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planning a move to baker

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

hey guys, I am 27 yrs old and a level 2 ski instructor with 9 years of experience.  I have only taught on the east coast but I spent the last 2 seasons skiing in Whistler.  I don't really want to leave BC but being that i am from the states it is pretty much impossible to work here and as much fun as it is to be unemployed and ski everyday, it's about time I rejoin the working world (kind of).  so i'm thinking about moving to baker in the next few months and trying to get a job with the ski school.  I was looking for some info from people that ski or instruct there like where to live/avoid, is there a decent amount of work for instructors,  other decent ski bum jobs in the area, etc . . .  I have never been to mt baker but i have heard great things about it.  I know that the atmosphere is nothing like whis. which I am psyched about as i'm not big on the whistler scene.


thanks for your time

post #2 of 10

1. Apply by October 14 for an instructor job.


2. Instructing at Baker is part time for all but a small number of instructors; and those that do get full time are looking at a maximum of 30 hours per week and virtually no tips.


3. Part time instructors stay busy for the holidays and weekends, other than that, it's unusual to get more than 2 hours of work in a day.


4. There are 3 choices for living: Glacier (30 mins from the mtn.), Maple Falls (45 mins from the mtn.), or Bellingham (75 mins from the mtn.). Glacier is cool, if you like living in a one-bar, nothing else town. Maple Falls is cool, if you like living in a 3 bar, meth-head infested rathole. Bellingham is cool, if you like a 75 minute commute each way...but it is actually pretty cool.


5. I can't really advise on any other ski bum jobs, other than to say it's not a great time to be looking for work around here.


All that said, there are some decent people to ski with and the instruction management are good people.

post #3 of 10

If you really want to teach, you might also try Stevens Pass.  It's not Baker as far as ambiance, nor is it at all like W/B, but it has good skiing and more instruction opportunity.  Living opportunities are more varied than Baker, but almost all are off mountain.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

thanks for the quick responses.   Is maple falls really that bad? I've looked at a few houses for rent on craigslist and they seemed to be what i was looking for but if the town is no good i'll keep looking.  What about acme or deming?  I've seen some places there as well. I put my application in already through the website.  Will I get a response or would it  be  beneficial to follow up in the next few weeks?  I've always worked full time, but i'm fine with part time.  I really enjoyed being able to ski everyday without a bunch of little kids on my heels, but I do love instructing and I miss it a lot and just want to get back into the game.  like i said, i've been doing it for a long time, I know i'm not gonna get rich in this profession.  I just want to do what I like to do at a mt. with good people and great terrain.

post #5 of 10

You're going to move someplace you've never been?

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post

You're going to move someplace you've never been?

yeah. it doesn't bother me.  I did it when i moved to vermont and then again when i moved out west.  I have been to Bellingham but never to Baker. It's a place where people ski and the ski community in general is small.   Everywhere I have lived or visited I either know someone or meet someone who knows a friend of mine.  I'm not worried.

post #7 of 10

Maple Falls has 3 bars, 2 restaurants, a post office and....nothing. Acme has nothing at all, and Deming has the Indian casino. If you're going to live anywhere outside of Bellingham, live in Glacier. at least it's a ski bum town, although a very small one. It has a tiny mini-mart, a bar, a pizza joint, a restaurant and a girl who cuts hair. There are no places like Squamish around here; when you leave Bellingham, it's rural; actually in many ways it's worse than rural. There's lots of junk cars and moss covered double wides; once you get past the flats where the farming is.


Maple Falls has a bad reputation; it's close to as Russin immigrant community that has notoriously bad robbery and drug problems. If you live in Maple Falls, you'll get broken into eventually. There was a big manhunt there last week.


Acme is a cow town. Deming is a reservation town.


Bellingham is pretty much it; but if you decide to come here, you won't have any problem with car pool rides to the mtn. Live in Bellingham. I've lived upriver, and it's much better down here. Or, as I mentioned, live in Glacier, but you'll have to go to town for anything more than a six pack, inlcuding doing laundry.


As far as the job goes, they should get back to you. Interviews are goign to be between the 14th and the 25th. If you haven't heard back by the 10th, PM me.

post #8 of 10

PS - with the current forecast, the real answer is, "how soon can you get here?" wink.gif

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for all the info.  you've been really helpful. I'm gonna keep looking for a place to live and hopefully I will be there sooner then later!!

post #10 of 10

I'll second iWill's description of lodging possibilities.  If you're going to ski every day, then Glacier might be preferred over Bellingham.  If you will be taking days off during the week then B'ham is the place to be.  But no matter what, you'll be going to Bellingham frequently.  I once lived out in "the county" and found myself in Bellingham more days than not.

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