Winter 2017/2018 – Work and Play in the Mountains

The winter season is almost over, and it seemed like it was always good conditions for the whole winter unless you talked to someone who doesn’t snowboard or ski and spent the majority of their winter shovelling snow off the driveway. I was employed as Ski Patrol at Silver Star Mountain this winter season with Marisa, and there was weeks when it would be powder days everyday for an entire shift. Then for our days off, since it was still snowing we would travel elsewhere in BC or to Alberta to shred.

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By the end of the ski season at Silver Star Marisa and I had traveled to 8 different resorts, stayed in two different huts, splitboarded many new objectives, and boarded more pow than we could have ever believed was possible in a season.

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Anyone who works in the outdoors industry knows that you don’t get into it for the money. The monetary sacrifices we make to live this lifestyle are made up by endless pow shots in the face! For anyone who has experienced this feeling knows no amount of money beats the feeling of climbing to the top of a mountain and getting first tracks down.

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Many days in the mountains make you go through a spectrum of feelings and emotions, but the reason we do what we do is for the feeling of happiness. Completing an objective you set out to do in the morning and being out in the mountains with good company is the recipe for smiles.

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A common thought I hear is if you work doing what you love it will ruin what you once loved doing and make it just work. I don’t believe that this is true and I believe working as a ski patroller has made me love snowboarding even more. Especially since I was doing it day in, day out with Marisa. Neither one of us had an excuse for not being in shape when it would come to ski-touring on our days-off.

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With all these good things said, ski patrolling is still a job and isn’t all glorious all the time. It comes with its work drama like any other job, but once you get past all that, it feels pretty good strapping on your board everyday for work. I am very excited to see what I get up to next winter, but until then I will be in my van living amongst the mountains and trying to figure IT out.

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Posted by Mitch

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