As summer came to an end and winter was rolling in I was struggling to find a job in any of the big cities. I was lucky enough to meet a guy who knew a guy who would give me a job in Ohakune (pronounced Oh-ah-koo-nee). It was that easy. I hopped on the bus, arrived in this tiny town in the middle of nowhere and got myself a job that night. The next day I realised it was a ski town and I was just beginning my first winter season. One of the best decisions I ever made!
Reasons to do a winter season:
- a week-long holiday is never long enough to get good at skiing or snowboarding
- you will meet some awesome and very like-minded people
- you will learn to drink like you’ve never drunk before
- it keeps you in great shape even if you don’t make it up every day
- après is the most important meal of the day
- you can learn new skills and conquer fears on a daily basis
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time on the snow or you’re a seasoned professional, you are almost guaranteed to have a good time. Yes, you may break some bones or get the flu… or worse: have your equipment stolen during après, but the good will always far out way the bad, like any traveling experience.
Ski bum essentials:
- take the time to select the board or skis for your skill level and riding preference, get all the help you can
- good boots are the most important thing, you’re feet will be thanking you when you’re dancing on tables at 2am after 8 hours of riding
- buy a lock; it’s cheap and could save you from forking out to replace stolen equipment
- wear. a. helmet. no buts. this could literally save your life. it’s not cool to not wear one these days
- thermals are important, they keep you dry and warm unless it’s spring when you can get away with wearing a t-shirt
- you will definitely get sick or injure yourself at some point and you will need travel insurance
Remember that your safety is actually super important, you don’t want to be one of those people that fell off a cliff or suffocated in a tree well. Ride with a friend and look out for each other. Be careful about leaving the marked trails and keep a phone on you with an emergency phone number to contact ski patrol just in case.
Most importantly, you are there to have fun. Ride the green runs all season if that’s what you’re into. Or set yourself a goal to conquer the XL line in the park or that 20-foot cornice that gets bigger every time it snows. On holiday you live for the sunny days, during a season those pow days are the best days. Shred hard.
You can view the full album here.