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Where to Go West...and live...for a year...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
As Warren Miller said, everyone should quit there jobs and spend a year at a ski resort at some point in their lives...I'm contemplating doing that exact thing.

Problem is, although I've skied Fernie, Panorama, Whistler, Lake Louise, and Sunshine, I'm not sure I'd live in any of those places (maybe fernie).

I'm wondering what everyone's opinion is on a) Where to spend a year in BC, and b) Any tips on doing this - i.e. finding furnished accomodations, getting work - not necessarily in the ski industry, I'm in computers/technology and would prefer to do freelance development and support if possible. Any websites or hints would be great.

The plan would be to move out sometime late fall, depending on how hard it is to find work, etc.. and there would be at least 2 of us going, possibly 4..

Anyone done this before...?
post #2 of 11
I am taking a week in Nelson B.C. next week. It's supposed to be an awesome town. Will let you know. Mammoth is expanding with the Megagoplis Intrawest building it out. This could be a good option Job Opt. and lake season skiing May-June.

Just do it buy an Rv and stay mobile.

post #3 of 11
I've skied several places in Utah and several in Summit county Co. Either of these places would prob be a good choice. Finding work around salt lake city would probably be easier...you'd just have to deal with the mormans. Summit county would be awsome...close to vail, breck, keystone, copper, abasin, and not far from steamboat, butte, and seveal others. YOu could stay in one of the small towns outside of Breck and find work at a reasturant. I'm thinking about doing something like this when i finish my masters in 2 years...bumming for a season before i get a real job. I'm going to JH in a week and i'll let you know what I think.

Hope this helps

post #4 of 11
If you are into maintaining your present occupation, why don't you look into employment in the Calgary area. If you do end up with employment that is not location dependant on the area, you could stay in Canmore, just outside of the park. It is about 65 or 70 miles from Calgary proper, with an Interstate grade highway to the city.

I just have never heard about a lot of high tech jobs in the Canadian wilderness. In fact, I did look into a property outside of Golden where a group had tried to situate a high tech location, and they were selling out because it didn't work out for them. ...I think your best bet for reliable employment will be one of the larger cities, with the option of traveling to the ski resorts.

Good Luck [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #5 of 11
Powder Mag had a good article on Seattle being a great ski city to work from...it just rains a littlle there.

Check out Bend Oregon another Powder Sugg.
post #6 of 11
Personally, if I were in your very fortunate boots, I'd narrow the search to the mountains that would give me the ski bum season of my dreams... this could be a once in a lifetime thing, don't waste it on a second-rate mountain. I'd then make a final selection based on the practical stuff, like employment opportunities and housing costs. My list would definitely include Fernie, but that's me.

If you're looking for a high-tech job, I've heard that Penticton is a big centre for high-tech businesses. I haven't skiied Apex, which is the closest resort, but it's only got 2000 ft. vertical, so is probably too small.

I know a computer science professor at the college in Kamloops, so they might have some high-tech industry there too. It's 45 min. to Sun Peaks, which is a decent mountain, but wouldn't be on my list. I met some 'ski hosts' there, who get a free ski pass in return for some part-time hosting. If you can ski anything but are sociable and enjoy skiing with skiers of any ability level, it might work for you. Other resorts might do the same.
post #7 of 11
Ice: I believe that the high-tech jobs are just north of Penticton in Kelowna. It has gotten the nickname the Silicon Vineyard. Now you are talking about 'The Big Fog' for a home hill.
post #8 of 11
Originally posted by artimus:
Ice: I believe that the high-tech jobs are just north of Penticton in Kelowna. It has gotten the nickname the Silicon Vineyard. Now you are talking about 'The Big Fog' for a home hill.
You could be right... I heard about this some time ago & so might have mixed up the two towns. I'm sure that it would be easy for JPC to check.

I gather you hit Big White when it was foggy? I didn't know that it had a reputation. I guess we were just lucky when we were there last year. We have occaisionally hit fog at resorts out west, but the worst is the 'fog' created by the snow guns, here in the east... noisy as h*&% and capable of coating your goggles with an inpenetrable coating of ice in a matter of seconds!

Big White is a self-contained resort/village at the base of the hill. Kelowna is an approx. 45 min. drive from the resort, with the mountain road zig-zagging and clinging to the sides of steep slopes : at some points. It would be a thrill to drive in the summer (in a roadster with the top down ) but you mightn't want to drive it after a good dump of snow!
post #9 of 11

I am planning something similar. I am taking a 2-month sabbatical from my job next winter and am looking for a mountain as well. I've skied Utah, Summit County, and Banff among others. Next week I head up to Fernie for the first time to check it out. Jackson is the first place I thought of, but others have suggested Telluride as well. Fernie has really peaked my interest and I'll know more after my visit.

There's something about JH that keeps me heading in that direction. Anyone have any thoughts on Jackson?

Let me know what you decide.
post #10 of 11
Rossland, BC is a neat little town which is right next to Red Mountain. Red Mountain is steep with lots of great terrain and great tree skiing. I rode the chair with numerous people that were working in the area and ski bumming. All of them loved the location.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
This is some awesome responses.

I was just in Fernie at the start of February, as well as going up to Panorama - I could handle Fernie, but right now I'm considering something between Big White and Kelowna as being the most practical all-round situation...

This is some terrific feedback though..I'm not sure if I'll be a ski-bum or still be able to maintain work in Hi-tech, I'm trying to explore all avenues at this point...

Keep it coming...
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