When I called Bernard “Bernie” Rosow this week to talk about skiing, he was ironically in the middle of a trip to scalding-hot Venice Beach, California—visiting his girlfriend, basking in the sun and thawing out from an absolutely historic winter in The Golden State. And I was glad to hear this because, if anyone deserves such rest, it’s Bernie. Let me explain.
By night, this charismatic, scruffy, die-hard skier drives snowcats for Mammoth Mountain and sleeps for a handful of hours, at most. (“I can come down here to Venice Beach and sleep on the beach all summer,” he says.) By day, he wakes up at the crack of dawn to ski the lines dreams are made of—sometimes at his place of work, but often out of bounds, throughout the Sierra Range. The bio on his Instagram page says it best: “I run snowcats so I can ski everyday.”
The bio doesn’t lie. Go for a scroll through this guy’s feed and you’ll find some of the most impressive and consistent content in all of skiing. Period. Over and over and over again, Bernie uploads video-game-like POV videos from his skiing experiences that blow viewers away. And while he’s not the kind of guy who likes to social-media-brag about the rad shit he does—something that’s all too common in the world of skiing—sharing these experiences via Instagram is something thousands and thousands of people have shown deep appreciation for.
“There’s no plan. I don’t have saved footage, I’m not filming for a movie. I’m not holding any of it back. I don’t have a fucking clue what I’m doing tomorrow. I’m going to go skiing as much as I can, and I’m going to find the best conditions I can find and ski whatever I can ski. It’s crazy to me because, I’ll start looking back at it, and it’s like, ‘Holy shit, it’s just amazing how this has all unfolded.’ But I really don’t know what’s next—just like everyone who’s watching doesn’t know what’s next,” he happily admits.
This season has been particularly significant in Bernie’s eyes because it marked the end of an absolutely historic drought in California. Following a solid four years of struggle, Mammoth and its surrounding area have received well over 60 feet of snow this season, which is truly difficult to comprehend. But instead of pondering over this abundance of snow, Bernie’s shredding the shit out of it every single day.
“I don’t get to just travel and find great snow, so I was stuck without good conditions during years that, to me, should have been some of my most prime,” Bernie, now 36, explains. “You feel like opportunities are slipping through your fingers when you should be in your prime and you should be developing your skiing. After years of that, I have this overwhelming desire to not let anything slip through my fingers anymore.” [caption]Photo: Christian Pondella
[caption]Photo: Christian Pondella
It’s been a season to remember for Bernie, indeed, and it’s not even over yet. When I asked if he plans to continue finding lines throughout the summer, he just laughed and said, nonchalantly, “I’ll be skiing all year, dude.”
But as the “regular” season winds down, Bernie’s found some time to reflect a bit, and single out his five favorite lines from the historic year. On page two of this article, in no particular order, he explains the stories behind all five—their locations ranging from inbounds at Mammoth to the nearby Sierra backcountry to new territory in South Lake Tahoe. So sit back, relax and dive into the lifestyle of Bernie Rosow for a little while, because it’s one you’ll likely want to emulate as soon as you’re done watching and reading. But, before you quit your job, move to Mammoth and actually attempt to be like Bernie, take these words of his into consideration:
“It’s easy for people to watch these videos and kind of not understand how many years of skiing experience and education goes into it all. And while a lot of people can eventually go out and do this stuff, it’s really important for everyone to start small. When they’re watching this stuff, I want them to know I’ve been skiing for 34 years and this is a culmination of many experiences. You can do this stuff for the rest of your life and there’s no need to rush. Just because you watch a video of a dude jumping into the top of a couloir doesn’t mean you start there.”