7 Rules to Survival in Summit County

Words by Darin Evangelista

Summit Survivalartimg

So you and your closest buddies are road tripping to Colorado for a week of gnar hunting. Maybe you’re from the Midwest and Colorado was as far west as you could make it. Maybe you want to buy your weed from the store, the legit way. Maybe your friends don’t spend enough time on Yobeat to know Summit County is too chyll to be cool. Maybe you’ve never been surrounded by Saga or CandyGrind and want to know what it’s like. No matter the reason, you’re going to need help if you want to make it out alive. Here are 7 tips on how to survive in Summit County, Colorado.

1. Stay in Denver


Before you head up to the high country in search of parks and powder, spend a night in Colorado’s capitol city. Everything in Summit County is going to be more expensive than in Denver, so stock up on groceries and ganja (still illegal to buy in some mountain towns). At the end of your trip, it is important to spend a night in the city on your way out of the Rockies; this will help ease you back into the reality and remind you what it’s like to be around real people as opposed to resort folk.

2. Avoid Weekends and Holidays


Everyone in Colorado knows the weekend traffic on I-70 and Highway 6 can really suck. Try to plan your trip so you’re in Summit during the weekday. Be especially wary around Christmas and Spring Break, the last place you want to find yourself is stuck in a crowd of CU-Boulder kids on break. On that note, avoid anyone with Buffalo affiliations like the plague, their trust-funded stoner attitude can be a major buzz kill to your vacation.

3.Visit Late in the season


An even better way to avoid the crowds is to visit after your local resort has closed for the season. Many Colorado resorts stay open well into April and May; Arapahoe Basin is usually open until June or even July. None of the weekend warriors from the front range will be driving up to the slopes when it’s 76 degrees and sunny in the city. You may not be able to hit the pow you’ve been dreaming about (you might if you’re lucky), but there is something special about riding a slushy park in a hooded sweatshirt. The parking lot parties are also much more fun in the springtime.

4.Try Different Resorts

They get a lot of hate, but it is undeniable that Vail and the rest of the Vail Resorts are home to some of the best terrain in Colorado. Despite this, there are plenty other resorts out there, most of which will be cheaper, less crowded and less kooky. If you must go to Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge etc., Rule #2 is a must. Also remember to buy your lift tickets in advance to save some extra cash. I won’t suggest any resorts because then you might actually go there.

5. Sleep on the Floor


This is pretty much a necessity for any snowboard trip, but even more so in the #1 ski destination in the United States. Unless you have a friend’s couch to surf on, staying in Summit County is expensive. Get a cheap hotel/condo/cabin and cram as many people as possible into that sucker. From my experience, a one bedroom condo can fit around ten people.

6. Go with heavily tinted lenses


You’re going to want to use a goggle lens that is low on the VLT (Visible Light Transmission) spectrum, meaning a darker tint. This will help for two reasons; first, Summit County gets an average of 245 sunny days a year, and at 10,000+ feet those UV rays are killers. Second, a dark lens will soften the brightly colored outfits of the Summit County Fashion Show. So unless you want to be blinded by neon and fluorescent outerwear everywhere you turn, this is a must.

7. Wear headphones


I personally hate wearing headphones while riding, but if you’re one of those assholes, pay attention: Similar to #6, wearing headphones will help drowned out the aural stimuli on the mountain. Lift operators in Colorado love blasting Bassnectar as loud as possible, so if that’s not your thing you are going to want your Neil Young, Slayer or whatever the fuck close by. This also helps avoid any unwanted chairlift discussions with curious vacationers.

And there you have it, the keys to survival in Summit County. Scummit gets a lot of hate because of the serious “douche vibe,” but if you can avoid the crowds and tolerate the dubstep, you’ll have unrivaled access to some of the best parks and powder this great country has to offer. Now, let the hate commence.

31 replies
  1. Krato
    Krato says:

    Damn…Would have been a good read until #7. No one plays ear shattering dub step, and if you are riding by yourself would it kill you to have a decent conversation with other humans?

    Only thing worse than Summit kids are Summit kid haters.

  2. Buster
    Buster says:

    I live in this douche vibe place, and yobeat is pretty accurate, but it is what it is, as long as I can snowboard.

    • DBDUMB
      DBDUMB says:

      DB is right. why ride real mountains when you can go east to ride 300 vf of pure ice? Why? cause we got rope tows and are cool, maaannnn.

  3. Smonryg
    Smonryg says:

    Summit County is Tight. But Tahoe is a way sicker scene. Bay Area Asians are a major kook factor but the pot is good and the scene is mellow. Oh wait it no longer snows in California at all whatsoever.

  4. BetterAdvice
    BetterAdvice says:

    Some real tips for Summit County:

    Make a Plan. Don’t ride the day you get here. Don’t drink keystone ice the day you get here. Energy drinks will not help your altitude sickness. Drink water. Don’t eat ramen and pb&j because you blew all your money on legal weed. When it comes to riding, honestly plan to ride everything besides the park. Have you ever ridden above tree line terrain, bowls, cliffs, powder, etc.? I doubt you have. Plan on riding stuff you can’t ride at home. The rails aren’t any better here than back on your home hill.

    Respect gets respect. Don’t roll into the park or bar like you’re the king of east-coast or mid-west snowboarding. We get it, you snowboard. We don’t want to talk about snowboarding with you. We don’t care about your “sponsors” or some brand you’re starting. Introduce yourself, talk intelligently and be normal. Make new friends and maybe we’ll give you some locals knowledge that’ll will increase your fun and save you some money.

    Look before you leap. Locals ride these parks everyday. You ride a rope tow box line. Just because the Dew Tour was at Breck doesn’t mean you have a bib on and you’re gonna lay down a contest run. No one here cares what’s in your bag of tricks. Shred vacation is definitely not the time to learn some new big tricks. Stick to what you know how to do. Stay safe, don’t get hurt and have a fun time.

    Easy Style It. Don’t wear the giant hoodie you had your mom sew for your big trip out west. Wear outerwear, winter gloves, facemask, helmet, etc. We will not grasp onto your “hometown steeze”…nor do we care. We will not think “he must be good”.

    When you come to Summit/Colorado, be normal and have fun snowboarding. That’s all we ask. Thank you.

  5. HaterMcBaiter
    HaterMcBaiter says:

    here’s some sound advice. Puke in the lift line and then snake people. And only tourists buy weed legally.

  6. Steve the cat
    Steve the cat says:

    #8 get numerous gopros and prepare to showcase your best advanced gaper moves #9 you just paid way too much for pot

  7. Hark
    Hark says:

    Darin, it’s “capital”, not “capitol”. “Capitol” refers to the actual building where state legislation is made. Rookie mistake.

  8. @better advice
    @better advice says:

    you sound like a wang who probably wears arcteryx outerwear because you’re from summit county and you need proshell and totally it doesn’t get cold anywhere else, wang

  9. Everton
    Everton says:

    It’s been 5 years since I was granted a warrant for my arrest in summit county. For snowboarding mind you. It was actually Dillon county now that I think of it. Took all our boards and film equipment. After 7 years apparently the warrant wipes itself clean. Still will not be visiting. Maybe for some greenbacks in the summer though!

  10. clayton shultz
    clayton shultz says:

    Wow u guys r dumbasses. If u haven’t ridden the basin in late June u can’t consider urself a snowboarder the Rockies kick ass

    YOTROLL says:

    Nice troll piece yobeat.

    This to chyll to be cool vibe is everywhere in snowboarding.

    But summit is lame, the front rangers can have it. Enjoy being stuck on I70 all day you sheeple of Denver.

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