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The International Writers Magazine
: Work in a Ski-Resort next winter

Seasonaire Extraordinaire
Rachael D'Cruze

Go snowboarding this winter

W
hat does next winter hold in store for you? Standing soggy socked at a bus stop with icicles hanging off your poor Rudolf-esque nose? Why not join the thousands of British seasonaires who head off to the mountains for the time of their lives?

Recruitment for the 04 winter season starts now!

Working a ski or snowboard season does, in all honesty, entail a lot of hard graft and long hours for little money. But the highs far outweigh the lows - many seasonaires return every year. Deciding which company to work for is important, your destination is less so - the possibilities are endless and you’ll have the time of your life wherever you wind up. That said, the more flexible you are with your destination the easier it is to concentrate on getting yourself a good package. The big British-based ski companies all compete with each other to recruit winter staff so attend as many interviews as you can before making your choice. As a rough guide a good package includes pre-season training, travel, a full lift pass, accommodation, all food, equipment hire (yep, they know why you want to go), insurance and an end of season bonus.

Your chosen company will be able to match you to a specific role in the resort but they’ll expect you to have a rough idea of the type of work you would like to do. Jobs readily available include chalet maids, bar staff, receptionists, chefs, nannies and of course the holy grail of all season jobs - the instructor. Don’t be too fussy, once you’ve been seduced by the snow and you’ve got a banging hangover from the night before one job generally seems like another. Trust us.

It is a good idea to travel light. You should be provided with a uniform so other than that you’ll only need some casual clothes and your snow gear.

Equipment and clothing are only slightly cheaper in Europe than the UK; so you might as well get yourself sorted out before you leave home. If however you’re off to the States get everything over there because it’s loads cheaper. Take lots of toiletries and a well-stocked first aid kit with you, as things like paracetamol can often be really pricey in resorts. Most importantly, remember you must have access to enough cash to keep you going until your first pay day and be realistic in your budgeting - you won’t feel like staying in every night once you get there.

Recruitment generally begins as early as May but there is still scope to decide to go last minute. Also, although most companies prefer to employ staff who intend to do a whole season you can get placements as short as a couple of weeks - although if you can only spare a short amount of time you might just be better off going on holiday - to guarantee maximum snow exposure.

Anyone intending to do a snowboard season should start a body-conditioning programme before they go, a month ahead is ideal. Not much fun? Maybe not, but then it’s better than beginning the season with a series of strains or muscle spasms, not a good start. Perhaps the most fun form of pre-season conditioning is mountain biking as it will help to develop the same muscle groups as you’ll use on the powder, along with improving your balance.

Less adventurous, but equally effective are running and jogging. Get on yer bike…
Contacts (Note neither of this sites currently live)
www.findasnowboardjob.com offers a comprehensive recuitment service but remember its worth shopping around all the British-based ski companies, which should all have a recruitment link on their web sites. www.goneboarding.co.uk is the central site for the UK’s snowboarding community.

© Rachael D’Cruze April 2004
rachaeldcruze@hotmail.com

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