Congrats! You’ve clicked on this article because you've either decided to give up a conventional lifestyle for the pursuit of snow or you’re bored from the summertime blues (I know I am). Luckily we're just a few months away from sliding down snow with double wooden planks attached to our feet. If this the winter you're moving out to the mountains then you're in for the best time of your life.
So you might end up with a six-month lease on a pullout couch. The snow brings an influx of humans all in search of powder....and housing. Who would have guessed so many had the same plan to move to the mountains for the winter? At first, you might try to live out of your van through the winter - but the plan will be short lived once the temperatures dip below zero at night. It's not fun to sleep in freezing weather. Soon you'll frantically scan the classifieds for any room to rent within a 20-mile radius of the mountain. While no rooms are available a sure couch is - and a heated house sounds much better than car camping.
Crested Butte, Colorado
Housing is as scarce to find as a reliable significant other. Tinder activity alone will be dependent on college ski weeks. Nearly all the local options to date are unavailable - and since you can’t seem to keep up with that local hottie who rips around the mountain, tourists will become your saving grace. While you're not bussing their tables, renting them skis or serving them vodka cranberry cocktails you’ll have your fingers crossed for a swipe right. Or a good tip.
However, when that unicorn of a match does come along they might not find living on a couch with six other roommates too attractive. Or they mighht just find one of the roommates a bit more attractive than yourself. Sorry bud, looks like you might have lost your turn. Hopefully you'll have another trick up your sleeve or they'll call an uber faster than you come - to the mountain on a powder day.
As it turns out, the second play you have is thanks to the local barter system. Money pays for rent but the majority of goods and services will be exchanged through a ‘primitive’ sort of trade system. Free rentals for tequila shots at the bar. Half-off pizza for your roommate's PBR. Tuned skis for a buddy pass when the parents visit. Simple.
If you talk yourself up correctly then your tinder date might even cancel that uber and cuddle up on the couch after they hear your offers of ~pro deals~ ~free tunes~ and ~local secrets~. And by pro deals, free tunes and local secrets you mean:
• Your buddy is a faction semi-pro and gave you last years Candide model since he already got next years 2.0.
• One of your roommates works as a ski tech and will gladly exchange tuneups for beer...since you got fired last week.
• You get the local 10% off discount at the coffee shop on the corner.
And if all else fails, get a cute dog.
At some point in winter your skiing, social life and love life will be the best it's ever been. Since you 'stopped working' at that ski rental shop, there's been plenty of time to shred the mountain. After multiple tinder dates were lost to other roommates, you've also found a way to make couch cuddling sound romantic. Best of all, Chance has grown from a cute puppy to a damn good boy. Life is good.
How did life become a winter wonderland fairytale? You've followed the most important, unspoken rule to thriving in a ski town: don't be a dick. A genuinely good human (who doesn't mind throwing down for a round of shots at après) will have a great time. Someone who always 'forgets' to bring beer, overstays their welcome and can't seem to contribute gas money will not have a great time. Otherwise known as a 'scumbag' this type of person will quickly find that living in a ski town is not for them. Don't be that person.
This probably isn't the realistic 'Beginner's Guide' you might have hoped for after clicking the article. The ski dream can still be alive but it won't be handed on a silver platter. Somedays work will be the absolute worst, roommates will get on your last nerve and the thought of leaving the mountains for the city just sounds better and better. However, if you read this article to help consider options for the upcoming winter then why not go and chase ~the ski dream~. Try is out for a season. Whether you're a #socialmediaskier, an elusive backcountry powder hound or a newcomer to the mountains remember that everyone shares a love of snow and moved to the mountains for the same reason.