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Doing something useful with skiing

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Had a great season last year - 600,000 vertical feet spread over 25 ski days. Found my skill level improved to be about a PSIA level 8 skier. My form (which is not part of the PSIA) probably has some catching up to do, and looking forward to a great season this year. The only problem is - I'd like to figure out something that I can achieve or work toward, so my skiing is somehow useful beyond providing entertainment for myself. It's part of my nature, I guess.

What options are there that I can do something useful with my skiing? Doesn't have to be big, even something small would be fine.

I've thought:

1) Ski instructor, if I have patience and skill to make it fun for others

2) Ski patrol, but ruled out because I don't want to respond to injuries

3) Test ski gear. Would be fun but not sure how to get my name on the list to do so

4) Perform engineering safety inspections on ski lifts. This is actually my dream job - but haven't applied for it yet.

5) Receive pins for ski accomplishments like vertical feet per season or something. I think these have gone away though.

6) Or .....

I don't need anything free or discounts - I don't mind paying normal fare for skiing and can afford to do so. Just looking to see how I can put my skiing ability to some sort of practical use.
post #2 of 27

This always puzzles me.

 

The need to quantify, define and achieve.

 

Classic type A (part of your nature!)

 

You could do any of the things on your "list",

 

or work at just enjoying the snow, the mountains and skiing.

 

And try and have FUN (the only reason I ski)

post #3 of 27

If being Ski patrol isn't for you, just be a Ski Trollrolleyes.gif

post #4 of 27

Join a racing beer league:

 

You're skiing will improve. 

You'll have plenty of opportunities to see what you really can afford.

You can get pins (bronze, silver, gold and platinum).

There's a chance ski patrol will be responding to you.

 

It is a blast and I love it.  Beer league is pretty tame compared to Masters Racing as it is recreational racing, but can be quite challenging.  Always fun to head to the pub afterwards and most places do some sort of raffle so you might get free stuff.

post #5 of 27

From your profile pic it looks like you have a nice family.  Bringing all of them along with you to the hill whenever possible is a noble and very demanding achievement.  Been there, done that x4.  And when that little one blows you off the trail in a few years it will be sweet poetic justice.

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

From your profile pic it looks like you have a nice family.  Bringing all of them along with you to the hill whenever possible is a noble and very demanding achievement.  Been there, done that x4.  And when that little one blows you off the trail in a few years it will be sweet poetic justice.

 

Thank you for your compliments. I taught my wife how to ski last year. She skied as a kid, but no one ever took the time to teach her to ski nor get her the right equipment. After getting the right gear, and about 4 days on the hill showing her that turning skis involves shifting weight - not turning the ankle - she started to ski parallel down the blue runs. It was a great feeling and yes, I did get a good sense of having done something useful. Thanks for the reminder to focus on my family.
post #7 of 27

I believe some resorts have volunteer guides or greeters to show newcomers around. If you have an outgoing personality, you might enjoy that, and get to know folks from all over.

post #8 of 27

Squaw Valley's angry villagers are  looking for a mayor, sheriff, jailer, executioner and someone to work on the Xmas Pageant.

 

I've got most of those jobs rolled together, so you can be Mayor. wink.gif

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 50

post #9 of 27

You don't say what your full time job is and what your education is.

Most of the options you list are part time endeavors.

Your #4, Safety Inspector, would be a full time position with an engineering related company or a lift manufacturer. The state usually requires a certification for such positions a well. So, unless your looking to change occupations maybe one of your other options would be the best solution.

Your #5, pins etc., is alive and well at Vail properties with their Epic Mix. But, Vail doesn't have anything in Montana.

Your #3, gear testing, is best accomplished by talking to your local area mountain operations or local ski shops. The major magazines typically do their gear tests at one resort for one week in late season so there is not a lot to do the rest of the season, unless your thinking of testing for a single manufacturer. In that case send resumes to every north american office of equipment companies.

 

That leaves your options #1 and #2.

These two positions, Instructor and Patrol, are best for unmarried people not supporting a family if your thinking of full time. Both can be done part time although depending on your home area the patroller positions may be the more difficult to break into part time. The patroller gig has a long learning curve and you won't be responding to injury situations your first year. You'll be moving ropes and signs and other 'maintenance' activities as well as cleaning the patrol shack; making the ski area safe for the public. But long term, in Montana, you might get to play with explosives if you stay with it, real fun. Also, if you want a sense of doing something useful, nothing could be better than helping another skier who is really in trouble.

Your #1 option, instructor, can be done part time. The initial training is not that difficult and you will be dealing with beginners your first year. You will need to set aside at least one day a week for instructor clinics; this is where your real instructor training will take place. After your first year you can start working on PSIA certification. The sense of accomplishment is tremendous with instructing. Working with kids is great but working with a 30 year that is a never ever is fun and challenging. You won't believe how afraid an adult can be about riding a magic carpet.

Should you get the opportunity to work with people with disabilities you will really have that feeling of doing something useful. You will be totally exhausted by the end of the lesson but seeing the smile on the face of a 14 year old autistic boy when he is finally able to slide 100 feet by himself will tell you you just did something useful.

post #10 of 27

An expert report has a great (or is that grating) idea -Installing CCTV Speed Cameras on the slopes.

 

 

"This evidence comprised a report dated 16 July 2009 and oral evidence.

  1. In her report, Ms Armour was critical of the system of work utilised by the respondent. She said that the work of a mountain awareness officer exposed that person to risk of injury when trying to slow skiers and snowboarders down when there were more appropriate options available. The options identified by her were the use of CCTV cameras, a loudspeaker system, a safe haven and positioning mountain awareness officers at the bottom of the slope to speak to offenders identified earlier by the camera system. She characterised the existing system as setting up mountain awareness officers as "potential obstacles". Implicit in her opinion was the proposition that a mountain awareness officer remained stationary next to a "slow" sign.
  1. In para 40 of her report Ms Armour said:

"The method of placing MAOs as stationary obstacles behind signs requiring them to attract the attention of an offender (offending either intentionally or unintentionally) on a slope filled with beginner and experienced skiers, increased the congestion without any indication that the speed risk was able to be actually controlled effectively. There was no evidence available to the author that the risk was managed any better than if the MAOs were situated at the bottom of the slope and simply observed offenders and apprehended them at the bottom of the slope. If the risk assessment indicated that there was a need to apprehend offenders high up the slope, then roaming MAOs could receive instructions via radio to follow and apprehend the offenders based on real time CCTV footage."

post #11 of 27

Montana Skier, you are a bigger person than I am.  Rather than doing something useful, I'll just stick with the same goal I've had for decades:  ski the gnarliest terrain in the deepest snow I can find.  Thanks for making me feel selfish!

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by veteran View Post

 

....The options identified by her were the use of CCTV cameras, a loudspeaker system, a safe haven and positioning mountain awareness officers at the bottom of the slope to speak to offenders identified earlier by the camera system.

 

 

I like this idea.   Just add drones to take out the offenders before they can hurt anyone!  smile.gif

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Skier View Post

Had a great season last year - 600,000 vertical feet spread over 25 ski days. Found my skill level improved to be about a PSIA level 8 skier. My form (which is not part of the PSIA) probably has some catching up to do, and looking forward to a great season this year. The only problem is - I'd like to figure out something that I can achieve or work toward, so my skiing is somehow useful beyond providing entertainment for myself. It's part of my nature, I guess.


5) Receive pins for ski accomplishments like vertical feet per season or something. I think these have gone away though.

6) Or .....

I don't need anything free or discounts - I don't mind paying normal fare for skiing and can afford to do so. Just looking to see how I can put my skiing ability to some sort of practical use.

In Montana this is normally called duct tape.

 

Write Trip reports and ski area reviews for the places you ski here on EPIC?  If you ski some of the smaller Montana areas they could use it, and we would all enjoy it.

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

Join a racing beer league:

 

You're skiing will improve. 

You'll have plenty of opportunities to see what you really can afford.

You can get pins (bronze, silver, gold and platinum).

There's a chance ski patrol will be responding to you.

 

It is a blast and I love it.  Beer league is pretty tame compared to Masters Racing as it is recreational racing, but can be quite challenging.  Always fun to head to the pub afterwards and most places do some sort of raffle so you might get free stuff.

    ^^^ +1

 

    zenny

post #14 of 27

Most resorts have their own ambassador programs where they invite regulars to help everyone out on the slopes a little.  You get a special vest to designate you as affiliated with the area and your main job is just to be friendly and answer general questions from visitors out on the slopes, in the lodge, rental shop, etc.  The resort usually requires you complete some kind of basic training on site then they offer you a season pass at a considerable discount price.  In exchange you wear the vest and help out when and where needed while skiing there.  I've never done it and don't know anyone that does it.  But, it sounds like an easier, less demanding way to get involved more than instructing or joining the patrol.

post #15 of 27
I was going to look up where he was, since I knew it wasn't Whitefish, to see if that mountain has them. I know our openings for the Ambassador job here normally post about now.

Edit. Looked back and he doesn't ski in Montana, contrary to his screen name. He skis at Crystal. And their Ambassadors are not mountain hosts, it's something else entirely. Will have to keep looking for that job..

Another edit.. They may not have them. Spent a lot of time on their website and the mountain host function is never mentioned. Like I said, the Ambassadors they have are NOT what we are talking about.
Edited by sibhusky - 8/25/13 at 10:31am
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Skier View Post

Had a great season last year - 600,000 vertical feet spread over 25 ski days. Found my skill level improved to be about a PSIA level 8 skier. My form (which is not part of the PSIA) probably has some catching up to do, and looking forward to a great season this year. The only problem is - I'd like to figure out something that I can achieve or work toward, so my skiing is somehow useful beyond providing entertainment for myself. It's part of my nature, I guess.

What options are there that I can do something useful with my skiing? Doesn't have to be big, even something small would be fine.

I've thought:

1) Ski instructor, if I have patience and skill to make it fun for others

2) Ski patrol, but ruled out because I don't want to respond to injuries

3) Test ski gear. Would be fun but not sure how to get my name on the list to do so

4) Perform engineering safety inspections on ski lifts. This is actually my dream job - but haven't applied for it yet.

5) Receive pins for ski accomplishments like vertical feet per season or something. I think these have gone away though.

6) Or .....

I don't need anything free or discounts - I don't mind paying normal fare for skiing and can afford to do so. Just looking to see how I can put my skiing ability to some sort of practical use.

Congrats on a great season last year.  

 

Becoming a ski instructor could really improve your skiing, especially with all the clinics you'll be doing to get your certification.  

Beer league racing has been suggested above and will also open up some avenues to building skills and increasing ski days

 

#3 on your list is something that is pretty hard to do without having a long history in the ski industry. 

Check out the bios of the people who test for Ski 

http://www.skinet.com/ski/galleries/meet-2013-ski-testers

post #17 of 27

 

Just do as Edison says, and you'll be fine

post #18 of 27

You can inquire with ski-trip companies/outdoors social groups to be an organizer or host bus or other trips.

And as such you can be the de-facto on-mountain host as well.

If you have kids or some kind of local community organization you can inquire about volunteering to host/guide such trips for your local community.

post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I was going to look up where he was, since I knew it wasn't Whitefish, to see if that mountain has them. I know our openings for the Ambassador job here normally post about now.

Edit. Looked back and he doesn't ski in Montana, contrary to his screen name. He skis at Crystal. And their Ambassadors are not mountain hosts, it's something else entirely. Will have to keep looking for that job..

Another edit.. They may not have them. Spent a lot of time on their website and the mountain host function is never mentioned. Like I said, the Ambassadors they have are NOT what we are talking about.

 

Sibhusky, 84,000 vertical feet (out of the 600,000 from last year) were logged at Big Mountain aka Whitefish Mountain Resort. I learned to ski at Big Mountain and skied there for the first 10 years of my skiing career. I grew up in Whitefish, graduated from Whitefish High School, and graduated college from Montana State University near Bridger Bowl & Big Sky. It may not be my home resort today, but Montana is always going to be the place that I learned to ski and where my true ski love lives.

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCC55125 View Post

Your #4, Safety Inspector, would be a full time position with an engineering related company or a lift manufacturer. The state usually requires a certification for such positions a well. So, unless your looking to change occupations maybe one of your other options would be the best solution.

 

 

I'm a mechanical engineer by trade, and a licensed professional engineer. In the state I reside today (Washington), the state hires professional engineers to go out and inspect every ski lift prior to opening day. I hope someday to be qualified to be hired for this position. However, as you alluded to, they want people with lots of experience with ski lifts, and they are not talking about hours spent riding the chairs. That said, there's nothing wrong with having a dream job slightly out of reach.
 

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Skier View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I was going to look up where he was, since I knew it wasn't Whitefish, to see if that mountain has them. I know our openings for the Ambassador job here normally post about now.


Edit. Looked back and he doesn't ski in Montana, contrary to his screen name. He skis at Crystal. And their Ambassadors are not mountain hosts, it's something else entirely. Will have to keep looking for that job..


Another edit.. They may not have them. Spent a lot of time on their website and the mountain host function is never mentioned. Like I said, the Ambassadors they have are NOT what we are talking about.

Sibhusky, 84,000 vertical feet (out of the 600,000 from last year) were logged at Big Mountain aka Whitefish Mountain Resort. I learned to ski at Big Mountain and skied there for the first 10 years of my skiing career. I grew up in Whitefish, graduated from Whitefish High School, and graduated college from Montana State University near Bridger Bowl & Big Sky. It may not be my home resort today, but Montana is always going to be the place that I learned to ski and where my true ski love lives.

I only brought it up because some were answering as if you were skiing in Montana.
Quote:
Vail doesn't have anything in Montana.
Quote:
But long term, in Montana, you might get to play with explosives if you stay with it, real fun.
Quote:
In Montana this is normally called duct tape.

Write Trip reports and ski area reviews for the places you ski here on EPIC? If you ski some of the smaller Montana areas they could use it, and we would all enjoy it.
I felt it was important to gear the answers towards where your home hill is.

84,000 is three days. Not sure of your point about vertical achievements.
post #22 of 27

Help out with skiers with disabilities. In Colorado there are a lot of adaptive programs. Also, check to see if there is a Winter Special Olympics program near you.

post #23 of 27
The easy answer is to work for a program like 'outdoors for all'. For a PNW skier and Crystal at that, I'd say it's time to expand the ski experience... Get some AT gear, join something like the Washington Alpine Club, get some avy and navigation training, and ski all the other stuff out there including that big white thing you see from the top of Crystal.
post #24 of 27

+1 for adaptive program participation. It's part time; you will definitely feel like you are doing something worthwhile and the equipment that is used (mono-skis and bi-skis) always need work. A local adaptive program could surely use your skills.

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCC55125 View Post
 

You don't say what your full time job is and what your education is.

Most of the options you list are part time endeavors.

Your #4, Safety Inspector, would be a full time position with an engineering related company or a lift manufacturer. The state usually requires a certification for such positions a well. So, unless your looking to change occupations maybe one of your other options would be the best solution.

Your #5, pins etc., is alive and well at Vail properties with their Epic Mix. But, Vail doesn't have anything in Montana.

Your #3, gear testing, is best accomplished by talking to your local area mountain operations or local ski shops. The major magazines typically do their gear tests at one resort for one week in late season so there is not a lot to do the rest of the season, unless your thinking of testing for a single manufacturer. In that case send resumes to every north american office of equipment companies.

 

That leaves your options #1 and #2.

These two positions, Instructor and Patrol, are best for unmarried people not supporting a family if your thinking of full time. Both can be done part time although depending on your home area the patroller positions may be the more difficult to break into part time. The patroller gig has a long learning curve and you won't be responding to injury situations your first year. You'll be moving ropes and signs and other 'maintenance' activities as well as cleaning the patrol shack; making the ski area safe for the public. But long term, in Montana, you might get to play with explosives if you stay with it, real fun. Also, if you want a sense of doing something useful, nothing could be better than helping another skier who is really in trouble.

Your #1 option, instructor, can be done part time. The initial training is not that difficult and you will be dealing with beginners your first year. You will need to set aside at least one day a week for instructor clinics; this is where your real instructor training will take place. After your first year you can start working on PSIA certification. The sense of accomplishment is tremendous with instructing. Working with kids is great but working with a 30 year that is a never ever is fun and challenging. You won't believe how afraid an adult can be about riding a magic carpet.

Should you get the opportunity to work with people with disabilities you will really have that feeling of doing something useful. You will be totally exhausted by the end of the lesson but seeing the smile on the face of a 14 year old autistic boy when he is finally able to slide 100 feet by himself will tell you you just did something useful.

If going the instructor route, take your PSIA 1 first season and - I'm working under the assumption that your mileage denotes at least an advanced-intermediate level of skill - talk to your trainers about doing clinics towards your 2. If improving your form is the goal, instructing and taking up as many clinics as you can will definitely help to that end.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Most resorts have their own ambassador programs where they invite regulars to help everyone out on the slopes a little.  You get a special vest to designate you as affiliated with the area and your main job is just to be friendly and answer general questions from visitors out on the slopes, in the lodge, rental shop, etc.  The resort usually requires you complete some kind of basic training on site then they offer you a season pass at a considerable discount price.  In exchange you wear the vest and help out when and where needed while skiing there.  I've never done it and don't know anyone that does it.  But, it sounds like an easier, less demanding way to get involved more than instructing or joining the patrol.

If the ambassadors at my hill are any indicator, this won't really meet the "fulfillment" requirement. They mostly just ski around with each other and do their best to ignore and avoid guests

post #26 of 27

How about exercise? Earn your turns instead of taking the lift. 

 

The feeling is comparable to catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself. 

 

Plus it will kick you into shape real quick, you'll get to see terrain that most others don't, and also ski terrain that most others don't.

 

Yea maybe you'll only net 100,000ft of vert, but you'll also be climbing 100,000ft of vert, who else can say they climbed Everest three times in a ski season?

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Skier View Post
 

 

Thank you for your compliments.I taught my wife how to ski last year. She skied as a kid, but no one ever took the time to teach her to ski nor get her the right equipment. After getting the right gear, and about 4 days on the hill showing her that turning skis involves shifting weight - not turning the ankle - she started to ski parallel down the blue runs. It was a great feeling and yes, I did get a good sense of having done something useful. Thanks for the reminder to focus on my family.

 

Along the same lines, take someone who has never skied before on an outing. There are lots of useful things you can do even if they were to take a first timer lesson. It is so helpful to have someone who knows the ropes help with rentals, maybe you could loan some ski clothes, goggles and such. There are many ways for a never ever to justify not going skiing, it helps to have an experienced guide move things along.

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