Dec 11, 2012

Posted by in Front Page, GTFO, Snow!

The Local’s Guide to Doing “A Season”

The Local’s Guide to Doing “A Season”
So you’ve quit your job, hopefully saved up a bit of money, and made the commitment to make skiing or snowboarding your priority for an entire winter.  Gold star, champ – you’ve crossed over to the other side.  You are escaping the rat race, if only for a few months, to “do a season”.
Dreamed about by many but executed only by a much smaller percentage of those with the cojones to make it happen, a whole season on the slopes can be a life-changing experience. You will be underpaid, underfed, but be perpetually stoked.  Well, unfortunately perpetual stoke cannot come with a money back guarantee. But by reading this you will be a leg up from everyone else, hitting the ground running for what just might be the best winter of your life.
Why should you listen to me?  Because I have spent the past 10 winters “doing a season” in Whistler, the epitome of ski resorts where everyone should come at least once in their life, if only to see what all the hullabaloo is about.  Like many before me, my stay was not intended to last so long, but it’s one of those places where you wake up one day, check the calendar, and realize that you are 10 years older.  In that time, I have seen thousands of people come and go, returning to from whence they came.  Many left with a smile, and even more have left with a burning sensation.  So if you can take these tips to heart, you might just turn a single winter into a life-long vacation.
A friend leaving town is not an excuse to party
Since most people come from somewhere else, they will most likely return there at some point in time.  Every single one of them will want to have a goodbye gathering to bid adieu to all their new friends.  Problem is, if you say goodbye to everyone, you will spend more time at the bar than on the mountain.  If they are real friends, you’ll see them again.  Make sure you add them on Facebook, and plan on seeing them somewhere down the road.  Your wallet (and your liver) will thank you.
Just because you have a season pass doesn’t mean you have to ride every single day
There’s a difference between being keen and being idiotic.  When the mountain is a bulletproof sheet of ice, it’s OK to take a day off or two.  I’ve met many people who go up every single day, regardless of conditions.  These people usually end up getting hurt and ruining their entire season because they thought it was hardcore to go out in every imaginable condition. Laundry days exist for a reason – sometimes the best play is to not play at all.  Keep a well balanced life, use a down day or two to check in with your mom.  She’s worried about you.
Nobody Cares about your GoPro footage
There are about 10 skiers and snowboarders on the planet who do some unbelievable headcam edits.  For the other 99 million people, it’s pretty much only exciting if you were the person filming it.  So instead of spending hours on imovie piecing your footage together, maybe use your time more productively.  Clean your room, read to some senior citizens, anything, really – just so long as you don’t clog my news feed with another wide angle shot of a fogged up camera that’s too shaky to watch anyway.
You have no private life
The ski resort is a gossip mill.  If you sleep with someone, everyone will know about it – your boss, the girl at the grocery store… everyone.  Even if you don’t remember, it still happened.  So make sure that you keep a solid reputation, because if you don’t, you might not be able to show your face in public.  On the flip side of that coin, you will also know all the gossip on everyone else, so everything will pretty much even out. But if you can be aware of the fact that people will be talking about you, hopefully you can avoid acting too rediculous.
You’ll be glad you did.
You can never have too many pairs of socks
Sometimes laundry days are few and far between. You can get away with reusing pretty much all articles of clothing for weeks at a time.  Even underwear has an extended shelf life when you aren’t confined indoors.  The one area where you should not compromise is with your feet.  They receive an enormous amount of abuse, and keeping them happy and fungus-free will go a long way in a productive, happy season.
These tips should be a good start for you to hit the ground running (sliding?) to a productive season in the snow.  While everyone’s definition of success can be different, we all have the same intention: to have as much fun as possible in a relatively short amount of time. Whenever you decide to return to the “real world” and get that 9-5 job you think you need, hopefully you will reflect on your winter season with no regrets, a few more tricks in the bag, and a liver that still functions.  If you can do that, perhaps your 3 month season will turn into a 30 year lifestyle.