Livin' Your Dream

Visitors come to Solitude, walk through this village and often think to themselves “How cool it would be to live here!!” Well folks I’m here to answer that question for you and the answer is… just as cool as you think it would be. I’ve been a resident here in the Solitude Village for two winters now and can tell you without a doubt that living here is everything you hoped it would be and more. The people are so incredible and accepting that all it might take is one lift ride to make a new friend for life. My family has owned a condo here in Powderhorn Lodge for about 8 years. But only recently have I begun taking full advantage of this opportunity. I’ve been a photographer for 5 years now and been skiing for 22 of my 24. Naturally I decided to put these two together, and Solitude Mtn. Resort has been the perfect setting to do so. There are the obvious plusses that come from being able to ski for an entire season. Watching my pass cross the 100-day threshold is very exciting and a milestone in this Skibum’s heart. There are the joys of getting that first chair on a fresh powder day and every subsequent face shot. I sometimes like to take a day off to simply relax around the village and grab a leisurely lunch, dip in the hot tub or shoot some pool over at the club. Being able to take a day off is a luxury that most people don’t get on a four-day ski vacation. Not to mention that all the hiking and powder turns definitely have a positive and exciting effect on certain parts of the human form. You want to talk about getting in shape… try hiking between 8,000 and 10,000 feet for 5 months. Although there are many more reasons why living here in the village is so special, these are two main bonuses to living on this mountain that I have personally experienced.

1) You get to know the people.

We all see the Hosts in front of the Stone House, the liftie that bumps your chair, and even the occasional ski patroller making the mountain safer for all. But what you may not notice are the other hardworking individuals that don’t stick out so much. The guy loading up a snowmobile for the Yurt, the cat drivers who provide you with corduroy each and every morning, or those wonderful and quirky locals, some of which live closer to the mountain than I do!! I even had the privilege of hosting the Canyon Poker Tour in my Condo just last week. You may not recognize most of these fine folks but they’re out there. And if you really want to get to know some of them, pop into the Thirsty Squirrel and look for the Jameson, it’s a dead giveaway.

2) You get to know the mountain.

I know each of you reading this remembers a time when you watched someone ski down some slope that you thought was unreachable, that was me. Or those crazy guys you saw hiking up Fantasy Ridge (look up from the top of summit chair), that was me, and some of my friends. These friends of mine are the locals here and often work at the resort… see above. Solitude is full of little hikes and traverses that lead to all things powder. There’s the Gild Line, Shot 22.5, Davenport or Flannigans. If you can manage to befriend one or two of these locals, you’re in. Being able to call/text a certain group of people to know exactly when a rope is going to drop is an invaluable resource. Being able to get the skinny on what’s going on in the backcountry from people who have actually been there, means safer skiing for all. You’ll get to know what EGP means, how to safely find the “Cathedral”… or someone might even let you know where the “Who nose” is, but then again who knows? I’m not telling.

- JD

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  1. Wow! This guy has the life! Where do I apply.

  2. You apply at Good work, James. You know your stuff ;)

  3. Hank says "I'm telling you, this guy is the greatest!!!"