Reach Your Peak at Vail Resorts. As a community of adventurers and discoverers, Vail Resorts delivers an experience of a lifetime to our guests and our employees. Our team is made whole by the brave, passionate individuals who ambitiously push boundaries and challenge the status quo. Whether you’re looking for seasonal work or the career of a lifetime, join us today to reach your peak.
The Crested Butte Mountain Operations will be accepting applications for part time holiday help positions to assist Crested Butte mountain operations with pre-season snow compaction efforts in CBMR avalanche terrain. Crested Butte avalanche terrain is a unique place for skiing and riding and would not be open without the dedicated efforts all mountain operation personnel.
Boot-packing is the art of what “The Avalanche Handbook” (David McClung and Peter Schaerer) calls “stabilization by compaction.” Essentially, boot and ski packing require walking through avalanche starting zones. The goal of boot and ski packing is to break through ALL existing layers within the snowpack in our avalanche start zones. The breaking down and overall disruption and compaction of early season snowpack layering, results in a much more dense and cohesive snowpack that usually retains adequate strength even during melting. Boot-packing compresses depth hoar and prevents its further development by decreasing pore space, the space between ice grains within the snow occupied by air, water or both. If properly performed, the end result will be a much more supportive snowpack base and foundation capable of supporting the subsequent winter’s snowpack
Bootpacking at the ski area involves long days spent outside in severe winter conditions at high altitude. The work is extremely strenuous and is comparable to mountaineering. All the inherent risks of that sport are here also, including falls or possible avalanche involvement.
To qualify for this program, applicants must be an expert skier capable of moving safely through very rocky and steep terrain often with very little snow. Applicants must have capable ski equipment and be willing and able to walk on and over rocks with applicant’s own skis. Applicant’s equipment will get beat up. Lastly, due to the amount of traversing required, snowboards are not suitable for this job.
Additionally, to be considered eligible for this job applicants must be willing to work a minimum of 60 hours but not to exceed 100 hours. Applicants must understand and acknowledge that this is a part time and/or holiday help job position that will have irregular hours and scheduling. Our work is dictated by the often-unpredictable nature of the weather and snowpack in conjunction with our overall ski area operational objectives. Applicants must have a schedule that will provide availability to work when the call is put out for packers to show up.
In addition to Bootpacking, packers may be required to assist with other on mountain work projects. These projects may include but will not be limited to shoveling snow off of various mountain infrastructure and objects, shoveling snow in and around the entrances into our extreme limit’s terrain along with the maintenance and removal from snow fencing.
Essential Job Functions and Requirements
- During the early season, we may be working from 9am until 4:00pm, weather permitting.
- There is an option to work either an AM or PM shift or an entire day
- Daily lunch break is generally 12:00-1:00
- Packing will begin when there is sufficient snow in the starting zones. Due to this requirement, dates of operations may begin or end at any time. In the past several years, the schedule has varied widely. We have begun as early as mid-November and as late as mid-December. We try to finish by the end of January but can carry on into February based on the nature of the winter season.
- On average there will be around 30 days of packing.
- It is up to the individual to fit their shifts into the days available. There is no guarantee how many days will be available for any Applicant.
- Some days, boot packers will not work, while mountain operations conducts various correlating activities.
Job Required Gear
- Avalanche rescue beacon broadcasting at 457khz. Avalanche shovel and probe
- If an applicant does not own an avalanche beacon one will be provided.
- A vibram soled ski boot is preferred. Alpine touring boots or telemark boots is the ideal footwear.
- Full winter clothing able to withstand entire days outside.
- Packers are responsible for their own lunch and water and must have a suitable backpack for carrying personal gear.
- Skis will likely be damaged due to traveling over low snow depth terrain. Bring “rock” gear. (Ask if you don’t understand what this means.) Repair of damaged equipment is not offered.
- Skins and AT bindings are a plus but not necessary.
What’s in it for you?
- Direct impact on the safety, consistency and quality of the Crested Butte extreme skiing experience.
- Employee Pass with access to all Vail Resorts mountains
- Food, lodging, and retail discounts
- Employee Assistance Programs
- Benefits are subject to reaching a minimum of (60) hours worked by the completion of the boot packing season.
Crested Butte is the untamed destination at the end of the road. We are confident in who we are and what we seek; pure, wild nature. We take bold risks to pursue our passions and demonstrate our untamed, intrepid grit in our everyday actions. Our dedication to our mountains, community, coworkers and guests set us apart and bring us together. Come join us at the end of the road.
Vail Resorts is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or any other status protected by applicable law.
Requisition ID 247567