Big_Al

Booting up
Skier
Mid-40's, expert skier, that due to life circumstances will be able to take some time off this winter. Thinking about ski bumming. Looking for pros and cons of different locations.

Terrain is obviously important, so is snow, availability of housing, and also looking for a little bit of a social life when I'm not skiing. I'm a little older than the usual 20-something ski bums and I'll be going alone.

contemplating:
Alta/Snowbird (SLC)
Snow Basin (Ogden)
Squaw/Alpine Meadows (Tahoe City/Truckee)
Mammoth
Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (Bozeman)
Copper (where do people live? Frisco?)
Whitefish (Whitefish)

*Already spent a winter at Jackson Hole. Skiing was great. Housing was tough. Beautiful area. Town is pretty small. Great to do once! Looking to try something different.

** Would consider Canadian resorts (Whistler, Fernie, Banff) but don't know if it's possible to get a work visa or what that process is like.
 

Mike Rogers

Getting off the lift
Skier
Posts
431
Location
Calgary
Is a longer season important, or will you be moving on in the spring? In Canada, the BC interior has some fun ski towns (Fernie and Rossland), but the season is short.

For Canada:

Golden, BC isn't the most exciting town, but the location can't be beat. Get a RCR super pass and maybe a Revy Pass. All you can ski at Revelstoke, Lake Louise, and Kicking Horse with free skiing at Fernie if you make a side-trip. Great touring in Rogers Pass. Interesting touring/ski mountaineering in the Rockies.

The locals at the pubs are friendly, and there are a couple of decent coffee shops. It's more industrial than charming, but I like it.
 

squill

Getting on the lift
Skier
Posts
126
Salt Lake is kinda good for housing at the moment with easy access to the canyons. There is a lot of folks up LCC that did the same thing 20+ years ago and never turned back. It can be crowded on some days and there's a lot of "freeride" going on powder days. Ogden is fun, cheaper than SLC and Snowbasin has some great terrain, albeit it is at a lower elevation and does get some rain events(or almost every time I go up there it seems to rain).

Bozeman is super fun but it's MAN-tana so you'll need to harden your liver and get a good down coat w/duct-tape, cuz it's effing cold up there. Also avoid the VFW on Friday and Saturday nights unless you bring you boxing shoes.
 

Sibhusky

Whitefish
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Posts
2,545
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Whitefish
@Fuller comes here every year for six weeks. He drives here from Florida, passing a whole lot of other places, so we must have some allure.

There's a good bar scene.

Most of the midweek skiers here are older, you'll actually be somewhat of a whippersnapper.

The guys here seem to be the Peter Pan type, so there's other ski bums your age hanging out at the Bierstube every PM.

We have a good variety of terrain, with slopes facing every direction, but we lean heavily towards trees or cruisers more than cliffs.

We can have fog. You may have heard. The frequency is largely dependent on whether the lake has frozen. If the season starts out frigid early, that's a good thing from a visibility perspective.

How long are you talking about? How's the budget? What months?

No one can guarantee snow. Last year we had a ton, the two years before not so much. Well, it was enough, but we get fussy after a while.
 
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Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
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Reno, eNVy
If I was going to go ski bum for a season I would look at the the least touristy places. @Sibhusky's suggestion of a Whitefish type pleace would be at the top of my list. Reasonabel housing, great mountain, not a lot of crouds and big enough where you are not going to get bored. Schweitzer is another one that is like that too. Utah would Snowbasin/Powder, @4ster can give you the inside scoop on them.
 

Crank

Out on the slopes
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Posts
1,183
Whitefish would be a great town for you unless you area a steeps junkie. I am a good skier and love the mountain. However, it does not have the super steep terrain of a JH or Alta/Bird. It does have a ton of great tree skiing and enough steeps for most.

If you go there I would look for lodging in town. There is a free bus to and from the mountain which is about 7 miles (I think) from town.
 

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
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Whitefish would be a great town for you unless you area a steeps junkie. I am a good skier and love the mountain. However, it does not have the super steep terrain of a JH or Alta/Bird. It does have a ton of great tree skiing and enough steeps for most.

If you go there I would look for lodging in town. There is a free bus to and from the mountain which is about 7 miles (I think) from town.
IIRC there is also a good amount of slopeside lodging. I am sure there are some that use it only in the summer and you could look at a season lease for the winter. It has been about 20 years since I was there, I very well could be wrong. @Sibhusky
 

Crank

Out on the slopes
Skier
Posts
1,183
There is a lot of lodging on the hill. The town is much better for day to day living - social scene, cool bars, groceries, etc.
 

tam

Getting off the lift
Industry Insider
Posts
203
** Would consider Canadian resorts (Whistler, Fernie, Banff) but don't know if it's possible to get a work visa or what that process is like.
For mid-40s from the US, I would doubt you could easily get a work visa if you were just looking for seasonal resort-type work... but if you're not looking to work and just looking to stay for the winter, you won't need any special permit if you stay for less than 4 months (or might be 6 months, not sure). I moved to Canada from US on a work permit, however I'm in a different situation that made for a fairly simple permit process thanks to agreements under NAFTA.
 

Sibhusky

Whitefish
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2,545
Location
Whitefish
IIRC there is also a good amount of slopeside lodging. I am sure there are some that use it only in the summer and you could look at a season lease for the winter. It has been about 20 years since I was there, I very well could be wrong. @Sibhusky
Remember I live here, so I don't need lodging. ;)

I think ultimately if you're going to be here all season, you want to be in town. It's not like he's going to be trying to get kids to the slopes. Town is where the action is.
 

Chris Walker

Ullr Is Lord
Skier
Posts
674
Location
Denver
To attempt to answer the question about where Copper employees live, I'm sure there are a lot in Frisco/Dillon/Silverthorne, but at least when I lived up there, everyone I personally knew who worked at Copper lived in Leadville. The housing situation there was far more amenable to the ski bum socioeconomic stratum (at least at the time; this is 20 years ago), but the commute can be a bit of a bear.
 

Tom K.

HRPufnStf
Skier
Posts
2,607
My preferences are pretty well known around here:

I'd go to Jackson Hole.

Even though I've done a year there, already.

If I was trying to avoid crowds and save money, I'd put Revelstoke high on the list, though I've never been there (one of Little Sis's faves, though, and she rips).
 

Bad Bob

old n' slow
Skier
Sandpoint, ID (Schweitzer) would be a good landing spot. Schweitzer is kind of a bookend mountain to Whitefish.Nice touristy town with still some blue color flavor, and Spokane is about an hour away for a bigger town.

McCall, ID is another one off of most peoples radar. Personally always wanted to do a winter there but never have. Brundage is right there, good snow and smaller crowds. Not big vertical but laps can make up for that.
 

Jim Kenney

Travel Correspondent
Team Gathermeister
Contributor
Posts
1,085
Location
VA
Mid-40's, expert skier, that due to life circumstances will be able to take some time off this winter. Thinking about ski bumming. Looking for pros and cons of different locations.
Terrain is obviously important, so is snow, availability of housing, and also looking for a little bit of a social life when I'm not skiing. I'm a little older than the usual 20-something ski bums and I'll be going alone.
contemplating:
Alta/Snowbird (SLC)
Snow Basin (Ogden)
Squaw/Alpine Meadows (Tahoe City/Truckee)
Mammoth
Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (Bozeman)
Copper (where do people live? Frisco?)
Whitefish (Whitefish)
.
If I was going to go ski bum for a season I would look at the the least touristy places..
Looks like you've studiously avoided mentioning Vail resorts, also this is running counter to Phil's comment, but since I spent six very enjoyable weeks in Summit County, CO (Silverthorne/Frisco/Dillon) in 2015 I have to throw that out as an option. If you have an EpicPass there is a very nice variety of ski terrain to explore within a short drive or bus ride at Breck, A-Basin, Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek. It's a very touristy part of the US ski scene, but the towns of Frisco, Vail, Avon and Breckenridge would provide lively bars, restaurants, concerts, theaters, shops, libraries, and many other non-ski activities, and you're not too far from city life in Denver. I was able to use ski forums like this one to find ski mates in CO and my wife came out to join me for four of the weeks adding social life/romance. You'll be an oldster compared to most of the seasonal workforce, but possibly a youngster compared to some of the tourists at places like Vail and BC:D
 
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Sibhusky

Whitefish
Skier
Posts
2,545
Location
Whitefish
It's not clear to me you want to work? You talked about visa issues with Canada, but didn't imply you'd be working other than that? Is this a computer work from anywhere thing or you're planning on being an instructor?
 

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