On March 14, the ski resort owner Vail Resorts made an announcement: the company would pay a new minimum wage of $20 per hour across all of its North American properties. This is the story of how the ski patrollers at Park City fought for this change. Focussing on one patroller and his family, Gloria Liu cuts through the bureaucracy to show how what is sold as a dream life is in fact a daily, dangerous, struggle.

During a lift ride back to the shack, we saw two of Andersen’s teammates on the slope below, tending to a young male skier in a red jacket who was sitting on the snow with his skis lying beside him. One of the patrollers was wrapping the skier’s right knee in an orange splint. Andersen’s radio crackled. Dispatch wanted to know if they could get pickup for three medical calls at once; on the other side of the mountain, patrollers were coordinating an emergency helicopter flight.