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Thinking about going out west after Graduation

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Me and a long time buddy are thinking about going out west to work and ski next winter after we graduate this year.  We just want to take one year off before we go off to collage, are parents are coming around to the idea.  I'm wondering what the chances are of me being able to work at a ski resort running a snowcat.  What kind of experience and or education do they look for? Anyway, my father owns and operates a large construction company and I have been operating heavy equipment about 5 years and in the summer full time for the last 2 1/2 summers.  Mostly excavators and bull dozers.  Will I be able to have just as much time to be able to ski as a normal job would provide?  I'm going to have to do it all on my own and pay for all the living expences on my own wile out there.  Can sombody give me some insight on what it's going to be like, I have no clue.  Basically we wan't to fly out and stay the whole duration of the 2010-2011 season, work, party, pay the bills, party, and ski as much as possible.  Also where would be the best place to spend the better part of a year?  I have only been to banff and loved it, I'm not sure about whistler, it's seems a little big and crazy to me.  Where is the best quality of skiiing?  What should we do?? Thanks a lot. 
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gahan View Post

Me and a long time buddy are thinking about going out west to work and ski next winter after we graduate this year.  We just want to take one year off before we go off to collage, are parents are coming around to the idea.  I'm wondering what the chances are of me being able to work at a ski resort running a snowcat.  What kind of experience and or education do they look for? Anyway, my father owns and operates a large construction company and I have been operating heavy equipment about 5 years and in the summer full time for the last 2 1/2 summers.  Mostly excavators and bull dozers.  Will I be able to have just as much time to be able to ski as a normal job would provide?  I'm going to have to do it all on my own and pay for all the living expences on my own wile out there.  Can sombody give me some insight on what it's going to be like, I have no clue.  Basically we wan't to fly out and stay the whole duration of the 2010-2011 season, work, party, pay the bills, party, and ski as much as possible.  Also where would be the best place to spend the better part of a year?  I have only been to banff and loved it, I'm not sure about whistler, it's seems a little big and crazy to me.  Where is the best quality of skiiing?  What should we do?? Thanks a lot. 
 

If you decide to visit Whistler this season (even for no other reason than to see why it's the top resort in North America), then come out in March, after the Olympics craziness is over.  When you discover how the terrain alone blows away any other ski area, then come back for the 2010-11 season and get a job in the restaurant business - preferably one that's open evenings only.  You'll then never ever miss a powder day (unless, of course you're too hung over from all that partying!).  Don't get a job on the ski slopes, otherwise you'll be watching all of the powderhounds passing you by while you slave away on the slopes.  Although, being part of the snowcat grooming crew and working evenings/graveyard shifts can also be rewarding and will score you a free season's pass.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gahan View Post

We just want to take one year off before we go off to collage

Perhaps you should spend it doing papier mache?  You know, to work up to it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gahan View Post

I'm wondering what the chances are of me being able to work at a ski resort running a snowcat.  What kind of experience and or education do they look for?

I'd check out various resorts' websites.  Sounds like you're a Canuck, but at least in the States, I believe that an appropriate driver's license is a prerequisite?

Might give snowmaking a shot.  See, e.g., http://www.skialpine.com/alpine-employment/current-openings
post #4 of 12
I've worked at a ski hill the past two winters, and I vote do it for sure, you might be able to get a job running a snow cat, and if you can, it's a great way to go, or maybe you can get a job working for base operations doing snow removal with a loader or bobcat, either way, you can ski more if you work evenings or graveyard.

The biggest keys to making it at a resort (i think) Finding affordable housing that doesn't suck, not partying too much, generally keeping your expenses to a minimum and always getting out of bed on powder days! even if it's only 6-8 inches.

The only reason I'd tell you not to do it is it's going to make starting college and spending that first winter in school not working at a ski hill suck that much more, but heck Warren Miller says,"you should all quit your jobs and work at a ski resort" and I did it so who am I to tell you to do otherwise?
post #5 of 12
Go for it. With a background running equipment, you should be able to find a cat job.
they don't pay great, but it's a good job and you can get a schedule that lets you ski.
post #6 of 12
Go for it!  With your heavy equipment experience you very well may get a groomer job & be able to ski everyday.  Interior BC has a bunch of great places for skiing & partying.  The problem is you may never make it back to college.  If you don't, at least learn how to use the spell check function.

JF
post #7 of 12
Since your going for the 2010-2011 season my best advice is to make sure your in position to gather unemployment during that winter season!!!!!!!.  Drive to a ski area get a job doing something crappy that gives you housing and make the best of it.  Utah is probably the cheapest.  Check what the law is but i think a full time job for 6 months gives you unemployeement which should help your beer/whatever fund.  Good luck dont break anything w/o insurance :)
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Right on thanks a lot guys.  So where would be the best resort to go overall.  Which resort has the nicest people, best job opportunity with cheaper living costs, with the best skiing around as far as snowfall and most powder days? Armpit deep powder days too!? 
post #9 of 12
If you want armpits of powder, you'd better head for Whistler if Canada is where you're bound.  It has plenty of the nice people, snowfall, powder days, and skiing..  Don't know about job opportunities, though there are plenty of jobs.  However the place is quite expensive to live.  There may be more employee housing after the Olympics.  Someone from up there could tell you more.
post #10 of 12
 Do it. Get a night job. 
post #11 of 12
Worry about housing first. You've got lots of experience so you should have little trouble finding a job. Don't go to Whistler.

I would definetly do this if I were you. I wish I would have done it right out of highschool for about 10 years instead of wasting time going to college and only doing it for two. Skiing kicks higher education's ass.
post #12 of 12
Apply for as many jobs as you possibly can. I'm straight out of highschool as well and doing this right now.  I applied for like 25 jobs, unfortunately didn't get any night time jobs offered so I'm going to have to work 5 days a week.  But there will still be plenty of riding those days.
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