The Life of a Professional Ski-bum

7 Reasons to Quit Your Job and Become a Ski Bum
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Great staff and reasonable prices. Fanfreakintastic time on the upper Taylor! Yummy food at The Smokehouse!


Best day in Colorado I've had! Loved it!

So You Wanna Be A Ski Bum?! 10 Things You Need To Know.

It would be nye on impossible for a winter chaser to define their desire to travel to these destinations in just one word. Live a little. Too much reason is a bad thing: Ya, it might be wiser to work in a job that allows you to buy a home and raise a family, but is it really? Moving On Up In the last decade or so, housing authorities in many resort towns have instituted deed-restricted housing programs. Word of mouth rentals are likely your best bet: ask the coffee shop baristas and the ski tuners at your favorite shop, because they know everyone.

Stop searching Awesome cabins with exceptional staff. What on earth could possibly be better than careening down a cold, steep, snow-covered hill with slippery objects strapped to your feet? The passion for this adrenaline-filled activity is strong enough to cause all reason to go out the window. After all ski bums are not necessarily high school dropouts who just need a job. They are often college-educated, skilled workers who possibly had professional careers.

The allure is so strong that many are willing to trade in all material possessions for the opportunity to spend over days a year on snow and get paid a little for it. Some ski resorts actually have employee housing; often dormitory style. When I was ski bumming, I was lucky enough to find nearby RV parks open in the winter so I lived in my camper. If you want to pay your rent and eat too, you will likely need multiple jobs to keep afloat.

The ideal scenario includes employment with a ski resort so you will get an employee season pass. I work mostly in one place now but have had years where I've criss crossed the province. This is a tough question for planting because its piece work, so you get paid for every tree you put in the ground.

The amount a planter makes can vary a lot between the "high baller" and "low baller" in camp and your first year there's a bit of a learning curve. I do a few odd jobs in the winter but mostly ski bumming consumes most of my time. I live in the powdery West Kootenays. Jesse red hat and friends planting away near Revelstoke. If you can get over the cuts, bruises, and man eating bugs, treeplanting is a great way to make money for the ski season and stay in shape.

Wake up at 6am, eat breakfast, make lunch, in the truck by 7. Back at camp for dinner at pm followed by a few.

How to Become a Ski Bum in 5 Easy Steps:

Planting is almost always in a bush camp environment so there's not a lot of societal distractions. Live, work, and sleep outside day in, day out. Is there a "party culture", or a more serious work ethic? Lots of skiers, students, and travelers plant trees, so it's a younger, roudier crowd than. Worst: bugs. If you've ever spent time in Northern Ontario you have an idea what I'm talking about. I've seen people go crazy and quit just because of the bugs alone. Best: besides the parties? Seeing beautiful corners of the country that are normally left unseen.

Isolated mountain ranges, deep wilderness - exploration of the unknown - very similar to why I love riding mountains in the winter. Jesse again. This time airing into a small pillow line in Vancouver Island. Is it tough manual labour or chill? You fall a lot, cut yourself a lot, but the odds of a serious injury are quite low in the grand scheme of things. It IS tough work though. You get used to it as the season goes on and after a few years experience it isn't as hard to get back in the swing every season, but it's piece work so you're always pushing yourself.

Can You Ski Forever?

Buy THE LIFE OF A PROFESSIONAL SKI-BUM: VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY ( DOES HELL FREEZE OVER, STILL?): Read Kindle Store Reviews - Amazon. com. Ski bumming is hardly a glamorous lifestyle. We called some authentic ski bums to ask them how they've pulled it off. a decent resume, clean shirt, and professional attitude and you'll have a good chance of landing a gig.

If you're working 'easy' flat ground you're pushing to put as many trees in as possible. If you're on hard mountainous terrain, just moving from tree to tree is a challenge all on it's own. Yes and no. There is no cross over for the skills you learn tree planting. Sure, you can make enough money to keep going year after year, but there is no retirement at the end of the tunnel. There are people who have been planting for over 20 years and are still out there doing it in their 40's, but if you don't move to a management position, odds are you'll fade out and be left with nothing.

Also, with all seasonal labour jobs, if you have a serious injury at the end of the ski season you are screwed and might be left without a job or source of income come work season. Be prepared to be mentally and physically challenged. If you don't mind being out in the elements, working hard, and get a feeling of satisfaction from being totally beat at the end of a work day, this job could be for you. Stay away from any companies that make you sign a 'discretionary bonus' contract, stay away from companies that don't tell you prices in the hiring process, and always keep your ears open for better contracts and companies.

It compliments a ski bum lifestyle in an awesome way.

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Jesse following my tracks down a small chute at Duffy Lake. That concludes this instalment of the series. If you are seriously considering a stint at ski bum life, just know that there is more than being a low life dirt bag ahead. Your first, and maybe even second, year might be hurting, but as long as your concious of what is going on in the world around you and are willing to work hard, take advantage of what is presented, and have an open mind, a happy, fulfilling life is waiting for you. Austin State University with a communications degree. Employment—at Charter Sports, a ski and snowboard rental outfit—came easily.

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But when Stiber looked for a place to live, he came to the conclusion that living in his van—yes, down by the river and often in a Lionshead parking deck —and joining a health club for use of its showers and toilets was a more cost-effective arrangement. That was nearly 14 years ago. Today, Stiber—who has wild blue eyes and a stream-of-consciousness manner of speaking—lives in an apartment with a roommate; races bikes and motorcycles professionally; and skis to stay in shape for his fat-tire pursuits. Do that, they say, and both you and your bank account will begin to flourish.

Life of a Ski Bum Documentary

Not only did the company allow him to take split schedules, it also fronted him bikes, offered him health insurance Stiber has more scars than he can count , and gave him season lift passes. At nearly 40 years old, though, Stiber knows the end of his professional racing days may be near. With his communications degree, his extreme sports experience, and a few emceeing gigs under his belt already, Stiber is considering trying to move into action sports commentating. I would still choose to live here.

About a year ago, Vail legalized ski biking—mountain bikes equipped with skis instead of studded tires—and Stiber has already been contemplating ways to expand, and capitalize on, the sport. And who could blame him? A sport that combines two of his favorite things—skiing and biking—is just another reason to hit the slopes. He owns a 2,square-foot, three-bedroom home in Tabernash, about seven miles outside of Winter Park, that looks out over a sweeping valley as well as Arapaho National Forest.

He and his girlfriend have three dogs. He has a credit card or two in his wallet. And he definitely buys new skis at least every other year. The thing is: Carrillo has earned the right to break the rules. Wise beyond his years? Carrillo finished his business degree but quickly decided living in a ski town and skiing every day were what would keep him healthy and happy.

The World’s Best Ski Bum Jobs

And so, in the summer of , he moved to Winter Park. He bounced from job to job—carpentry work, logging, cleaning rental condos, waiting tables. Carrillo also showed self-control when it came to the bar scene. Over the years, Carrillo chipped away at a down payment on a piece of land. Once he was able to purchase the property, he began saving to put a house with million-dollar views on his little patch of paradise. Nearly every day from when the first snow flies until the last ribbons of white streak the slopes, Newcomb is on the hill.

Newcomb loves the niner because it reminds him every day of the two reasons he quit college to live in Steamboat and be a lifelong ski bum: Champagne Powder and the community bred by small-town living. And the Colorado experience I had already gained living in Winter Park and A-Basin showed me it would be difficult to ski if I had a degree. At 53 years old, he rents a room from a friend with a two-bedroom apartment; has never had one day of paid vacation; drives a clunker of a pickup truck; has never advanced in a career; will have to make tough decisions about how and if he can retire; and has never been married.

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A woman is going to want me to do things with her, which is absolutely fair, but I have got to be at the gondola at 8 a. Newcomb is circumspect when it comes to advising others to choose the ski bum route. At least, he says, until the next powder day. The question surfaces every fall.