So, you’ve decided you like snowboarding. You’ve been riding at the local resort/hill every chance you get and you wish to take it to the next level. You may have just completed school or be in between jobs, whatever the case, you have the winter and you would like to snowboard everyday. Here’s how you do it.
Where to go?
Among the major decisions you are going to need to make right off the bat is, if you don’t already reside in the mountains, where you will move to. This report is assuming you are moving into a ski hill because there are several other alternatives for snowboarding everyday but that is a topic for another for another time.
First off you are going to have to decide if you will be travelling to another country. If you’re in a place like Australia, which happens to be host to a lot of travelling snowboarders, you will probably be travelling. That is not to say there aren’t ski hotels in Australia. Following is a list of a few popular states for snowboarding and what they have to offer.
Arguably, the best snowboarding in the world. The peaks of western Canada boast some of the deepest powder in the world and you have lots of great resorts to choose from, all which receive annual snowfall over twelve meters! . The mountain communities of Canada are used to travellers from abroad coming to work and play at their houses so that you will find it easy to make friends and meet fellow snowboarders. If you are into going where the action is you might decide to live and work at a resort like Whistler, or Big White. However, if you prefer things a little more quiet where the powder stays fresh a little longer you may want to try Whitewater, or Kicking Horse. If you want to go riding in Canada make sure you bundle up as it can get chilly at first but when you’re used to the cold you start to crave it, it means better snow conditions!
The US has many terrific resorts very similar to Canada as they exist in what could be called the same mountain ranges (some mountain ranges run through both nations ). Being a bit further south, the climate is warmer, though, can be comparable at altitude. There are a number of huge mountains in the western United States that receive annual snowfall also in the 12 meter array. A few of the hotels here see a lot of action due to tourists and a large local population. Jackson Hole is an excellent place to ride with huge annual snowfall and lots of night life. The hotel usually sees more than half a million skiers per year! Alta ski resort in Wyoming is a high elevation resort that receives big snowfall and is one of the oldest resorts in america! There are many terrific resorts to pick from in the United States if that’s where you decide to ride.
Okay so you’ve picked the resort you wish to stay at now lets talk about some of the other options you are going to need to make.
How much cash will you need?
Ski resorts are expensive places to live, they are resorts so they need to charge a premium on what in order to extract as much cash as possible from all the tourists and families that visit every year. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be a smart snowboard bum and live on a budget that enables you to ride more new powder than most people can dream about. The lifestyle that you choose will ultimately determine how much riding you do. Let’s look at a number of the essentials.
This is the entire reason you’re going. If you wish to ride lots, you’re going to want a season pass, you have a couple of options. You can purchase one for between $750 – $2200, depending on the hotel you choose and ride until your heart’s content. Most places will provide 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 men and women who can’t put up the money and are planning on working while there. The only problem with this option is that if it snows 30 cm and you call in sick to go slash pow, they will suspend your pass to the day and you’ll be stuck at home while your friends have the time of their lives.
Season Pass = $1000 (average smaller hotel pass price)
You will likely be renting a room in a large chalet or mountain home with a bunch of other travelling snowboarders. This is the only way most folks can afford to live full time in a resort as leasing your own place can cost a few thousand per month. Typical rent for a room in one of those shared houses is approximately $500 US a month. Assuming you’ll staying an entire season you will probably be showing up Mid November and staying until Mid April.
5 weeks x $550 a month = $2750
Food on the mountain is overpriced just like everything else. There are typically small grocery shops but they’ll set you back about double what you would pay for the identical product in the city. If you discover a ride down to the city that is close to your mountain you can purchase food cheaper there but typically you will be paying hotel prices for groceries and if you’re eating out much you can say good bye to your budget 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 when you are breaking your body down, snowboarding everyday. Groceries for a single individual will typically run you about $75 a week.
20 weeks x $75 a week = $1500
Although it doesn’t seem like it, this is probably going to be your largest investment. You are living at a hotel, people are there to party, not to mention, everyone is transient so people are more willing to step outside their comfort zones. You will be living in a house full of new friends and there will always be something happening. You will have to select your nights out sensibly because this one factor can be the deciding one how much you must work to get by instead of slashing fresh pow. A normal night out will cost you around $100 if you do some pre drinking at home and do not get too fired up. Some weeks you might have two of these nights a few weeks, one. Let us average it out and say 1.5 nights out per week.
These are simply essentials, there are always unexpected expenses but this will provide you a great idea of what is needed to live at a mountain hotel and snowboard everyday.
Total for 5 month season = $8250
Now that we know the numbers we should discuss your two most obvious lifestyle options since they will be the biggest factor effecting your season. Although not available to everybody, the thing to do which will afford you the most fun and liberty is to save $10000 to cover all your expenses and have all the free time to do what you need. Things can get tracked out quick and it really sucks when it snows and you have to go to work. Watching friends and all the other random people have the time of their lives, as you can not participate, will provide you a burning feeling like no other.
That brings us to another choice, the one most people in your shoes take. Get a temporary job at the resort your moving to. This has it’s perks as well such as meeting people, earning money and perhaps getting to learn a new skill. Not all companies on the resort land is going to be part of the hotel itself. Although, if you go to work for the hotel you won’t need to worry about purchasing a pass as the resort will offer you one. Typically this will be on a payment plan that they will automatically take off of your paycheck. Just remember, if you are receiving a”free” pass through your job, they’ll be in complete control. Any powder days that you choose to call in sick will see your pass suspended for the day rendering you unable to ride anyways.
Lots of you can not save up that much cash and will be forced to take a job if you want to do something like this. If that’s the 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 take a inexpensive course and become a ski/snowboard teacher; then you’d get paid to be on the snow. Only, you wouldn’t be doing what you want to do and hitting the spots you want to strike, you would be teaching mostly beginners the fundamentals daily. Just ensure to choose wisely, some of the best jobs are the least sought after.
Lots of people spend a large percentage, or even their entire lives living and working at ski hills. This is just a short manual and peak into this lifestyle, there is much more to write on this subject. If you do this, even for only one season, you won’t regret it. It’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. You will meet a great deal of amazing people and make amazing friends, party like a rock star and snowboard everyday. If this sounds like one of your fantasies then what are you waiting for?