Monday, November 12, 2007

Ski Bumming: Less Skiing more Bummer

Box Canyon - Telluride - in the fallSki town culture in America is changing, and being a ski bum is not what it used to be. When I moved to Telluride about eleven years ago, fresh with dreams of scenes from Greg Stump's "Blizzard of Ahhhs", a big part of the draw was the culture of the people that seek out this sport. Those people are now losing their foothold in American ski towns.

It used to be easy to work a couple of jobs, go out at night, attend one of the many themed parties from "the Loveboat" to "Ullr Bonfires". These days it is seems that you really need an insider advantage to have a chance of survival. What drew many of us to these places in the 80's, 90's etc, has now changed and is slowly but surely barring others from entry. Being a ski bum is no longer what it used to be.

To survive now, you need to ditch your dog, get a real job, and be able to pay a lot of rent. Many of these resort areas claim to have "master plans" but somehow it was overlooked that affordable housing is a necessary component- and large component- of the land that is available. In the continual, and important, fight for the preservation of open space, we are indirectly also closing the door on opportunities to allow these towns to be sustainable, as the economies are driven by locals and the working class....

Read more of this essay at TheMountainCulture.com

Based in Telluride Kim Havell is an athlete representing Backcountry.com, Cloudveil, Volkl-Techinica among others.

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