Ski Bum for Life | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Ski Bum for Life

The Source talks business with local snow fanatics

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.

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