Profile: Andrew Snow
Director Of Mountain Services Shoots To Ski 100 Months In A RowBOLTON VALLEY, VT (10/1/2011) -
Andrew Snow never set out to ski 100 months in a row. But as he approached month number 90, he was too close to 100 to call it quits. Always one to try to push the ski season as long as possible for himself, Snow, the director of mountain services at Bolton Valley, has logged days at the bookends of the winter season in Vermont, headed down under during the summer and has made treks to Colorado and Mt. Hood to keep his streak alive. If successful, he’ll hit the century mark in March 2012.
Here’s how the story goes:
“In the spring of 2004, an Australian co-worker at Mad River Glen convinced me that there was actually snow in Australia and that it would be fun to spend the following ’summer‘ skiing & working at a resort down under,” said Snow. “I wasn’t scheduled to fly to Australia until that July, but reading about a Memorial Day rail jam at Stowe got me thinking that it would be pretty cool that I could ski all 12 calendar months of the year if I made some turns in June. So that’s when the quest to ski every month started. A few days later, I went to Stowe, hiked over to the remnants of their halfpipe and found a friend and MRG coworker of mine doing laps on the remaining patch of snow. I joined him for a bit of silly skiing and June was in the books. In July, I headed to Mount Hotham in southeastern Australia, and an above-average season kept me skiing through October.
“I had so much fun during my first winter in Australia that I jumped at the opportunity to go back for a second when my boss there offered me a sponsored work visa. At that point, while I was working back-to-back winters, I decided to keep the streak going and continue skiing every month. Most times it was pretty easy to do, since my work calendar kept me in almost eternal winter.”
To keep the streak alive, Snow did deal with some of mother’s nature’s challenges—lack of snow—but managed to find about 211 vertical feet of kiddie terrain in Australia one October and another patch of “mixture” of snow, frozen grass and mud that allowed him to link turns down under one June after the resort’s unusually late first natural snowfall of the season.
This past summer was the first that Snow decided to stick around in Vermont, posing another challenge to find snow stateside during the country’s warmer months. He headed to Arapahoe Basin in Colorado in May and June, made turns at Mt. Bachelor over Fourth of July weekend headed back to Oregon for August turns at Mount Hood and bagged the month of September with a trip to Chile. At press time he is considering his options for October and has his eye on Arapahoe Basin and their usual October opening.
“Waiting in JFK airport to fly out to Denver this past June, I questioned if I was making the trip just to feed some obsession with reaching a number,” said Snow. “But once I got off I-70 in Summit County and started making my way up towards A-Basin, I was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning: the sun was shining, there was still a ton of snow at the higher elevations, temperatures were cool but forecasted to reach the 50s or 60s, and I was skiing in June. I had two of the best days of spring skiing of the season, and I wouldn’t have been there if it hadn’t been for the quest for 100 months. It was even worth flying on two red-eyes in three days!”
As his quest continues, Snow has to face reality that the day job must be attended to. In the winter he oversees lift operations, ticket checking, ticket sales, guest services, rentals, retail, and the resort’s volunteer Mountain Host program. This past summer he worked with the finance team to revise and improve the point-of-sale systems, procedures and reports. He is now patiently waiting for the first flake to fly at Bolton.
Bolton Valley Resort is Vermont’s most convenient and affordable big mountain skiing. Less than 10 minutes from I-89 and less than 30 minutes from Burlington, the family-friendly mountain offers skiers and riders of all abilities three mountain peaks with 70 trails and 6 lifts, plus 3 terrain parks including the Burton Progression Park. Bolton Valley is the first in Vermont and the second in the U.S. to implement wind power as an energy source and is the recipient of the National Ski Areas Association’s 2010 Silver Eagle Award for environmental initiatives. Approximately 88km of high elevation Nordic terrain, a complete Sports Center and Indoor Amusement Center plus Vermont’s most extensive top-to-bottom night skiing and riding are just a few of the extras available to guests. All-inclusive, true ski-to-your-door lodging packages from $79/person/night. For more information visit www.boltonvalley.com or call 877-9BOLTON.