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Potential Ski bum seeking advice and inspiration for a euro trip

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@boarder2020, I'm not looking to judge ski bumming as a life choice. I was after all a ski bum. But of all the people I skied with either got careers in the UK or work in resorts. It becomes less sustainable the older people get - for most people.

@Flomansnowman, the gateway to ski touring is a good avalanche course. Something like the multi day courses offered by Avalanche Geeks (not used but look good), Avalanche Academy (used, good) or Mountain Tracks (used, also good).

Then find like minded people to ski with and go ski touring. I found people on Snowheads who skied near me and went touring with them. I had, though, at this point got an amount of off piste skiing experience and could handle moderate terrain without really hurting myself.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
For touring starting point is avalanche course. In Canada it would be AST1, 2 day course with mixture of classroom and field work. Gives you the very basics in terms of safety. Not sure what the euro equivalent is. There are a wealth of other resources too, Bruce templer book staying alive in avalanche terrain is one of the most recommended. There is actually a lot of good stuff on YouTube too but some not so good stuff mixed in which is problematic.

For ski touring I would try to buy any equipment second hand to begin with (or perhaps even rent) - a lot of people bought touring equipment this year because of covid so likely to be some bargains floating around. It's not for everyone so no point sinking in lots of money up front. Even if you sell it after one season you should get close to your money back. If you don't have tech boots better to start with frame bindings - they are less efficient for uphill but mean not having to buy more boots (again don't sink in money until you sure touring is for you). If you already have tech boots no reason to not consider tech bindings, which are more efficient. For skins I would focus on grip over slide for now while you are still learning. There was a thread in the off-piste section not so long ago that might be worth reading. As a very general rule things optimum for uphill and things optimum for downhill are different so you are trying to balance the two depending on your goals.

You could spend weeks researching every little detail, there are people that lose sleep of a few grams and a couple of % more or less efficient. As a beginner it doesn't matter, you are going to be limited more by technique and practice than equipment. You are also not going to be doing huge tours anyway where the little things do start to add up. So by all means read some of the stuff online but don't become obsessed, as a beginner any proper touring equipment will be fine to start off with. Once you know touring is for you and have a bit more experience you can work out what you want.

I'm sure somebody that skis can provide a lot more info than me about equipment.

Once you have some avalanche knowledge and whatever equipment you can get your hands on the key is just getting out there and trying it. Walking uphill is fairly intuitive on a basic level. Transitions will be slow but you will work it out, and each one will get a little faster. You will pick up tips from others and watching how they do things. Most of the tourers I know have never had a formal lesson about technique - we certainly aren't the prettiest bunch to watch doing kickturns, but we get by ok. (I'm not suggesting it's not worth investing in proper training, just it's not necessary for a beginner with modest goals if you don't want).
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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?
@Bodski96,
Don't know of any generic fbook seasonnaire page, but try searching by resort(s) you are interested in followed by the word Seasonnaire.
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@Flomansnowman,

If you are looking to get into ski touring here's an article about the best ski touring places

Sorry it's in German but the place names should be enough to get you started with a search
https://www.snowplaza.de/weblog/22579-beste-skitourengebiete-alpen/

For ski-touring transport (to get you to the start of the tour) is very important. Living near a good public transport network (e.g. train station / bus stops) would be a big advantage. You could join the local mountaineering association (e.g. Alpenverein für Austria) and join some of their ski tours (post Corona).

I've never done a season but would probably favour a place out of resort with good transport links in. This would stop the 'bloody tourists' driving me crazy and should be cheaper than a place directly in the resort.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
As some have said, after a while in one place one can get a bit blasée: only go out when the weather isn't crap, then only when it's OK, then only when it's good, then only when it's perfect.
I've known quite enthusiastic skiers to start with great gusto, skiing every single day, a few weeks later they're down to about 60/40 and by the end of the stay they're only going out 'when there's a reason' like friends being available to go with etc. But OK, everyone is different so this might not be you.

But, if you're looking at a 90day limit anyway, and with that budget... Why get stuck in one area?
I reckon I know a way U could do:
2 weeks in Tignes
Perhaps a week in Austria, somewhere
2 weeks in The Italian Dolomites
2 Weeks in Japan
2 weeks of, mostly guided, off-piste
2 weeks in Val Thorens
+ a few extra days squeezed in between.
Regulars will see a pattern and know what I'm getting at here snowHead

I think there's a good 70-80 days on snow there. Opportunities to improve technique, tour, try new kit, meet (loads of) new ski-buddies. The best thing IMHO is, breaking it up in this way, each block of ski days presents a distinct opportunity to be exploited to the max so the motivation to get out every day remains high. I say this from experience Wink
And all doable within your budget Cool

PM Admin if you're interested.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Flomansnowman,

It's a bit of a long shot but you could try starting up your own skiing website and get journalists to pay for your trips. wink


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 12-01-21 23:12; 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...
if you dont want to stay in one place the follow the snow
i mean : November somewhere with Glacier, December somewhere where they have good artificial snow system, January in some lower altittude resorts, February and March maybe in Arlberg, mid March and April in France etc....
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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!
admin wrote:
I reckon I know a way U could do:
2 weeks in Tignes
Perhaps a week in Austria, somewhere
2 weeks in The Italian Dolomites
2 Weeks in Japan
2 weeks of, mostly guided, off-piste
2 weeks in Val Thorens
+ a few extra days squeezed in between.
Regulars will see a pattern and know what I'm getting at here snowHead


I see a pattern, and an addition. Is SJapB a possibility for next year?
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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'm doing a BASI 1/2 course in Switzerland. All in for about £10,500.

Accomm is £800 per month but can be cheaper.

£600 per month for food and other expenses.

Lift pass 600CHF for the season.

Rest is the teaching course.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
so an avalanche safety course is my first port of call to unlock the door of touring. Thanks @gorilla, I’ll be sure to look up the courses you suggested.

@admin, that is certainly the Big Bang for the buck, so much skiing! was this all in one go?

A good few weekends of research seem to be in need and a rough plan.
thanks again for all the advice, what a great Community to have stumbled across Very Happy
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Ah @Flomansnowman, if you've only just 'stumbled across' snowHeads, I fear I might blow your mind with opportunity if I'm not careful Wink I'm really not trying to push anything so if you're just looking for a few suggestions for places to get settled down in for a quiet season in one place, I'd skip the rest of this post Toofy Grin



OK, still here? Then first, you should be aware of the bashes which are established annual events, run to give the community a chance to meet up and do some of this sliding about together that they talk about all year on here. They're quite popular.
I am fortunate/responsible enough, to be at all the bashes and have a van modified to support this mission well, which gives flexibility to do a bit of exploring/roaming/visiting/research in between the key events.

What I described in my previous post is the optimal schedule - it doesn't all work out every season but most of it is regular and there's extra incentive to get the whole roster lined up for next year.
The bashes are well established events, in nice hotels, so we're getting looked after and fed well. Many even have spa facilities - we're not slumming about having to self cater etc. Not in those weeks anyway Toofy Grin
The weeks in between are more flexible. I tend to have a few plans/intentions each season but the best stuff in these weeks often comes from being able to react to events eg. a tip-off, an invitation, snowfall, hearing of a bunch of snowHeads turning up somewhere nearby etc.
Without intent U get nowhere of course, but with too much you close yourself off from serendipity. The possibilities are endless.

The Japlan is maybe the most eye-catching of these possibilities. It has come to fruition once - and it's really about time it happened again. (and before anyone gets too excited - NO, it's not a JapBash, yet, but I'd be interested in getting a group of 3-6 together.) The only thing I'm sure about is that the best time to go is immediately after the Birthday Bash, for 2 key reasons - European skiing is devalued as it's peak holiday time and it's the peak of probability for getting epic Japow conditions. It also helps that Milan is a great place to start the journey from: Milan=>Helsinki=>Sapporo = 13.5 hrs!

Quote:
was this all in one go?
No, spread out through the season. The longest continuous stretch is about 5 weeks: Austria:Alleghe:Arabba:Japanx2

- The 2 weeks PSB in Tignes in Early Dec are for snowHeads to prepare themselves for the season, Lots of instruction/courses going on. And yes, safety and touring are on the menu.
- Ending up in 2nd half of April in Val Thorens for the End of Season Bash: a celebration of the season just past! snowHead
In between the two, I tend to drive back to UK for Xmas+NY after the PSB and drive out to Austria/Italy Mid-Jan. Then the van stays out there, as a mobile base, much of the Winter, and I can just pop home hand-luggage only, now and then.

It's the best way I know to make the most of the season (and it can all be done within your budget). Various snowHeads have accompanied me over sections of this journey but nobody has quite dared/commited to do the whole thing yet.
@Dzmarc got very close to taking 'the Golden Ticket' the year we did the Japlan but to his eternal regret... he didn't Confused

Like I said above, I'm not pushing this in any way: just letting you know what's possible. I'm perfectly happy with the way my seasons [normally] go but there's room for 1 or 2 extras to tag along if anyone thinks they can handle that much epicallity in one Winter snowHead

Let's just hope everything is opened up again by then! Skullie
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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.
@admin, Japan 2022 you say... Cool
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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
@admin,
Quote:

I'm perfectly happy with the way my seasons [normally] go


...and so are your regulars.



Best pitch since Levi Roots triumphed with his Reggae Reggae brand on Dragon’ Den.

We’re IN Cool
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
admin wrote:
Ah @Flomansnowman, if you've only just 'stumbled across' snowHeads, I fear I might blow your mind with opportunity if I'm not careful Wink I'm really not trying to push anything so if you're just looking for a few suggestions for places to get settled down in for a quiet season in one place, I'd skip the rest of this post Toofy Grin



OK, still here? Then first, you should be aware of the bashes which are established annual events, run to give the community a chance to meet up and do some of this sliding about together that they talk about all year on here. They're quite popular.
I am fortunate/responsible enough, to be at all the bashes and have a van modified to support this mission well, which gives flexibility to do a bit of exploring/roaming/visiting/research in between the key events.

What I described in my previous post is the optimal schedule - it doesn't all work out every season but most of it is regular and there's extra incentive to get the whole roster lined up for next year.
The bashes are well established events, in nice hotels, so we're getting looked after and fed well. Many even have spa facilities - we're not slumming about having to self cater etc. Not in those weeks anyway Toofy Grin
The weeks in between are more flexible. I tend to have a few plans/intentions each season but the best stuff in these weeks often comes from being able to react to events eg. a tip-off, an invitation, snowfall, hearing of a bunch of snowHeads turning up somewhere nearby etc.
Without intent U get nowhere of course, but with too much you close yourself off from serendipity. The possibilities are endless.

The Japlan is maybe the most eye-catching of these possibilities. It has come to fruition once - and it's really about time it happened again. (and before anyone gets too excited - NO, it's not a JapBash, yet, but I'd be interested in getting a group of 3-6 together.) The only thing I'm sure about is that the best time to go is immediately after the Birthday Bash, for 2 key reasons - European skiing is devalued as it's peak holiday time and it's the peak of probability for getting epic Japow conditions. It also helps that Milan is a great place to start the journey from: Milan=>Helsinki=>Sapporo = 13.5 hrs!

Quote:
was this all in one go?
No, spread out through the season. The longest continuous stretch is about 5 weeks: Austria:Alleghe:Arabba:Japanx2

- The 2 weeks PSB in Tignes in Early Dec are for snowHeads to prepare themselves for the season, Lots of instruction/courses going on. And yes, safety and touring are on the menu.
- Ending up in 2nd half of April in Val Thorens for the End of Season Bash: a celebration of the season just past! snowHead
In between the two, I tend to drive back to UK for Xmas+NY after the PSB and drive out to Austria/Italy Mid-Jan. Then the van stays out there, as a mobile base, much of the Winter, and I can just pop home hand-luggage only, now and then.

It's the best way I know to make the most of the season (and it can all be done within your budget). Various snowHeads have accompanied me over sections of this journey but nobody has quite dared/commited to do the whole thing yet.
@Dzmarc got very close to taking 'the Golden Ticket' the year we did the Japlan but to his eternal regret... he didn't Confused

Like I said above, I'm not pushing this in any way: just letting you know what's possible. I'm perfectly happy with the way my seasons [normally] go but there's room for 1 or 2 extras to tag along if anyone thinks they can handle that much epicallity in one Winter snowHead

Let's just hope everything is opened up again by then! Skullie



@Flomansnowman if @Admin is offering you the 'Golden Ticket' do not for one second turn it down. To this day it is my only real life regret.
To put it into context I was in a similar situation (although a lot less budget), looking to go bumming for a season Admin gave me 3 days notice ... and in the end I took the 'sensible option' according to my mum and got a job, which I duly left after about a year.
Ever since then I have been working on a plan to get back to be able to join @Admin again. Until that time 3 or 4 weeks a year (or as last year transpired 0) will have to do. Although reading this thread has made me want to quit my job again and bug off in 2022. Laughing snowHead

All i'll say is if you are in a position to go ... go. At worst you'll get some great stories about night skiing in La Grave rolling eyes Very Happy


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Wed 13-01-21 18:55; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@admin

It would appear you've 2 volunteers to keep you company already

Scarlet wrote:
@admin, Japan 2022 you say... Cool


and myself, obv. Madeye-Smiley Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Flomansnowman, One idea for a cheap way of doing it...

Note, this does require a campervan/caravan/motorhome.

https://www.campingjungfrau.swiss/en

Campsite in Lauterbrunnen, 1790 chf for the season (Oct - Apr) plus your electric.

Top 4 ski pass 777 chf in the early bird price, covers you for Jungfrau region, Adelboden-Lenk, Gstaad and Meiringen-Hasliberg, 666kms in total.

https://top4.ski/en/top4-skipass-en/

Campsite is 1km from the train station in Lauterbrunnen and runs a free bus service.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@admin it’s sounding like the perfect plan! I’ve had a quick browse of the previous bashes, definitely something I’d be interested in Very Happy whether that is the coming season though I am unsure, I’ll have to weigh it up closer to the time. After the year we’ve all had making the most out of next year is definitely on the to do list so I’ll keep in touch!

@swskier thank you, I have also looked into this myself but in Austrian resorts. Last time I checked vans to convert were pretty high in price currently, possibly to do with the whole staycation thing this summer in the UK, definitely something to consider though
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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?
Yes, of course. Lots of time for plan-making.
We're a bit of a way yet from knowing what exactly is going to be possible but at least you can see the scope of potential.
+ it just occurred to me: the time in Japan wouldn't count toward the 90 days in the EU, of course! It's like free extra ski days... sort of snowHead
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
For a quieter town and a large ski area - you might like Champery on the Swiss side of the Portes du Soleil. It's a small, friendly village and the nightlife is fairly low key.
For days away from the resort it's easy to get to and from as there's a railway station in the village. British passport holders can stay in Swizterland for 90 days withhout a visa. In theory you can get permission to stay longer than 90 days from the Cantonal/Regional government where you are staying, but I don't know how easy that is.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Is the EU max 90 days visa requirement also considered in Switzerland (I know it's not EU, but Schengen, EEA...) - or could you do 90 days in FR/AT and hop over the border to CH for an extra month or two? Just wondering.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Orange200, it includes Switzerland, but doesn't currently include Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:
(The 90 days) includes Switzerland, but doesn't currently include Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus
Given that this makes a season impossible for most of us on here, what's the point of this thread Puzzled
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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!
@mountainaddict, You can apply for a tourist visa for longer than 90 days. The OP wrote that they would not work during a ski season so would qualifiy for that visa.
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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.
Quote:
You can apply for a tourist visa for longer than 90 days
Aha! Very Happy
Thanks rjs - I'd completely forgotten about that point.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Flomansnowman, Am a bit late to the party, but here are my thoughts.

If you have a car (fitted with snow tyres), life will be easier. You can easily do a big supermarket grocery shop, and you can be "in" the resort but a bit further away from the lifts-so not necessarily where all the tourist stay, but close to the action if you want it. It should mean cheaper accommodation. I reckon next season it may be easier than many to get somewhere at a reasonable price, as people will want the security of an early booking. 90 day max in 180 is the base line, but I believe at least the French are likely to offer longer stay tourist visas, so don't write off being there for longer if you fancy it.

Season passes prices can vary quite a bit-so make sure you include that in your research.

Best way to get into touring? Mr P and I have found it quite easy to "give it a go" without the need to book an instructor- he bought skis and hybrid piste/touring boots with the Salmon shift bindings a couple of years ago, I have hired kit and "toured" up gentle pisted footpaths and then on pistes on the lower half of the mountain, before coming back down the piste/path. We'e only done it a handful of times so far, but it's a nice way of getting away from the hoards and exploring other facets of the mountains. It would be easy to start out that way on your own, but anything more "off piste" you might want to look for a guide or find new friends-make sure you have the avi kit though. I bought some new all mountain/freetour boots at the end of last season so I now have that option. (NB-a season in the mountains means is inevitably going to involve some kit purchases! Laughing )

If France and the 3V are an option on you list-you might try joining "The Valley Echo" Facebook page which covers the whole area and down to some of the lower towns and villages. It's really for ex pats, but it's good way of looking for accommodation and making connections.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Fingers crossed we have some sort of agreement set up for a longer stay than just the 90 days, I am fairly optimistic for this to happen but we shall see.

I have never skied in either France or Switzerland, Austria and Italy have always been the go to for me personally. From reading all your comments it seems I am missing out on a big slice of the European skiing pie!

I have always been under the impression France and Switzerland are quite a bit more expensive than Austria and Italy? This is probably a debate seen numerous times within this community so I’m sure if I dig a little I will find some answers Very Happy
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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.
@Flomansnowman,
The major cost of a season is accommodation.
Most discussion of expense of various countries would be the cost of food, drink etc.
I'd advise picking ten or twelve ski areas you'd fancy doing a season in, and what type of accommodation you would be looking for, then investigate accommodation costs and the cost of early bird season lift passes - the second highest cost as a rule.
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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
@Flomansnowman, Myself and long term girlfriend are looking at doing a full season 2021/2022 with season goals of getting off piste as much as possible and getting into touring possibly light mountaineering. I ski lift accessed off-piste but my girlfriend is pretty green on that. Either way we will both be looking for some off-piste guiding/lessons. We'll be focused on the skiing, but a weekend beer will no doubt go down well.

Anyway, we are currently focused with our search on the big French resorts, specifically Paradiski and Espace Killy. We're not tied to any one idea at the moment though so I'll be following this thread to see if you come up with any gems. We are hoping to get the 3-6 month VISA to do the whole season and plan is to take a car, but I haven't looked into the rules around that yet post Brexit.

Just on Switzerland, I did a season in Verbier and would give 4 Vallees a big thumbs up, despite the fact the snow was a bit poo-poo the year I was there. I would go back. The vast majority of my skiing has been in France, but have skied in Italy, Austria & Canada too.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@borntoski,
Of Paradiski & Espace Killy I'd recommend the latter as Espace has easier off-piste access to Paradiski than vice versa.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Klammertime wrote:
I did a full season in Chamonix in 1999 for about £3,500. Mont Blanc pass gave me all Cham, Les Houches and some days at Megeve/StGervais so more skiing than 90 days can handle.
£10k nowadays would seem plenty even if the £ is of low value these days. Stayed in a couple of gite/hostel places which although low end and a bit rough meant is was social and easy to meet fellow skiers and tag along with experts who were better skiers than me and who knew all the good off piste spots. They were in resort.
Brilliant time and I often wonder why I didn't do more of that as a twentysomething.
When wife, kids and mortgage come along, you're basically done.
Grab the opportunity.
Re budgetting dont do what a lot of young people do and wee wee it all up against a wall, out every other night. Get cheap beer/wine from supermarlets and concentrate on the skiing, not the nightlife. Men outnumber women about 10 to 1 in seasoners resorts so chasing tail is going to be difficult. wink Buy food and cook, don't eat out much.


I'm doing this the other way round. Married with kids by my mid twenties. Now at 44, my eldest kids have one eye on universities and our youngest will only be a couple of years behind. If all goes to plan I'll be (semi) retired by 55, then the plan is to ski bum every year that my body allows Smile
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