If you live and breathe skiing and it’s your life’s goal to be amongst the snow at all times, our guide on how to be a ski bum will benefit you. People aspiring to become ski bums know that the freedom skiing provides cannot be compared to anything else.
The minute you hit the slopes – the wind blows in your face, and you slide down the terrain, making you wish you could do this every day of your life, but life as a ski bum is not as simple and carefree as it seems. Every skier knows how expensive it is to buy ski gear, and if you include the costs of lift tickets, it becomes even more.
However, that does not mean there aren’t other ways to go about it. With early planning, you too can become a ski bum. Here’s how.
What You’ll Need While Being a Ski Bum
To become a ski bum, you need the right gear to help you survive in the harsh winters. Here is a list of the seven skiing essentials that will assist you in skiing throughout the year like a pro. These will keep you safe and ensure that you have a smooth and pleasant experience being a ski bum out on the terrains.
- Skiing Socks
- Skiing Underwear Set
- Skiing Gloves
- Skiing Headwear
- Skiing Mid Layer Top
- Skiing Fleece Jacket
- Skiing Pants
What is a Ski Bum?
A ski bum is someone who happily commits their life to ski. They sacrifice their comfort to be out in the severe winters and ski to their heart’s content. They save up to buy the best ski gear and surrender themselves entirely to the winter season.
A ski bum makes sure they get employed at a ski resort and take maximum benefit of it before the season ends. It sure is thrilling and fun to become a ski bum, but only if you’re willing to give your all to the sport. Passionate ski lovers who don’t mind working a job along with skiing to make ends meet make it work for years, and they’ve never regretted it. For a ski lover, being a ski bum is a dream job.
Start Your Planning Early
The decision to become a ski bum cannot be the last-minute one. It is quite a huge task that works well with early planning. If you’ve finally decided upon living your life on your terms and have given the verdict on becoming a ski bum at home, it is time to start planning.
The earlier you plan everything, the easier it will be to secure a job for yourself and find a decent house to live in. The trick to getting a deal on the season pass is to buy as soon as possible because most resorts sell season passes at the start of April. It is best to search online about all the available opportunities and any information regarding houses. If you’ve got friends and family in the area, you plan to live in. It’ll be great as they can give you a better idea of the situation.
Keep track of any deals and discounts that may be able to cut down your total cost. Prices for many passes increase over the summer, so don’t procrastinate. All this needs to be done at the start so that you can get the benefit of availing yourself of as many discounts as possible. Keep in mind what you wish to do. If you’re aiming to buy a seasons pass or lift tickets, search up on everything and get done with your homework pronto.
While you plan, make sure you’re saving enough every month to take some cash with you. Don’t get distracted and spend money on other things. Remain focused on your goal because you will need the money. Save for the shoulder seasons.
Don’t Choose Expensive Areas
The smart thing to do if you want to be a ski bum is to avoid all areas that are on the pricier side. It will help to cut down your costs and make it easy to live and afford other things. While these areas may not have a great housing standard, they will be good enough to live in and affordable.
It will be difficult to find something within your budget in areas where housing options are only elite hotels and condos. Most ski bums are on a budget, and if you are one of them, you’ll have to share the house with other individuals, and that will not be suitable if you’re used to living alone or require more space. The spacing is not very lavish in these condominiums.
It is best to start looking for houses earlier to avail yourself of the better places as they fill up pretty easily and soon, even before the winter season starts. Remember that long-term rental houses are inexpensive compared to short-term ones, particularly during the peak tourism season.
If you fail to get one apartment or house, you can also look for space available in nearby hostels. Don’t expect much from the accommodation but their prices are relatively lower than the other options.
When it comes to accommodation, you’ll have to sacrifice a lot. Usually, ski bums end up sharing their rooms with many others to cut down on their costs. As it is the winter season, there is the cost of the heating bills. The monthly grocery bills will also have to be paid.
Strategize And Prepare Well For Your Job Hunt
When opting to become ski bums, most skiers need to work a job or two to afford someone else. The latter who have money to afford a ski bum lifestyle doesn’t have to worry about working jobs and can focus entirely on enjoying and making the most of their time.
The two best options to accommodate a ski bum lifestyle are first to work in the hospitality business, or the second most common one is to work at the resort in the nearby area. You must plan everything well and make two plans, one for the snow time and one for when the snow starts to melt. It is vital to be well prepared; otherwise, your entire plan of becoming a ski bum can fail miserably and sooner than you expected.
Now the thing with being a ski bum is that you’ll have to look for a job that allows you to get the maximum benefit and enjoyment you need to be a ski bum, meaning you need to spend skiing time and not working 24/7 to afford a certain lifestyle. If you wish to spend all your mornings and days skiing, then a day job will not be ideal.
What most ski bums do is that they opt for night jobs because they want to live life to the fullest by skiing all day long. To search for jobs at night and pick the most suitable one for yourself. However, if you can’t seem to adjust to the idea of working at night, you can pick a job that starts mid-day and gives you enough time to ski and makes it to the slopes, and then you can happily go to work.
If you freelance, there is nothing better than that – Remote work is best, and it has you sorted all year round. This way, you won’t have to miss out on anything. You can ski to your heart’s content and work in your free time and will not have to go to a physical office. That will save so much of your time and energy.
Get The Real Ski Resort Experience
If you wish to live and experience the true skiing life, then the only resort for you is the skiing resort. It will give you a well-rounded involvement and make your ski bum journey worthwhile. Working at a ski resort has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the major attractions and benefits for ski bums are the number of discounts, free lift tickets, ski passes, etc., you get.
However, there is a certain limitation to how you can achieve these. You have to work a certain amount of hours to be eligible for all the free perks, and that would limit the amount of time you can ski freely. Secondly, on-mountain jobs are mostly in the daytime, which will give you fewer hours to ski while the sun is up. It will limit the number of ski days you’ll have in a year and will not allow you to enjoy your time skiing which was the entire purpose of becoming a ski bum.
But that is not the case with all the jobs as there are many types of jobs at a ski resort. Some allow you to enjoy your time on the slopes. If you opt to become a ski instructor, that will allow you to spend as much time on the slopes as you want in the particular style of skiing you choose to train individuals for.
However, it will require you to have professional skills, extensive training, and you must be well-versed with the medical training and, most importantly, be a tremendous skier. Becoming a ski patrol is also an option that will give you time on the slopes; however, you need to have expert training.
As for the other jobs at the resort, they include grooming the trails, operating the lift, and both are such that they require immense strength and power at all times. You’ll be on your guard most of the day and will be too tired to ski when it’s your time. Other resort jobs include being a cook, retail, day-care worker, or managerial position. That will allow you some free time, and you can easily do a round or two before your shift starts.
And if you want to go above and beyond and get the real ski resort experience along with taking full advantage of becoming a ski bum to the max, you can choose to go to areas where they have a longer ski season. This way, you will make the most of your time as a ski bum. You’ll get to experience it all and satisfy your heart with all the skiing in the world.
Our Final Thoughts
We hope our guide on how to be a ski bum has got you screaming with excitement, and you’ve already started making plans! It is truly a lifetime experience, even if you do it for a year or two. Once you have got all your basics sorted out, you can get down to the business that tempted you to come here in the first place: skiing.
You may know by now that the ski bum life is not for everyone, but if you’re at the point in your life when you think this is the best time to become a ski bum, go right ahead but go well-prepared.