The ski bum is the ultimate lazy slacker, forever immortalized in movies, idolized by younger generations of ski hooligan for their free-wheeling, reckless lifestyle of skiing everywhere but in the middle of winter. The modern ski bum eschewed financial security, personal responsibilities and even basic animal comforts in exchange for the greatest thrill of free skiing. They have learned, perhaps like the legendary surfer, Les Brown, that the money is in the slopes.
For starters, the ideal mountain vacation is a weekend long trip away from civilization, a getaway from the bustle of everyday life, a time when all the pressures of work and school are deferred. The perfect ski vacation is an excuse to go off piste; to simply let loose and go to heaven. And it is possible, with mountain lodges that cater to skiers and snowboarders of every experience level and ability level. There are lifts that take you up to the heights, and there are easy access trails for those who prefer to ski or to snowboard without getting off the ground.
How To Ski
To get to this paradise, first you have to get off the ground. It’s a good idea to pick up a good book about skiing, even if you already know how to ski. There’s no point in risking your life on a new skill with no instruction and no chance of making any progress until you’ve first learned how to do it properly. Skiing is not an exact science; it takes a bit of trial and error to develop the right movements for first chair skiing, and to learn the basics of skiing itself.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, and gotten comfortable with the movements of the chair, you can try out the big mountains found in the Alps. If you’re in reasonably good health, you should be able to tackle them with relative ease. The first thing you’ll need to do is buy yourself a season pass at your chosen ski resort.
Season passes allow you to spend the whole season skiing at a discounted rate. With a season pass, you’ll also be able to visit as many ski resorts as you’d like during the year, which is a great way to mix things up a bit and get the experience of visiting several ski resorts over the same season, and to test yourself against different skiing lines and different conditions.
Ladies Ski Club
Most ski bums these days work in the bigger cities. Big cities like Denver and San Francisco offer many opportunities to ski bum in a more stable environment. For example, some ski resorts have clubs and other activities in which you can join for a modest fee. You can join a ladies ski club, or a skiing group that focuses on cross country skiing during the winter. You can also attend a ladies ski school, and practice tricks on the very same slopes where you’ll be practicing them in real life. These kinds of resorts are a great way to meet other ski bums, and get a jump start on your resort job.
Get a job as a day skier at an out-of-town ski shop. You can get to know the locals and buy some pretty sweet skis from them. If you live in a city with a higher density of skiers, like Denver or Boulder, you’ll have a better chance to land a job than if you lived in a smaller town where you won’t be able to get to know many people.
Beat The Winter Blues
While you’re waiting to beat the winter blues in your ski town, go on a couple of weekend trips into nearby mountains. Make sure you bring a good pair of skis, and don’t forget your camera! Plan to spend a night or two at a bed and breakfast, and go back to the hotel and take pictures of everything you see.
You might also want to try visiting a few of the ski bum resorts. See how they put together their packages, and if you want to plan a trip similar to this one, it’s not that hard.
Even though you’re not a professional skier, it’s never too early to become one. Skiing is great exercise, and you can keep fit while enjoying a lifestyle that most people can only dream about.
Just imagine waking up one morning, heading out to the highest peaks and snow-capped fields, and catching yourself doing the “old man” act on a mountain. Of course, don’t expect any special moves in this situation…a professional ski instructor is on hand to catch you if you do something that you shouldn’t be doing.