Nothing gets us stoked for the snow like the, "Thank you for your purchase!" message on the Epic Pass website. We get it, September is still summer, but while we're enjoying end-of-season events and activities - like Skate Fest 2021 - we're also visualizing the perfect pow day in Summit County. Here's our list of must-haves for an epic 2021-22 snow season, starting with your ideal season pass.
Sustainable Snow Coat
Portable Fire Pit
Epic Local Pass
Includes all-season access to your favorite Colorado mountains; Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, and 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek (holiday access varies). The Epic Local Pass also includes 25+ other resorts peppered across the US from California to New Hampshire, as well as Whistler in BC and 5 Days at Rusutsu in Japan. For an extra $200, you can gain all-season access to all mountains pretty much everywhere.
Keystone Plus Pass
If you plan to spend more than three days at Keystone during the season, you should invest in a Keystone Plus Pass. This pass includes non-holiday access to Keystone and Spring access to Breckenridge, plus five days at Crested Butte.
Now that you're stoked on the upcoming season with your all-access Epic Pass, a fresh board is the next step if you really want to ball out. Burton makes a great board, and we're big fans of Helgason's brand Lobster. Rome, Technine and Ride are some other cool brands worth checking out. Our crew is a big fan of Marketplace and Craigslist boards, both because it's sustainable (#reuse #recycle) and you can usually snag something brand new for next to nothing. For more snowboard inspo, check out Snowboarder Magazine's list of pro-model boards.
Maybe you're more comfortable on two sticks instead of one; that's cool too. The same recs apply for skis if you're looking for new gear. Salomon makes some cool-lookin skis, as does Rossignol, and K2.
We always pack a lightweight bag when we're spending a day in the mountains. Not that chalet food isn't awesome, we just prefer to save some coin and pack our own water and snacks. Plus, a backpack is handy when the sun comes out and you want to shed a layer, or the wind picks up and you need to add face protection. We like this Day Hiker Backpack from Burton, or this one from Osprey.
Take it from us, loosing your new iPhone on the lift is a quick way to kill your winter buzz. Snag yourself a durable action camera that you can strap to your neck or wrist and record on the go. Of course there's the classic GoPro, but some newbie gadgets we're down with include the Insta360 and the DJI Osmo Pocket.
Goggles with Heads-Up Display
These goggles are something out of the movie Ready Player One. A few reputable brands have come out with their own version of HUD goggles, and the ultimate goal is to give you visual access to tools like mountain maps, music, buddy tracking, speed, altitude and distance. Check out the options from Oakley or Smith.
Cold and wet are not words you want to describe your feet. Get yourself a pair of quality, gore-tex boots to keep your toes toasty all season. The right boots can be worn with just about anything, but for the sake of fun, we recommend prioritizing functionality. Salomon, Keen, and Sorel make quality, stylish boots.
Give yourself some space when shopping for a snowboarding coat. You want enough room for layering, and a too-tight coat won't leave space for your body heat to keep you warm. We like our coats big and tall for layering and steez, especially multi-tasking designs with recycled insulation like the 3-in-1 Gore-Tex Weapon Jacket by 686. Obviously, we're down any option that's both multitasking sustainable!
A shovel is essential for an epic winter season, not just because it can get you out of a sticky situation, but because it can help you transform basic surroundings into something more fun! With some effort and imagination, you can turn a simple hill into a DIY rail park.
Portable Fire Pit
We love a quality fire pit for the snow season because its the perfect ending to a day in the snow. Especially when you're van camping, a portable fire pit like a Solo Stove is a great way to stay warm while you chill and making s'mores or hot drinks after the stars come out.
When you're stuck inside because the snow + cold + wind combo is just too much, table games are a good way to pass the time with friends and fam. Turn off the TV, put your phones away, make a batch of your favorite hot drink, and turn on some lo-fi tunes. You can't go wrong with classics like Monopoly, Scrabble, UNO, Jenga, and Chess. If your solo, a puzzle will suck you in and - before you know it - it's been hours!