A couple of skiers gawk in awe at the Maui Ski Bus. In a way, it’s every skier’s dream. Hop on a bus, tour ski resorts, and ski day after day. Steve Fisher is doing just that.
This past weekend, Fisher rolled his bright yellow Maui Ski Bus complete with the Hawaiian flag, a pirate flag, surfboard fins, and dogs with lei collars into Whitefish Mountain Resort. Fisher is well on his way to hitting 100 resorts this season, with Whitefish being number 71.
The list of the ski resorts he visits are tallied in several places — on his blue ski jacket that also sports a yellow spray painted “Maui Ski Bus,” a map on the ceiling of the bus, a growing number of stickers and lift tickets on the rim of the ceiling, and a list on the outside of the bus.
He has no idea if he’s setting some kind of record in hitting 100 ski resorts. He just skis, hands out Maui Ski Bus stickers, talks to kids, laughs, and revels in chatting with people. He drops in unannounced on the ski patrols and gives them Maui Ski Bus playing cards. He loads his pockets with stickers and arm bands to hand out to kids.
Fisher handed out stickers to kids at Whitefish Mountain Resort last weekend. Photo by Becky Lomax.
In his travels across the West, he’s hit ski resorts with abundant powder and those struggling with low snow. Fisher says, “Some ski resorts haven’t had much snow, but I’m impressed with what the groomers were able to do with it. They can take smaller snowfall and turn it around into an acceptable ski slope, and no one sees them."
In Montana, Fisher skied eight of the state’s resorts — Lookout Pass, Montana Snowbowl, Lost Trail, Moonlight Basin, Big Sky Resort, Bridger Bowl, Blacktail Mountain, and Whitefish. He also donned cross-country skis for two Bozeman Nordic areas.
The names of the ski resorts visited are written on Fisher's blue ski jacket. Photo by Becky Lomax.
So what’s the hardest thing about bumming around ski resorts in a bus? Apparently, getting up in the morning.
Fisher says, “Getting out of a warm bed in the morning when it is 10 degrees inside the Maui Ski Bus is hard, but I switch my mind and realize it is easy compared to what the Indians did when they lived in the west in tepees. I know it's cold when the water in the dog bowl freezes."
Fisher's two dogs are traveling with him to ski resorts. Photo by Becky Lomax.
Then, he thinks for a minute and adds another difficulty.
Fisher says, “The actual hardest part of this whole adventure is not being able to stretch and do yoga on a nice warm carpeted floor after a hard day of skiing. Hanging upside down does help.” Then, he demonstrates by hanging upside down from a bar mounted in the Maui Ski Bus.
In addition to skiing 100 resorts this winter, he is also supporting two charities — Livestrong and Maui United Way. He’s also trying to draw attention to the ski resorts he visits.
Steve Fisher plans to ski 100 resorts this winter, ending his travels in Tahoe. Photo by Becky Lomax.
Fisher launched his trip in late November in California and plans to wrap up his ski travels by Easter at Tahoe. He’s currently traveling in Alberta and British Columbia, but aims to hit the big Washington and Oregon resorts in late March.
Fisher says, “This adventure isn’t about me. I’m a frustrated ski bum living on a tropical island, but promoting individual ski resorts, two charities, and an active lifestyle.”
You can follow the travels of Fisher and the Maui Ski Bus here with his blog.