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Ideas for making a life in the mountains

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
^ I think there's a lot of mileage in that, in-resort in certain places.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 28-01-20 23:50; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Why don’t you pick a resort/area and tailor your choice to that. Spend some time there looking around and seeing what it’s missing that you could bring to it. A new attraction maybe or a service not currently offered. Just an idea, but that’s the way I approach things. We’re about to retire and are pondering what we want to do next with our lives, so I understand how you feel. The world’s our oyster so to speak.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
^ agreed, but not everyone is entrepreneurial. Don't [the OP] write off the simple option of just getting a "normal" job. If the mountains are less than 3 hours' drive away so that weekends are always a goer then the party's on. Better still if your days off are not weekend days - but that's a much harder gig to set up if you've got a partner who also works, of course.
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@klang180, so you don't want to be too far from old blighty, but you do want to be on top of the mountains, but then again, you've an eye on the budget.

And, you're snowboarders.

Well, no-one's perfect.

The Pyrénées is your answer. Less popular than the Alps for the advanced snowboarder, but then that means the powder remains untracked for longer. wink

You can get dirt cheap properties if you bear in mind that properties get cheaper the further away you are from sea, cities, and snow. So, in that sweet spot (or dead zone, depending on perspective) you can get massive 4 bed farmhouses for 100k€ with acres of land about an hour from the mountains - that need tons of renovation. So, in the winter you ski. In the summer you renovate. Or that's the theory anyway - YMMV.

You only have one life.

Pop round for a cup o tea sometime if you want. It's only a few quid via RyanAir to Lourdes airport.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
You are 37 and a drifter who has never found a niche.

If you can’t find a niche in your own country and language, it will be doubly hard to do so in another country and language.

I think you are either not capable of making it work, or not selling yourself very well.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 29-01-20 9:58; edited 1 time in total
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^ with respect, I don't agree at all with [the implication of] that. Not finding a niche isn't necessarily a sign of any sort of incapability. Some (awful Wink) people have bucket-lists which they choose to complete by the age of 20, 30, 40, 50, ... . Others would choose to put the bucket over said people's head. Horses for courses...

(That said, if going abroad is simply "running away from home" then I do agree that that's not necessarily going to solve anything.)


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 28-01-20 23:09; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@clarky999, +1 this makes a lot of sense. I was a couple of years older than the OP when I moved to Munich from London. I also was in a situation were I went into business with someone who was already established in Germany which made things easier but know plenty of other folk who simply ended up in Munich for some reason and never left. I suspect Munich is a more expensive spot to live than Innsbruck and is clearly not in but near the mountains. However there are many more work opportunities here, many of which would be open to English speakers especially if you have some sort of IT background.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Buy a crib in Bulgaria for £10k in 2020.

Work and save £250k cash until 2028.

Sell UK house in 2028.

Take £500k cash to Bulgaria and live like a king until you're dribbling on your shoes in 2060.

Good luck.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@klang180, so what do you reckon to all this helpful advice?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
We moved out 15 years ago at first we owned a resto in Avoriaz, but this clashed with our lifestyle goal of skiing and boarding THE WHOLE TIME - yes we had to work all the time (who knew? ). After we sold the business and just did part time work (Transfers) for a few years we got more mountain time, but for the last 7 years I have had a full time job in Switzerland, and just ski weekends and holidays. This still gets me 45 days per season, without worrying about where my next seasonal contract will come, or without the stresses of running your own business and all the issues and costs of employing staff legally in France.
Naturally YMMV, and trying different things till you find what works for you best is probably a good plan rather than having a very rigid idea of how it's gonna pan out.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
My friend had the same feeling and moved to Spain with his pregnant girlfriend. You can do it without much of a plan if you want it enough, but you may end up a bit lonely / skint for while

They had enough money saved to do an English teaching course and lived in Malaga for 2 years then moved to Seville as there is more work there.

They work 4-8pm Tues to Friday teaching English at after School classes. There is actually so much demand for native English speaking English language teachers that she now teaches exclusively online to Chinese children.

So, an option is

1. do a TEFL course
2. move abroad and get a job teaching English to children
3. start teaching English online and live anywhere you want

Bear in mind you could also live in a city like Munich if you can get a job there. 2 hour drive to the alps is good enough to day trip, but you then have a lot more job opportunities and also they have great summers.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

so what do you reckon to all this helpful advice?

i'm sure he will be back soon to answer, he might be out drifting, sorry boarding at the moment.

I would go for it if I was you, as by the sounds of it you haven't got anything to really keep you anchored in the UK, just dont sell all your UK assets just in case you need to return.

Perhaps its the catalyst you need to get focused?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Pyremaniac wrote:
^ with respect, I don't agree at all with [the implication of] that. Not finding a niche isn't necessarily a sign of any sort of incapability.


I was intentionally harsh as I want him (her?) to think hard now, not find out too late. But I did not intend to imply that the OP is generally incapable, only incapable of making such a drastic plan work; original post edited.

Please also note the second option I wrote which should be given equal weight. It is very possible that the OP has skills not displayed here. To make something like this work, they will need to be brought to the fore!

I've seen both errors in my own family and would like to avoid them here.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@klang180,
What line of business are you and your partner in? There are quiet a few internationals here in Vienna who work in the software industry but have the option of skiing on the weekends. Some companies here have English as their business language. There are also other Austrians who grew up around ski resorts but moved to Vienna for better employment opportunities and better weather in summer.

I agree with what others have said that with a 9 to 5 job you don't get to ski anyway near as much as someone who is retired. Many Austrians only ski during the School Holidays in Feb and then a couple of day trips a year. Being able to ski at the weekends and sometimes during the week (chasing powder) but still earning a decent salary means (when compared to the UK) you can get more skiing in now but still set yourself up for the future (house & pension).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Wow I am overwhelmed with the amount of advice offered since I only posted yesterday evening, so thanks to you all. I am working my way through the (mostly) very helpful comments so bear with me, I will try and provide more info to fill in the gaps.
snow conditions
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
clarky999 wrote:


There are plenty of towns and cities really close to the mountains with a lot better lifestyle than living in resort, with much more 'normal' (ie properly paid and not seasonal) employment opportunities. Often in English too - in this part of Austria check Swarovski, Med-El, General Electric, Black Diamond, etc. Decent salaries, weekends off, and 5 weeks of holiday + 13 public holidays gives you more than enough opportunity to ski or travel or whatever else.


@clarky999, Although, in Austria, if those public holidays fall on a weekend, they aren't rescheduled. Some years you're lucky, some years not.

@klang180, after a quick look here's a nice sounding entry level job at Black Diamond. Customer Sales Rep. English required, other languages just a bonus.

https://eu.blackdiamondequipment.com/on/demandware.static/-/Library-Sites-SharedLibrary/default/dw9a00ce69/files/BD_Inserat_Innsbruck-CS-2019.pdf

The other thing to keep in mind is that by law Austrian companies are required to state a minimum salary for specific roles when advertising them, but this amount is just a minimum and the actual available salary could be significantly higher. In short, don't be put off by low sounding minimum salaries and always negotiate higher.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Alpinebear wrote:
Teaching English could be difficult but depends where you base yourself.
I taught in Grenoble for the first 5 years as an AE for some of it. Pretty poorly paid.

My wife has set up her own holiday rental and management company (explore oisans) which is going well.

I think once you move somewhere full time you get a better idea for potential avenues to pursue.

ps don't go on the expat sites as they are so negative about people moving abroad!


Thanks for the tip. I have already been on a few but like you say they are quite a discouraging place, which may be a reflection of the difficulties one faces with such a move but might also just come with the territory too.

The full time tip is a good one so thanks.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
AL9000 wrote:
klang180 wrote:
..
I am a 37yr old man currently living in SW England and although it is fairly pleasant here I have always had a niggling feeling that the mountains are where I belong.


Many have been in that situation.
The usual path is to stay put, bottle it up and let the resentment gestate for years to come until you end up a miserable old narrow-minded c*nt with incontinence.
Hope that helps Madeye-Smiley


I'm going through all the helpful feedback and trying to amalgamate my answer into one post but just had to reply directly to this as this is exactly what i am afraid of and feel the burgeoning beast all the time!
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Without wanting to hijack this thread, how would your advice change for someone younger?

I am 21, on track for a good degree from a good uni, albeit in a non-technical subject (history). I have taught myself to speak French to an advanced level. I similarly want to make a life in the mountains, my overwhelming goal is to become a mountain guide, but that is far in the future as a long process. I would like to find something more fulfilling than working in a bar.

Luckily, I should be able to get German citizenship, so brexit is less of a worry.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 29-01-20 12:25; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
AL9000 wrote:
klang180 wrote:
..
I am a 37yr old man currently living in SW England and although it is fairly pleasant here I have always had a niggling feeling that the mountains are where I belong.


Many have been in that situation.
The usual path is to stay put, bottle it up and let the resentment gestate for years to come until you end up a miserable old narrow-minded c*nt with incontinence.
Hope that helps Madeye-Smiley


Very Happy Very Happy

As my old uncle used to say, "Memories are better than dreams!"
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Orange200,

I wish I could have drifted to no mortgage at age 37 and 125k in the bank!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
JackSkier wrote:
Without wanting to hijack this thread, how would your advice change for someone younger?

I am 21, on track for a good degree from a good uni, albeit in a non-technical subject (history). I have taught myself to speak French to an advanced level. I similarly want to make a life in the mountains, my overwhelming goal is to become a mountain guide, but that is far in the future as a long process. I would like to find something more fulfilling than working in a bar.


My advice wouldn't change. The younger you are, the less worry about the opportunity cost. (Doing Plan X means you're not doing Plan Y or Plan Z; but there's plenty of time to do those latter plans later in life if you want. Those latter plans could also be "career"-type jobs). You'll also be happy enough on the lower income that you're likely to have in your new country. (There's that "hidden" cost to living abroad for most foreigners; I'd guess that most people aren't able to achieve quite the same quality of job or level of pay as they would in the UK - though that very much depends on the line of work.)

Importantly, when you're younger it's also easier to make friends with whom you'll actually do loads of stuff together. If you're going abroad as a single person, it's an important factor.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Wed 29-01-20 12:25; edited 1 time in total
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Nothing constructive to add apart from commenting on the difficulty of doing these things after Brexit will be a lot harder. Still astounds me that it's actually happening!

Good luck to you - I have often thought about it as well but have yet to put thought into action.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Bergermeister - Yup, hence my underselling comment, that is one hell of an achievement!

I could speculate but it's absolutely none of my business.

I think success is basically making more money than you're spending, and being happy about it. How many zeros that involves is up to each individual and thus up to the OP to do the maths. I'm only concerned about the job info of the partner and not the OP. In the expat world, one working and the other not (and that's so open to interpretation) leads sooner or later to bitterness. But with the numbers quoted it sounds like they could up sticks and move tomorrow with little problem.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Bergmeister, get a job on a grad scheme with a global employer and get a secondment/ transfer wherever you like.
A) you can try different places/ mountains: France, Switzerland, Japan, North America etc
B) you will get a decent salary and won’t have to share a room with 10 others
C) you have a skill set that is easily transferable if you want to go back etc
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Firstly let me say thanks again for all your valuable input, it was all very useful for different reasons.

Thanks to Queenie, Scarlet, Nadonoodlee, Kenx and Wind of change (and doubtless other people) for the benefit of your own personal experience, it is very useful indeed and gives me perspective and "colour" in which to fill in what is only an imagined reality at the moment.

Brexit has featured in the posts of a few of you and specifically time not being on our side and the fact being a bum won't cut it, both good and fair points. On the first, I am realising this and wish I had begun this sooner but if there is one thing I have learnt in life is that there is no point dwelling on things you cannot change, I have had different things happen in my life which made me the person I am today and brought me to this point so this is where I am at and I still think it seems possible, and some of you seem to agree. rest assured I do not want to be a ski bum as I want purpose and it isn't the riding per se that is driving me to seek this direction but more a feeling of satisfaction and peace when in an alpine environment. That said, I am not naive and I know there are laws and hurdles to navigate/jump and these are only going to get harder and fast.

A few of you mentioned living in a city near(ish) to the mountains and Clarky you also mentioned that living "in resort" is actually not all that great. We currently live in Exeter, which is a small to medium sized city and we find it ok but I think the fact of getting in a car for an hour or two to get to things is a big downside. I also want to stress my previous point in that it is as much about living in an alpine environment as anything else and so moving to a similar situation with boarding in the vicinity probably wouldn't cut it for either of us. However it is a valid point and I will run it past my partner in case I am being too reactionary.

To answer a few questions directly:

What skills do I have? Well I have a masters in Environmental Management but never really used it in anger. I have worked for an NGO as a programme coordinator, the council in Land Charges (groan), finance administration in a charity and administration at a university but also have more practical skills having started a very small scale bike maintenance firm. Without being too negative I guess I have never found an office job I have enjoyed (save for the people) and sometimes wonder how I went so far academically when I am quite a practical hands on sort of person. I guess the real truth is I need to really focus on what my "skills" are and what I bring to the table. I am quite a modest person but even so I have been told I am good with people and have definitely found this the most rewarding part of any job I have done. Thanks for the question though as I think this might actually be the first step for me, i.e. really asking myself what are my skills and what can I offer? I am very open to learning new things i.e. TEFL, hands-on stuff but have previously tried Web Development and not found it at all engaging. I guess although I am practical I also like to use my brain and so this is why I enjoy talking to people and discussing complex areas. Anyway, this has turned into a soul searching post so apologies, suffice to say I think this one question is probably the most poignant.

Abc you asked if the 1000 euros would be in addition to the rental income. Well the truth is that was just a ballpark based on the fact my partner would have her income from her own work and we would both have the rental income which would go some way to paying rent right? I don't live extravagantly and find most of my money actually goes on holidays which would presumably change given the right situation.

j B and Klamm you both have interesting takes and ideas so thanks for those and keep them coming. I am interested in something I can start myself or at least gradually shift to but I am under no illusion this is easy so take the advice of Pyremaniac that living there for a year in the first instance would be a good way to discover this and potentially find a niche and I think that our income and capital could potentially make it a smoother transition.

Speaking of Pyremaniac, special mention for all of your thoughts on the matter and perhaps the gem "emigrating is emigrating" and the realities that this is hard work and so worth really asking myself (and my partner) what we hope to gain and whether we have the fortitude to carry it off. Problem is, the opposite of sitting tight might only breed resentment in the long run, might not but who knows. Thanks also for your alternative take on my "skills" and the positive spin you took, appreciated.

Thanks for the suggestions of the Pyrenees, it isn't something we had considered but it sounds like it might be more of a "goer". I think for my partner and given that she already has an income stream and job she likes it is more about the sort of community we can be part of there as we don't want a lonely, solitary existence at least not in the long term. I didn't make it obvious in my original post but the place we choose to go to would have to be carefully selected on that basis so perhaps the earlier advice to avoid expat forums might have to be broken slightly Very Happy

Lastly I have to respond to Orange whose post initially had me upset a little before I realised where this question is coming from and the feelings it evoked. I wrote "a drifter" without realising it might be miss-construed, i am of course being hard on myself and it is not entirely true. I definitely need to work on my self promotion but appreciate you pointing this out and the sentiment of your response.

I have probably forgotten a question or someone specifically who contributed so my apologies for that, I will take a look and see if I have done so.

I am still all ears to your suggestions, hard realities/truths, perspectives and thoughts so keep them coming. I will check back more often this time!

Thanks again to everyone, much to ponder (but not for too long). snowHead


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Wed 29-01-20 13:50; edited 3 times in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Orange200 wrote:
Bergermeister - Yup, hence my underselling comment, that is one hell of an achievement!

I could speculate but it's absolutely none of my business.

I think success is basically making more money than you're spending, and being happy about it. How many zeros that involves is up to each individual and thus up to the OP to do the maths. I'm only concerned about the job info of the partner and not the OP. In the expat world, one working and the other not (and that's so open to interpretation) leads sooner or later to bitterness. But with the numbers quoted it sounds like they could up sticks and move tomorrow with little problem.


I 100% agree about the working/non working situation and it isn't something I would want to do even in the short term, hence the call for ideas. I appreciate your input on this though and as I said i was a little taken aback by your initial response but I think it actually asks an important question and so really appreciate it.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
BMG wrote:
Nothing constructive to add apart from commenting on the difficulty of doing these things after Brexit will be a lot harder. Still astounds me that it's actually happening!

Good luck to you - I have often thought about it as well but have yet to put thought into action.


Thanks a lot. Oh and you an me both Puzzled
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
JackSkier wrote:
Without wanting to hijack this thread, how would your advice change for someone younger?

I am 21, on track for a good degree from a good uni, albeit in a non-technical subject (history). I have taught myself to speak French to an advanced level. I similarly want to make a life in the mountains, my overwhelming goal is to become a mountain guide, but that is far in the future as a long process. I would like to find something more fulfilling than working in a bar.

Luckily, I should be able to get German citizenship, so brexit is less of a worry.


If your overwhelming goal is to become a guide then you HAVE to get out there and climb A LOT. Work is simply a tool to allow you to climb. You really need a job that you can do part time, on temporary contracts or will give you long sabbaticals.
You could consider doing your Mountain Leader qualifications and getting work in outdoor centres or as a trekking guide - this is a much less demanding level than Mountain Guide but would give you work in the right places, help with your log book, give you experience, etc. But it isn't a substitute for getting out there climbing for yourself as much as possible.

I climbed with a Spanish guide last summer. He said a couple of things that really rang true based on my experience of being a client over the years (and having climbed in my youth to a level that taught me I could never be a guide!):
1. He grew up in the Pyrenees so skied and climbed as a kid. When he was 18, he and a few mates went to Chamonix and bivvied under a rock for the whole summer (all they could afford) climbing as much as possible. In my experience, most Guides had a phase in their lives with that sort of commitment to the sport
2. Quote "a guy said to me this year - I want to do what you do, how do I become a guide? I didn't know what to say. I just told him that it's taken me 30 years in the mountains to get the skills and experience to be a Guide. It's not just something you decide to do. He just had no idea"

I suspect you get all that but the implication is obvious - if you want to be a guide then climbing needs to be your priority ahead of everything else for a few years.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@klang180, I was one of those that started a similar thread.

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=148592&highlight=

Our situations are kind of similar, i'm late 20s, also SW UK. I'm an ACCA qualified accountant, girlfriend does an admin role within the public sector.

I'm trying for jobs in Geneva (unsuccessfully) in the main. I did drop my CV in to an accountancy office in Morzine last week, you never know!

Hopefully you might see something in the thread I started that might help.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@klang180, so bike maintenance is one of your skills, and you don't like the sound of a >1hr commute to the slopes.

In the Pyrénées (just above Lourdes) is a small town called Luz, only 20 mins or so from a few ski resorts. There is a bike rental shop called Ardiden Velos (run by an English couple), so you could consider an 'internship' with them with a view to getting a better feel for mountain life (as opposed to mountain valley life - where I am).
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@klang180, an admirable response! And I can safely say you won’t succeed in a sales career! Very Happy

But heavens, a masters in environmental management, financial management, NGOs, outdoor sports business experience; what are you waiting for?! You’re designed to work in the mountains!

What you touch on though is a need to feel worthy in your job, and I think that’s a combination of your attitude (glass half full etc) and the luck of circumstances. Way too deep for me to spell out on this phone screen.

As Derren Brown illustrated, you make your own luck. You are further on the right path than you realize.

All best wishes.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well if you don't try you wont know and I wouldn't overthink things given your partner can continue working. You can always change once you've tried if things don't work out.

I'm always amazed at some of the ways people have found to make a living and things that work in the mountains, and stuff that doesn't work so well, like a guide who has now gone into the insulation business and only does guiding for interesting projects for people he knows.
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@swskier, mountain Mavericks are looking for an accountant in Morzine.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
jedster wrote:
JackSkier wrote:
Without wanting to hijack this thread, how would your advice change for someone younger?

I am 21, on track for a good degree from a good uni, albeit in a non-technical subject (history). I have taught myself to speak French to an advanced level. I similarly want to make a life in the mountains, my overwhelming goal is to become a mountain guide, but that is far in the future as a long process. I would like to find something more fulfilling than working in a bar.

Luckily, I should be able to get German citizenship, so brexit is less of a worry.


If your overwhelming goal is to become a guide then you HAVE to get out there and climb A LOT. Work is simply a tool to allow you to climb. You really need a job that you can do part time, on temporary contracts or will give you long sabbaticals.
You could consider doing your Mountain Leader qualifications and getting work in outdoor centres or as a trekking guide - this is a much less demanding level than Mountain Guide but would give you work in the right places, help with your log book, give you experience, etc. But it isn't a substitute for getting out there climbing for yourself as much as possible.

I climbed with a Spanish guide last summer. He said a couple of things that really rang true based on my experience of being a client over the years (and having climbed in my youth to a level that taught me I could never be a guide!):
1. He grew up in the Pyrenees so skied and climbed as a kid. When he was 18, he and a few mates went to Chamonix and bivvied under a rock for the whole summer (all they could afford) climbing as much as possible. In my experience, most Guides had a phase in their lives with that sort of commitment to the sport
2. Quote "a guy said to me this year - I want to do what you do, how do I become a guide? I didn't know what to say. I just told him that it's taken me 30 years in the mountains to get the skills and experience to be a Guide. It's not just something you decide to do. He just had no idea"

I suspect you get all that but the implication is obvious - if you want to be a guide then climbing needs to be your priority ahead of everything else for a few years.


Yep, I definitely get all of that. It's been something I've been working towards for a long time- hence the French. I even made a thread about it a while ago I think.

I am a skier first, climber second. I have done some fairly serious stuff on skis, but less so for climbing so far. I am, however, gaining experience quick and enjoying it.

I don't fancy doing the mountain leader route, as I don't want to be in the UK for the foreseeable future. Like the OP, I just love being in the mountains. My plan at the moment is to up sticks to Chamonix straight after uni and to spend the next 5 years or so gaining experience, perhaps towards guiding, perhaps not (I know the BMG requires most routes in the logbook to be UK based, but the ten alpine north faces is possibly the biggest hurdle). Which is why I want to combine it with a proper job there. I don't know if they really exist, but I hope that speaking French will help. I have also thought about Geneva. Don't know how feasible my plans are- time will tell!
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I just had my partner read my initial post and wow I did not realise I was so flippant and down on myself, as a result I have made alterations.

Just want to clarify with people that I am not a ski-bum looking to just live an easy life. I do want to do something purposeful or at the very least makes someone's (and my) life a little better and the post is really about what that might be in a mountain context.

Just thought that was worth pointing out given my first post.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Wed 29-01-20 14:05; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Orange200 wrote:
@klang180, an admirable response! And I can safely say you won’t succeed in a sales career! Very Happy

But heavens, a masters in environmental management, financial management, NGOs, outdoor sports business experience; what are you waiting for?! You’re designed to work in the mountains!

What you touch on though is a need to feel worthy in your job, and I think that’s a combination of your attitude (glass half full etc) and the luck of circumstances. Way too deep for me to spell out on this phone screen.

As Derren Brown illustrated, you make your own luck. You are further on the right path than you realize.

All best wishes.


Haha self promotion has never been my strong point and was definitely something i struggled with when running my own (small) business. Definitely something I should work on!

Thanks for your post and ideas, it is safe to say i shouldn't be relying on a forum for my own reassurance but you have definitely opened my eyes to this, so thanks.

Not much time to respond to this in more detail or all the other great suggestions but will get back to it later.

Thanks again.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@klang180,

Have you narrowed down where you would like to be e.g. France, Austria, Italy, Spain etc? Do you have any language skills that would help?
Quite a few ski resorts are mountain bike areas in the summer, as others have said maybe a multi-activity tourist resort (Skiing, mountainbiking, climbing etc) would be good for you.
If you live in the heart of a tourist skiing resort it's normally expensive and it doesn't take long before the tourists get on your nerves. Within a few months (approx 4 to 5) they are gone but what's left behind can be a ghost town for up to 8 months of the year. This could be great for you or resemble Stephen Kings "the Shinning". Can understand you not wanting to live in a city if you are going for the full alpine feel but just out of town away from the tourists might be better - best to check transport connections if you are not planning to have your own car.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I foresee some kind of environmental project management, for example helping an area (town, ski resort) apply for and win a grant, possibly from an international organisation as you might not help much with local languages, to assist it towards a more sustainable tourism model. Green energy etc.

I completely made that up but your skills point to it and I can imagine there is demand for it.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
JackSkier wrote:
jedster wrote:
JackSkier wrote:
Without wanting to hijack this thread, how would your advice change for someone younger?

I am 21, on track for a good degree from a good uni, albeit in a non-technical subject (history). I have taught myself to speak French to an advanced level. I similarly want to make a life in the mountains, my overwhelming goal is to become a mountain guide, but that is far in the future as a long process. I would like to find something more fulfilling than working in a bar.

Luckily, I should be able to get German citizenship, so brexit is less of a worry.


If your overwhelming goal is to become a guide then you HAVE to get out there and climb A LOT. Work is simply a tool to allow you to climb. You really need a job that you can do part time, on temporary contracts or will give you long sabbaticals.
You could consider doing your Mountain Leader qualifications and getting work in outdoor centres or as a trekking guide - this is a much less demanding level than Mountain Guide but would give you work in the right places, help with your log book, give you experience, etc. But it isn't a substitute for getting out there climbing for yourself as much as possible.

I climbed with a Spanish guide last summer. He said a couple of things that really rang true based on my experience of being a client over the years (and having climbed in my youth to a level that taught me I could never be a guide!):
1. He grew up in the Pyrenees so skied and climbed as a kid. When he was 18, he and a few mates went to Chamonix and bivvied under a rock for the whole summer (all they could afford) climbing as much as possible. In my experience, most Guides had a phase in their lives with that sort of commitment to the sport
2. Quote "a guy said to me this year - I want to do what you do, how do I become a guide? I didn't know what to say. I just told him that it's taken me 30 years in the mountains to get the skills and experience to be a Guide. It's not just something you decide to do. He just had no idea"

I suspect you get all that but the implication is obvious - if you want to be a guide then climbing needs to be your priority ahead of everything else for a few years.


Yep, I definitely get all of that. It's been something I've been working towards for a long time- hence the French. I even made a thread about it a while ago I think.

I am a skier first, climber second. I have done some fairly serious stuff on skis, but less so for climbing so far. I am, however, gaining experience quick and enjoying it.

I don't fancy doing the mountain leader route, as I don't want to be in the UK for the foreseeable future. Like the OP, I just love being in the mountains. My plan at the moment is to up sticks to Chamonix straight after uni and to spend the next 5 years or so gaining experience, perhaps towards guiding, perhaps not (I know the BMG requires most routes in the logbook to be UK based, but the ten alpine north faces is possibly the biggest hurdle). Which is why I want to combine it with a proper job there. I don't know if they really exist, but I hope that speaking French will help. I have also thought about Geneva. Don't know how feasible my plans are- time will tell!


Makes sense - what about the ski instructor / ski patrol route? If skiing is your strong suit then that would make sense, get you work in the mountains - work the winters / climb the summers? I skied with a French guide who had been an instructor, the ski patroller before qualifying as a guide. Chamonix is the right place of course but you could work nearby resorts and still have access to the whole Chamonix scene.

Take your point about not wanting to be UK based. I'm thinking about the last phase of my career not the first but I'm thinking about Mountain Leader then International Mountain Leader and perhaps splitting my time between working with kids in the UK and running trekking holidays in the Alps out of our flat there. Think I've got enough to put in my log book from teens and twenties to cover the experience of UK mountains.
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