eat for free and ski

Ski bums are called ski bums for a reason. It is because we are bums. This does not necessarily mean that we are homeless or disheveled and destitute, but ski bums can think like real bums and find a meal where others might not think to look. Even a skier/boarder with a steady job knows to stay away from on-mountain food. The rip off factor is simply too high to warrant buying anything except in the most extreme cases of hunger.

The solution then is the ancient culinary art of condiment sandwiches and age-old technique of leftover-snatching. It is the same at every ski area, just subtle tweaks and maybe an extra hot sauce option helps hungry shredders get a bite to eat in any lodge.

eat for free and ski

A condiment sandwich is simple, easy, and the possibilities are endless. Just snag a handful or fill your hoodie pockets up with soup cracker packets and then stop by the condiment bar to scout your buffet options. A safe and savory option is relish and hot sauce. BBQ sauce is always a winner but more difficult to come by. If you need some calories and have a sweet tooth, then get some butter squares and spread it with honey on an open-face cracker. Then chase it down with a glass of milk from the coffee station. Remember, no combination is frowned upon, be creative it might work.

eat for free

Enough condiment sandwiches and enough time may cure your hunger, but I see this as a way to bide time for the real meal. Like playing the penny slots while waiting to rob the casino.

eat free and ski

Always be aware of the kid a few tables away who certainly can’t finish the burger that is bigger than his head. Check every fry basket that people didn’t have room or time for. And be quick and shameless when the time comes to snag these golden opportunities because others like you have probably spotted the same meal. Some lodges have staff clearing trays and if the employee is not cool with you asking them for the food that they are going to throw away then get to the tray before it is picked up. Other Places have convenient “food towers” where trays are cleared to. This is the best-case scenario because dozens of “finished” meals are stacked and waiting in a single place.

eat for free and ski

Bread bowls are very popular with people who are getting ripped off on the hill so learn how to get the most out of a leftover edible soup bowl. They look messy and torn up, but there is plenty of good, untouched, and chili-soaked bread on the discarded bowls; people never eat the bread bowl.

eat for free and ski

To many, the above lessons are common knowledge and daily routine, but it is important to recognize that the same level of vultureism is practiced at all ski resorts, and it is this creative scrounging that gives rippers everywhere the fuel to finish out the day.

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Skip to minute 2 to see this exact skill in action eat for free while you ski





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  1. Chason Tail says:

    I’ve been getting the 5 finger discount from the Roundhouse since I was born. Now they are going to catch on.

  2. Ski Bum 2.0 says:

    The towers at Whistler are the best thing ever!

  3. Miles Clark says:

    I’ve gotta admit. I was on this program for a long time. And, I still do the crackers thing. Ski bum habits are tough to grow out of. Fun article Gnar Char.

  4. Jim Scott says:

    I keep a Costco size jar of PB and a loaf of bread in my car. Some jelly packets from the lodge and I have a fresh PB&J on the lift. I may be able to afford it now but I will be god damned if I pay $15 for a crappy lodge burger. Oh – and $10 for a can of beer – no thanks, I got my own ;-)

  5. muddy buddy says:

    brings back fond memories. always look for kids at a pizza place. Parents always buy them a whole pizza and they never eat it all.

  6. John Parker says:

    Whipped cream and saltines man, all time. And you don’t have to worry about catching herpes from leftovers.

  7. Tahoe Life says:

    wow..never knew whistler was this dirt nasty

  8. smelly bum says:

    nasty indeed… you would eat that old slimy breadbowl?!?…GROSS! I always put my buggers in there after I pick them… enjoy scummy!


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