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Good jobs in European ski resorts, do they exist?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I just graduated university and after doing 4 ski seasons in the US and one in NZ I figured that I needed one more before I get a real grown up people's job.  I moved to Germany with my boyfriend and we're staying with his parents while we apply for jobs at ski resorts in Austria.  The problem is that good jobs appear to be few and far between.  Here is what we seem to be finding:

- In Austria people who work in hospitality are mainly employed by hotels, your accommodation is part of your pay and they give you free food which is great, but they expect you to work 6 days a week and 8 hours per shift.  This is more than a full time job and very different from my experiences in the US and NZ, where you can get part time jobs or job where you work lots over Christmas but relatively little over the rest of the season.  The main reason for going to Austria is to snowboard as much as possible, working this much leaves very little time for getting on the mountain.  Ideally I'd like to work 4 or 5 days a week and only in the afternoons and evenings. 

- There aren't many cheap places to live in Austrian ski resorts.  I haven't been able to find any cheap apartments on or really close to the mountain, it seems that you have to work for a hotel if you want to live close to the mountain. 

- I'm also worried that with all this work everyone will be doing there's going to be hardly any local scene, perhaps mainly tourists? 

 

Has anyone out there done one or a few seasons in Europe and maybe want to give some advice?  I really like to snowboard as much as possible.  In the past I've been able to go every day or at least 5 days a week, this is what I'm looking for but it appears is not a simple task here...  (I am not qualified and do not want to be a ski instructor)

 

I also heard that you are not allowed to go off piste in a lot of places in Europe, what is the deal with that?  Do they do any avalanche bombing?  Do they have good tree runs?  Do they have chutes and stuff or can we only really ski groomers? I'd really like to improve my german, but not by working 50 hours a week and missing all the skiing. 


Edited by mediumbuildkev - 12/15/11 at 6:52am
post #2 of 12

I can't help you much on the job search but I do not get your comment about not going off piste.  Europe is 100 times more liberal about going off piste than in the U.S.  

post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chraya View Post

I can't help you much on the job search but I do not get your comment about not going off piste.  Europe is 100 times more liberal about going off piste than in the U.S.  

That is absolutely not . In some areas of Europe off piste is legally prohibited. In comparison here at baker the policy is very open .
post #4 of 12
To a nswer the original question, yes there can be good jobs, but that is depending on your work visa, among other things. I've worked there as an instructor, but I can only work in Italy or Germany. Most places require an EU passport. I've been offered positions as a resort representative for the same company. That community has a decent scene, as do places like chamonix .
post #5 of 12

I think you are on the late side of things if you are talking about jobs for this season, but you might get lucky somewhere with some bar work if you are qualified.  From what I have heard, the Chalet's are a bit of a mixed bag as far as hours go- takes a bit of luck and/or efficiency to find one where you can get breakfast out, ride for a bit and then come back to get eve meal, etc organized.  

 

Checking on seasonaires or Bell de Neige might give some leads and/or prospective.

 

I think accommodation will vary a lot.  I got a good deal for the year in Bourg St Maurice in 2007-8- not slope-side, but it was an easy walk to the funicular. 

 

Off piste is different in Europe and can vary place to place- not as controlled/patrolled so you are definitely much more on your own in terms of judgement and safety goes- been a fair amount of discussion about this in other threads.  Both of the above posters are correct DEPENDING on your perspective and which country.  Regardless, taking responsibility for your own safety should not be taken lightly.

post #6 of 12

Hello,

what to start with...

First of all, off piste is prohibitted in some european countries. i.e in Italy, when You go offpiste, u can be fined with 100euro, but in Austria u can feel free to go off the trac. As far as i know in France (or in some of its resorts) u are allowed to go off piste, but only with guide.

 

Ithink it will be hard to find a good work, that will let u also find some time to do skiing. In Austrian (or other alpine countries) mountain villages, people mostly live with tourism, so when they offer u job, they want u i.e. to be a resident in their house, and then u must work really alot.

The most reasonable solution for me would be looking for work in shops, bars, discos etc, because it will bemuch easier to find part time work there.

where ever u go in alps u will find a local scene there :) just go to snowpark, or off piste :) u ll find guys for sure

regards 

and good luck

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

yeah we're starting to look for jobs in bigger towns near to the resorts.  Ideally we'd be living working and skiing in the same town but it's not easy to find a place to live that's not in a hotel, it seems the best place to live might be Innsbruck but even there you've gotta drive to go snowboarding.  Hopefully we can get jobs working at a bar or a supermarket or something.  Thanks for all the input guys :)   and thanks for the positive advice gregorg4

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
 Both of the above posters are correct DEPENDING on your perspective and which country. 


My point. Rules vary in both locations. It's also not just by country. The rules in Italy vary from region to region. I've also found that the "rules" are enforced only when an incident occurs in some areas.

post #9 of 12

Honestly, your best bet will probably be Davos. It's not really a ski resort; it's a proper city that happens to have ski slopes. And, since it's a proper city, you're more likely to get the type of job you're looking for. If not there, Salzburg might work, but it won't be quite as close to the slopes.

 

Secondly, as others have mentioned, going off piste is different in Europe. Some parts of Italy consider it illegal, while others don't. Most parts of Switzerland and all of Austria (from what I've seen) will fine you if they catch you skiing in the trees, while in some parts of Switzerland, all of France, and at least what I've seen in NW Italy, they don't care.

 

That said, don't expect any of them to do any avi control in the off-piste areas. The only places that might get bombed are the few bits that could threaten the groomers below if a slide occurs; everything else goes untouched. Also, don't expect any hazards to be marked, including cliffs. Europeans have no qualms about grooming a bunch of pistes in the same area as giant cliffs, streams, boulders, etc. So, if you are going to make a run off piste, scope out the entire line to make sure it's safe.

post #10 of 12
I think this thread is giving a very skewed and slightly misguided view on off-piste skiing in Europe.

In general you will find that there are the occasional areas that are forbidden due to the possibility of setting off an avalanche endangering the town below.

But otherwise it is completely open slather. In fact that's the beauty of Europe - you ski where and when you want, patrolled or controlled or not. It's up to you to make decisions regarding your personal safety.

And in terms of the OP - you will find that in many European resorts the terrain will absolutely blow your mind, but the snowfall may not, except perhaps in a year like this.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by CM View Post

I think this thread is giving a very skewed and slightly misguided view on off-piste skiing in Europe.
In general you will find that there are the occasional areas that are forbidden due to the possibility of setting off an avalanche endangering the town below.
But otherwise it is completely open slather. In fact that's the beauty of Europe - you ski where and when you want, patrolled or controlled or not. It's up to you to make decisions regarding your personal safety.
And in terms of the OP - you will find that in many European resorts the terrain will absolutely blow your mind, but the snowfall may not, except perhaps in a year like this.



Well, when you go to the Arlberg area and see the signs saying there is a €5000 fine for skiing in the trees (especially in Lech and Zug), you'll see that "skiing at your own risk" can mean financial, rather than physical, danger. If you look at the piste map, you'll see all the areas with trees are shown as off limits.

 

That's one reason I prefer France and NW Italy: they realize it's hypocritical to carve out a giant ski resort and then rope off tiny sections in some half-hearted effort to preserve nature.

 

post #12 of 12

Strictly speaking, that is not a safety restriction (like most places in the States) but an attempt to protect trees (correct me if I'm wrong, never skied in Austria).  My experience is Val D'Isere, Verbier and Zermatt and I encountered a no restrictions attitude in all 3 places.

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