Canada Snow Season 2012/13
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Aug 26, 2012 11:34 AM Last Post By: MattBrowningNZ
Mar 22, 2012 4:47 AM
Canada Snow Season 2012/13Hi there, I am a 19 year old female from Australia planning on heading to Canada to work/snowboard for 3-4 months commencing around November 2012.
I have been looking at Whistler, but it seems to be quite expensive and I am beginning to look into other places similar to Whistler that are more reasonably priced. I also do intend on working during the time I am in Canada so somewhere that there is plenty of work available is preferred.
Does anyone know of any cheap options for accommodation for 3-4 months in Whistler? I am not looking for anything fancy, just basic accommodation.
Does anyone know of any places similar to Whistler where I would be able to live and work that isn't so expensive but is as equally as good with what Whistler has to offer. I have heard of Big White, anyone know much about it?
Thanks for your help!
Mar 22, 2012 8:04 AM
1First, why is Whistler at the top of your list. Is it because of the hill itself? Do you ride extensively?...or is it for the hope you will find work because of the size of the place?
I ask because EVERYONE wants to work Whistler. I guess its a good hill...big, yes, good snow...i guess.
Persoanlly I think there are several hills in BC that are as good for mountain terrain, and BETTER for living. For example, Revelstoke, Whitewater, Red Mountain, Fernie, Apex, etc. These towns are good to live in, and all of them other then Apex have AMAZING snow...granted there are less jobs, but then again, you arent competing with thousands of others from all over the world.
3-4 months is shorter then the season, so make sure your employers dont know your plans, people leaving early really leaves a sour taste in managements mouths:)
ps...Big White is ok, but you would be mostly based out of Kelowna which sucks in the winter.
Skiing is what I do. Ive competed and worked in the industry, and have skied every hill in the west other then Sun peaks and Mount Washigton. I just got back from Revelstoke where the snow was insane!
If it were me, I would only plan on a weekend trip to Whistler (2 days minimum), but Id never work there.
Mar 22, 2012 8:54 AM
2Hi, I would have have to agreed with littlechilds for the mostpart. Yes Whistler is great, but it's expensive to live there and during peak times there are long queues for the gondolas.
I have done a season at Big White, it's one of the biggest hills in BC and it's awesome. You don't need to stay in Kelowna as littlechilds said, it is a ski in/ski out resort so you can live on the hill itself. It's no Whistler when it comes to nightlife but there are good pubs and always parties everywhere. There is a hostel which does monthly rates if you can't find accommodation elsewhere but if you arrive early, stay at the hostel till you meet some people then look for a house together. There is no point in trying to arrange accomm before you get there.
I have also been on shorter trips to Fernie and Revelstoke, and both are amazing hills. The disadvantage (for me anyway) is that you have to live in the town (in both cases its only about 5k to the hill). I prefer to be on the mountain so I can just get up and go snowboarding! If you think you'd prefer to be in a town then these are both good options. One thing I would say though, especially in regards to Revelstoke - don't go there if you are a beginner skier/boarder. Most of the terrain is advanced, Big White and Sun Peaks are better beginners and have lots of intermediate and advanced terrain too.
I am planning to go to Sun Peaks next winter, as like Big White it is ski in/out so I will be living on the mountain. Wherever you go I would advise trying to arrive in time for the job fairs (usually around October, check each resorts website). There are lots of jobs in all these places but there are lots of people looking for a job too and it can be competitive.
Hope this helps, have a great season!
Mar 22, 2012 11:17 AM
3I def know about the ski-in resorts. In that case, throw in Panorama, Silverstar, Golden (some what), Apex, and so forth. Based on her budget (looks to be backpacker?)...this may be tough, and the majority or at least half of employees will be commuting from the city. I did this song and dance at Apex...rush for the huts on hill, the rest are stuck in town (penticton) lol.
ps..Revy has a free shuttle to the hill all day;)
ps...agree with the above...revy, Kickinghorse, etc are sweeeet hills, but more advanced.
Mar 23, 2012 5:43 AM
4Thanks for all your help!
When do the resorts generally begin putting up job vacancies for upcoming seasons?
I haven't heard much about the other mountains you both have mentioned so I will do some reserach and get back to you if I have any further questions about them.
Basically my intention for this trip is to work (enough to pay my way through), snowboard and meet plenty of people. I am beginning to think maybe stay in one particular place for the majority of my trip and maybe stop in via Whistler on my way home just to experience what it has on offer. How much would I expect to pay per night for accomodation during February?
Mar 24, 2012 9:55 AM
5The majority of winter vacancies would be advertised around October as that's when the job fairs usually are, but bear in mind a lot of these jobs won't start till December so you'll need money to tide you over until you start work. It really depends on your skills and experience, if you don't have much experience you will want to get there as early as possible before all the non skilled jobs are gone. If you have lots of experience as a waitress/bar staff/chef etc you might get lucky leaving it till nearer the time.
Most of the resorts the season runs till April. Whistler is usually open till mid May and you can get a spring season pass dirt cheap and accommodation will also be much cheaper at this time. When I did the season on Big White, I stayed till April and then headed to Whistler for a further 6 weeks of riding! The spring pass was only about $200 (that was 2 years ago). We worked the whole time at Big White and had saved enough money for the 6 week holiday in Whistler and a further month in the US. (I was working in a hostel so had free accomm, so was very lucky there.)
It sounds like it would be a good option for you to do something similar. If you are thinking that you will do half the season in one place and then move onto another I would advise against it. It would be very hard to find a job and somewhere to stay mid season. Besides you will probably make friends and want to stay out the season with them.
If you stay in a hostel, they are all about the same price $35ish per night for a dorm bed. If you do decide to do Whistler in spring though, there are loads of cheap deals on condos and apartments (if you have someone to share with) as a lot of places will be empty. We got a bargain at www.alluradirect.com and there are lots of other similar sites.
Mar 26, 2012 2:31 PM
Mar 26, 2012 2:37 PM
7Ski hills need to hire hundreds before the winter season starts (Nov-May). Each hill basically has a hiring weekend in the fall where you can show up and pick the "section" of the hill you want to work...basicallly an interviewing time (many are pre-arranged over the phone or online). It could include snow making, ski lifts, tickets, admin, ski patrol, mechanics, and so on. These are usually located somewhere convenient (ex Banff town). If you miss this day, your odds drop dramatically (for working for the hill that is). Most restaurants and hotels are owned separate from the hill fyi....so these positions usually are notincluded.
Mar 26, 2012 3:27 PM
8Thanks that was really helpful! So the fairs are usually if you want to work on the snow hills....
I was thinking they were for all jobs pertaining to the snow season...eg. bar/waitress in the resorts as well. Phhheww!
Its so interesting to know how differently things are done in the other parts of the world...
Apr 19, 2012 7:59 PM
My name is Dylan, I work for an Aussie company called International Exchange Programs (IEP), I realise I'm biased because I work for a relevant agency, but we actually run a Job Fair here in Australia, which allows you to sign a job contract with a Canadian employer in August, before you even leave home. This year we're working with Panorama, Sunshine Village, Marmot Basin in Jasper, Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, Asessippi Ski Area & Resort in Manitoba, and the Banff Centre (not a ski resort, but a cultural centre in downtown Banff).
I don't know how the Job Fairs work on the mountains, but for ours, we actually bring out rep's from these different mountains to interview Aussies here in Australia (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne) in August. We've run it for years, and will actually guarantee you get a job by the end of the day - as long as you're not showing up wearing tracksuit pants or hungover or something.
You'll also sort out your accommodation options with the employer as well, before you arrive. Some offer on-site accom, others will help you find it in nearby towns/cities. We can help you with the visa etc, so you can arrive and start work on your designated date. Please note, that most of the contracts require a 5-6 month commitment, and begin between September & early December. Check out http://www.iep.org.au/workcanada/workcanadajf.asp for more info or hit me up.
Jul 25, 2012 7:35 AM
I was just wondering if you could tell me a bit more about what usually happens to people who leave their jobs early? I too was hoping to do a shorter season than 6 months, and I know it would be wrong - but was hoping to get work at the beginning of the season and then leave after a few months.
Do the companies make you pay guarantees or anything? Could I loose out financially if I did this? Could this be the same if I was to live in staff housing or was given a free season pass? (Obviously I wouldn't expect to live there or have a ski pass if I has left employment, but just wondering if they usually write things into the contract where I would have to pay a fee for leaving early).
Any tips or advice would be very welcome!
Jul 25, 2012 9:12 AM
Jul 26, 2012 1:39 AM
Aug 26, 2012 11:34 AM
13I know this is quite late notice, but just to let you know that some mountains do different things regarding leaving early. Some mountains will take money from your wages each week, and then give it all back to you at the end of the season; pretty much all the mountains will give you a free season pass but some will charge you the full amount for it (or a pro rata'd amount) for when you leave the season; and then some mountains don't do anything about it all. It depends on the HR dept at each mountain, but even if you don't communicate it at the beginning of the season to them, they do like some notice and the more legitimate reason the better (university, family issues).
And yes, I would agree that Revvy and Kicking Horse are better the more experienced you are, whereas the others like Silver Star, Big White, Panorama, Sun Peaks have something for everyone.
Also, the dates for job fairs are out now, and you can find jobs on each mountain's website, or on First Tracks.
Edited by: MattBrowningNZ
(4 star Hotel)
From US$195.21 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$254.07 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$195.21 per night