We Went Snowboarding in the Backcountry for Locals Only: Colorado

There are two kinds of residents in Summit County, Colorado: the locals, who live there all year round, and the out-of-towners, who in spite of flying in and out own 67% of the homes there.

City slickers from both coasts are willing to drop a bomb on a second mortgage here, though, for a ton of reasons. There are four major ski resorts here, just a few hours from Denver Airport, and the weather—seriously, Summit County gets about the same number of bright, sunshiney days as another place that makes a much bigger deal about it, Los Angeles.

It’s not unusual to see people like Danny Davis or Scotty Lago in town for one of the major competitions, like Dew Tour or the Burton US Open. Plus, the people are so friendly it will make your face hurt from smiling.

It’s just for such a peaceful place, it can get a little busy.

Just like any self-respecting New Yorker would never voluntarily hang out in Times Square, Summit County locals try as much as possible to kick it away from the crowds on their time off.

This means, heading away from the resorts into the back country, where you usually need a snowmobile (or “sled) to get access. Usually they head out with a crew, because away from the resorts there’s a very real danger of avalanches—but that’s the price you pay for unlimited, undiscovered features to find and conquer.

For this installment of Locals Only, we strapped on our avalanche beacons and headed out with two Summit County photographers, Nate Nieto and Ryan J Sheetz. On a perfect day in March, they took us to a spot that’s popular among locals, including an untouched feature overlooking a lake called—actually, we can’t tell you that, sorry. That information is strictly locals-only.

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