Last fall, Columbia launched its inaugural Ski Bum Scholarship contest, calling upon skiers across the U.S. to submit videos—each video serving to answer one simple question: Why should Columbia pick you to spend three months in Dillon, Colorado with everything covered from rent, to ski gear, to lift tickets, to food, to a car, and—of course—airfare, too? After racking up 245 video submissions, with the three most popular receiving 20,000+ votes each, it was 30-year-old Rob Wallace of Knoxville, Tennessee who earned the honor, and the full shreducation to go along with it. And now, in its second year, we’re excited to report the Ski Bum Scholarship is upping the ante in a big way.
For 2013, Columbia is opening the contest to residents of both the U.S. and Canada. The prize package this year includes roundtrip airfare to Vancouver; three months of paid rent for a badass condo in Whistler Village; two season passes to Whistler Blackcomb; a $100 per diem, ensuring you can eat and drink like a boss; two GoPro cameras so you can GTS; two public transportation passes and plenty of Columbia gear to boot. And you may be wondering, “Why two season passes… why two GoPro cameras?” Which brings us to the icing on the cake: The 2013 Scholarship is good for two individuals.
Promo video: 2013 Ski Bum Scholarship, complete w/ a Moosicorn and more
“It’s great to be a ski bum, but it can get a little lonely,” says Scott Trepanier, Columbia’s senior manager of PR and promotions. “We rectified the contest this year and made it so [the winner] can bring a buddy.”
It sounds almost too good to be true. But there’s no catch here. This is pure, unadulterated fun.
“The ski industry is just different… Many of the leaders behind ski companies today start off as ski bums,” said Trepanier. “We want to celebrate that idea, and promote that next big person and say, ‘Hey, your path to greatness in the industry doesn’t necessarily take a traditional path, and if that means you take a three month break to go and ski, that’s great.'”
The entry period to submit videos runs October 21 through December 2. Between December 3 and December 8, folks can vote for their favorite video submissions—the more votes you receive, the more attention you’ll get from the crew at Columbia. Beginning on December 9, the staff at Columbia will review the videos; a winner will be announced anytime on or after December 17. Come the 25th of January, two lucky winners will be on the ground in Whistler, living the ultimate ski bum’s dream, all the way up until April 25.
“We just want people to look at Columbia differently, as a brand that’s having fun,” Trepanier continued. “We are having fun, and we want people to have fun along with us. So, that’s how we are approaching it. We didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously. We really look forward to the video submissions. As a team, we all sit down in a room and watch a few hundred videos and they’re all awesome. That’s a huge reward in and of itself. If we can encourage some more people to share why they like to ski, that helps everybody.”
Entry example: Ski Bum Intervention 2012 starring Aubrey Elliott of McKinney, TX
Columbia is excited to have teamed up with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb—its longstanding partners—for this second annual affair. “We’ve done some great work with Whistler Tourism and Whistler Blackcomb resort over the years,” said Trepanier. “If you’re going to spend three months somewhere, [Whistler] is certainly not a place you’ll get bored.” And we couldn’t agree more.
Whistler—boasting 8,171 acres of skiable terrain, an average of 462 inches of snow per year, 5,280 feet of vert (Blackcomb), 200+ marked runs, 16 bowls, three glaciers, five parks, endless backcountry and a mighty long ski season—just took the #1 Overall Resort ranking in our annual Resort Guide for the ninth straight year.
So, why do you deserve to be Columbia’s next ski bum? Make a video, and be sure to follow the directions posted at skibumscholarship.com. Don’t care to make a video? Or perhaps leaving your post for three months straight just ain’t in the cards? Columbia will also be dishing out tons of free gear via an Instagram sweepstakes. Each week, folks will have an opportunity to win by uploading photos that correspond to a series of themes. Info regarding the sweepstakes can also be found at skibumscholarship.com.
Good luck, all. May the ultimate bum win.
Eligibility: Ski Bum Scholarship Program (the “Contest”) is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia and legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who are at least the nineteen (19) years old at the time of entry (“Contestant”). Be sure to check out the official rules at skibumscholarship.com.