Work hard, ski harder! 7 'seasonaires' tell us how they balance their professional lives with a daily dose of powder.
Winter is approaching and the mountains will be transformed into the winter playgrounds we know so well. To be surrounded by this every day all winter long is, for lots of us, the stuff of dreams but for a dedicated few, this is their reality. 7 SunGod ambassadors show us how they live, work and ski in the mountains all winter, every winter....
1. The Chef: Dante Prtic (Verbier, Switzerland)
I work in the kitchen of a restaurant called SHED in Verbier. I usually start work once the lifts have closed and I have finished on the mountain! I come straight to the restaurant and help with food prep for dinner service. Once the service starts we’re ready to cook the best burgers in town for our customers!
The best part: I love how much ski time I get and I love hanging out with all my colleagues either at work or shredding together!
The worst part: Working late nights can often lead to one too many ‘after work beers’, although that’s not always a bad thing!
Time on snow: I usually only work the evening shift at SHED so I get to ski every day! To be 95% sure that you’re never going to miss a powder day because of work is pretty awesome!
THE VERDICT: I definitely recommend a restaurant job to those who want a good work ski balance. It’s true you may have to work a lunch shift or two and you had better hope that those work shifts aren’t on a powder day!
2. The Ski Coach - Alvaro Penadés (Baqueira-Beret, Spain)
I really enjoy training my kids and I don't perceive it as a job. I just enjoy teaching what I do best with my own style and I love It.
The best part: Watching how the kids improve their skiing!
The worst part: I have to ski no matter what the conditions – even when tired or injured.
Time on snow: I can’t complain, we’re always sending it even if the snow isn’t great!
THE VERDICT: I would never change my job! There’s a high risk of injury though so it’s important to stay fit.
3. The Social Media Manager: Victor Heim (Innsbruck, Austria)
I work for one of my sponsors as a social media manager, checking social media platforms, communicating with ambassadors and coordinating content.
The best part: The flexibility- I can travel and still work, all I need is WIFI!
The worst part: If I had to pick anything it would be that I spend more time online than I would like!
Time on snow: I was super happy with the amount of snowboarding I did last winter!
THE VERDICT: I’m really happy with my job. It allows me to travel and work at the same time. It’s also cool to work with motivated people who share the same passion!
4. The Ski Instructor: Matthias Brunner (Corvatsch, Switzerland)
At the beginning I taught a lot of beginners, both kids and adults. I had to realize that everyone has to start at the bottom of the food chain as a newbie. Over time it has become more mixed, beginner and average skiers.
The best part: Teaching people to appreciate the mountains and seeing the smiles on my clients faces after a good day of skiing.
The worst part: Skiing in disgusting conditions when the best thing to do would be to sit by a fire with tea and a book!
Time on snow: YES! The gondola is my office.
THE VERDICT: Doing this job reminds me that we are so small compared to the nature around us, it keeps me grounded. A bad day outside is always better than a good day at the office!
5. The Workshop Manager: Tim Blake (Val d’Isère, France)
I’m the workshop manager for Snowberry in Val d’Isère. It involves long hours late into the night (sometimes early morning) running around a machine, smelling like wax all the time with aching hands from scraping P-Tex off thousands of skis. I have been at it for 10 years and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
The best part: Easily the amount of ski time I get, I never miss a powder day!
The worst part: It’s difficult to say as I love it so much but probably smelling of wax all the time isn’t ideal!
Time on snow: I get to ski every day as I don’t start work until the evening.
THE VERDICT: We ski a lot it’s true but we work HARD, it’s a great job if you can get it!
6. The Physiotherapist: Frankie Pioli (Chamonix, France)
Last season I worked for a company in which we all worked on an ‘on-call’ basis. If there was a client in need, we were never further away than 40 minutes. I see a huge variety of injuries in this line of work!
The best part: The fact that I can do what I love doing, physiotherapy, in such an amazing location!
The worst part: I found it tough living and working in a ski resort and doing my profession at times. It’s not really acceptable to turn up to your shift slightly intoxicated after an après session!
Time on snow: Varied - it was possible every day from 1 hour to the whole day. Sometimes it was more if I jiggled the work rota around to allow for some over-nighters in the huts!
THE VERDICT: I work all year round as a physiotherapist in Chamonix now, running Pilates classes for locals and also doing massage. If there are future physiotherapists looking into this, registration is a faff but necessary! Just be persistent, it is totally worth it.
7. The Executive Director: Murray Elliot (Revelstoke, Canada)
I was working full time as a DJ in Revelstoke until recently and when I saw the director role advertised for Stoke FM, I backed myself, dove in headfirst and have not regretted it since!
The best part: Meeting all the local faces that make Revelstoke what it is! I’m also incredibly excited to be involved with Soullines this year and also hosting opening Day at RMR. If you’re in the area, get up early and enjoy the fun!
The worst part: Revelstoke is a pretty wild place and we experience A LOT of power outages. It’s hard to look competent when this happens! Almost every business in town loses their power and the radio station can go quiet. We have done everything we can to fix this but when it snows it really snows!
Time on snow: Luckily Revelstoke offers a great work/life balance and I am very confident I will keep enough time free for the shred this year. It is a mountain with free refills, so often you can arrive in the afternoon to find the mountain un-tracked!
THE VERDICT: I understand that not a lot of roles like this exist in the ski-world but if you hang out for the right opportunity, patience and persistence pays off. Wicked gigs do exist in every ski town for the keen!
It’s fascinating to discover the true diversity of jobs available in ski towns, the more you look the more you will find. Conclusion: It is possible to chase down your professional goals while maximising the time spent chest deep in the powder!