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Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Lifty: Working at a Ski Resort

By: Claire Botsy

561177_10151606648590879_583493485_n.jpgThinking about whether the lifty life is the life for you? Do you have what it takes to be a respectable member of the ski resort work force? The grueling day described will hopefully weed out the weak ones, leaving the most fit to uphold the standard of lifties everywhere.

You wake up early, not because you are about to carve some sick runs in deep pow, but because you have to scan the lucky guy that gets to do just that. It isn’t too regrettable though, getting first run and riding everyday are as commonplace as the Aussies that you work with.

The best and worst part about this job is that you get to see everyone who is up on the mountain.
This includes the park rats, who you kind of wish would go back to the hole they crawled out of or at least leave the weed out of your lift lines, the bad-ass parents skiing with three kids who probably don’t even know how to walk yet, but can tear up a black diamond better than you can, and of course all your buddies who have the day off (you’ll see them later during your prolonged ‘lunch’ break). Occasionally you have to lay down the law for someone trying to use a pass that clearly isn’t theirs, hopefully you get a bonus for this, because no one wants to be that guy.

After scanning through the morning riders, everyone from the old retired local who tirelessly skis everyday to the diligent tourists who want to get their money’s worth of their over priced lift ticket, it’s time for your lunch break. Lunch breaks commonly mean second breakfast/ride breaks, since you rarely get off after ten, or any hour resembling lunch, and usually you’re going to use this precious time to get some. If you’re lucky, the runs aren’t too tracked out and it’s a weekday, because who rides over the weekend when you’ve got the mountain to yourself the other five days? Too many gapers, kids on leashes, and ski patrollers out on the slopes to make it worth the weaving and dodging you would have to go through to enjoy being out on the mountain.

Shenanigans will be had, during break, on the job, whenever
You grab your respective board or skis and head up the mountain. The view of mountains and a fresh breeze in your face as the lift ascends the slope make you feel like a CEO with the best corner office, except better, no glass is in your way. Three hours later, you return. Adrenaline pumping and a fat grin on your face, because carving up the mountain when most people would be eating a mediocre egg salad sandwich makes you realize how good you have it. But let’s be honest, you ate your mediocre egg salad sandwich on the chairlift, because the food at the lodge isn’t exactly priced to accommodate employees’ pay checks.

It’s a slow day and the boss asks you to take another hour, it’s hard to be mad when you know you would rather be back on the snow anyways. Plus, you’re riding for free, you may as well exploit it while you can, right?

Coming back for the rest of the day is pretty cruisy. Granted, there are those times when you spend almost the entirety of your shift shovelling snow (as if you didn’t already shovel your car out just to get to work), but there’s a price for everything right? Having one of the chillest jobs on the mountain you can put up with some grunt work, at least it’s shoveling snow or untangling kids before they fall off the lift instead of filing papers and writing memos.

As you let the last eager beavers up the mountain, shouting out to your pals that you’re almost done as they come down from their respective posts, and enjoying the last rays of sunlight you realize that yeah, you’ve got it good. Despite the low wages and questionable patrons it is totally worth it. And because at the end of the day, you can enjoy your PBR with the best people in the world from all over the world: everyone else that works on the mountain - your family.