So, you’ve decided you really like snowboarding. You have been riding at the regional resort/hill every chance you get and you wish to bring it to another level. You may have just finished school or be in between jobs, whatever the case, you have the winter off and you would like to snowboard everyday. Here’s how you do it.
Where to go?
Among the largest decisions you’re going to need to make right off the bat is, if you don’t already live in the mountains, where you will move to. This report is assuming you’re moving into a ski hill because there are a number of other alternatives for snowboarding everyday but that’s a subject for another for another time.
First off you are going to need to decide if you’ll be travelling to another country. That’s not to say there aren’t ski hotels in Australia. Following is a list of a few popular states for ski and what they must offer.
Arguably, the best snowboarding in the world. The peaks of western Canada boast some of the deepest powder on earth and you’ve got lots of great hotels to choose from, all which receive annual snowfall over twelve meters! . The mountain towns of Canada are utilised to travellers from overseas coming to work and play at their homes so you will find it easy to make friends and meet fellow snowboarders. If you’re into going where the action is you might choose to live and work at a hotel like Whistler, or Big White. However, if you prefer things a little more quiet where the powder stays fresh a little longer you might want to try Whitewater, or Kicking Horse. If you wish to go riding in Canada make sure you bundle up because it can get chilly at first but when you are used to the cold you begin to crave it, it means better snow conditions!
The US has many great resorts similar to Canada as they exist in what might be called the same mountain ranges (some mountain ranges run through both countries). Being a little further south, the climate is warmer, though, can be comparable at elevation. There are some huge mountains in the western United States that receive annual snowfall also from the 12 meter range. A few of the resorts here see a good deal of action because of tourists and a large local population. Jackson Hole is an excellent place to ride with huge yearly snowfall and a great deal of night life. The hotel usually sees over half a million skiers per year! Alta ski resort in Wyoming is a high elevation resort that receives enormous snowfall and is among the oldest resorts in the US! There are many great resorts to pick from in the United States if that’s where you decide to ride.
There’s lots of other countries you can move to if you would like to snowboard all winter but we won’t get into them in this guide, just do a quick Google search of an area that interests you.
Okay so you have picked the hotel you want to stay at now lets talk about some of the other options you’re going to need to make.
How much cash will you want?
Ski resorts are expensive places to live, they’re resorts so they need to charge a premium on what in order to extract as much money as possible from all the tourists and families that visit every year. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be a intelligent snowboard bum and live on a budget that enables you to ride more fresh powder than many people can dream about. Let’s look at some of the essentials.
This is the entire reason you’re going. If you want to ride lots, you are going to need a season pass, you have a couple of options. You can buy one for between $750 – $2200, depending on the resort you choose and ride until your heart’s content. Most places will give you a seasons pass and take payment for it from your paycheque gradually over the course of the season. This is sort of like a payment plan for people that can not put up the cash and are planning on working while there. The one problem with this option is that if it snows 30 cm and you call in sick to go slash pow, they’ll freeze your pass to the day and you will be stuck at home while your friends have the time of their lives.
Season Pass = $1000 (average smaller hotel pass price)
You will probably be renting a room in a large chalet or mountain house with a whole lot of other travelling snowboarders. This is the only way most people can manage to live full time at a hotel as leasing your own place can cost several thousand per month. Typical rent for a room in one of these shared houses is around $500 US a month. Some places you’ll be paying another $50 in utilities so let’s call it $550. Assuming you’ll staying an entire season you will likely be showing up Mid November and staying until Mid April.
5 months x $550 per month = $2750
Food on the mountain is overpriced like everything else. There are usually small grocery stores but they’ll set you back about double what you would pay for the identical product in town. If you find a ride to the city that’s near your mountain you can buy food cheaper there but typically you’ll be paying hotel prices for groceries and if you are eating out much you can say good bye to your funds rather quickly. If you live off instances of instant noodles you can save a lot of money but let’s assume you need to eat a balanced diet while you are breaking down your body, snowboarding everyday. Groceries for one person will typically run you about $75 per week.
20 weeks x $75 per week = $1500
Even though it doesn’t look like it, this is likely going to be your biggest investment. You’re living at a hotel, people are there to party, and of course, everybody is transient so people are more willing to step outside their comfort zones. You’ll be living in a house filled with new friends and there’ll always be something going on. You’ll need to choose your nights out wisely because this one factor may be the deciding one in how much you have to work to get by instead of slashing fresh pow. A normal night out will cost you about $100 if you do some pre drinking at home and don’t get too fired up. Some weeks you might have two of those nights some weeks, one. Let’s average it out and say 1.5 nights out per week.
These are simply essentials, there are always unexpected costs but this will give you a great idea of what is needed to live at a mountain hotel and snowboard everyday.
Total for 5 month year = $8250
Now that we know the numbers we should discuss your two most obvious lifestyle choices since they will be the biggest factor effecting your season. Although not available to everybody, the thing to do that will afford you the most fun and liberty is to save up $10000 to cover all your expenses and have the free time to do what you want. When you live at a mountain, it’s all about the powder days. Things can get tracked out quick and it really stinks when it snows and you have to go to work. Watching friends and all the other random individuals have the time of their lives, as you can not participate, will provide you a burning feeling unlike any other.
That brings us to your other choice, the one most folks on your shoes take. Get a temporary job at the hotel your moving to. This has it’s perks as well such as meeting people, making money and possibly getting to learn a new skill. Not all businesses on the hotel land will be part of the hotel itself. Although, if you go to work for the hotel you won’t have to worry about purchasing a pass as the hotel will provide you with one. Typically this will be on a payment plan that they will automatically take from your paycheck. Just remember, if you’re receiving a”free” pass through your job, they will be in full control. Any powder days which you choose to call in sick will understand your pass suspended for the day rendering you unable to ride .
Lots of you can not save up that much money and will be forced to take a job if you want to do something like this. In that case, the job you choose will also play a major roll in how much you get to ride. Night jobs are great because you can ride during the day, if you’re able to get up. You could have a inexpensive course and become a ski/snowboard teacher; then you’d get paid to be on the snow. Only, you would not be doing what you want to do and hitting the spots you need to hit, you would be teaching mainly beginners the fundamentals daily. Just ensure you choose wisely, some of the best jobs are the least sought after.
Many people spend a large portion, or even their entire lives living and working at ski hills. This is just a short guide and peak into this lifestyle, there’s much more to write on this subject. If you do this, even for just 1 time, you won’t regret it. You will meet tons of amazing people and make great friends, party like a rock star and snowboard everyday. If that sounds like one of your dreams then what are you waiting for?