or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I want to become a skibum!

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
Hi, everyone I am getting tired of my current corporate warrior life and was wondering if you guys had any insight into becoming some sort of ski bum this winter. I currently live in washington DC and would love to head west somewhere, or north to canada, or even to the alps in europe. from the limited research ive done so far, the winter jobs are about to be put up for applications, (in the next couple of weeks) so i was hoping for advice/recommendations/referrals ..

as in good places to work, the best jobs (though i dont really care about the job), the best way to get a job (that is the most important), etc, etc

thanks so much
post #2 of 77
Check the local papers for jobs available and rentals/real estate. This will give you an idea which places have what will work for you. You can also get empoyment info from most resort websites.

Here is the Jackson Hole paper....almost as many jobs as cows...lol

http://www.jacksonholenews.com/
post #3 of 77
So .... how does it feel to want?
post #4 of 77
What does Hobbs think of the idea?
post #5 of 77
Working in Canada and Europe will require a work visa to get a legit job. Not so easy if your an American. If you want to wash dishes and ski every day this might not be a big deal, if you want to get away from the 'corporate warrior' life and start a new life in the mountains do it right.
I'd look at the Tahoe area, very reliable snow (I say reliable but we all know snow) multiple resorts near each other and the ability to get out of town on occasion (you will want out once in a while). Utah, once again very reliable snow, multiple resorts, good housing situation, SLC is a city so you can get away from the hill when you feel the need. Look to live in Park City not SLC. Get a night job at the airport, ski during the day and get free air to where it is dumping, like Canada or Europe.

If you want to spend ONE season at a resort to 'be a ski bum' live AT the mouintain, get the most base level job you can (dish washer, waiter, chaimber maid) the idea here is you want flexability and in these jobs blowing off work is EXPECTED. This allows you FREEDOM which is what being a seasonal ski bum is all about. Avoid ski instruction or daycare or liftie jobs. You want to ski, right? get one of these jobs and you WATCH other people ski. Not fun. Picture loading other skiers onto a chairlift on the biggest powder day of your life, thats torture. In fact don't work during DAYLIGHT HOURS. Don't even think about money, you'll spend more than you make, welcome to the 'High Life'. Get any debt you have taken care of NOW while you make money, go out with a cash reserve (pay your seasons rent up front if possible) have enough for a pass, take care of insurance payments car payments, etc. Have a credit card that you can max out. Once again I'm talking one season here, live it up. Make it the best winter of your life because it WILL BE. That should be your ONLY responsability, having FUN.
When you get to town find a knowledgeable local and befriend him/her quick. Find out who is who, ski towns operate like wolf packs. There are three basic cliques, the Rippers, the Partiers and the Worker Drones (people who's jobs require they work while you should be skiing, this is the group that actually live year round, season after season). The group you fall in with will have a lot to do with your experience. The Rippers are your key to fresh tracks, sick lines and Alpha Male status. The Partiers are usually the resteraunt workers, stay up late sleep around, generally all good fun but is this why you want to move? It's hard to make first chair when you've been out all night. Keep your priorities straight. Find a girl in the early season, once again be aware of social caste. Women in ski towns are all well aware of whats up. Every girl knows and talks to every other girl in town. Mess up with one and your season will be lonely. Remember high school, it's like that.

If you want to make a life change and make this a permanent move, don't listen to the advice above. Find a ski community, get a respectable job, give up materialism and enjoy a life lived the way it should be lived. Good luck.
post #6 of 77
Another approach - for 6 years I collected unemployment during the winter. Worked a lot during the summers, maximizing the unemployment benefit payout amount, and would get laid off just in time for winter. If youre creative, you may also qualify for food stamps! So, go talk to your boss - wait til Nov and get canned!!!

fwiw - If any guilt kicks in while cashing unemployment checks - no worries - you will be paying back much, much... much more than you received. How depressing, lets get back to you becoming a ski bum!
post #7 of 77
are you male? is so, kiss off a social life that doesn't involve getting wasted with the other 50,000 guys in town (and about 100 women, you do the math).

And don't get an instructor's job unless you enjoy teaching 4 yo's how to glide down the hill while you're doin' wedge christies switch in front of them.
post #8 of 77
SLC has babes galore. They come up from SLC to party in PC on the weekends (20 minute drive).

I recommend living in PC, working in SLC or PC, and enjoying yourself. Make sure you have a car so you can enjoy the 10 resorts within short drive, as well as JH, Targhee, Sun Valley, and easy access to Colorado.
post #9 of 77
Like whiteroom said, depends on how long you want to be a ski bum... if you're looking for one season expect to be making minimal $$, just enough to blow in the bar later that night... but depending on the resort, working for the ski area gets the most perks.

Or do what I did... get a real job that pays well, has health and ski benefits, and allows you plenty time to ski. I work in finance for a large ski resort in CO... I haven't missed a powder day, log 100+ days a season, yet I'm still making good money. People often mistake the desk job in a ski town as a "only-ski-on-weekends" job... not so with all jobs... I make my own schedule which usually means I roll into work around 11am after ample runs in the morning... and I never exceed 40 hrs a week.

People often assume being a ski bum means halting your professional life... for many of us that isn't the case, lots of us are advancing our professional careers and making money, while still taking our lunch breaks where most people take their vacations.
post #10 of 77
I am ski bum and honestly awesome awesome life. In fact there is one bear who IMs me every other day just sayd hi by "ski bum" and I call him soon to be ski bum. It all good.
post #11 of 77
Thread Starter 
hey guys, it would probably be only a 1 season thing,i have too many things to try in my life. I would say ill probably end up being in the party group as well. I love to ski but yeah.... I cant help but party when its around.

i also have alot of experience in the IT field so maybe that would be useful to some resort?

I have some friends who worked at heavenly in tahoe and in winter park in colorado , i would ask them for references and referrals but they did some sort of exchange thing as they are all aussies. They seemed to have enjoyed heavenly more than winter park, i guess the parties at winter park werent all that....
post #12 of 77
Post this at TGR forums as well. I want to see their reaction.
post #13 of 77
dont be mean like that smiley lol.
post #14 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3eyedsmiley
Post this at TGR forums as well. I want to see their reaction.
whatcha mean?
post #15 of 77
Where do you think it's best to be a ski bum? In the other forum i've posted a similar question, i just graduated and am looking to move towards the resorts. I thought about Portland, cause i like the forest in the summer, but there is not a lot of money to be made in Oregon. Jackson Hole looks great cause it's so close to Yellowstone, but i'm thinking it might be a little remote. SLC is out cause i do not think i want to live within the mormon culture. So i'm thinking Tahoe or Colorado, jobs with either Heavenly, Vail, or Aspen... or whatever i can get.. thanks for the info.
post #16 of 77
Consider Park City, you will not be living within the mormon culture.
post #17 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA
I am ski bum
YES YOU AM !!!
post #18 of 77
wow horid english from me.....sometime i should think a post is more than an IM
post #19 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpine_wonder
Where do you think it's best to be a ski bum? In the other forum i've posted a similar question, i just graduated and am looking to move towards the resorts. I thought about Portland, cause i like the forest in the summer, but there is not a lot of money to be made in Oregon. Jackson Hole looks great cause it's so close to Yellowstone, but i'm thinking it might be a little remote. SLC is out cause i do not think i want to live within the mormon culture. So i'm thinking Tahoe or Colorado, jobs with either Heavenly, Vail, or Aspen... or whatever i can get.. thanks for the info.
I've lived in both Tahoe and now the Portland area...It's true that there's not alot of money to be had in the Portland area, although that's quickly changing, but it doesn't take alot of money to live here either.

In contrast to that, it can be very expensive to live in the Tahoe area and you won't necessarily make any more money than you would in the Portland area...Just something to think about.

I have a friend who works in Clackamas (Portland area) as an electrical engineer and and has a fairly flexible work schedule and he's on the mountain nearly every day, even if he has to ski late afternoon/nights. It only takes about an hour to get to Ski Bowl/Timberline from where he works.

I haven't lived in Vail or Aspen but from what I understand it's rediculously expensive and besides, why would you want to ski in a tourist trap ski area anyway?
post #20 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by memosteve
.......why would you want to ski in a tourist trap ski area anyway?
snow moisture content
post #21 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tief schnee
snow moisture content
in a (few)words
post #22 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpine_wonder
Where do you think it's best to be a ski bum? In the other forum i've posted a similar question, i just graduated and am looking to move towards the resorts. I thought about Portland, cause i like the forest in the summer, but there is not a lot of money to be made in Oregon. Jackson Hole looks great cause it's so close to Yellowstone, but i'm thinking it might be a little remote. SLC is out cause i do not think i want to live within the mormon culture. So i'm thinking Tahoe or Colorado, jobs with either Heavenly, Vail, or Aspen... or whatever i can get.. thanks for the info.
ski bum and making money, there's a concept (right up there with sea monsters and the earth is flat).
post #23 of 77
I.T.?

Maybe see if resorts gear up to have people around to handle POS and computer terminals (reservations, equipment, etc) Work a few days ski a few days.

DC
post #24 of 77

:

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpine_wonder
Where do you think it's best to be a ski bum? In the other forum i've posted a similar question, i just graduated and am looking to move towards the resorts. I thought about Portland, cause i like the forest in the summer, but there is not a lot of money to be made in Oregon. Jackson Hole looks great cause it's so close to Yellowstone, but i'm thinking it might be a little remote. SLC is out cause i do not think i want to live within the mormon culture. So i'm thinking Tahoe or Colorado, jobs with either Heavenly, Vail, or Aspen... or whatever i can get.. thanks for the info.
Aw:
Based on your post it seems that you may not have the correct prioities to be a true "ski bum." Jackson "too remote", why wouldn't you want to be isolated with the mountain with the best terrain in the country? SLC too much "morman culture," religous conversion is a small price to pay for an almost constant supply of the best powder on the planet. You just blew off two of the best places in the country to ski for non-skiing reasons.

If you are really driven to ski as much as possible then shouldn't it be all about the terrain and snow? Working 3 jobs (that don't interfer too much with your skiing), sleeping in a closet, scamming lift tickets, and putting up with whatever you need to ski are part of the deal. Maybe my attitude it elitest, but I have always thought that it's all about the turns or it aint ski bumming, although you have correctly considered the party factor.
post #25 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacemanspiff
hey guys, it would probably be only a 1 season thing,i have too many things to try in my life. I would say ill probably end up being in the party group as well. I love to ski but yeah.... I cant help but party when its around.

i also have alot of experience in the IT field so maybe that would be useful to some resort?

I have some friends who worked at heavenly in tahoe and in winter park in colorado , i would ask them for references and referrals but they did some sort of exchange thing as they are all aussies. They seemed to have enjoyed heavenly more than winter park, i guess the parties at winter park werent all that....
Yes, Tahoe, specifically South Shore, very social - lots of tourists = lots of social opportunity

Regarding IT - the casinos, Harveys, Harrahs... have IT folks - not the best places to work though. Lots of small businesses in tahoe = outsourcing of IT. Could be an option there.
post #26 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles)
ski bum and making money, there's a concept (right up there with sea monsters and the earth is flat).
Yeah - I like a prior post where the persons personal take of a ski bum is working a real fulltime job and being able to ski 9-11am prior to going to work. And, these 2 hr stints are counted as ski days. Given that ski day new math I skied:

50 days x 5 hrs a day / 2 hours = 125 days

Not a bad year


Top be fair - skiing prior to work is not a bad lifestyle - just doesnt seem to fit the party, blowoff work because its a pow day lifestyle...
post #27 of 77
The post about skiing every morning before work, you're right that isn't the 'blow off work, party, skibum' ethic. It's the 'I'm committed to skiing as a lifestyle and want to do this for the rest of my life' ethic. That guy is going to be living the dream for a long time as a ski town insider who has a nice little house a few towns away from the mountain. He'll be able to live a great life in the mountains because he's doing it right for the long haul.

And a life time of 2hr ski days trumps one 125 day season. When you spend multiple years at the same mountain you can get a WHOLE LOT of skiing done in 2 or 3 hrs. You're always in the right spot for freshies, you know which chair will open when and the lifties and patrol will hook you up with beta on where to be.
post #28 of 77
Whiteroom pretty much nailed it.

Spaceman:
Go to Breckenridge and find a dump to live in. Buy a Colorado pass for $379, party and ski as much as you can. Summit County is pretty cheap; I wouldn't work at all if you can avoid it. After the seasons over, move on.

Alpine Wonder:

You seem to want to make it a lifestyle, good for you. Tour all of the ski towns and stop were you like the vibe. Try to find a reasonable place to live in. It's the housing that will kill you, so you better like were you are going to live. There are tons of fairly high paying jobs in ski towns, but you have to pay your dues. Nobody gives these jobs to out of towners or short timers, because of the high dropout rate.

I've lived in Aspen and Vail and IMHO, Aspen has Vail beat by a mile.
post #29 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom
The post about skiing every morning before work, you're right that isn't the 'blow off work, party, skibum' ethic. It's the 'I'm committed to skiing as a lifestyle and want to do this for the rest of my life' ethic. That guy is going to be living the dream for a long time as a ski town insider who has a nice little house a few towns away from the mountain. He'll be able to live a great life in the mountains because he's doing it right for the long haul.

And a life time of 2hr ski days trumps one 125 day season. When you spend multiple years at the same mountain you can get a WHOLE LOT of skiing done in 2 or 3 hrs. You're always in the right spot for freshies, you know which chair will open when and the lifties and patrol will hook you up with beta on where to be.
You got the idea Whiteroom,thanks. Yeah... in 2 hours of skiing I've been able to easily pack in 9 runs of untracked on powder days (roughly 1000 to 1500 vert per run). Enough to exhaust me to the point that I don't really need any more runs. Plus that's only weekdays when you actually need to work at some point... being I work in finance, if I wanted to I could just ski all day and get my work done at night... but some days (gasp!) I don't feel like skiing all day. For the first year I did the party-hard, ski-hard, ski bum mentality, but then I grew up. And then I decided to combine my love of skiing with the need for career. Like I said, I live where most people save up all of their vacation time and all of their savings, just to come where I can take a lunch break. And I make enough $$ that eventually I will be able to afford to buy a house here, have a family, yet still live in a place that is stress-free, smog-free, and full of the joys of living. Why is it that everyone assumes you have to live far away from the mountains in a less-than-desireable location in order to make a decent living? I guess I just have different priorities, for me happiness is not found solely in my wallet. You can have the best of both worlds, you just have to make a commitment.
post #30 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom
The post about skiing every morning before work, you're right that isn't the 'blow off work, party, skibum' ethic. It's the 'I'm committed to skiing as a lifestyle and want to do this for the rest of my life' ethic. That guy is going to be living the dream for a long time as a ski town insider who has a nice little house a few towns away from the mountain. He'll be able to live a great life in the mountains because he's doing it right for the long haul.

And a life time of 2hr ski days trumps one 125 day season. When you spend multiple years at the same mountain you can get a WHOLE LOT of skiing done in 2 or 3 hrs. You're always in the right spot for freshies, you know which chair will open when and the lifties and patrol will hook you up with beta on where to be.
Trump?? now were down to counting runs in a day - and its a single digit

Like I said earlier - skiing a couple hours prior to work is very cool and one approach to a ski lifestyle. Although, a lot, or a little, can occur in two hours. For instance, it may take more than one lift to get to the goods, lifts can open late, blasting can delay areas from opening on time, lifts on windhold... that two hours goes by fast sometimes. As a previous resort local - personal preferance is to be self-employed, live close to the resorts on 5.5 beaitiful acres... and chose the entire day or consecutive days to ski - you can call me Mr. Trump anytime

And, in hopes of getting "trumped" again - and back to the intent of this thread - Spacemanspiff if you decide on tahoe I can hook you up with some south shore friends that can maybe help out.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion