Dean Decas

Ski Bums Forever​

There is an old ski bum joke that goes like this….

Q: “What do jail and ski resorts have in common”?

A: “You do 3-5 months, 3-5 years or life”!

For those of us who are “lifers” to the “Ski Bum” lifestyle, that joke hits close to home.

In 1994, for the Warren Miller’s “Vertical Reality” Dean Decas and I jumped out of the Cannon Mountain tramway for the film. Dean was then and is today one of the most committed ski bums I have had the privilege know, travel and ski with. Dean was a die-hard east coast ripper who hailed from Killington Vermont via his childhood home in Cape Cod Massachusetts. Dean then moved to Squaw Valley and from the late 80’s to the early 90’s Dean Decas was a fixture in the Squaw Valley culture. He skied with the hard-core local crew, they skied all conditions every day.

At that time VHS video camera, was the GoPro of the day, then came the miniVHS, then came the Hi8 camera, and Dean always had the latest version of video camera in his pack. He and his crew filmed all the time, and they reviewed the tapes every night, rewinding and replaying their favorite moments of the day past and present.

In 1991 the Xteam Advance Ski Clinics were launched and ran for over 15 years with Rob and Eric DesLauriers and the Egan Brothers. The clinics included video review of the client’s progress and our camera man was Dean Decas. Dean quickly became a coach with the four brothers, and we ran camps and clinics in Vermont, Colorado, Canada, South America and Europe. He has skied in front of the lens for Straight Up Films, EEN, Warren Miller and Dogs of Winter as well as countless others. He has been featured on NESN, ESPN, MTV and other media outlets.
In the mid 90’s we landed in Chamonix France for a clinic and Dean found his home. The town fit him like a glove within a few seasons we were referring to him as the “Mayor of Chamonix”. Over the years I have traveled with Dean to the Arctic, all across Europe, and South America and every time I have arrived with him and he has found ways and means to stay behind and soak up the experience a bit longer always finding the local crew who live to ski and ski to live.

Dean is widely known throughout the ski community as the “Greek” and along with his fellow ski addict Tony Stradler, known as “SwissTony” to the Chamonix locals, they are both featured in this new video by Black Crow Skis.

It’s a great tribute to those “lifers” who live to ride and ride to live.