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Becoming a ski bum for a season

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm at a point in my life where I have the opportunity and time and security to quit my job spend a season skiing / snowboarding. I'm looking for advice and planning on how to execute this.

I've been looking at job postings that have started popping up for the winter resort jobs, but every time I see them then look at my resume, I worry that I will quickly be ignored and passed over. I'm a programmer in my late 20s who's been going to mountains since 2007, but maybe not really enough to be instructor material.

Are there any good resources on finding seasonal jobs and housing? Ideally even something part time just to get some local socializing, or is it possible to just freelance IT in a ski town area?

When do people start looking for housing? Would it be hard to just rent a place remotely then find some people on craigslist to help fill it? (or alternatively find a place looking for a roommate on craigslist?)

I'd love to hear other people's stories and experiences.

I'm currently looking in CO, MT, WY.

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

I've just read through this ski bum thread:

http://www.epicski.com/t/136020/need-help-being-a-ski-bum

 

Some other useful specifics of my situation: 

primary motivation:         ski ski snowboard snowboard.

secondary motivations:  meet people unlike people i've met in nyc. experience more of the outdoors

 

other criteria: be at a big enough place that people on the east coast would want to visit. something on the mountain collective pass would be cool.

 

dream location: Jackson Hole. I went last winter and loved it. a quick craigslist search for housing is really scary. how can anyone who works there live there???

post #3 of 14

If you want to have a good winter skiing do not be a ski instructor or lift operator.  They end up watching a lot of people have fun skiing while they are working.  If you truly want to be a ski bum then the job is not the issue, it's the skiing. Take a job that gives you the best snow and most skiing.  Here is a good place to start.

 

http://www.rustlerlodge.com/employment.html

 

I had a buddy who spent a few years at the Rustler doing night laundry, met great people, and skied his ass off every day.  Job included lodging, food and season pass.  Bonus was over 500" a year average snowfall. Think low overhead and maximum skiing.  If that is not your mindset then you are not really a ski bum.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thumbs Up night jobs sound ideal

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Ideally the job would be almost exclusively _just_ to meet people. If I need more money, I can do remote work or find more work. So, part time, at night, and mindless all sound ideal.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Also, I hope I'm not coming off as entitled. I've spent every year since graduation working full time jobs, and now that I have the means, I want to do something that isn't that for a bit.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycprogrammer View Post
 

Also, I hope I'm not coming off as entitled. I've spent every year since graduation working full time jobs, and now that I have the means, I want to do something that isn't that for a bit.

 

As someone who took last season off to ski, believe me, you don't sound entitled. There's plenty of support/enabling on this site for people who want to live the dream for a season =)

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
 

If you want to have a good winter skiing do not be a ski instructor or lift operator.  They end up watching a lot of people have fun skiing while they are working.  If you truly want to be a ski bum then the job is not the issue, it's the skiing. Take a job that gives you the best snow and most skiing.  Here is a good place to start.

 

http://www.rustlerlodge.com/employment.html

 

I had a buddy who spent a few years at the Rustler doing night laundry, met great people, and skied his ass off every day.  Job included lodging, food and season pass.  Bonus was over 500" a year average snowfall. Think low overhead and maximum skiing.  If that is not your mindset then you are not really a ski bum.

also the Alta Lodge, Snowpine , Peruvian Lodge, Goldminer's Daughter. You will get Lodging, 2 meals and lift ticket and all the skiing you could ever dream of.

post #9 of 14
I think you would get more skiing in working full time at one of the Alta lodges than working part-time somewhere you had to drive from. Last year we spent a few hours skiing with a guy that went to my son's high school in Massachusetts who was working at GMD. And that was a work day. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
post #10 of 14
Go to Europe. Utah is boring. Live a little. Alps are spectacular.
post #11 of 14
I don't think he's on here anymore, but @Alpenglow moved here (Whitefish) a couple seasons back and is surviving doing IT work. I think he's freelance, but says he didn't need to be at the places he's doing the work for. He's single and in his thirties, found some ski buddies by his second season (I barely saw him last year -- I'm a sixty plus old woman, so you can see why he'd ditch me). He managed to finish easily in the top 40 for vertical last year, so he was hitting a lot of days in spite of his work and occasional volunteer activities.

The big problem here is not housing prices as much as lack of rental properties. An article in the paper recently said there's only a 1% vacancy rate!! He told me when he first got here it was tough finding a place and that was two years back and things are getting more active again housing-wise and employment-wise. It seems like most of the living opportunities are people looking for room- or housemates. Nothing is listed on Zillow, but you see things on Craigslist.

So, yes you can freelance IT here. There are job openings at the mountain, but they're probably only paying $10 an hour or less, although you'd get a lift ticket. Still, the lift ticket isn't so pricey if you buy it now that you wouldn't make out better with a job elsewhere. Socializing? Ski as a regular, hang out at the Stube and the Northern, you'll meet people. This ain't the city.
post #12 of 14

Alta would be good if it's only for a ski season.   If there is any possibility of making it long term, I'd pick a real town.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 Go to Europe. Utah is boring. Live a little. Alps are spectacular.

 

I would love to go to the Alps. I don't particularly want to deal with visas, but I would consider it.

 

I have been to UT a lot, which is why I'm mostly focusing on WY and CO.

 

It appears that housing is my biggest unknown and also very scarce for rentals in most towns. Anyone have tips on with regards to that?

post #14 of 14

Craigslist high rockies will get you to a lot of housing opportunities in places like Summit County, CO.  Less snow, but more social scene than a lodge in Alta, UT.

https://rockies.craigslist.org/

 

I think if you have a car then finding a room in a house within 30 minutes of a major ski area in CO is not too hard off craigslist.

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