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skiing a way of life??

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
One day this past week while I was in the middle of studying for yet another test...I began to day dream of skiing somewhere...anywhere. It did not matter just to be skiing somewhere would be great....whether it be chest deep powder at Jackson or icy hardpack at Wintergreen, poring down rain or the best of snowstorms, it made no difference. Any skiing would be better than what I was doing. I will finish my masters degree in Environmental/Civil Engineering in a year or so and I plan on moving out west somewhere to ski bumb for a year...then get a real job. Then what?? Working 40 hrs a week so I can ski 2 mabye 3 weeks out of the year. I guess this is the norm for most people but....why spend the majority of our lives working so we can spend only a few weeks a year doing what we really love?? How many of you are this type of skier and how many actually have jobs doing something related to the industry/sport. Seems like its awfully tough to find a job where you can make decent money and still be able to log more than a couple weeks a year skiing. Mabye I should look into finding a job in the Denver/Salt Lake area so I can go every weekend. Consider yourself lucky if you have a job that relates to this wonderful sport....just think about the rest of us that work week after week to be able to ski weekends or 2 or 3 weeks out of the year......
post #2 of 18
Depends on your priorities etc...
I ski 50-70 days most seasons while working...

(I die at end of ski season due to lack of REST & the house looks like I have been robbed... but...)
post #3 of 18
It could be worse... As a chemical engineer, the majority of jobs for me would be in the Texas gulf coast (an all too real possibility for me - I have interviews there in a couple weeks) or in New Jersey (VT close, at least). I am receiving my masters in early Feb and should be starting a job not too late after that. As a compromise between job, family, and skiing, I hope to end up in Indy or Michigan (where relatives have a condo in northern MI). My hopes are to be in a place where I can ski 1-2 time per week at a local hill, take a few weekend trips to bigger places, and take 1-2 trips out west to the real mountians. I thought about bumming for a year, but getting started with a company is more important at this time. Best of luck whatever you do and think snow...
post #4 of 18
I have a friend in the ski industry who has made a few tough decisions. Fifteen years ago she graduated from Princeton. She has taught skiing and mountain biking ever since graduation. Every once in a while she considers getting 9-5 job.

She is one of the best teli skiers around.

She never has any money.

I won't say anything silly about her being rich in other ways.

I don't think she would make any changes.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Are you at VT student?? I just started my masters at VT this fall?? I have skiied wintergreen, winterplace and snowshoe quite a bit but have never driven there from Blacksburg....i did my undergrad at NCSU. I def like wintergreen better than winterplace...snowshoe is nice just a long drive.
post #6 of 18
I was at uni for 5 years before finishing last year with two degrees.

Whilst at uni I never even looked for a real job.

I finished up last November and was working in the industry by December.

Can I see myself doing anything different? No way.
post #7 of 18
I grew up skiing several nights a week and some weekends through high school. I worked ten years in my "chosen" field after university, managing to ski maybe 50 days a season on weekends and vacations. In 1970, I moved closer to local skiing, got a night job at a hospital and have averaged more than 100 days a season ever since. I don't have any money now, but I'm richer other ways.
post #8 of 18
Originally posted by aschir01:
I have interviews there in a couple weeks) or in New Jersey (VT close, at least). [/QB]

I think the reference was to the state....not the institution.
post #9 of 18
bigbad - I was talking about Vermont, not Virignia Tech. However, I am at UVA for a few more months and will wring the as much out of my Wintergreen season pass as I can.
post #10 of 18
Here's my situation.. Graduating with a Mechanical Engineering degree this may. I live on the east coast of Canada and have dreamed all my life of skiing someplace with more than 1000ft of vertical for more than week at a time. This past summer I skipped out on an opportunity to work an engineering job that would have paid very well, to go to New Zealand and coach skiing..

Needless to say I had an amazing experience, and I made some decisions about what I'm going to do with the next say five years of my life. I could easily get a well paying engineering job in may, doing HVAC, or offshore oil, or something, but there's no way I'm going to spend the next thirty five years of my life sitting behind a desk just to have a lot of money. I've thought about finding a skiing related engineering job too, like snowmaking system design, there's lots of mechanical engineering in skiing.. But that may even be worse, having to think about skiing all day, sitting behind a desk. [img]smile.gif[/img] I think that if I was to immerse myself in the ski industry for a few years, who knows, maybe an opportunity will come up like that, and then I can decide if I'm ready to do the 9-5 thing..

When I was in NZ I skied six days a week, and made more than enough to support myself. It wasn't lots of money, but it was more than enough to do everything I wanted. I met some people that have been living the life of a skier for a while now, and they really made me realize that it can be done. It's just a matter of sacrifices, you have to be willing to give up some things to have others. That happens in everything though, not just this.

Those people who have chosen skiing as their life may not be the richest people you know, but as far as I'm concerned why would I need a lot of money if I get to ski every day! Then again, I am young, have no mortgage, or family to support.. But I think it can be done, and I'm sure going to try.

post #11 of 18

What about Calgary for a job? I have some friends in Calgary; one works in the oil business; another in commercial real estate; and another who has several ski shops and is the Province's best fishing guide. They all spend their spare time skiing and fishing. They also make time for it, not just as an afterthought. Although I do not ski as much as I would like to, I actually have a career where I have combined several of my life's passions. Then on the weekends, I ski, working as a part-time instructor and helping introduce others into the passion of skiing. The main point is that I am really HAPPY [img]smile.gif[/img] doing what I do. I suggest for all of the recent college graduates to get two books. One is "What Color Is My Parachute" and the other is "Welcome To The Real World"-(Tips for the recent college graduate on how to get along in the real world). I do not know who said the following quote but it goes something like this. "Find a career that you really enjoy, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

Good luck to all of you with your decisions.
post #12 of 18
Get your life's priorities in order... do not let your career run your life. Choose a place to live first, then find a job there. What's the point of a high-paying job when you wind up living in a rat hole in the rat race and spend all your extra time and money travelling to ski? Skiing on a mole hill is just plain dumb... round and round 40 times a day in the lift line and down the same run. This is the time when your life will take direction, and you are in charge of it... there is much more to life than money.
post #13 of 18
"Find a career that you really enjoy, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
So true, yet so hard to achieve. [img]smile.gif[/img]

A career should not run your life, but skiing should not run your life either. Unless you have a skiing related job, with a decent salary that lets you enjoy other things in life, you are probably setting yourself up for some disappointment. On the other hand, some people have simple needs and can have very rich lives on relatively modest incomes. I envy those people to some extent. I wish I was less materialistic, but I grew up with nothing and now I want everything (within reason, of course [img]smile.gif[/img] ).
There is no right or wrong answer here.
post #14 of 18
Yes, we all need to make sacrifices and set priorities. After college I went out to Breckenridge and taught skiing full time for a year, however, I'll admit that it was probably easier in the late 80s than it is now, to make a living at it. I came home to Maryland, got married and have a 2 year old kid, a mortgage, a reliable car and a 9-5 desk job (although get to go to Denver for business, so I'll get to do a little skiing out there). Sometimes the sacrifice is doing what you need to do for yourself and your family, not what you think would be the most fun. Granted, you're young and unattached (I'm guessing), but don't forget to have a future. We make sacrifices in different ways. I have a decent paying job in a very expensive area of the country, and my wife is a stay-at-home mom. So we don't drive fancy cars or live in a big house, but the bills are paid, I may be able to retire at some point, my kid will be able to get a proper education, and I get to take ski vacations and make like a yo-yo every weekend at the local ski area where I teach.

Good luck! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #15 of 18
Originally posted by Powderhoundin:
Those people who have chosen skiing as their life may not be the richest people you know,
Hey honest, I'm loaded. Nah life is indeed about having fun. Money is only sort of a means to an end & sometimes not a great one at that. Don't let it run your life.

You look at some of the real rich folks & they don't look like they are really enjoying things. I would ski 3 to 4 days a week & could do more if I wanted but I can pick my days.

A simple skiing equation is work 8 hours, sleep 8. That leaves another 5 minimum to ski once eating is taken care of.

Grooming nights, skiing days! & doing it in style (or lack of).

Hey Evan it snowed again!!
post #16 of 18
It's nice to see that the younger people know they need to get they're education first. Skiing is a passion we all share. My son is a junior in high school, looking for a college close to a ski area, while getting his Engineering degree. Luckily for us we have been able to ski 60-70+ days a season for the past 5 or 6 years.

Skiing is a big part of our lives, but we have other intrest that get us through the off season. You need to have balance in your life.

Most of us have a time in our lifes when we may get away from skiing, I took a 14 year break. When I came back, it didn't take long to get back up to speed. It is a skill you well not loose. Enjoy your years in college, the snow will always be here. Life goes by so fast, it's hard not to feel that you missed out on something. Have fun but be safe, it's not fun being hurt or getting hurt bad enought where you can not longer do something you have a passion for.
post #17 of 18
well d@mn, it sure is good to know that there are other engineering students out there (and masters students, no less) going throught the same friggin thing! : when you find out what to do and the secret to life, please let me know... until then, i will continue to scrape through my classes (yes, it CAN be done at the masters level [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] ) until i absolutely explode (i am giving it a generous estimate of <30 days and counting) and then, i am dropping out to do something worthwhile... no more turd factories for me...
post #18 of 18
For me there is no secret - it's really tough to have it all. I want to be close to my family in the Midwest, I love skiing, mountain biking and other outdoor sports, and I'm a chemical engineer which limits where there are good jobs geographically. I do know for sure that I don't want to work in Texas even though I will most likely get an offer to work there. I wouldn't mind getting a job doing something fun, but then it would make it seem like the last 6 years at college (2 of hell in grad school) would have been a waste. Most likely I'll sell out to the man and get a regular job...
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