Ski towns are changing. So are the skiers who live in them.
I don’t care what my friend Andrew says, he’s a ski bum.
He’ll remind you that he works at least 50 hours per week as an executive chef and pulls in enough to cover a mortgage in tony North Lake Tahoe. He’ll say he hasn’t scored the $10 dinner/drink deal at the Hacienda in years and hasn’t called in “sick” on a powder day in even longer.
Get behind the wheel of the Maui Ski Bus with Steve Fisher.
As the world’s best skiers slide through gates, warming up for the first round of the men’s slalom at the FIS Alpine World Championships on an ice-slick course in Beaver Creek, Colorado, a broad-chested, auburn wiener dog stands front and center in the Red Tail Stadium grandstands on an event producer's desk.
Named Franklin, he wears a rainbow lei and soaks in what sun ekes through cloud cover from his perch.
A 63-year-old ski bum with 34 years' experience sleeping in his VW Beetle at resort bases around the West might not make it onto the slopes this winter. According to the Denver Post, Charlie Toups, "Colorado's ultimate ski bum and a relic of a fading era," has been locked in a Georgetown jail for nearly two months, after unpaid tickets for camping on public lands led to his arrest--while skiing.
Did you know that, despite being the world's biggest and stinkiest ski bums, we here at SKI Magazine weren't allowed to enter the Powder Highway Ultimate Ski Bum contest? Was there ever a more unjust event in the history of the world? Er, probably, but this one hurts the most.
During these hard days, it's tempting to reimagine one's life. What if you just chucked it all -- the mortgage, the debt, the credit cards -- and went full ski-bum? We're talking sleep-in-the-truck, cold-oatmeal-for-breakfast, shower-at-the-Y ski bum. Scamming free waxes from your buddies at the shop, working tables at the local brewski hall, full-moon turns at midnight on the ridge at season's end. Maybe you'd get a dog, too, a nice big lab who liked to ride the lifts with you. From where we're sitting, that doesn't seem too bad. And for a lot of people, that's a popular option.