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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.