Ski Bum of the Year - Ski Mag

Ski Bum of the Year

Chris Tatsuno, winner of the Powder Highway’s Ultimate Ski Bum Contest, sat down with us at last week in Denver to talk about his first day of free heli-skiing and visiting British Columbia’s best resorts. What does the world’s biggest ski bum forecast in his future? Tatsuno shares details about his Warren Miller segment, more heli-skiing, and his webisodes.
Chris Tatsuno

Three months of free lift tickets at all of the resorts in British Columbia’s Kootenay Range, paid hotels, a rental SUV, plus heli and cat skiing on the Powder Highway’s bill; as the winner of the Powder Highway Ultimate Ski Bum Contest (click here to see the winning video and others), this is Chris Tatsuno’s life for the next two months. With one month behind him and two more to go, Tatsuno talks about the slow pace of Canada, not paying rent, and showing up in Denver after a month of powder in British Columbia.

So, tell us where you have skied so far?
My life as the Ultimate Ski Bum started on January 1, 2010. Since then I have skied Revelstoke (where I competed in the Canadian Freeskiing event), Kicking Horse, Red Mountain, and one day of heli-skiing at Purcell, just outside of Golden. It was my first time in a helicopter and we ended up skiing a lot of low angle powder, but I finally saw the demographics of people buying these trips. The dichotomy between the freeskiing competitions and the skiers paying for heli-skiing became obvious. We all love the same sport, but live in different worlds.

What would your world be like without winning this contest?
Before entering [the contest] I bought an RV with a friend and planned to travel around following the freeskiing competitions. Then a friend from the TGR forums clued me into the Ultimate Ski Bum contest. At first, I was considering not submitting a video because I have been living the ski bum life on my own. Then I realized there was heli-skiing involved and that sealed the deal.

Besides the heli-skiing, what else is different than your average season ski bumming?
I received a small SUV for the three months on the Powder Highway and at one point had two people with me, so there were three of us crammed in with our skis and camera gear. I am used to having my van or an RV, which is where I live during the winter. It’s funny; I haven’t paid rent since graduating from college.

Did you retire the Tats Van (Tatsuno’s van that he has been traveling in for the past couple of seasons)?
I actually decided to drive the van into British Columbia before I started my three months on the Powder Highway. Recently I met up with a few Kiwi girls whose van had broken down on their way back to Fernie, so I loaned them the Tats Van. Consequently, it is somewhere in Canada; hopefully in Fernie. I figured this was a good way to pay it forward as a ski bum. I am sure my van will break down someday.

What are your plans for the rest of your stint in BC?
At some point I will be meeting with Tom Day from Warren Miller to film a segment. My girlfriend’s birthday is in March so she will be coming to visit. Other than that, skiing powder, heli-skiing, and creating webisodes documenting my adventures. The Powder Highway and this trip have already exceeded my expectations.

Check out Tatsuno’s blog here:


Hjertas in Revelstoke

The Ultimate Ski Bum

One December 1, skier Chris Tatsuno was announced the winner of the Powder Highway Ultimate Ski Bum Contest, which will give him three months of free skiing and travel around BC's Powder Highway. We have his winning YouTube entry, plus a few more of our favorite videos.

Sun Peaks

The Year of the Bum

As if one Canadian ski bum contest wasn’t enough, Sun Peaks ski resort in British Columbia announces the second ski-bumming contest for this winter.

Revelstoke, British Columbia, first developed as a transcontinental railroad boomtown in the late 1800s.  It faded and became a sleepy logging town for the next 100 years.  But last winter, Revelstoke Mountain Resort opened and the town's second boom officially hit.  The master plan: develop the only ski resort in the world to offer lift, cat-, and heli-skiing right from the village, and over the next 15 years, develop lifts, a projected 10,000 acres of terrain, and the longest run in North America at 5,620 vertical feet.  Photographer Matthew Scholl was there on opening day; click "Next" to see what he captured. Above: Skier Colin Puskas.

Casting Call for All Ski Bums

Do you live in your van, eat PBJs, and live the life of an unemployed ski fanatic? If so, you’re qualified to enter the Powder Highway Ski Bum contest, where you can win lift tickets, heli-skiing, hotel rooms, and more along Canada’s best ski route.

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Traveling With The Circus

Can a series of webisodes launch Will Wesson and Andy Parry from ski bums to TV stars? Line Team Manager Josh Malczyk weighs in.

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Rad Boob Ski Calendar

If it works for Sports Illustrated, it’s got to work for the ski world. The Rad Boob ski calendar, which was put together to raise money for breast cancer awareness, highlights the more desirable talents of some of the ski industry’s favorite females.

Salomon Freeski TV

Salomon Freeski TV Shadows Ski Bum Jeremy McLure

The newest episode from Salomon takes us to a dirty ski bum's apartment in Whistler, BC. There's also some good ski action. We got creator Mike Douglas' take on ski bums and the TV series' mission.

Redommain Peak

Skiing China with Ingrid Backstrom

Pro freeskier Ingrid Backstrom recently climbed and skied China’s Redommain with photographer Jimmy Chin and North Face teammates Kasha Rigby and Giulia Monego. We spoke to her about base camp, skiing on belay, and urine bottles.

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Five-Question Interview: Henrik Winstedt

Professional big-mountain skier Henrik Winstedt spends his winter chasing the World Freeride Tour and filming for his personal documentary, Exploded View, which premieres this month.We spoke to him about being a new dad, signing with Salomon, and not owning a car.