The Curious Observational Perks of Working on a Ski Mountain

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO- A ski trip is anything but a relaxing vacation. People oftentimes forget that it’s an actual workout to go skiing; you aren’t casually swimming in the ocean and laying on a towel every few minutes when you find yourself spent. It’s an expensive undertaking that requires a good deal of gear, energy, and experience. If you haven’t been skiing before, you likely aren’t going to enjoy yourself as much as someone who’s come every winter for the past three seasons. It’s just the nature of the game.

Steamboat Ski Area

Steamboat Ski Area


Watching family dynamics play out along these lines is fun to watch. As a family-friendly ski resort, Steamboat plays host to many regions of the country coming here on spring break, visiting in waves as their kids have weeklong breaks from school. Folks from Louisiana overwhelmed the town the first week of February, looking to escape the revelers that descend upon their great state for Mardi Gras. As one gentleman put it, “once you’ve had a three day hangover, there’s really no desire to go to Mardi Gras ever again”. Other southern states came after that, Texas & Oklahoma paired together, the bible-belt strongholds next. It was a fun time when New York came to town—I swear, I could pick a New Yorker out of a lineup after asking them to utter only a few key phrases. They are—or should I say, we are—distinguished Americans any place we go.


Photographing these families and capturing this vacation for eternity for them was a real pleasure, and a real sociological rollercoaster. For many families, this is a tradition that they’ve had for years and years—they’ve been skiing ever since the kids were little, and it’s one of the few activities they still all do together. Oftentimes it’s the mother that insists her kids gather round and simply smile for a photo, just to capture this moment in time when the family is together, regardless of whether they’re having fun, which they often are not, since skiing involves so many moving parts that can become incredibly frustrating at any point of the vacation.


Skiing is incredibly fun, but for me, it should only be fun. The moment it begins to have any trace of angst, frustration, or tightness in your chest is the moment you should take a step back and breathe. A vacation is supposed to be a time to get away from the travails of everyday life, and experience something new and unique together. For most, a ski vacation is just that, but for the uninitiated, it can be a real workout resulting in sore limbs, a frustrated psyche, and a tinge of regret for not booking that trip to the Caribbean. For whatever reason, posing for a photograph has the curious affect of bringing these emotions to the fore. If nothing else, it's fun to watch.