The Legend of Shreddy has been whispered on many a ski lift, on many a mountain, for years. Most skiers take it to be a tall tale, a boogey man created by snowboarders for the purpose of mocking them and their less-than-badical method of getting down the slopes. But the ghosts of thousands of missing skiers could tell them differently.
A horrifying mix of King Kong and The Abominable Snowman in appearance, scientists have given Shreddy’s kind the name Arctos rex horriblis, meaning “Horrible King Bear.” Though these beasts are not related to bears – not at all – natives called them Bear Kings for centuries. Shreddy is thought to have originated in the barren Le Cauchemar (the nightmare) mountain range of Northern Canada. Here, locals say that some time ago, a group of skiers set out from their cushy lodge resort, intent on disproving what they thought was a myth. They were wrong.
While searching the mountains they came upon Shreddy’s mother and killed her – a victory, they thought. Of course, they were wrong again. Finding his mother dead, Shreddy hunted them down and devoured them all. It is said that he actually sat and leaned back, as a man might in a recliner, throwing them into his mouth like Cheetos. It awakened his hatred for skiers. That hatred continues to this day. Like most ferocious beasts, his thirst for revenge is unquenchable.
These days Shreddy resides in the snowy mountains of the western United States. He is thought to be the only remaining member of his kind, though reported sightings in mountain ranges up and down North America have left scientists perplexed. Are there more Bear Kings or is Shreddy simply always on the move? Either way, skiers have continued to disappear, while snowboarders – particularly the shredders among them – have been consistently spared. As one story goes, a group of snowboarders were channeling their inner badicalness when an avalanche began, threatening to bury the boarders alive until an enormous white beast plucked them from the rushing snow and sat them safely atop a tree.
No one knows why Shreddy continues to show such compassion on the more extreme of the mountain folk, but one thing is for sure: skis and training poles will get you eaten like a Cheeto by a Bear King in a bad mood. Grab a board, or slalom at your own risk
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