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Best Place to be a Ski Bumb

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
Don't know if that has been discussed before. But after college (2009) im planning on ski buming for a year, or two, or three. Im just looking for advice from some experts on the best town to do it in based on cheap housing, available jobs, and of course snow and terrain.
post #2 of 60
dont come to SLC
post #3 of 60
Big Sky, Moon Light Basin, Spanish Peaks, Yellow Stone Club -all very close together. If you work at Yellow Stone Club they buy you a pass to Big Sky and for just a few extra dollars you can upgrade that to the Big Sky/Moonlight Basin dual pass. While working at the YC you can still find sweet tracks long after a good dump -you're not supposed to but it happens. When you are off the clock you're supposed to be off the grounds. This is fine as the terrain is superior next door at both Big Sky and Moon Light Basin.
Otherwise head for Lake Tahoe. Squaw or Kirkwood. Either will put hair on your chest.
post #4 of 60
Wow.. you're really planning in advance. I'm not sure that makes you qualified.

There's some places more off the beaten path you might really like. I'd recommend visiting them first because you'll instantly pick up on what they're like. Taos, Crested Butte, Salida, Durango, Driggs (to some degree), and parts of Washington/Oregon are all a little quieter than the traditional places folks go. Oh, and those traditional places are Summit County, Salt Lake/Park City, and Tahoe.

Regardless of where you go, do some homework and try to land a full-time, year-round job. They're not that hard to find and can be pretty rewarding. Although, you probably won't get as many days in as your roommate who's bartending. You might not make as much money either.
post #5 of 60
Not PC that's for sure.
post #6 of 60
if it were me, this would be easy. i'm sure youre not the only one doing this, but living in reno/tahoe(especially reno) is cheap and the are plenty of blackjack dealer jobs. SLC should have cheap areas being a major city that are all within 30 miles of some great hills, and if you really can live on nothing; i would think you could find something in summit county and ski there.
again, there's plenty of people that do this every year and those places know it. i'd ask the resorts and places like the tahoe chamber of commerce. they should be able to steer you in the right direction.
post #7 of 60
whilst not wanting to ruin the vibe of the journey a bit of planning will help make things more enjoyable (the panic of only just finding the rent money wears off after a time or two).

CA: Whistler, huge variety of terrain on one pass, lots of jobs, lots of accom (not always cheap) but staff accom if you are working for the mountain, summer jobs in the bike park, hospitality, forestry, rafting etc.

USA: Any Vail Resort in CO, five mountains on one ski pass (inc A-Basin which means skiing through to Jun), lots of jobs, lots of accom, pretty good staff accom at decent monthly rates, summer jobs on the golf course, in hospitality, landscaping etc.

One point - if you are doing this to gets lots of skiing/ riding then do plan ahead, get a weekend PT ski instructor job at your local hill, get your PSIA/ AASI level 1 (at least, level 2 is better) and get work as an instructor.

If I had $1 for every resort/ local employee that whinged about the amount they worked compared to the amount they skied and 'how lucky I was to ski for my job' I would have several thousand dollars per year to spend on stuff. No luck involved at all, some planning, some hard work and a proper qualification.
post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
dont come to SLC
sounds like someone that's been in SLC a long time. :fingermustache:

I'd be careful with ski bumbs, they could blow up in your hands. I hear LCC is pretty awesome in the winter. (Every newcomer in a particular area will tell you not to come to where they are.)
post #9 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn View Post
Although, you probably won't get as many days in as your roommate who's bartending. You might not make as much money either.
Wie Bitte?!? (Come again?)
post #10 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
sounds like someone that's been in SLC a long time. :fingermustache:

I'd be careful with ski bumbs, they could blow up in your hands. I hear LCC is pretty awesome in the winter. (Every newcomer in a particular area will tell you not to come to where they are.)
it was a joke, cause everyone is so worried about the precieved lack of nighttlife here.
post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
everyone is so worried about the precieved lack of nighttlife here.
Good. ( IMHO )
post #12 of 60
I did Whistler for 3 years, and Steamboat for one. Both were great. I also did Solitude in Utah for a year, mid-life.

But, if I had to do it again, I'd go for Jackson Hole. Ultimate ski terrain, awesome snow, and uber-cowboy vibe - JH has it all.
post #13 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
I did Whistler for 3 years, and Steamboat for one. Both were great. I also did Solitude in Utah for a year, mid-life.

But, if I had to do it again, I'd go for Jackson Hole. Ultimate ski terrain, awesome snow, and uber-cowboy vibe - JH has it all.
and a lift served season that goes from December 1stish to april 5thish(Lame) and rents twice as much as what I pay now in sandy, to be twice as far from the village.

I will say the vibe and the terrain are the best i have seen.
post #14 of 60
Kashmir. Cheap rent and phenomenal nightlife. Just watch out for the minefields while skiing.
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellfish86 View Post
Kashmir. Cheap rent and phenomenal nightlife. Just watch out for the minefields while skiing.
Yeah, but Stevens Pass and Mission Ridge are just a hop, a skip and a jump away!
post #16 of 60
Anyone who can afford to take a year (or two, or three) off after college doesn't qualify as a ski bum.
post #17 of 60
An obvious point: Work evening jobs only - waiter, bartending, etc.

I could never fathom folks who come to a ski area, and then work retail or for the lift company. That usually kills 5 of 7 ski days, often for plebeian wages.

Good restaurant jobs usually start later (about 3:00), allowing full ski days, plus income from tips that place you in the comfy elite.
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimintokyo View Post
Anyone who can afford to take a year (or two, or three) off after college doesn't qualify as a ski bum.
If you can afford to go to college there is no point in going.
post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonSki View Post
Don't know if that has been discussed before. But after college (2009) im planning on ski buming for a year, or two, or three. Im just looking for advice from some experts on the best town to do it in based on cheap housing, available jobs, and of course snow and terrain.
I feel compelled to give my opinion, even though I'm sure others here will disagree with it...

Just find a real job in a city that's not far from skiing and ski as much as you can.

I've interviewed for several companies that I worked for over the last 15 or so years and most would have serious concerns if your resume showed a two or three year gap because you were waiting tables or bartending just so you could ski everyday, and I love skiing. But there needs to be a ballance, even when you're just out of college. I could see MAYBE a semester, tops, but not three years.

OK, I'm finished giving my opinion, I'm sure it wasn't what you wanted to hear.
post #20 of 60
Actually, UtahPowderPig brought up a point that's worth considering. Not that I agree with his opinion. (One should be in charge of one's life, not become a slave of one's job)

You may want to consider bumming THIS season instead of next. I know it's late and not neccessarily pratical. But here's the reason:

The first job after college is the hardest to get. You have no work experience in your field of study! On the plus side, companies will come to campus to recruite interns and fresh graduates. But if you're planning to bum right after graduateion, you miss the opportunity to take advantage of those "entry level" jobs. Without that first job, you might found yourself fighting an uphill battle for quite a few years to come.

Instead, leave a few easy courses till you come back from the "gap" year. So you can go to those campus recruitment interviews and have a job right after graduation.

If you can afford to bum a year AFTER graudation, you can afford to bum a year NOW.
post #21 of 60
Want to ski bum - you must get a job as either a instructor or ski patrol. all other ski area jobs are for whinners and wanabes. patrol and instructor gets you max time on the hill and patrol will pay good money. since you're planning ahead, take a few first aid courses and volunteer at a local hill or get a PSIA certification level 2. Patrol will have you on the hill before the public, you'll experience the mountain like few others ever get to see it. your year or two of bumming will change your outlook on life ... go for it ... !

Check out Taos , there may be more openings on patrol or ski school than at one of the maxi resorts Vail or Aspen. also Taos is a smaller base area, smaller scene all around and you're more likly to find your spot alot easier than being a very small fish in a very large pond / maxi area.

have fun
post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by madriverskier View Post
Want to ski bum - you must get a job as either a instructor or ski patrol. all other ski area jobs are for whinners and wanabes. patrol and instructor gets you max time on the hill and patrol will pay good money. since you're planning ahead, take a few first aid courses and volunteer at a local hill or get a PSIA certification level 2. Patrol will have you on the hill before the public, you'll experience the mountain like few others ever get to see it. your year or two of bumming will change your outlook on life ... go for it ... !

Check out Taos , there may be more openings on patrol or ski school than at one of the maxi resorts Vail or Aspen. also Taos is a smaller base area, smaller scene all around and you're more likly to find your spot alot easier than being a very small fish in a very large pond / maxi area.

have fun
please tell me you re are surely kdding about this.

some people the LAST thing they want to do is teach beginners on a powder day.

Nighttime bartending would be my next choice if i didnt actually like to teach people.

I am sure my buddies who ski everyday, and kill it are all wannabes and whiners yep wannabes and whiners.
post #23 of 60
Bum! Bum! Bum!

Maybe it's because I'm an English instructor, but that "SKI BUMB" (sic) in the title of the thread drives me bananas every time I see it.

There, micro-rant over.
post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
please tell me you re are surely kdding about this.

some people the LAST thing they want to do is teach beginners on a powder day.

Nighttime bartending would be my next choice if i didnt actually like to teach people.

I am sure my buddies who ski everyday, and kill it are all wannabes and whiners yep wannabes and whiners.
2nd

And TSV only hires a limited number of instructors each year, and, generally, you have to be L2 to apply as adult instructor. As a beginning instructor, be prepared to teach lots and lots of 3 year olds.

Personally, I like teaching kids, and teach very few adults. But you'd better be in the profession 'cause you like teaching, not for the (BWAHAHAHAHA) money.
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
Actually, UtahPowderPig brought up a point that's worth considering. Not that I agree with his opinion. (One should be in charge of one's life, not become a slave of one's job)
Who said anything about becoming a slave to one's job? That's not what I was suggesting at all. Part of taking "charge of one's life" is to earn enough money so you can actually do that. Typically being a ski bumb for 3 years straight out of college doesn't exactly put one in a good position to earn much money. When I was in college, I had friends that did the ski bumb thing for a semester. Instead, I studied hard so I could get a well paying job with a flexible schedule and now I can ski ( or do whatever ) whenever I want to.

Quote:
You may want to consider bumming THIS season instead of next (snip).
I tend to agree. If what you're studying in school is soo stressful that you need to be a ski bumb for 3 years after school, why are you in college at all? Perhaps being a ski bumb for a semsester will give you some perspective.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by UtahPowderPig View Post
If what you're studying in school is soo stressful that you need to be a ski bumb for 3 years after school, why are you in college at all? Perhaps being a ski bumb for a semsester will give you some perspective.
I dont see the correlation between becoming a ski bum and college stress factors. Granted, for some this may be exactly the reason they were/are ski bums, but no way is this the reason for everyone.

Some people may just want to get the opportunity to live that kind of lifestyle for a season before settling down into the corporate world or wherever you may end up.
post #27 of 60
You can totally be a ski bum for a year.

More to the point, if you were going to get a good job - you still will.

I did it. I know so many kids who went to Brown, Stanford, Dartmouth, Cornell, etc. that it actually gave them some to talk about to get the next job or graduate school.

Now it is the most interesting thing on my resume almost. People refer to as having guts, go for what you love, passion, etc. They are full of ****, it's HR speak. It's cute in the past though. But it fills some interview time, especially if you interview with any other skier. I doubt you will lose any learning/education/etc. People spin in their jobs for years. What is experience?

But there are ski town jobs for your career, and some others are not. Friends have with worked with orthopedic surgeons in Vail before med school. Marketing - lots. Service - tons. Legal - yes.
post #28 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimintokyo View Post
Anyone who can afford to take a year (or two, or three) off after college doesn't qualify as a ski bum.
So you have to be totally broke and uneducated to be a ski bum? How does that work? I know tons of very educated ppl who have chosen to be ski bums. How are you defining a ski bumm anyway? Whats the point of defining one? There are way too many types.

I ski 5-6 days a week and am pursuing my PhD (ask my colleagues, I am a ski bum), just have to make sacrifices in other areas.

As for the best place, it where ever you feel the vibe. I am living in Golden BC next winter, but would also highly highly recommend Garmisch, Germany with the Edelweiss Resort. I did it for a year and my little brother has been there for three. Ski every single day and get to travel around Europe hitting all the famous and not so famous resorts, its a great experience that I cant recommend more. If you want more info on it PM me.
post #29 of 60
Gripen, that's very cool. I'm glad you have the financial resources to support it. Not many people I know could've done that straight out of school.
post #30 of 60
I think right out of school is the best time. You generally don't have the large financial commitments (i.e. car payments, mortgage, etc). Student loan payments are not a problem for the most part as the income most "ski bums" make gives them a temporary reprieve from starting repayments.(At least with US federal loans). Working for a ski area is generally the best way as it offers a ski pass, sometimes living quarters (although I have been in some nasty Disease Dens before) and ppl who are interested in the same type of things as you. The pay might not be great, but for the most part aside from some food and beer there is little overhead.

I would recommend it to anyone after college, its a great way to decide what is important, where one wants to be and what the next chosen path should be.
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