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Remember when you were working and you had enough money to go on vacation and enjoy fun recreational sports such as skiing? Well you might not even be able to afford an après ski cocktail in these times, but you could change that by finding a job at a ski resort.

Living in Southern California might have made you think that the whole country lives in sunshine 350 days a year, but if you could still afford cable you would find out that there is already snow in the mountains in parts of the country.

Mountains plus snow equals jobs.

You don’t have to be Shaun White to work at a ski resort, although you might need a new wardrobe.

Tip: Ugg boots are not snow boots.

The types of jobs offered in the mountains range from ski lift operators to selling hot cocoa in the lodge. But you need to get out of the swimming pool and apply now – the ski season typically runs from mid-November to April.

To apply for a snowy gig you should have a little cash left in your bank account because you’ll need gas money to get there or a plane ticket. Housing doesn’t come cheap either so be prepared to bunk with a few roomies.

The good news is that you’ll make lots of new friends, and most resorts give their employees free season lift passes.

Michelle Young of San Diego has spent the past four winters working at Snowbird Resort in Utah. She spends her summers in San Diego working at a bathing suit boutique in Pacific Beach, but come November she trades in her shorts for ski pants. Michelle is 55.

“I lost my job five years ago in education and thought about trying to get another nine-to-five job. But then I thought it through again,” she said. “I always wanted to do something fun with my life, and now that’s exactly what I do. I don’t make a ton of money, but boy do I have fun.”

While mountain jobs close to home can be iffy because of the warm weather, there are still jobs to be had. Check out Mammoth Mountain ski jobs that range from barista to preschool teacher at - mammothmountain.com.

Marc Brody of Oceanside has been working at Mammoth for 11 years and in 2010 finally hired on full-time.

“I started out just as a way to pay for hiking around Europe, and then I realized that working at a resort is what I loved to do,” he said. “Now I manage one of the retail shops year- round. People think I’m a ski bum, but I work my butt off. This is a career to me now and I love it.”

If you want to go a little further than Northern California, check Colorado, Vermont, Washington State, and pretty much wherever it snows. Vancouver, B.C. in Canada, just across the border also hires winter help for Whistler Blackcomb, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics- whistlerblackcomb.com. Mountainjobs.com is another great site for perusing jobs around the country, but you better hurry, summer is over for most of the country and when the first snow falls, it’s time to go to work.

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ianhiggins Oct. 28, 2012 @ 9:11 a.m.

That's very true, I've been doing this and loving life at the same time as working, for the past few years. But one place he forgot to mention was the largest seasonal employer per region Lake Tahoe. Go there to find work, and work will find you. 10 resorts are located in the basin, from large and luxurious like Heavenly in south shore, to quaint and remote Diamond Peak in Incline Village vicinity. Go check it out, there may be an El Nino winter on the horizon.


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