Powder fever meets poo-phoria: “I love big dumps”

“I love big dumps” is a saying among skiers and snowboarders who equate their fondness for major snow storms with their satisfaction upon taking a big poop.

You’ll see the phrase on bumper stickers, such as the one below for Silverton Mountain in Colorado.

I love big dumps sticker
“I love big dumps” bumper sticker. Photo by Mitch Tobin

Onesies for toddlers also carry the slang expression. Here’s one from Alta Ski Area in Utah:

I love big dumps t-shirt

This scatological saying stems from the use of “dumping” to describe heavy snowfall.

I found an entry on Urban Dictionary that claims “dumping” only applies to storms with more than 4 inches of snow per hour and visibility is less than 100 feet. I’m fairly certain the National Weather Service hasn’t convened a working group to set criteria for dumping, but I think you get the point.

Why do shits feel so good?

The saying “I love big dumps” wouldn’t evoke such a visceral reaction were it not for the relief, even pleasure, that some folks experiences while evacuating their bowels.

So why does taking a dump feel so good? Turns out there’s a Princeton doctor who is an expert in pleasurable poos.

In the book What’s Your Poo Telling You?, gastroenterologist  Dr. Anish Sheth and co-author Josh Richman explain that a large bowel movement can stimulate the vagus nerve. This key element of the central nervous system extends from the brain all the way down to the colon. Here’s how Outside magazine summed it up:

When stimulated, it can cause a number of reactions such as sweating, and the chills you describe. It can also drop your blood pressure and heart rate, causing the lightheadedness that “can lend a sense of sublime relaxation,” Sheth and his co-author write . . . Poo-phoria can be addictive, the authors warn, though they don’t elaborate on how addicts manipulate their poo to make it especially big.

I love big dumps poophoria definition
Poo-phoria definition. Source: news.com.au

Things can get so wild on the crapper that people will actually pass out if they overstimulate their vagus nerve. This is known as defecation syncope.

For others, however, the experience is more akin to spiritual and sexual nirvana. “To some,” Sheth and Richman write, “it may feel like a religious experience, to others like an orgasm, and to a lucky few like both.”


This post originally appeared on SnowSlang, a multimedia blog and glossary of skiing, snowboarding, and snow-related terms. Follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. And check out Snow News, our free email newsletter for snow lovers.

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