Christy Sports The Ridge Report
A Blog About Everything Skiing & Snowboarding in Colorado & Utah
Ski Trip Travel Tips

One of my favorite parts of winter is our annual family ski trip.

While we ski most winter weekends (a definite perk of living in Colorado), spring break is when we venture further afield, if not afar, to sample new mountains and new resorts.

While planning a ski vacation should be fun, it also requires some work and attention to detail.

Today, we share some tips for planning your best winter getaway.

Dream

We all have lists of ski resorts we’d love to visit. We also have lists of favorite resorts we return to again and again.

When planning a ski vacation, you have to choose between the familiar and beloved and adventuring to a new destination.

Start with who will be going on the trip.

If children are coming, how old are they? Do you need services like childcare or ski school? While almost all resorts have dedicated programs for children, some, like Snowmass and Keystone, specialize in families.

If this is a girls’ trip, is it all about skiing or do you want shopping and spa, too? If skiing will be front and center, you might look into a women’s ski week or camp at somewhere like Alta.

While I’ve obviously never been on a guys’ ski trip, I hear it’s all about skiing, drinking and eating.

So here’s a question for the men: Do you want to be in the middle of the après action?  Or, would you be okay with a more remote resort like Snowbasin, Utah that has great skiing, but no lodging base or nightlife?

Next, ask yourself how many mountains you want to visit. Do you want to stay at one resort and really get to know it or hop between several resorts and sample them all?

In Colorado, this could mean choosing between a multi-mountain destinations like Summit County or picking a more isolated ski town like Telluride.

Make a list of what you want and use it to narrow down your options. Ask your friends for their suggestions and look online for ski resort reviews.

Best Tip for Choosing a Resort: If you have a season pass, check for reciprocal deals with other mountains. You may find that you can ski for free or at a significant discount. This makes choosing the “right” destination a no-brainer.

Plan

As with any vacation, you have to know how you’ll get there, where you’ll stay and what you’ll need to bring.

1. Getting There

While driving has some serious advantages (think bringing your own gear and having maximum flexibility), flying can take you anywhere.

Whether you fly or drive, factor in how much time you’re willing to spend in transit.

Do you want to fly into a city and ski the same day? Are you willing to rent a car or take ground transportation to the resort?

If time is a major consideration, look for resorts with nearby local airports. Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Whitefish, Montana come to mind.

Best Driving Tip: Be prepared for winter weather. The Colorado Traction Law now requires passenger cars to carry and use chains (or their equivalent) during some storm conditions.

No matter where you are, check the state department of transportation website or download an app to keep you updated.

Best Flying Tip: Ask the airlines if your skis and boots can fly for free. Rules vary with each carrier, but skis/snowboard and boots are free on United if packed in ski boot bags and ski bags.

If you pack your boots in a duffle bag, or your skis in a box, you’ll pay. Plus, you have to check both skis and boots. We tried to fly with just boots and got dinged.

2. Sleep and Eat

Resort websites often have links to extensive lodging and last-minute deals. But for some trips, renting a home through a service like VRBO might be better.

Make a list of what you need and want.

Do you need a kitchen? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? If you’re staying off-mountain is there a shuttle or public transportation? Are there slopeside or ski-in/ski-out options?

Best Lodging Tip: Check out lodging in nearby communities to save money. For example, stay in Basalt if Aspen is too pricey.

Or take an urban ski trip. Stay in Salt Lake City (the Salt Lake SuperPass scores discounts on tickets and lodging) and commute 30-40 minutes by car or bus to four world-class resorts.

3. Gear

We recommend taking your own boots if you can. But leaving skis/poles or snowboards at home can make life much easier (especially when you’re trying to fit everything and everyone into a rental car or SUV).

Best Gear Tip: Make your life easy with ski and snowboard rental delivery services like Door 2 Door from Christy Sports. Reserve everything you need online. When you arrive, a ski tech brings the equipment and fits it to you at your convenience.

Execute

Online planning is key to maximizing fun and limiting ski vacation hassle. Study resort websites to find out what activities and special events are available.

Save money by purchasing lift tickets in advance on resort websites or from vendors like Liftopia.

Also, reserve lessons, dining and other special events (perhaps snowshoeing, a snowcat dinner in a remote cabin, or a western family BBQ) in advance to avoid disappointment.

Best Overall Tip: Be flexible. While it’s good to plan ahead, don’t schedule every moment and be prepared for changes. It’s a vacation after all, not a marathon. Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, let everyone set their own pace and agenda.

Then reconvene each afternoon to share stories, photos and fun (with an emphasis on fun).

Enjoy!

 

Ski Trip Essentials for Spring Break

Packing for a trip is difficult, but packing for a ski trip can be a daunting task. It can seem impossible to know what you will truly need to enjoy the mountains. Whether you are packing your own ski equipment or renting on arrival, skiing and snowboarding requires a lot of gear! If you are planning to travel to a mountain paradise during Spring Break, here is a list of essentials for spring skiing warm weather.

Outerwear:

Ski Jacket:  Pack a windproof, waterproof ski or snowboard shell jacket for spring .  If you are snowboarder, a longer snowboarding jacket will help to keep snow out.

Ski Pants: Make sure to pack waterproof, vented  ski or snowboard pants.

Long Underwear: Non-cotton base layers are recommended for under your jacket and other layers of insulation. Spring skiing weather can be unpredictable to plan for the right amount of layers.

Additional Insulation: Pack a down, synthetic, or fleece jacket or vest for under your ski jacket to provide extra warmth in addition to your shell jacket in case the weather happens to be a little colder. Spring weather can be a challenge being able to find the right balance between cold mornings and sunny afternoons!

Accessories:

Gloves: A good pair of waterproof, thick gloves is essential. Regular knitted gloves or mittens won’t cut it in the snow.

Neck Gaiter: Shield your neck and chin from cold and the sun!

Goggles: Help protect your eyes with ski and snowboard googles from the snow refection and choose a pair that has a venting system so they don’t fog up. Darker lens on googles tend to be best for sunny days.

Helmet:  A No Brainer! This is a crucial piece of mountain safety and your safety.  Just about everyone wears one these days. If you don’t own a helmet, you can rent one if needed.

Ski Socks: Different from your everyday socks. They are typically made of wool and designed to regulate body temperature and wick away sweat and moisture.

Winter Hat: A good winter hat or beanie will provide extra insulation and covers up your helmet hair so you can easily transition to the hot tub or après!

Sunscreen / Lip Balm: This is crucial when spending a day on the mountain especially in the springs at higher elevations where UV rays magnifies and reflects off the snow.  Goggle tans aren’t that cool when you look like Homer Simpson.

Gear:

Gather up your skis, snowboard, binding, poles and boots! Depending on where you are traveling to or for how long, might determine if you want to bring your own gear or rent ski and snowboard gear.

If you are planning to travel with your own gear, it’s vital to pack it in a padded ski and snowboarding travel bag to prevent damage or broken as they get tossed around during the journey.

Other Items You Might Need:

Sunglasses: They are great for when you’re sitting outside on a bluebird day or for walking around town.

Hand and Toe Warmers: When it’s a really cold day on the mountain, these can be a lifesaver.

Camera: Don’t forget the camera or GoPro! You won’t want to miss out on capturing those action shots.

First Aid Kit: A long day of skiing can make for some pain. It’s good to have a kit on-hand with Advil,  also for a possible hangover!

Oxygen: Altitude sickness can put a real damper in your vacation, so upon arrival purchase oxygen.  Traveling to higher altitudes can cause altitude sickness because lower oxygen levels. Boost Oxygen provides a great all-natural and safe solution! Stop by one of our retail locations to pick up 95% pure oxygen and feel better if the altitude hits you.

Boost Oxygen

Winter Clothing: Planning on staying at a resort for a couple days, will also require bringing warm winter clothing and snow boots for strolling around town to enjoy après ski and restaurants!

Packing for a ski vacation can be challenging, but hopefully with our list of essentials you can enjoy your time on the mountain and worry less about the items you might have forgotten.

Are you are ski vacation pro? Are there any items you would add to our list?

Skiing and Snowboarding's Hottest Couples

We all follow the latest news from celebrity couples like Kim and Kanye or Kate and Will, whether we want to or not, but what about the couples in our own world of skiing and snowboarding? Here are the hottest celeb couples in skiing and snowboarding couples:

Mark McMorris and Coco Ho1. Mark McMorris & Coco Ho

About Him: Mark is an 11 time X Games gold medalist, and an Olympic bronze medalist. He competes in snowboard slopestyle and big air and throws down every time. He hails from Canada and was the first person to land a backside triple cork 1440.

About Her: Coco has some distinctions of her own as well. As a professional surfer from Hawaii she has won countless awards and even had some film appearances. She and Mark can be seen on social media supporting each other at their competitions and shredding the mountains and the waves.

#PowerCouple

Bobby Brown and Nicole Gallen2. Bobby Brown & Nicole Gallen

About Him: Originally from Denver, CO and the first skier to win two gold medals at a single Winter X Games in slopestyle and big air, Bobby is known for his style. He also posts funny vine videos, check those out.

About Her: Nicole is a Colorado native from Telluride, CO, so you know she can mob on skis. One time, she took a fan photo of me and Bobby at Dew Tour, so yeah she’s super nice.

#SoPresh

Jamie Anderson and Tyler Nicholson3. Jamie Anderson & Tyler Nicholson

About Him: Tyler is an up and coming professional snowboard from Canada. Most recently, he got second place at the LAAX Open. Keep an eye out for him on the podiums.

About Her: Jamie Anderson is one of the most decorated female snowboarders in action sports. She’s never missed the podium at Winter X Games and won the first gold medal in slopestyle at the Winter Olympics in 2014. Jamie has been driving women’s snowboarding since she was a teenager and she’s not taking her foot off the gas anytime soon.

#DreamTeam

Chas Guldemond and Drea Guldemond4. Chas & Drea Guldemond

About Him: Charles ‘Chas’ Guldemond is a professional slopestyle snowboarder. He’s competed in pretty much every major event in snowboarding, and is one of the sports most seasoned riders.

About Her: Drea is a very passionate hair stylist (maybe the reason Paul Mitchell sponsors Chas?). You’ll notice her hair is always on point. She’s also the proud mama to Rocky Guldemond (Yes, after Rocky Balboa. How awesome is that!).

#FamSquad

Torin Yater-Wallace and Sarah Hendrickson5. Torin Yater-Wallace & Sarah Hendrickson

About Him: Torin is a pro freeskier from Aspen, CO. At the time, when he was 15, he was the third-youngest male competitor in X Games history and took silver in halfpipe.

About Her: No stranger to the podium herself, Sarah Hendrickson is a professional ski jumper and world champion from SLC.

#RelationshipGoals

Which pro ski and snowboard couples do you like to follow? Share with us in the comments.

A-Guide-to-Ski-Lingo

Maybe you are new to the sport of skiing or you have been a ripper for years.  Either way, as with any sport, there is a certain lingo or language you have to master in addition to the actual fundamentals, in order to sound like you are in the know beyond being able to “walk the walk”.  More skiers and riders are jumping onboard each year leading to ‘ski speak’ phrases and terms being ever-changing.  Save yourself the trouble of embarrassment when talking with a local on the lift or in a random conversation après ski.

Below are some terms and sayings – some classics and others newer to the ski lingo list:

Après Ski: Literally speaking it means ‘after ski’, yet it refers to forms of entertainment and nightlife at a ski resort which can be just as eventful as a day of skiing.

Backcountry: Skiing outside the resort boundaries that is not patrolled or controlled for avalanche dangers.

Blue Bird Day: A beautiful, sunny day on the mountain with blue skies after an overnight snowfall – one that many consider a “perfect” day for skiing.

Bombing: Going extremely fast, often recklessly and out of control downhill with no regard for yourself or others.

Bunny Slope: A slope perfect for beginners to learn basic techniques.  Typically found at the base area of the mountain and accessible by a magic carpet or tow rope.

Champagne Powder™: Light, dry, smooth powder snow trademarked by Steamboat Resort.

Chutes: A steep and narrow section of snow between rocks. Definitely an expert-only run!

Corduroy: Resembling the fabric because of the grooves – it’s when the trail is recently groomed by either a snowcat or grooming machine.

Crud: Lumpy and hard snow conditions with slippery ice patches.

Dump: A slang term to describe a huge snowfall of fresh powder.

Death Cookies: Gravel like ice chunks that cover a run, waiting to catch your edge.

Earning Your Turns:  Skinning or hiking up a mountain and skiing down. Not riding a chairlift.

Eat Wood: When a skier or snowboarder comes face to face with a tree… Ouch, that has to hurt!

Face Shot: No, this is not a drinking game… It’s what happens when you’re in powder so deep that snow sprays you in the face each turn.  Icicle eyebrows anyone?!

First Tracks: Being the first to ski or ride the fresh powder before anyone else does. Bragging rights!

Flat Light: When dim light and gray skies make it difficult to see terrain change. Be careful of surprises.

French Fries: Skiing with your skis parallel to each other. Not pizza!

Freshies: Untouched and untracked powder. Skiing freshies is how we would all like to spend our day on the mountain!

Gaper: One who is new to the snow sport game and does not generally understand proper on-mountain manners, apparel or techniques.

Shred the Gnar: Derived from the word Gnarly… One who skis or rides challenging trails or conditions which are measured on a level of coolness, excitement and danger.

Grab: To hold on to a part or your snowboard or ski while being in the air.

In-bounds: The skiable terrain inside the boundaries of a mountain resort. Opposite of Out-of-bounds.

Jibb(-er,-ing): One who skis or rides across boxes, rails and other non-snow surface items.

Liftie: A slang term for one who operates the chairlift.

Magic Carpet: Conveyer-belt like surface lift… If you step onto this it will easily take you up the bunny hill slope.

Mashed Potatoes:  Heavy and wet snow.

Pizza: A termed used for teaching beginner skiers technique where skis are slanted at each other like a slice of pizza to snowplow down a slope. May also be known as a wedge.

Pow: A shortened use of the word powder… typically fresh, fallen powder.  A daily wish in the mountains and the perfect ski conditions!

Ripper: An impressive and accomplished skier or rider.

Skins: Straps of fabric attached to the bottom of skis to allow climbing uphill without slipping backwards.

Shredder: One who rides with advanced skill and is accomplished.

Traverse: Skiing or moving across a slope horizontally, instead of straight down to keep speed down on a steep incline.

Whiteout (adjective): When visibility is almost impossible; typically caused by heavy snowfall, fog, or flat light.

Yard Sale (verb): Resembling that of a yard sale. When a skier loses their ski equipment and gear including skis, poles, hat, gloves, etc.  Their gear is scattered across the slope… collecting all your items may be the worst part!

Feel like you are ready to ‘talk the talk’ with a local? Maybe or maybe not, but at least you can fake it ‘til you make it for now. While this is not the entire “ski-speak” dictionary, it’s a good place to start to be able to include terms into your vocabulary. The next time you find yourself caught in a conversation on the mountain with rippers, shredders and magic carpet riders, you’ll sound like a pro!

Did you have a favorite ski term? Or is there one you think we should add to the list? Share your favorite with us in the comments below.

Burton Riglet

Let’s set the record straight – Kids do not have to learn to ski before they can snowboard anymore.

There seems to be this unwritten law that kids have to learn how to ski first. All too often I catch parents saying that their son or daughter is taking ski lessons “so they can learn the basics” and then they will let them decide if they want to switch over to snowboarding when they’re ready.

As someone who didn’t start snowboarding until I was a young teenager, I wish my 3-year-old self would have known how to express to my parents that I was born to be a snowboarder. Learning how to ski first did not make learning how to snowboard any easier. I still fell – a lot. I still got frustrated, and I still had to start from the beginning.

Although, when I started skiing, they didn’t make snowboards small enough for kids my size. So, if I wanted to join my older siblings on the slopes, I had to get on two planks.

Burton Riglet SnowboardsThanks to Burton Riglet snowboards like the Burton Chopper and the Burton Smalls, kids can now learn to snowboard without having to ski first. The Riglet snowboards start as small as 80cm and go up to 130cm, and the Smalls snowboards go from 125cm to 145cm.  That pretty much means that as soon as they can walk and balance on their own, they can snowboard, but the Riglet age suggestion is 3 to 6 years old.

If you want your little to love snowboarding as much as you do but you want to try it first, Burton hosts a series of Riglet events during January, which is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, with the goal of getting more kids into snowboarding. They offer free Riglet demos and snowboarding lessons, and even have mini terrain park features for the tots to learn on. See upcoming Riglet Park Events:

If you can’t make it to an event, Christy Sports has you covered. Riglet snowboards are available for rent or purchase at select locations, because we want your kids to love snowsports as much as you do.
Teaching Kids To SnowboardBurton Kids Snowboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you have to ski before you could snowboard? At what age did your child learn to snowboard? Share your stories with us in the comments below.

Where to buy a ski condo in colorado

While the word vacation evokes palm trees and white sandy beaches in some minds, others flock to the vast mountains of Colorado for snow chasing and thrill-seeking.

Purchasing a ski condo in Colorado is not only glamorous and exciting, but also a massive milestone that provides a long-term investment strategy. Even if you’re not paying for your Colorado condo in all cash, loan restrictions since the housing market crash of 2008 are tighter than ever, so acquiring credit under today’s standards says a lot about one’s financial profile.

Whether you’re buying your vacation home with a mortgage or can afford to put down all-cash, determining a location that best fits your budget and lifestyle first is key. Colorado offers endless winter sporting opportunities across the state, but consider the following top cities, which vary in price, to purchase your real estate retreat.

Steamboat Springs

Buying a vacation condo in Steamboat Springs isn’t necessarily inexpensive, but won’t cost buyers millions, as compared to other opulent ski towns in Colorado. The average list price on homes for sale in Steamboat Springs was $790,008 for the first week of December. About two hours south sits the town of Breckenridge, where the average list price is slightly higher than Steamboat Springs at $903,204. Searching for condos in Breckenridge might be better suited for individuals with larger budgets and a desire for seclusion. The population in Breckenridge is just 4,648, compared to Steamboat Springs which has 12,100 residents as of 2013, according to the U.S. Census. Keep in mind, popular ski towns feel crowded during peak vacation and holiday seasons, and an abundance of visitors shifts the vibe severely.

Vail

Vail is one of the most popular destinations for skiing in the United States, and it’s lodging and mountain pass prices reflect its unparalleled popularity. According to Vail Daily, roughly 400,000 people purchased some sort of Vail Resorts’ pass in 2014 alone, totaling $200 million in revenue for the company. With so many vacationers flocking to Vail, the local real estate market is hot. List prices on homes for sale in Vail in early December were at an average of $2,867,488, pricing most house hunters out of the Vail market. If you’re looking for another upscale mountain town but can’t quite afford Vail, consider searching for condos in Avon, where the average list price is currently $1,566,184.

Crested Butte

Crested Butte is located in Gunnison County, a former coal mining town with a population of just 1,487. Crested Butte is only a 12-mile hike from Aspen via the famous West Maroon Pass, or alternatively, a 100-mile drive over the Elk Mountains. Although it’s located so close to Aspen, Crested Butte is much more affordable in terms of real estate. The average list price for homes in Aspen is $5,167,856, making it highly unaffordable for the typical buyer. On the other hand, the average listing price on homes and condos in Crested Butte is much lower at $534,386 – a more practical figure for the average American.

Dillon

Crave the Boulder lifestyle but can’t afford the price tag? Dillon is only an hour and a half drive southwest of Boulder, and is a great market for those searching for condos on a tighter budget. Plus, with Lake Dillon providing 26 miles of shoreline, the town offers boating and sailing in the summertime. The average listing price on Dillon homes for sale is currently $796,960, whereas the average list price on homes in Boulder is $1,115,019. Dillon is in close proximity to Copper Mountain, Keystone and Breckenridge to satisfy your snow sport needs in the wintertime, giving you the best of both worlds.

 

Once you’ve settled on a setting and closed on your condo, it’s time to deck out the interior of your new abode. Including warm accessories such as fur throws, knit pillows and nature-inspired décor mimics the atmosphere of a mountainside resort without compromising the aesthetic of the home. In fact, organic schemes mixed with clean, minimalist lines helps keep condos cozy but modern, so you achieve two looks simultaneously.

If you’re considering a remodel, or purchasing a contemporary home, incorporating rustic, lodge-like décor helps balance out rooms so interiors don’t feel overly cold or uninviting to guests and residents alike. And, since eclectic schemes mix many different styles, you’ll target a wide range of buyers in the future when it comes time to sell. You won’t have to worry about home staging or rearranging your current living situation to appeal to those interested in purchasing a ski condo in one of the aforementioned Colorado hot spots.

Best Ski and Snowboard Graphics 2016 - Christy Sports

It’s no secret that skiing and snowboarding have become an avenue for self-expression. Personal style is incorporated into every aspect from the way you ride to the gear you rep. With this in mind, we assembled a lineup of gear for skiers and snowboarders who look to express themselves through bright colors or distinctive graphics on their equipment and apparel. Rep it loud, rep it proud!

SNOWBOARDS

Men’s

 

Lib Tech T. Rice Pro Snowboard - Christy Sports

Lib Tech T. Rice Pro

Salomon Sickstick Snowboard - Christy Sports

Salomon Sickstick

Slash Happy Place Snowboard - Christy Sports

Slash Happy Place

Never Summer West Snowboard - Christy Sports

Never Summer West Snowboard

CAPiTA Volcom Stone Snowboard - Christy Sports

CAPiTA Volcom Stone Snowboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women’s

CAPiTA Birds of a Feather - Christy Sports

CAPiTA Birds of a Feather

YES. Emoticon Snowboard - Christy Sports

YES. Emoticon

Gnu Ladies Choice Snowboard - Christy Sports

Gnu Ladies Choice

Salomon Gypsy Snowboard - Christy Sports

Salomon Gypsy Snowboard

Gnu Velvet Gnuru Snowboard - Christy Sports

Gnu Velvet Gnuru

Never Summer Onyx Snowboard - Christy Sports

Never Summer Onyx Snowboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SKIS

Men

K2 Shreditor 102 Skis -Christy Sports

K2 Shreditor 102

Armada JJ 2.0 Skis - Christy Sports

Armada JJ 2.0

Line Sir Francis Bacon Skis - Christy Sports

Line Sir Francis Bacon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women

Armada TSTW Skis - Christy Sports

Armada TSTW

Line Pandora 95 Skis - Christy Sports

Line Pandora 95

Salomon Q-88 Lux Skis - Christy Sports

Salomon Q-88 Lux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OUTERWEAR/APPAREL

Men

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover - Christy Sports

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Fleece

Burton Radial Ski and Snowboard Jacket - Christy Sports

Burton Radial Jacket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arcteryx Rush Jacket - Christy Sports

Arcteryx Rush Jacket

Celtek Trippin Mitt - Christy Sports

Celtek Trippin Mitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Armada Carmel Windstopper Mitten - Christy Sports

Armada Carmel Windstopper Mitten

Dakine Tracer Mittens - Christy Sports

Dakine Tracer Mittens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women

 

686 Authentic Paradise Jacket - Christy Sports

686 Authentic Paradise Jacket

Armada Skyland Leo Pullover - Christy Sports

Armada Skyland Leo Pullover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roxy Jetty Jacket - Christy Sports

Roxy Jetty Jacket

Burton x L.A.M.B. Misfit Bomber Jacket - Christy Sports

Burton x L.A.M.B. Misfit Bomber Jacket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volcom Act Insulated Jacket - Christy Sports

Volcom Act Insulated Jacket

The North Face NFZ Print Jacket - Christy Sports

The North Face NFZ Print Jacket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celtek Vera Mitt - Christy Sports

Celtek Vera Mitt

Hestra Fall Line Mitt - Christy Sports

Hestra Fall Line Mitt

Volcom Laver Gloves - Christy Sports

Volcom Laver Gloves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which graphic is your favorite? Did we miss your favorite unique graphic? Let us know in a comment below!

Thankful For Snowboarding Becuase

Each Thanksgiving, my family and I gather around a table full of delicious home-cooked dishes as we all share what we are thankful for. I look at my dear elders and say I’m thankful for my family, for good health, and whisper under my breath “..and for snowboarding.” I don’t know what I would be doing right now if it weren’t for snowboarding, so this year I have to say:

I’m thankful for snowboarding because…

1. Fresh, untouched, deep powder.
2. It reminds me not to take life too seriously.
3. I get to see the sunrise every morning on my drive up to the mountains.
4. I truly experience what it means to be stoked.
5. It gives me a greater respect and appreciation for nature.
6. It teaches me to get up when I fall down, literally and metaphorically.
7. It forces me to unplug from technology.
8. It keeps me in shape.
9. It pushes me to go beyond my limits… and sometimes ropes.
10. I get to share it with some of my best friends.
11. Fresh mountain air.
12. It clears my mind.
13. It challenges me to set new goals for myself.
14. It gives me the desire to try new things like surfing, wakeboarding, and longboarding.
15. When the lifts stop, Happy Hour starts.
16. I found my passion. Snowboarding is bae.
17. It takes me places I otherwise never would have thought to go.
18. It brings people together.
19. It’s given us the classics, like Out Cold and the opening clip from Extreme Days
20. It makes me happy.

Why are you thankful for snowboarding or skiing? Give thanks in the comments below.

Never Summer Industries

Just as snow can be seen on the peaks of the Never Summer Mountains all year round, the spirit of snowboarding is kept alive throughout the year on the Front Range thanks to the presence of a brand sharing the same name. Never Summer Industries is the brainchild of the Canaday brothers and the product of years of passion, experimentation and the determination to design boards that push the limits of durability and performance. These traits, combined with the commitment to make each Never Summer board by hand in Colorado, have allowed the company to create snowboards that people around the world love to ride.

Never Summer Hybrid Camber Profile

Never Summer Hybrid Camber

Never Summer places a lot of value on innovation, which is a key reason that the brand has thrived throughout the ups and downs experienced by the rest of the industry. For example, Never Summer is to thank for hybrid camber technology, which has become a fundamental snowboard profile in many brands’ product lines. The U.S. patent office is happy to verify Never Summer’s impact on the industry, as the company holds a patent for hybrid camber, as well as several other advancements that have revolutionized snowboarding.

Never Summer’s ability to innovate, combined with its strict quality control standards, has allowed it to further push the snowsports industry by manufacturing products for local ski brands. Icelantic Skis, among others, utilizes the Never Summer factory to produce all of its skis by hand. For the few months that snow can only be found on the Never Summer Mountains, the company makes a line of handmade longboards that carry the same standards for quality as its winter products.

Never Summer Snowboards - Christy Sports

Christy Sports is proud to carry Never Summer at many locations.

When it comes to distributing its products, Never Summer selects its retailers with extreme care. The brand chooses one retailer in a given area to be the exclusive dealer of its products. Not only is Never Summer dedicated to its standards for quality, but also to the companies in which it chooses to sell its products. It is for this reason that we are proud, as a fellow Denver-based business, to be the exclusive partner of Never Summer snowboards in many areas across the Rocky Mountain region.

The Canaday brothers have always focused on creating snowboards that offer something different, something unique. It’s for this reason that Never Summer is such a point of pride for Coloradans, and really, anyone that loves snowboarding. Needless to say, the Never Summer team will continue to innovate, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next. In the meantime, check out this season’s lineup of Never Summer snowboards at Christy Sports.

Season Alive Header

The calendar seems to be rushing towards the resort closing dates at an alarming rate.  While spring skiing conditions don’t get much better than they are right now, it seems like at the end of the day, I walk away from the resort a little bummed out.  No matter how much fun I had, one pervasive thought dampens my mood; the season is almost over.  Don’t fret though.  For those of you who aren’t ready to let the season go, there is hope.

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Image: Dave Camara – Arapahoe Basin

The Holdouts

Even though most resorts in Colorado and Utah shut down around the same time, places like A-Basin and Snowbird refuse to yield to the warming temperatures until the last possible moment.  It’s really refreshing to see a big, bold TBD on their calendars well after the lifts stop turning at the other resorts.  Plus, the longer their seasons go, the more festive things get.  From giant barbecues in the parking lot, to fun on-mountain events, these mountains and the die-hard skiers and riders who frequent them know how to wring every ounce of fun out of the season.

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Image: of Kat Via Flickr

Endless Winter

After the last resort shuts down in the West, rather than face a change in seasons, change your hemisphere instead.  Just hop on a plane and head over to New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, or Australia, and you can see where the snow went after it abandoned you in the States.   Whether chasing winter full time or just escaping the summer heat for one unforgettable ski trip, ripping around a mountain in August is a guaranteed way to satisfy the inner powder hound in you.

Earn Your Turns

Image: Emily-Jane Newbern

Image: Emily-Jane Newbern

For the purist, the adventure seeker, the endurance athlete, and for the folks who can’t afford a trip to New Zealand, hoofing it is your best option for late season turns.  The backcountry and side country in the Rock Mountains stay relatively good for months, allowing you to enjoy the snow even after the last of the holdout resorts call it quits for the year. Better still though, when the backcountry snow turns into a granular, pitted mess, you can always turn to the glaciers. A short drive from Denver and a short hike up a trail delivers you to a large snowfield called St Mary’s Glacier. Places like St Mary’s (and there are multiple gems like this all across the Rockies) are the perfect destination for midsummer turns. While strapping your gear to a backpack and heading into the hills is a fun and exciting way to keep the season alive, only experienced and prepared backcountry travelers should attempt it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer and all of the activities that warm weather affords, it’s just hard to let go of winter. So, in between runs, bike rides, camping trips, hikes, and barbecues, you will find me punctuating my summer with old ski movies, and the occasional trip up some remote snowfield with a snowboard strapped to my backpack.

If you know of any other ways to keep the ski season alive, let me know!

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Most resorts have now posted, to my dismay, their closing dates. While I spend every night praying to the snow gods that these dates will be pushed back so I can add just a few more days to my tally, alas, I need to start preparing for the end of this sacred season. With a little over a month left to the season here in the Rockies, I have made a bucket list of things I think everyone should do before the lifts stop turning:

Get Some Sweet, Sweet Powder – If you’re a weekend warrior like myself, it can sometimes be difficult to reach your powder quota for the year because of the luck that is required for it to dump on a Saturday or Sunday. If you don’t have the flexibility to go ski whenever and wherever the snow falls, tell your boss right now (so they have fair warning) that the next time a storm comes through you’re not coming in because you’ve got the powder flu. Do whatever you need to do to get those first tracks one more time.

Go Night Skiing – There are few things I enjoy more than having the whole mountain to myself and not a single person in the lift line. Night skiing is easily the best kept secret of resort riding, because most people assume it’s going to be cold and windy, so almost no one goes. However, if you can catch the right conditions you’ll also catch the magic that is night skiing.

Dial In That Trick– Every season I have a new trick I want to learn, and every season I somehow get distracted by other things and fail to perfect that trick. Don’t let that happen to you this year. Use these last couple of ski days to work on that trick until you have it ingrained in your muscle memory so you can walk away from the season feeling like you progressed and can start next season where you left off.

Scare Yourself – One of things that make skiing and snowboarding so great is that there is always a way for you to push your limits. I thoroughly enjoy a good adrenaline rush after finishing a tight tree run or hitting a larger park feature than I normally would. So, if you haven’t gotten out of your comfort zone this season, do it now. Of course, be reasonable.  Don’t hurt yourself, but if you’ve been staring at that double black all season or a park feature you think you can tackle, now is the time.

Go with the friends you’ve been saying you’d go with all season – Throughout the season I run into old friends and meet new friends and we always end the conversation with, “We should ride together sometime” or “Let me know the next time you’re going up”.  Those words always turn into empty promises though, and I end up riding with the same people all season. Call up those other friends, plan to meet up, and make it happen. Avoid the empty promise cycle and you might even find a new best shred-friend.

Folks, the 2014-2015 ski season won’t last forever, and you will never get those precious ski days back, so get out there while there is still some season left! What’s on your end-of-season bucket list? Share in the comments below.

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With all the hype surrounding Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be interesting to offer you a guy’s and a girl’s perspective on great dates. So, we wrote a dual post giving you some non-traditional ideas for your mountain-loving sweetheart. Here is what we came up with:


What Your Mountain Girl Really Wants for Valentine’s Day 

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Written By: Emily Scott

For the girl who owns more snow pants than dresses, a box of chocolates and some flowers for Valentine’s Day just doesn’t cut it. Girls that like to slide down snowy mountains crave adventure and adrenaline. So what do you get your Valentine that likes to play hard in the mountains? Nothing. You take her to do something that will get her heart pumping instead. Here are a few V-Day date ideas that will impress your mountain gal:

Guided Ice Climbing – If she’s never been ice climbing before, chances are she would dig it. It’s a challenging winter sport that the two of you can learn together. Go with a guide because they provide all of the equipment and show you the best spots to go, as well as make sure it’s an enjoyable experience for you both.

Sledding – Find a steep hill with plenty of snow, buy a sled, and you’ve got a recipe for a great date. This is a win because she’ll get to play in the snow and you can each bring out your inner child.

Snowmobiling – What’s more awesome than blazing powder trails on a motorized sled? She’ll be stoked. You can rent them for a few hours and go at your own pace or take a guided tour. Make sure you rent two though, because she will want to drive her own. None of that riding on the back nonsense.

Rock Climbing – Indoor or outdoor, this will be an awesome time. It’s also a great way to bond and build trust with your sweetheart as you take turns belaying and climbing. You can take a quick lesson if it’s your first time or you can try your hands at bouldering which doesn’t require ropes.

A Dog Sled Tour – It will be just like the Iditarod! Okay maybe it won’t, but it will still be a really unique experience. You can snuggle up with your Valentine on the sled while also having an adventure. It will definitely sweep her off her Sorels!

All of these dates could be followed by a quiet evening by the fire, watching ski/snowboard movies, and drinking hot chocolate, or let’s be honest, her favorite beer. Save the cliché gifts for another time, and make some memories with your betty this Valentine’s Day.


What Your Mountain Guy Really Wants for Valentine’s Day

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Written By: Mic Wilborn

Come on ladies, we all know the truth.  Valentine’s Day isn’t for your guy; it’s for you.  Sure, there may one or two dudes out there that love February 14th but they don’t represent the majority.  All of that pressure to impress used to make me anxious.  Like a heartburn inducing, shortened breath, sweaty hands, panicky type of anxious.  Then I began dating an avid skier and things started to get better.  It turns out that a shared experience based on a common passion was better for both of us.  If you love adventure as much as your guy, here are a few date ideas you could surprise him with that he might actually get excited about.  

On-Mountain Dining- Regardless of the occasion, a perfect day for me includes snowboarding with my wife (that avid skier actually married me) and then having a slice of pizza while enjoying a few beers. Call me easy.  So, in order to set Valentine’s Day apart from all the others, schedule a sleigh-ride dinner to an on-mountain restaurant.    You will still get to ski or ride all day, but instead of the standard pizza/beer combo, you get to head back up the hill and enjoy a good meal together after the lifts stop turning. 

Night Snowshoe Hike- If you pick really mellow terrain that you are both comfortable with, the only thing you will have to worry about is whether or not the stars are hiding behind the clouds.  As an added surprise, pack a bag with some snacks, a blanket, candles, and a bottle of wine so when you find a cool spot; you can stop and have a mini picnic. 

Moonlit Backcountry Laps– If conditions are right and you are both experienced and prepared backcountry travelers, getting in  a few laps together under the moonlight is about as good as it gets.  Even if it’s an area you are both super familiar with, the mountains have a different vibe at night.  You can fit snacks and drinks in your pack for a surprise picnic at the summit, or leave them in the car and toast each other in a successful Valentine’s Day afterwards.  

I’d really like to provide you with a few more date ideas, but I’ve unfortunately drained my shallow pool of romantic notions. If you’re going to try to surprise your mountain-loving man (short of canceling Valentine’s Day altogether) the above three brainwaves might just be enough to make the day special for him; plus, you’ll have fun too!


If you have any other date ideas, share them with us in the comments below. We love hearing your stories!