Updated: Jul 30, 2019
A ski season is hard to sum up, through this blog I want to give you the honest truth, so I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to portray this, in the end I’ve decided to ask the rest of the staff what their best and worst moments of the season were, but also a top tip for future seasonaire’s, a little like a shit sandwich, as my brother would say (positive negative positive). The results were as followed!
- Making friends and speaking to new people.
- Taking part in the Valley rally (this was said by three people).
-Facing my fears of flying, because I had to catch a flight on my own to get out of here.
-Beating my dad at ski racing.
-Being drunk in the middle of the day on my day off (valley rally, beer tasting, bum boarding bar crawl).
-Being trapped in one place with the same people.
-Almost skiing of a cliff, it has scared me of skiing.
-Being caught in staff domestics.
-Being a Flexi host.
- Mid season when everyone was getting on each others backs.
One top tip to survive:
-Don’t take yourself too seriously and have as much fun as possible.
-Get a good data plan for your phone.
-Try and keep yourself busy, so you don’t go insane
-Just go for it, you do what you want to do.
-Don’t care too much about anything and just have a laugh, you do you!
-Don’t be too sensitive and take everything with a pinch of salt.
-Be yourself, you don’t have to get along with everyone, get along with people who are like minded to you, you are more likely to stay in touch with these people in the future. But also make the most of the moment, it seems like you’re here a long time but it goes very quickly.
As you can see, the common ground to their survival tips is for you just to do whatever makes you happy, this is actually one of my core values. I believe there is absolutely no point in doing something that isn’t going to make you happy, but if you have even the smallest inkling that you may enjoy it or would envy someone if they did it, do it. Because there’s nothing worse in life than regretting something that could have been. Don’t look back and say I wish I’d done that, just do it, there should be no regretting in life, just memories, if you didn’t enjoy an adventure that’s a memory and a lesson that makes you, well… you, consider it a life lesson and a story to tell, not time wasted.
Each of us embarked on a ski season for the adventure and lifestyle; to be able to ski in our lunch breaks and to live in the Alps, but also to escape growing up and adulting. We all know we would have to work at the end of the season as we are paid tuppence, but its the lifestyle and experience that we're all out here for and we love it. Below I have written a section about what to look out for in ski companies, and locations to work ski seasons, it is indeed a boring section of my blog, but I hope it’s helpful if you're thinking of embarking on a ski season and that it answers any possible questions you may have.
Tips about choosing companies and destinations
I work for Ski Famille and I’m based in Reberty 2000.
Pay : Hosts get paid around £730 a month, depending on the company and the following points.
Our pay without deduction (gross pay) is £897, we also get commissions off the honesty bars and holiday pay. Chefs get paid around £800 a month, varying on the amount of guest they cater for.
Accommodation: In our company we all share a room with one other person, some companies share a room with lots of people, so just bare this in mind when applying. Check to see what the company is offering you, does the accommodation come out of your wage? Or do you have to pay extra/ is the accommodation already deducted from the wage your offered?
Perks: Some companies include ski hire, ski pass, food, accommodation etc. Our company includes all of these but see what the company you're applying for offers. Will you end up spending more money on these items than what you earn out there? Because the wage is minimal as it is, you might as well find a company where the perks are good and you don’t have to delve into your wages too much.
Hours: Each company differs, some just offer morning and evening shifts separately, we do split shifts (I quite like this, is gives us enough time to go skiing in the day/ do other stuff and not too much time off that I get bored).
Hosts (My job): Serving breakfast and dinner, laying, serving and clearing tables, up keep of the chalets, this includes cleaning and making the beds. Hours 7.15 am - 10:30/11am (depending how quick at cleaning you are) 4:30pm - 10pm depending when the guests are finished eating and all cleared away. The hosts worst day of the week is Saturday, this is changeover day, meaning all hosts need to bid farewell to the guests at around 6:30 am (ranging time due to weather conditions) then strip the chalets, clean them and make them ready for the new guests who arrive around 2:30pm. Hosts then take the guests to ski hire and then the evening commences as per usual. This is by far the worst day of the week, but everyone knows it's coming so you just grin and bear it. Hosts day off is a Wednesday, Tuesday nights are usually a heavy night out!
Tip: Blaring out music from a portable speaker is the best way to survive transfer day, everyone appreciates the tunes whilst cleaning. Hosts and chefs split tips.
Chefs: In charge of all the cooking: breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner, and also preparing kids lunch’s. Their hours are 7:00- 10:00/11:00 depending on how much food preparation they have to do. Then back in at 4:30pm till around 10pm same as the hosts.
Nannies: In charge of taking the kids to ski school and looking after the them all day, the nannies are also in charge of cooking kids lunch. Nannies offer a baby sitting service on Wednesdays (hosts day off). Nannies start at 8:40am till 5pm depending on what time the kids are booked into child care for. Nannies day off is Saturday.
Tip: Nannies generally receive quite good tips!
Resort Assistant: This job includes: picking up guests from the airport, maintaining the resort, shovelling snow, chopping up wood and generally helping out where they can. Generally a cool job, a change of scenery each day, but quite physically demanding.
Tip: RA’s are on the same wage as the hosts, but they don’t receive tips.
My Top Tips:
When your looking at applying for jobs keep at eye out for these:
Reviews of the company. What are the guests saying in their feedback, are they all positive? You don’t want to get a job for a company where their guests are generally unhappy with the service. This could be a sign of possible negative season experience, if the guests are constantly complaining, this will become incredibly wearing after a while, especially 6 days a week for a whole season this will definitely make your life hell.
Locations of the chalets, are they high? Is the resort guaranteed snow?. You want to work in a location where there is going to be pretty good snow, not only because you're gonna want to be out on it everyday, but also the guests will generally be happier as their money wont be wasted on poor skiing conditions. I’m based in Reberty, which is at 2000 ft, therefore we are pretty much always guaranteed snow, we are also a ski on and off resort which is fantastic as we don’t have to trudge around carrying our skis.
What type of guests is the company looking to attract? Ski Famille is a family friendly company, therefore all the guests are family generally with a few kids, which is a nice family environment. Is the company you're looking at attracting families, groups, stag do’s, hen do’s ,or students? Its worth having a look because you might not want to be looking after a group of students or stags (its whatever’s your cuppa tea).
Different job roles will have its perks and down falls.