with chairmates and the liftees
  • You cannot listen to your surroundings - both the nature around you nor people approaching from behind
  • You run the risk of getting your phone or headphones wet
  • Listening to music cancels out the beautiful sounds of you shredding
  • Nordic and alpine skiers alike find skiing to be their meditative practice where music would take you out of that state
  • It takes you out of being in the moment with the nature and people around you
  • Not listening to music can bring you more in tune with how your body is feeling
  • On a powder day on the mountain, listening to the fresh snow is much more appealing
  • Some argue that it is a hassle more than anything to have to try and fiddle with your phone and headphones - they’d rather just not

The informal poll of the SNS exec board shows we have a pretty even split between the advocates and the opponents. Each side makes valid points for their case. Some love the motivation music can give them, others would rather listen to the nature and people around them. It ultimately comes down to personal preference; no one necessarily has the right or wrong answer. What do you prefer?

Written by Journalist Director Genevieve Vahl