In cahoots with our Winter Adventure special issue, on Monday, the Source hosted its monthly Media Salon with the intention of chatting with some local professionals who have found a way to make a living and maintain their status as official 21st century ski bums.
Phil Busse (our Editor who has skis in his car at all times and could himself be considered a bit of a professional ski bum) interviewed Pete Alport, a local ski and snowboard photographer and videographer who took the photo on the cover of this week's Source. He explained how he has made a living capturing the action on the mountain, and Diana Fischetti, owner of Broken Top Bottle Shop, chatted about what it has been like to be a lifelong ski bum.
Phil Buse: Define what you mean by ski bum?
Diana Fischetti: In my mid to late 20s I spent four years working at a ski mountain in Colorado and I skied for 30-something months in a row once. August and September were always fun to go out and find snow.
PB: When did skiing start to define your lifestyle?
DF: It was a crisis moment for me. I had been working for the EPA offices in Denver and I didn't want that career path. I moved to Nederland, Colorado, and took a job for $6.30 an hour. I think I have always lived my life doing the 'what ifs.' I had a lot of friends die young. You don't want to be dying at 35, and decide you should have been a ski bum.
PB: What is your role as the owner of Broken Top Bottle Shop in a ski town?
DF: One thing we've been hitting hard this year is crossing over with that. I don't see a specific community oriented around the mountain. Part of it has to do with the diversity of athleticism. People are not only down hill skier or a cross-country skier, they're an Iditarod racer, too. Figuring out how to harness the multi-sport athletic community is important.
PB: Tell us what you do.
Pete Alport: Mostly, I do video. I've changed into photos the last two or three years. What I do for Mt. Bachelor is make web videos for the front page of their website.
PB: Most people go from stills to footage. Why are you going the direction you're going?
PA: I like the permanency of photos. There's so much truth to a picture being worth 1,000 words.
PB: Before, there were only a few Warren Millers, only a few people making it in this industry. Now, there are dozens of people making a living doing what you're doing. Is that evidence that this is a successful industry?
PA: You have to persevere and take your licks all the time. I see a lot of overturn.
PB: What do you do during the summer?
PA: I work for Visit Bend. They're one of my main clients. My job is a Catch-22. I try to make Bend look as cool as I can, but then it brings a bunch of people here. I wonder what I'm doing to the town.