In Search of Powder: A Story of America’s Disappearing Ski Bum

December 4, 2013 - Comment

As a recent college graduate and fledging newspaper reporter in the Lake Tahoe area, Jeremy Evans became immersed in ski bum culture—a carefree lifestyle whose mantra was simply: “Ski as much as possible.” His snowboarding suffered when he left for a job in the Portland area; and when, at twenty-six, he suffered a stroke, he

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As a recent college graduate and fledging newspaper reporter in the Lake Tahoe area, Jeremy Evans became immersed in ski bum culture—a carefree lifestyle whose mantra was simply: “Ski as much as possible.” His snowboarding suffered when he left for a job in the Portland area; and when, at twenty-six, he suffered a stroke, he reexamined his priorities, quit his job, moved back to Tahoe, and threw himself into snowboarding. But while he had been away, the culture had changed. This book is Evans’s paean to the disappearing culture of the ski bum. A fascinating look at a world far removed from the larger culture, it is also a curious account of a passion for powder and what its disappearance means. Evans looks at several prominent ski towns in the West (including Crested Butte, Jackson Hole, Telluride, Lake Tahoe, Park City, and Mammoth) and the ski bums who either flourished or fled. He chronicles the American West transformed by rising real estate costs, an immigrant workforce, misguided values, and corporate-owned resorts. The story he tells is that of quintessentially American characters—rejecting materialism, taking risks, following their own path—and of the glories and pitfalls their lifestyle presents.

Comments

Victor Locke says:

Ski bums and ski towns, where they’ve been and where they’re going. A must read If you live in or near a ski community you will immediately identify with the stories Jeremy Evans tells in this book. He provides an introspective look at the lives of avid skiers (ski bums), the communities in which they live and ski, and the impacts of resort growth on both the communities and those individuals. Jeremy’s writing style makes this an enjoyable, relaxing read. But it is also an eye opener to what happens to resort communities as ski areas strive to survive. As a journalist of 40-years, I appreciate Jeremy’s depth of story telling (reporting). He obviously beat the bushes to uncover and tell this story, and the stories of each character contained within this book. It may not be made into a movie, but if you ski, live in a ski area, have interests in ski resorts, or are concerned about the future of ski areas, our mountains, and our nation’s beauty you will enjoy “In Search of Powder: A Story of America’s Disappearing Ski Bum. It will both entertain you, and open…

J. Klein says:

Live to ski For anyone who lives in or near a major ski town, this is a good read that they will be able to relate to. For anyone who once enjoyed the ski-bum life and ever wondered why it can’t be done like the good-ole days, this is a good read. The author explores the ever-changing economics of how the ski-bum life got squeezed out over time. His travels to ski towns give the book good local color. The stories told by former ski-bum types in addition to those who have worked for or in the ski industry are fun reads. Bottom line, it’s all about having a good time and living life to the fullest. The ski bum life of the 1970s and 1980s might be a gone, but this book shows that this is a life that continues to evolve.

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