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In Travel Stories

By Jacqueline Boss

Settling Into Life As A Ski Instructor

On 09, Dec 2012 | 10 Comments | In Travel Stories | By Jacqueline Boss

Its now been a little over two weeks since the lonely Thanksgiving night I spent alone in a hotel room in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

My apartment is fine, not great and not terrible, and the surrounding area is really pretty. There is a little creek out back and some frozen-over ponds, and of course a small layer of snow. It’s especially pretty at sunrise and sunset, and when there are storm clouds.

I’ve gone through a week of ski-instructor training and orientation and now I’m working on “shadowing,” following other ski instructors around with their teams to learn the ropes. Tomorrow is my last day of shadowing before I actually have my first team in a week.

After the awesome training experience at Space Camp, ski instructor training kind of felt like a dud. The team bonding experience wasn’t as strong, and there was little time for inter-team bonding. Of course I learned how to be a ski instructor, which meant a lot of time on the bunny hill, but that wasn’t bad. It was cool to be outside on the mountain pretending to be a kid all day.

All the teams took a required goofy team picture, and each instructor-in-training had to do a few mini lessons. I did one on photography- mainly so that I could sneak a picture of my group to show you guys on my blog :) I’m in the bottom picture way on the right.

Making friends here was a slower process than I’d hoped; I had heard and still hear nearly every day that Steamboat Springs has the nicest people in the world, but I feel that people are confusing the word “nice” with the word “outgoing,” and even then, I’m not sure I agree. Not that the people are mean, but there is sure an enormous population of ski-bum pot-heads that don’t aspire to be anything more than ski-bum pot-heads. And I have never heard so much swearing in my life; scarcely a person can get through a sentence without cursing twice. It literally has gotten to the point, multiple times, where people use so many curse words to replace actual nouns that I don’t understand what the conversation is actually about. I wasn’t exactly expecting that, after hearing that this town had the nicest people in the world. And to the people who say that, I say: take a trip to Huntsville, Alabama, and then talk to me about nice.

Of course there are some nice people, my roommate and her boyfriend being two of them. And a couple others who I’ve made a point to hang out with. Luckily the setting is very beautiful, and just yesterday we had our first day of snow. Now the mountain is white and my roommate, her boyfriend, and I went up to the top of the mountain today to take some pictures.¬†Annnnd here they are!

The snow is great but it’s too light and fluffy now to make snowmen, which I plan on doing eventually.

As it snows more, more trails will open and the skiing will get better and better. I’m looking forward to some real skiing all over these mountains. And hopefully some snowboarding. More updates to come! Any requests?



  1. Ann Marie Tourtellotte

    The pictures are awesome. Have you thought of selling them? Really great pic with your roomie. I feel so much better now that I have a narrative. I try not to ask a lot of questions, so now I have a better idea of what it is like to live there. Thanks!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Thanks :) I don’t think I’ll sell pictures, it is very hard to break into freelance art, and there isn’t much money in it. Isn’t my roomie cool?

  2. Oh, you’ve stirred up in me all the stomach-churning uncomfortableness of seasonal work! I loved every minute I did of it, but those first days and weeks are ALWAYS torture! We’re getting some pretty good snow here in Utah, hope you have a great winter!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Thank, I hope you have a good winter too! I’m glad the adjusting process is almost over, that was unpleasant.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful job to have! Hope you enjoy it all winter long :)

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Thank you!

  4. If you want to connect with other ski resort employees, you might want to check out our social network, My CoolWorks –, where we have a group just for ski employees, as well as seasonal employees of all kinds.

    Good luck with the job! I’ve enjoyed reading your story over the last few weeks.


    • Jacqueline Boss

      I will look into it, thanks. I’m glad you’re enjoying the updates. :)

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