Ski Patrol Boot Packing Program

Date:  Sep 14, 2023

Crested Butte, CO, US

Company:  Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Shift Type:  Holiday Help Winter 2023/2024


Create Your Experience of a Lifetime!


Come work and play in the mountains!  Whether it’s your first-time seeing snow or you were born on the slopes, joining our team means discovering (or re-discovering!) a passion for the outdoors while building lifelong connections with teammates and guests from around the world.


With 40+ resorts across 3 continents, you can join our team for a season or stay to build a career. From day one, you'll receive some of the highest compensation rates in the industry, free Epic pass(es) along with free ski and snowboard lessons, 40% retail discounts, the chance to grow through Epic Service - our leading training and development experience, and wellness benefits to fuel your success.


Job Benefits


  • Ski/Mountain Perks! Free passes for employees, employee discounted lift tickets for friends and family AND free ski lessons 
  • MORE employee discounts on lodging, food, gear, and mountain shuttles
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan 
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Excellent training and professional development
  • Referral Program


Full Time roles are eligible for the above, plus:


  • Health Insurance; Medical Insurance, Dental Insurance, and Vision Insurance plans (for eligible seasonal employees after working 500 hours)
  • Free ski passes for dependents
  • Critical Illness and Accident plans


Job Summary:

The Crested Butte Ski Patrol will be accepting applications for paid boot packing positions to assist the ski patrol with pre-season snow compaction efforts in CBMR avalanche terrain. Crested Butte avalanche terrain is a unique place for skiing and riding and would not be open without the dedicated efforts of our ski patrol and boot packers. You must be an expert skier to apply for this job.


Boot packing is the art of what The Avalanche Handbook calls “stabilization by compaction”. The goal of ski or boot packing is to break through ALL existing layers of snow in the snowpack in “avalanche start zones”. Boot packing or walking down the mountain without skis, compresses layers deep within the snowpack. The breaking down and overall disruption and compaction of early season snowpack layering, results in a much more dense and cohesive snowpack that usually retains adequate strength even during melting. Essentially, boot and ski packing requires walking downhill through various avalanche start zones located on Crested Butte Mountain, mostly without your skis, while compacting the snow.


Boot packing at the ski area involves long days spent outside in severe winter conditions at high altitude. The work is extremely strenuous and is comparable to mountaineering. All the inherent risks of that sport are here, including falls or possible avalanche involvement. Due to the amount of traversing required, snowboards are not suitable for this job.


Job Specifications:

  • Expected Pay Range: $20.00 - $22.76 / hour
  • Shift & Schedule Availability: Part Time, Holiday Help
  • Skill Level: Expert Skier


Job Responsibilities:

  • Hours for this job are 8:45am – 4:15pm; options are to work all day or an AM (8:45-12:15pm) or PM shift (12:45-4:15pm).
  • All hours clocked in are paid but we track boot packing “shifts” in 3 hour increments toward the 60 hours minimum required for this job.
  • Daily lunch break will be a 30 minute automatic deduction from clock in time if you work the whole day.
  • Packing will begin when there is sufficient snow. Due to this requirement, dates of operations may begin or end at any time. In the past we have begun as early as December 1st and tend to finish before mid-February.
  • On average there are 30 total ‘shifts’ available for boot packing each season. You are required to complete any combination of 3 hour shifts for a minimum of 20 shifts. It is up to each boot packer to fit their packing days into the variable days that will be available.  
  • There is no guarantee how many shifts will be available each week and the season could end suddenly.
  • If 60 hours are not completed through the boot packing program you will be required to finish your hours within a secondary department, likely Lift Operations and scanning.
  • Emails are sent regularly to inform boot packers of possible shifts as they become available.
  • All packers are encouraged to show up for as many days as possible and we require a minimum of 4 packers for any shift to go into the field for boot packing.
  • Other duties as assigned


Job Requirements:

  • You must be an expert skier capable of moving safely through very rocky and steep terrain often with very little snow.
  • You must have adequate, working, modern ski equipment (your equipment will get very used).
  • You must be willing and able to walk on and over rocks in your skis or in your ski boots.
  • You must work a minimum of 60 paid hours but not exceed 120 paid hours; this is considered a “holiday help” job that has very irregular hours and scheduling.
  • You must have a flexible 7-day-a-week schedule starting in mid-December through early February, dictated by the often-unpredictable nature of the weather and snowpack in conjunction with our overall ski area operational objectives.
  • In addition to boot packing, packers may be required to assist with on mountain work projects. These projects may include but will not be limited to shoveling and carrying up to 25# of gear while riding surface lifts.


Job Suggested/Required Gear:

  • All ski gear must function properly and pass an equipment check at the start of the season.
  • A sturdy soled ski boot is required. Alpine touring boots or telemark boots are the ideal footwear.
  • A modern avalanche beacon (less than 5 years old) must be worn each shift. If you do not have an avalanche beacon, one will be assigned to you for use during your work shift.
  • Full winter clothing able to withstand entire days outside.
  • Packers are responsible for their own lunch and water and must have a suitable backpack for carrying personal gear, which could include personal avalanche gear.
  • Boot packers will receive an employee season Pass and are not eligible for any dependent passes or discount passes due to holiday help job description.
  • All packers will be required to wear their company provided safety vest for every boot packing shift.


The expected pay range is $20.00 - $22.76. This is the pay range we reasonably expect to pay for this position. Individual compensation decisions are based on a variety of factors.


Vail Resorts is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or any other status protected by applicable law.


Requisition ID  498001
Reference Date: 09/14/2023 
Job Code Function: Trail Maintenance 

Nearest Major Market: Colorado