The False Summit: Ski Resorts To Begin To Feed Ski Bums Leftover Lodge Meals

words :: Ben Osborne

Newest sustainability commitment sure to shake up lodges across North America


In an admirable move in the name of Mother Earth, The Ski And Snowboard Resort Management Union Of North Ameriac (SASRMUNA) has inspired us yet again. Being one of the largest ski resort conglomerates in the world comes with a great deal of power over plenty of ski bums. Being a skier and being a bum isn’t easy— and it definitely means you are hungry often. While every resort holds it’s own policies on the Saltine Diet (Whistler-Blackcomb practically protects theirs with armed guards), we haven’t yet heard of any resort locking down on the art of scavenging.

Scavenging, or the art of eating the leftovers of a typically more wealthy fellow lodgeman or woman, is a long practised art of ski bums all over the world. As the better-off skier or snowboarder eats their delicious plate of poutine, the scavenger has a few options: They can either blatantly ask—”You gonna finish that?”, or sneakily watch from across the lodge to pounce on the leftovers when they become available.

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Either way, the ethos is clear: anything goes. Half-eaten Pho, one bite left of a Snickers bar, or even the last four fries of a plate of poutine. Scavenging is scrappy, gritty, and frankly a bit disgusting. But, things are about to get better for the scavengers.

“I once found an entire waffle, with bacon at the Crystal Hut. You think that came from some little maggot who works for some coroprate punks finding it for me? Hell no.”

With the recent announcement of their newest initiative to attempt to reach zero waste, carbon, and net emissions goal, SASRMUNA is doubling down. The pilot program dubbed The Scavenger Per Diem, set to be tested in the coming final month of the season, is slotted to be fully implemented for the entire 2019-2020 season with a press release showing plenty of excitement, hope, and eagerness to help the environment and community alike:

From Chairman Bob Dilsnerian:

“We are proud of the new Scavenger Per Diem. Not only are we showing a commitment to zero waste across all resorts, but we also wanted to show we are doing something for the local community. I mean, trust me—I was never a ski bum. But I’ve seen those poor, lanky kids in their baggy jackets staring down some 7-year-old in the lodge, just praying he doesn’t eat the rest of his chicken fingers. And I feel for them. I don’t want that poor kid to go hungry, I don’t want that little kid in ski school to be scared out of eating his lunch, and I definitely want to strive for our zero waste goal. It’s a win-win-win.”

The program will allow for each season pass holder to purchase (price is yet to be determined) a daily pass into a scavenging specific room located in each lodge at participating ski resorts. Employees working at the lodge will be instructed to gather partially eaten dishes left in the lodge immediately after the guest leaves, and bring it to the scavenging room.

In an effort to maintain cleanliness and health, employees will then inspect the food, combine it into “the cleanest, most presentable dishes possible”, and from there the ski bums will have their pick. The food will be curated by a designated employee whose sole job is to organize plates for the bums.

Glacier Creek Lodge, Whistler, BC
The scavengers arena. A thing of beauty, yet so complicated.

“I’m excited about it. I always wanted to be a sous chef in a ski lodge, but I kind of got pigeonholed into janitorial duties. With my new job as head food curator, I get to organize dishes for people who need it. I couldn’t be more excited”, says Jan Offten, Head of Scavenged Food at a participating resort yet to be named.

While this will create a new, exciting job for plenty of employees across North America, not everyone is happy about it. We reached out to Burt Ozzington, one of Whistler-Blackcomb’s most iconic ski bums.

“Is anything real any more? I mean, I gave up my ticket wickets. I let snowboarders come onto my resort. Now this? I once scavenged an entire waffle with bacon at the Crystal Hut. You think that came from some little maggot finding it for me? I don’t need this program and it better not be coming to Whistler”

No matter what side you’re on, this is sure to shake up the leftovers game at resorts across North America. Will the employees be quick enough to grab the plates before rogue scavengers can get to them? Who says anyone will even abide by the rules? What will this do to the relationship between the paying customer vs. the scavenger? If you weren’t already looking forward to next winter folks, this should do the trick—it’s going to be a fun one. -ML

Not ready to wait until next season to see this revolutionary new program in action? Visit the website to read all about it. 

Editors Note: The False Summit is a satirical column to laugh at all the awesome things about mountain culture.