Guest Post by Keegan Waller
Through a mix of literary journalism and memoir in Powder Days: Ski Bums, Ski Towns and the Future of Chasing Snow, Heather Hansman asks the question: is the ski town dream dead, and did it ever exist in the first place? Hansman uses her own connections and experiences as a former ticket checker, ski patroller, and restaurant worker in a Colorado ski town to tell a story of the realities of working-class skiers who are still “living the dream.”
“We moved to the mountains and let the other facets of our lives fall into place from there.” In dispelling the common perceptions of the archetypical ski bum, Hansman paints a picture of communities in crisis due to stagnant wages and rising housing costs, mental health issues among ski industry workers, racial tensions, and the ever-looming threat of disappearing snow due to climate change. All framed by her nostalgic, months-long road trip to ski towns across the country. Anyone who has ever loaded everything they owned into their car and moved to a ski town – or even considered doing so after a weekend on the slopes – will find something to relate to in Powder Days.
Powder Days: Ski Bums, Ski Towns and the Future of Chasing Snow by Heather Hansman. Hanover Square Press, November 2021.
Reviewer bio: Keegan Waller is a graduate student in Utah State’s creative writing program. His writing has been featured in Door is a Jar, Boston Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @keeg_wall.