Sign of the Times: An Astrological Guide to Mountain Towns and the Characters You’ll Find in Them

words & photos :: Ola Krol. 

Wouldn’t it be so nice if for once, life felt like it was following some sort of rhyme or reason? Something that made you feel like maybe perhaps you were on your given path. I often find myself sometimes awestruck at the weight I’m willing to give old wives tales, the current moon phase and astrological placements in deciding whether I’m having a good day or not. But there are patterns, and some of them recur a little too often to be granted accidents that I’ve noticed about the people who live around me in my own mountain town.  

So here it is, perhaps the ultimate testament of my gullibility: a shot in the dark into people’s astrological signs and how they dictate your way of life in a mountain town (or will at least when we’re all allowed outside again). 

Aries

Defined by their endlessly hot-headed personalities your Aries friends don’t make it easy on themselves. One minute they’re telling everyone they’re going vegan because health is wealth and the next you can find them getting dragged out of the local dive bar for fighting after drinking their weight in IPA’s & tequila. However fiery, their tempers also fuel their constant need to be out there doing the damn thing.

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Whether that’s getting up early to go for a bike ride or a ski tour, learning a new sport, or training for next season, they are always on the go. No matter how hammered they got the night before, they’re the ones pounding on your door in the morning because 1. You’re late to wake up and 2. Everything’s a competition. But if we didn’t have that Aries friend pushing themselves & you to get out of the comfort zone? Well, none of us would probably ever get anything done.

Better than you at: Losing their phones at the bar; having a million pals; looking hot while blackout at the kegger; finding new music.

Need to work on: Thinking before speaking; Sitting down, for once, seriously, no one’s keeping track of your Strava except you.

Taurus

These guys are an anomaly. They’re either the most stubborn about sports and will literally push themselves to the point of their body breaking down, or they will refuse to leave the house for weeks at a time—there is no in-between. Creatures of comfort to the core, the feeling you get when you finally climb into your sleeping bag after a big day in the backcountry is the definitive mood of your Taurus pals.

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These guys not only actively seek out the path of least resistance but are willing to prioritize it above all else. The great contradiction of the Taurus mood is someone who will dish out half their paycheque to join you at the outdoor spa but also be stealing the toilet paper from their serving job at Earl’s to afford it. Nothing if not practical, though.

Says yes to: Friends who will indulge with them & laugh at their jokes; doing “it” tomorrow; Annie’s Mac & Cheese for breakfast lunch & dinner.

Says no to: Sudden movements; synthetic fabrics.

Gemini

What outdoor sport are you going to do today? And will it maybe be all of them, just in case? Kings and Queens of the FOMO train, your Gemini pals are a. the most frustrating people to try and nail down for plans and b. the funniest people to bring along for extended treks when you do manage to track them down. They push limits on the daily, express themselves through artistic outlets, and are never slow to call you out on your BS. If you do manage to reach them over text after their morning bike ride and before they start their after lunch hike, be sure to go into it with the understanding that any routine you have is about to go fully out the window of the van they’re currently living in.

Thrives with: Someone who can keep up; speaking through memes; biohacking.

Cries for Help: forgetting how to cry; Inserting themselves into Internet drama on your mountain town’s Facebook page; nicknaming their sled Bigdaddy69.

Cancer

Even if cash really is king, our Cancer pals still don’t really care—they’re too busy puttering around the local lake trying to find the perfect stick to make you a homemade craft with. They’re like the grandmothers you’ve never asked for- sensing your potential hunger after a few bike park laps and immediately getting busy preparing you a meal. Ever the homemakers, they’ll have an expertly prepared three-course dinner readily made from the half avocado and taco seasoning you bought at Nester’s last week upon your arrival. Commitment is of utter importance to your Cancer amigo.

Whether it’s the commitment to a friendship you’re never ever allowed to leave, or commitment to their latest obsession with rock climbing- you can sleep comfortably tonight knowing they’ll always be reachable through the walkie-talkies they gifted you for Christmas four years ago.

Probably doing this right now: Polishing ‘neat rocks’ in the dishwasher that they picked up during their latest rollerblading trip; teaching small children the importance of nature therapy and manners.

Never leaves the house without: A walking stick, and a sleeping bag big enough for all the strays they might pick up along the way.

Leo

The only thing these guys like more than talking is talking about themselves. How can you spot a Leo in your local mountain town? Don’t worry they’ll tell you—along with the story of how they once saved someone’s life in an avalanche situation (or was in one themselves). If there was ever a moment where they might not be the centre of attention then your Leo pal might feel like they’ll combust and in turn somehow become… louder?


But maybe it’s their consistent pride that makes them instantly amazing at any new outdoor activity they decide to try—like picking up a bike for the first time and sending it down a rock wall by the end of the week. They push limits with their artistic endeavours often choosing to make, and play with their hands above all else- so that there may be art, spaces and tunes for the rest of us plebs to enjoy. They work 10x harder than everyone else, so who cares that they use every car window as a mirror? There’s a reason they look better than us at nearly everything they do.

Most likely to: Star in the reboot of Peak Season; overdress for the function; max out their credit card buying a wingsuit.

Leos for reference: Finn Iles, Sean Pettit, Micayla Gatto, and Sage Kotsenburg.

Virgo

Where do your Virgo pals disappear to, after the weekend? Between sorting the next hut trip, writing a field guide for bird-watching, juggling 15 different side gigs, and rationalizing everyone else’s emotions, Virgos are too busy stretching themselves tighter than a slackline to emerge from whatever cave they hide in during the week. Haven’t heard from one you’re close to recently? They’re probably watching people skating on the lake outside their house from under the couch with their cat. Appreciative of the more beautiful things in life, and  with an affinity for being in nature, these beings need to take some time in the great outdoors to remember that they too are allowed to have fun and let loose sometimes. And If you do happen to find one on a weekend actually dancing- just remember, be gentle, coax them to stay out longer with promises of Earls take-out for brunch tomorrow and never ever let them too closely examine the local watering hole’s Seventies-themed carpet.

Weekday Virgo: Inventing a new bike short and creating the design, marketing, website and distribution plan all by themselves; claiming they’re allergic to alcohol; Yoga every damn day; Being better not bitter; Helping you get your shit together.

Weekend Virgo: Tequila sodas; Being better AND bitter; Still helping you get your shit together.

Libra

What’s a Libra into? That depends on what you’re into. Ever the accommodating friend, they’ll morph their interests for the day if it means everyone can just get along. All that back-bending they do might sometimes leave them feeling like they’re in limbo. Are you guys okay? Do you even know who you are anymore? Moreso, their lack of direction makes these guys the worst to handle any sort of map- you’ll be better off with the compass yourself.

Thankfully Libras are still the friends you want to be bringing into the backcountry with you. Their level-headed nature will usually keep you from making pride-fuelled decisions, as all they really want is your well-being. And if you’re feeling exhausted from a week full of riding with “friends” that try to outdo you in the bike park, don’t worry, these guys are down to cruise with you, as long as the chairlift chats are flowing and there’s beers hidden in your pockets for them.

Online: Using “*~Probably thinking about tacos~*” as a caption; Selling a bike on PinkBike for a fair price; genuinely hyping up their friends in the comments.

IRL: Tossing a coin to make a decision; can’t be alone; living at the nude beach by your house.

Scorpio

Strong-willed but sometimes more than they should be, these guys barrel through decisions with more force than foresight. Are they mysterious? Are they not? They’re not the type to ever open up about their recurring childhood nightmares featuring a man in a banana suit, but think it’s totally cool to post *nature nudes* on the web. Categorized as more solitary creatures, these guys are perfectly happy camping out with one or two other people as it means a larger share of magic mushrooms for them. If that all doesn’t freak you out, just know that your Scorpio friend is definitely the one person you want to have on your team. They’ll cross Longhorns Pub during President’s Day long weekend to fish you out of the bathroom if you were in trouble. Mainly because investing in new friends is exhausting.

Cares about: Fixing “it” themselves; reusable straws; their one friends well-being.

Does not care: For sports they’re not immediately good at; that they didn’t text you back; that them walking around the house naked makes you uncomfortable.

Sagittarius

These guys love living around the Sea-to-Sky when they’re not too busy ‘finding themselves’ by travelling elsewhere in the world. Impatient to a fault, they’ll beat you down the couloir and grace you with a total of three Mississippis waiting period before they’re back on the chair doing it again. Isn’t playing phone tag on the mountain so much fun? Impulsive, reckless and fueled by laughter, they’re the kind of people who’ll earnestly listen to your advice and then turn around and not take it. But they’re free spirits and adventurers at heart so why should they slow down, and would you really even want them to? They’ll fill rooms with their loud laughs, secretly believe in conspiracy theories and give away all of their material possessions when they start feeling too tied down.

Stay true to yourself by: Continuing with the blind optimism; carrying an extra toothbrush & underwear whenever you leave the house.

But maybe consider: Getting a bedframe; That the earth isn’t flat.

Capricorn

Capricorns have a reputation for being too straight edge, but if you think that it’s probably because one didn’t like you enough to let you into their world of hilariously dry humour and minding their own business. Solid, motivated by stress and forever ending text messages with periods—you’re never really sure how to befriend a Capricorn. They don’t mind that though, choosing instead to socialize with the same three people on repeat and putting their time into perfecting their craft instead. Capricorns are creatures of habit choosing to ride the same trails, hit the same bars and start their goodbye rounds as soon as they get to the party. But as friends, they’ll drive out 200km to be there for you, just as soon as they’re done double checking whether they turned the waxing iron off. They’re the kinds of leaders who speak softly, with purpose, while carrying a big stick. Listen to them, and make sure you’re checking in on them. They’d likely drive themselves to the hospital with two broken arms out of fear of bothering people.

Lives off of: Clif bars & coffee; Minimal sleep; Changing volume levels in increments of 5 or 10.

Is currently: Adjusting the pockets of their cargo shorts; wearing birks & socks; reading this on the toilet.

Aquarius

There aren’t enough words to describe just how weird your Aquarius friends are- and how much we love them for it. A need to be independent leaves an Aquarius feeling and acting a bit like an alien—not in a bad or isolated way or anything- they rarely approach feelings the way a normal person would. We’re actually not sure they have any most of the time. Revelling in the strange and unique provides Aquarians living in mountain towns with a perfect eye for photo and film. They’ll bring fresh new ideas to the table and obsess over meticulous details until the contents of their brain and vision are reflected on the screen in front of you.

As friends, they’ll play devil’s advocate in favour of the car that just rode you and your bike off the highway, call buffalo on you when you’re drinking a Corona bulldog and speak to you only in metaphors and jokes. But boy do they make life so much more interesting.

Things they care about: The good of humanity; tide pods; a well-placed sticker; an underdog story.

Oops I’ve upset one: You don’t exist anymore sorry; they only dated you to make their mom mad anyway.

Pisces

The final sign of the zodiac is the one we all need to all agree to protect at all costs. When they’re not having an existential crisis, our Pisces pals are busy carrying crystals around in their pockets, recording sounds of the ocean and throwing all concepts of time or space out the window.

Dreamers to the core, they’re probably still thinking about how they want to be a superhero when they grow up—while working away in an industry that involves being outdoors, making people happy, or writing. (Often all three.) While some signs are difficult to make friends with, these guys are oh so likeable. Before you know it they’ve unofficially moved into a closet space in your house amidst a housing crisis and are “paying” for it by caring for your plants, offering to fix your surfboard & supporting your binge drinking habits. Head often in the clouds, these space-cadets sometimes need to be reeled back in before the empathetic eye contact they shared with a stranger on the gondola overwhelms their very core for the remainder of the week.

Bedroom decor: 10 water glasses; A strategically placed pile of clothing on the floor; a picture of their mom; 6 ski poles- all broken; the ever lingering smell of wetsuit.

Most likely to: Have an imaginary friend; Go vegetarian for a week; watch as their snowboard rolls over a cliff and into the abyss because they left it unattended. 

 

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