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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    10

    Question should I become a ski bumseeking wisdom

    hello mags,

    im a 22 year old currently working a corporate job out in the Midwest. I joined after graduation. everyone else here has been working here since they left college and no one ever leaves because it is a pretty good gig.

    unfortunately, Ive been struggling in my position and Ive gotten the hint from my supervisor to start my job search.

    ever since I made my first trip out west, ski bumming has been on my radar. its been a dream of mine for a while. now, I have the chance to do it, but the costs are kind of scaring me away.

    obv, the cost of housing, putting off a career for a year, finding a job after, health insurance, my immigrant parents. lol all those things worry me, so Im asking for some words of wisdom or advice from Mags who have taken the plunge.

    im realizing that if I dont do it now, I wont ever. but the costs seem to be so high. what do you guys think? should I take the plunge and move out to somewhere with employee housing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Montrose, CO
    Posts
    3,820
    What's your degree in? Plenty of places you can get a real job and still have good access to skiing, if that's your thing. Cost of living in the west is certainly higher across the board in the midwest, but still doable, especially when you're young and able to operate on a tight budget.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    PRB
    Posts
    27,879
    Costs? They're not high, there's a reason we call them bums. Housing is the big issue, if you can get that squared, go for it.


    And yes, eventually, it doesn't have to be career or skiing, it can be both, but for now, be a bum.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Mountain
    Posts
    996
    Do it. Real life will still be there in a year or two. Housing is the hardest part in most towns. If you can figure that out your golden. Also, as mentioned above, depending on your degree, you might actually be able to work in your field in a ski town.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Where the climate suits my clothes.
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    5,212
    .Name:  warren-miller-quote-if-you-odnt-do-it.jpeg
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    14,028
    You’ve come to the right place with your query. I think I speak for all of us when I say don’t do it - go back to school and get a degree in computers or something useful, or maybe electrician trade school. Thank us later.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SW, CO
    Posts
    989
    Quote Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
    .Name:  warren-miller-quote-if-you-odnt-do-it.jpeg
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    This.

    You're 22 years old, during one of the biggest transitional periods in the history of labor in the United States. Taking a couple of years to go bum during the winter at a ski area will not destroy your career, if anything it will give you better perspective. Look for a job that provides housing on the hill and send it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    1,336
    I say if its been in the back of your mind do it while you can. As you get older it will become less and less of a real possibility.it took me 2y after my first Utah trip to move here from Boston but once I made it I couldnt get enough and here we are 21years later. All ya gotta do is dream it and live it up. Rock on bro!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    tree OH TREE!!!!!
    Posts
    4,109
    unless that trust fund is kicking out checks, ski bumming is part time work shit, sleeping on couches, grabbing crackers off the table, scratching for a meal, and dear god drinking PBRs

    learn a trade such as electrician, plumber or welder. those skills are needed in every ski town and can keep you from being a ski bum but a skier that is part of the community.

    if not, be a cube jockey like me and move close as you can but deal with a bigger city and all the downsides/upsides. make the best life you can while trying to slip away for a few hrs on the hill to re-charge.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    On a genuine ol' fashioned authentic steam powered aereoplane
    Posts
    15,039
    Do it. Get a van and sleep in it near one hill as a base or take your chances with employee housing....housing may be the only reason to work for a ski corp. Independently owned business that offer ski passes are probably a better bet. Restaurants are the go to for classic ski bumming. Start work in the afternoon/evening and be able to ski every morning. Daytime mountain ops/lifty is really the worst choice for actually doing any skiing.

    Perhaps you are young enough and have the right work experience for some sort of remote gig. Seems like so many 20somethings now have these jobs where you can work from a computer/phone for like 4 hours a day. Get one of those, a van, and an Ikon pass.

    As others have said you will never regret it. The corporate drone life will always be there.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    panhandle locdog
    Posts
    7,544
    Counterpoint... work your ass off now and make as much money as you can so when you're in your 30s you can buy a house in a mountain town and enjoy life.

    What's your degree in? What's your career path?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,151
    Don't be a ski bum. Bum's fucking suck. Be a pro skier. Don't have a dog, as great as they are. Get a reliable van and insulate the fuck out of it. Work, live in your van. Get a gym membership or a hot spring membership. Don't work in the winter. Get an iKon pass, xc skis, bc skis. Ski over 100 days. Save money while doing it.

    Apply for healthcare using your parents or some blue state address when you are not working. Hence no income. Hence free emergency healthcare if you need it.

    Don't drink and smoke.run, hike ski everyday.

    Bang chicks in your van. If they want to hang make them get thier own van and pay for all their own shit like you do. Keep your pimp hand strong.

    Invest 10/20 % of your income in global equity etfs and Bitcoin related digital assets. Also physical gold and silver. And guns.

    Laugh at the rest of society trapped in their decisions.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tahoe-ish
    Posts
    2,137
    Do it now. As someone who didn't get even halfway serious about adulting until 32 and who now owns a home and has a great business that I enjoy (and I'm free to ski every day if the snow is good), I'm all for people spending their 20s traveling, skiing/climbing/cycling/etc.

    Skiing as we know it is dying. Climate change is going to take it away from us, so you need to get it while you still can.

    The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to keep your overhead low. The "bum" part of the phrase is essential. No fancy car, no fancy nights out on the town, etc. If you go the van route (I wouldn't at first), don't, for the love of Ullr, get $30+k Sprinter or some shit. The difference between even a cheap Instagram worthy van and a $5k cargo van with some plywood will pay for several years of dirtbagging.

    Focus.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Montrose, CO
    Posts
    3,820
    Quote Originally Posted by climberevan View Post


    The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to keep your overhead low. The "bum" part of the phrase is essential. No fancy car, no fancy nights out on the town, etc. If you go the van route (I wouldn't at first), don't, for the love of Ullr, get $30+k Sprinter or some shit. The difference between even a cheap Instagram worthy van and a $5k cargo van with some plywood will pay for several years of dirtbagging.

    Focus.
    This. When you are fresh out of school and not used to making "real" money, it is way easier to stay in this way of living. Resist the urge to fall into the make more, spend more philosophy.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    An Anheuser-Busch Barley Field
    Posts
    5,613
    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    What's your degree in? Plenty of places you can get a real job and still have good access to skiing, if that's your thing. Cost of living in the west is certainly higher across the board in the midwest, but still doable, especially when you're young and able to operate on a tight budget.
    This

    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    Counterpoint... work your ass off now and make as much money as you can so when you're in your 30s you can buy a house in a mountain town and enjoy life.

    What's your degree in? What's your career path?
    This is something Ive thought about a lot in my later 20s. If you have a good paying job out of school you can be pumping some serious coin into interest earning investments and the reality of buying something in your 30s becomes way less daunting.

    It is also very relevant that you disclose your degree, because if its in underwater basket weaving my suggestion would change - you should go bum in a mountain town.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    1,336
    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    This. When you are fresh out of school and not used to making "real" money, it is way easier to stay in this way of living. Resist the urge to fall into the make more, spend more philosophy.
    That is a great point. And the learn a trade in your ski town suggestion really could be a golden ticket for you. Learn how to fix your own shit too. Save a boatload of cash when you dont have to pay someone else.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    On a genuine ol' fashioned authentic steam powered aereoplane
    Posts
    15,039
    Also, get a mountain bike. A pretty good one. It's just as good as skiing and so many ski bums spend all summer with their thumb up their ass or sitting at the bar waiting for November.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Where the sheets have no stains
    Posts
    18,205
    Restaurants are the go to for classic ski bumming. Start work in the afternoon/evening and be able to ski every morning.Daytime mountain ops/lifty is really the worst choice for actually doing any skiing.
    This deserved to be quoted really big.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    DownEast
    Posts
    2,108
    Don’t do anything halfway… follow the toe and head north to Alaska. Hopefully you’ve already been training.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post



    It is also very relevant that you disclose your degree, because if it’s in underwater basket weaving my suggestion would change - you should go bum in a mountain town.
    I studied finance and currently work in government finance. I’ve been online wfh since June…staring at my screen all day and not talking to another human until my roommates get home from work. My job hasn’t kept me very busy either so lots of days I stare out the window or spend hours reading WSJ, NYT, FT or some other newspaper. it feels like I haven’t really used my mind much since I graduated, like it’s a muscle that has withered away. for some people, like my older coworkers, this and the government pension is the dream, but it feels like I am mentally withering away as time flies by. i want do use my mind and energy for something and it doesnt seem like i am doing that

    biggest thing holding me back and that I am struggling with is that I was working class or poor all my life. I worked and paid my way through school and got scholarships to pay for everything. my current job is on the lower-median end of finance pay, but it’s more money than I have ever had. it feels like I’ve entered a new social class and earned what the years of school I went through obliges me. ski bumming would enrich my life in many more ways than my current job, but it would mean that I would step down a notch and be poor again (I do have $10k saved up that I would not like to touch). that’s the biggest issue. it sounds very materialistic of me, but I grew up as an immigrant not having much, so if I take this leap, I want to make sure i will stick the landing and not drown.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Paradise
    Posts
    4,284
    Quote Originally Posted by byates1 View Post
    Don't be a ski bum. Be a pro ski bum. (FIFY)

    Get a reliable van and insulate the fuck out of it. Work, live in your van.

    Ski over 100 days.

    Bang chicks in your van.

    Keep your pimp hand strong.
    I think we're done here.
    dirtbag, not a dentist

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,151
    ^you are young af. You can't fail. Don't spend more than you earn and you are good.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SW, CO
    Posts
    989
    There are a few folks here who seem to think "bumming" has to be a hand to mouth type of existence freezing your ass off in a van. While some still are able to make that kind of living happen, it ain't that much fun when local PD forces you to move you van for the 5th time this season and you're trying to warm up your liners in a bathroom on a hand dryer. It's easier to get a job that provides a season pass, housing, or both at a resort. Skip lift ops, instructor or any other type of job where you're not skiing for fun. Ski every single day, meet people, party, ski more and maybe even get laid occasionally.

    And as byates1 said above me, don't spend more than you earn. If you have a credit card don't fucking use it except for emergencies (needing a pair of pow skis is not an emergency).

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
    Posts
    12,999
    Quote Originally Posted by byates1 View Post
    Don't be a ski bum. Bum's fucking suck. Be a pro skier. Don't have a dog, as great as they are. Get a reliable van and insulate the fuck out of it. Work, live in your van. Get a gym membership or a hot spring membership. Don't work in the winter. Get an iKon pass, xc skis, bc skis. Ski over 100 days. Save money while doing it.

    Apply for healthcare using your parents or some blue state address when you are not working. Hence no income. Hence free emergency healthcare if you need it.

    Don't drink and smoke.run, hike ski everyday.

    Bang chicks in your van. If they want to hang make them get thier own van and pay for all their own shit like you do. Keep your pimp hand strong.

    Invest 10/20 % of your income in global equity etfs and Bitcoin related digital assets. Also physical gold and silver. And guns.

    Laugh at the rest of society trapped in their decisions.
    gods matter
    so does a good spanser
    i like to drink and smokes a bit too
    and thank jah mr millers voice in my head
    resulted in the actions of bummin the glory days
    dont be the bunny
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    "I have posted in here but haven't read it carefully with my trusty PoliAsshat antenna on."-DipshitDanno

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,151
    It's -8 I'm in the Bridger lot now. Went to sleep in the van -9, woke up -9. About 30 in the van. No heat while sleeping. Propane on from under the covers. 60 within 5 min.

    People need to harden the fuck up. Bunch of soft ass white people w way too much comfort.

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