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Working the Ski Season: In a nutshell

The key: there is none. Apart from putting everything into living life to the fullest.

Being able to find yourself on an hour break from work and get straight on the slopes is such a blessing that is not to be taken for granted. It’s been just over 6 months and I miss it more than ever! I also met some great people along the way.

So I’ll rewind back to the start of how to do a season for those of you wondering. Representative, childcare, bar work and a huge range of other positions are available on the lead up to every winter season- Start applying by July to get the best chance. I have so many people ask how do you get into it. The same anyone gets a job I guess, just apply and be yourself. What is the worst that can happen?

When you apply online, if you are successful they will contact you with an invite to an assessment day. On this you will do a range of tasks from group work to a basic maths questionnaire; don’t stress it, I’m pretty sure I muddled my entire calculations up. Half way through the day they will ask the people they feel do not have enough experience to try again next time and then more in depth one to one interviews will be given to the other half.

If you receive your job offer, most likely with your first season they will place you where they need you but all resorts have their pros and cons. I hit the jackpot with the exact location of mine, as I was so close to the Italian border I could ski there in half an hour to take time out of my own resort to sit down with a beer and a pizza. Win win situation there!

When you are ready to pack, make sure you have suitable clothing to the temperature. I definitely overestimated this and had too many layers for France (sometimes even just going out in a thin jumper was too warm). A great SPF lip balm will become you’re best friend, preventing getting them awful chapped lips in the harsh winds. And if you’re a sucker for home delicacies I’d take some for the road as your not finding much of it up the mountain e.g. PG tips and you’d be surprised the amount of people I’ve seen pay over £50 to ship some over hahaha absolutely ludicrous. At the beginning of all this I had been skiing a couple times previously in Lapland but the thought of anything higher than a green slope petrified me. Say you’ve tried to hit the slopes before and you couldn’t quite pick it I wouldn’t let it put you off at all. Doing a whole season you will be there for 4 months every day so I promise that you are bound to progress. With ether skiing or snowboarding, I’d definitely suggest a few lessons before hitting the slopes again. I’ve seen it first hand people try to go on ski holidays on a budget without lessons, falling around hurting themselves to end up paying more in medical bills. On top of that you will definitely get more out of your season if you learn the basics first then you are able to get down to the nitty gritty in your own time. Although I didn’t get any lessons, I was working besides children while they were on ski lessons so kind of ended up listening in to the do’s and don’ts and hand plenty of fellow experienced employees to help me along the way. Most of the time if you work in a ski resort your company will have a supporting ski school where you will get heavily discounted lessons and sometimes even free ones, my one being Evolution. Which means you don't have to worry about things like this:

Above all I can’t stress to you all, the overwhelming feeling of being at the top of a snowy mountain to gather your thoughts with your earphones in playing your favourite tunes. Only then to add the adrenaline of flying down a black slope full speed. The great thing about being a seasonaire is everyone is there to have a good time, including all your managers. And I mean ALL OF THEM because let’s face it, it’s not great money and can be long hours at times. You could be out till 5am with your bosses knowing you have to be up at 7 am and as long as you are present for work and aren’t too clearly drunk your good to go! And with that crisp morning temperatures you are sure to feel fresh and raring to go in no time. Most ski companies will do group night activities which are a lot of fun. It gives an opportunity to let your hair down and get to know your co-workers better: maybe even too much hahaha. One of them being resort rush, you get in teams and pick up a card and all of your team have to go to that place which could be ANYWHERE around the town doing what it says on the card. My Resort was nowhere near a party place but we definitely took it under our wing at times and made it one.

When the season comes to a close and you start to see the grass reveal itself below the slush, you start to get a real reminiscing the from the past months. If you didn’t screw your chances up of another season and still withheld good work values alongside having a blast you will be asked your location options for doing another season. Then you ask yourself CHALET OR SHANT’I? Once you’ve done one season there’s no escaping the bug, the mountains are in your blood.

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