Seasonnaire Secrets: How to maximise your mountain time

So you’ve landed your dream job in the mountains. But it’s pretty hard work – and it’s also tempting to go out at night. So how do you make sure you get maximum slope time while working a ski season? Crystal’s expert seasonnaires show the way…

Words by Dionis, the Sales Manager for Crystal Ski Holidays. Now based in the UK, Dionis has worked 10 ski seasons overseas (W2007/8 – W2016/17) where he was responsible for the resort operations of Crystal Ski Holidays in Italy, Norway and Bulgaria

Dionis in his days as a seasonnaire

Let’s face it, the number one reason we all choose to do a ski season is usually to spend as much time out on the mountain as possible. In my first few seasons especially, if I didn’t go riding at least 4-5 days a week, it’d be a ‘bad’ week. Here are my top 6 tips on how to maximise your mountain time when working a ski season:

  1. GET TO KNOW YOUR JOB

    As daft as it may sound, my top tip is to invest time in learning the ropes of your actual job, particularly in the first 2-3 weeks of the season. The quicker you master your work tasks, the quicker you complete them in the weeks ahead. This way, you’ll have more free time to get out on the mountain.

  1. BE ORGANISED AND PRIORITISE

    There’s no point in doing work in the middle of the day and admiring the slopes through your window if your tasks could be done after the lifts have closed. Always make a to-do list and think: ’Could this wait until late afternoon/evening?’

  1. PICK YOUR DAYS AND NIGHTS OUT

    If you are a sociable person, you’ll end up being invited to all sorts of events. But let’s face it, after a heavy night you may spend the next day in bed recovering. Some of these get-togethers will be a lot of fun but not all of them, so only pick the good ones. Learn when to say ‘no’ and you won’t be wasting precious mountain time.

  1. PLAN SOME FRESH TRACKS AND NIGHT SKIING

    Loads of resorts offer a ‘Fresh Tracks’ service where you head up the mountain in the morning before the lifts officially open. So, you said ‘no’ to that lame night out as above? Awesome – you can catch up on a good night’s sleep and head out for fresh tracks first thing. Or, get out on the hill for some fun hours of night skiing when the slopes tend to be quieter. Fresh tracks and night skiing are a must, especially if the week ahead seems like it’s going to be busier. 

  1. DON’T FAFF AROUND OR LET OTHERS WASTE TIME

    When agreeing to go out on the mountain with the gang, it’s best to confirm where the first runs are going to be. There’s no point meeting in the centre of town when you need to catch the lift at the end of the resort. Plus, get one thing clear – if anyone’s late turning up for the ski sesh, the gang isn’t going to wait more than 5 minutes. The latecomer should do the catching up on the mountain because every minute counts. Also, lunch and drinks stops can take up precious riding time so agree how long you’re going to stop for. You’ll have plenty of time for chats on the chairlift. 

  1. DON’T PICK YOUR DAYS BY THE WEATHER

    Don’t be a Fairweather Fred who goes out only when the sun’s out. A bit of snow falling or imperfect visibility shouldn’t be stopping you. Don’t waste the overcast days indoors watching movies over junk food. Instead, wrap up well, put the goggles on and head out for an invigorating day skiing or boarding, even if the weather’s not at its best.

Fall-Line Skiing Magazine
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