It may not come as a surprise that living in the mountains is a ton of fun, but the reasons why might not be as obvious. Sure, you might see on various social media platforms glorified pictures of peaks snow-capped in the distance with late spring wildflowers in the foreground, but the views are not the only reason why. Here are some of the top reasons why I call the mountains home.
Space whenever you need it
I recently just came back from a trip back home. I am from a typical suburban area outside of a medium sized city, nothing huge, but while home I couldn’t help the overwhelming feeling that everything seemed so crowded. It made me feel a bit anxious and that I was drowning in society. In the mountains, you can escape from people or civilization in an instant. Whether it is on the trail or the offseason, population density is never really an issue… unless you live in a resort town.
No powder, no problem!
Have you ever woken up early, expecting a big snowstorm to hit your favorite ski resort, drive an hour or a couple, look at the snow stake and seeing a couple of inches, only to realize that it was only a dusting? Living in a mountain town gives me the best excuse to set an alarm, look outside and make a judgment call. Even if I am late to the show, I can still casually roll out of bed and catch ‘that other lift’ that gets me up to the top of the peak. Beats the heck out of missing the carpool!
Pace of life is less stressful
I have/had the fortune to work for some pretty great people in my mountain town. They have always understood why we live in these small towns. We live here for the experience and because we recreate in the outdoors. My current employers could not understand that better, they give me flexible deadlines, I get to bring my ski stuff into work, and we even have a powder policy! Work hard, play hard they say, but nonetheless, happy employees work hard because the rewards are right on the other side of the window.
Living in a mountain town gives you a tight-knit sense of community
Although I said mountain towns give you space, sometimes the opposite is true; everyone can get to know everyone else very quickly. This social closeness reminds me of college. I was fortunate to go to a great college (shout out to St. Lawrence University) where I made fantastic friends through the common interest of education. This is particularly true for mountain towns where the community is united through the mountains that surround us.
Mountain towns love inclement weather
When the weather is bad, especially in the early fall through the late spring, people in parts of the world scrap days because the weather is poor. Mountain towns, however, pray for days like these to arrive. You will rarely, and I mean almost never, hear a skier in a wintery mountain town complain about how its too cold or there is too much snow. To the outsider, it may seem counterintuitive, but citizens of these communities actually pray for such bad weather that it shuts down roads, limits crowding of resorts, and gives all the fresh runs to the locals!
People are exceptional stewards of the land
I’m not saying other places are dirty or people care less about their environment, but because mountain towns heavily rely on the environment for social and economic purposes the people that live in them are zealous guardians of their surroundings. One unbreakable bond these citizens hold in common is the land in which they all recreate in. For example, on the trail the other day I saw someone hiking for the sole purpose of picking up bits of plastic because they like to keep the outdoors pristine. What dedication!
Mountain towns communities are quirky and light-hearted
Sure, there are hip cities and unique little nooks of idiosyncratic people scattered everywhere, but guaranteed you will find distinct unique culture in any ski town you go. From Crested Butte to Jackson, mountain town communities are distinct through traditions and rights of passage, but everyone is there to have fun. When I said mountain towns remind me of college, they reminded me also of the light-hearted fun that occurred on a day to day basis. Perhaps I am looking at that through rose-colored glasses, but generally, everyone I know that lives in mountain towns is excited to be there and can’t wait for the next adventure.