top of page

3 Rules For Living In A Mountain Or Outdoor Town

Welcome to THE ROCK FIGHT an outdoor podcast that aims for the head and today it's THE MOUNTAIN TOWN TAKEDOWN!

There are some things that people who move to mountain towns really need to do differently and THE ROCK FIGHT is here to help! Today we'll tell you the three rules you need to follow if you live in a mountain town or if you aspire to live in a mountain town.

Listen and share with the mountain town folks in your life.

Please subscribe to THE ROCK FIGHT and give us a 5 star review wherever you get your podcasts.

Have a question or comment for a future mailbag episode? Send it to or send a message on Instagram or Threads.


(automatically generated so if there are typos you can blame our AI overlords)

Colin (00:02): Welcome to the Rock Fight where we speak our truth, slay sacred cows, and sometimes agree to disagree. I'm Colin True. And it's October, which means if you're an outdoor enthusiast, your friends who live in mountain towns are already a month into social media posts anticipating the start of the most insufferable outdoor activity, skiing or snowboarding at a resort. And today on the show, I'm going to tell you the truth about mountain towns and give you the rock fights guidelines for what to do if you decide to move to a mountain town yourself. But first, if you are gearing up for winter adventures, whether they be on the lifts or otherwise, the place to go is geared Your home for anew, outdoor gear and apparel. You can get the stuff you need and also make money by letting gear trade. Take the stuff you don't head to gear and click on the sell your gear tab to learn more. Alright, let's start the show. Welcome. (00:57) A daily routine of mine is to eat a large slice of humble pie and look at my Facebook memories, the confluence of being the exact right age when social media really took off. And being of the outdoorsy persuasion means there was a three or four, maybe five year stretch where my Facebook status updates were upon reflection, simply insufferable, brags humble brags random song lyrics, the 2009 equivalent of a chain letter that someone else tagged you in to list your top 20 Richard Gear performances that define your sense of self musical taste or favorite foods. And all mostly third person references to myself because lest you've forgotten or are too young to know, early Facebook status updates prompted you to fill in the blank next to your name. So daily I get to see memories that read, like is convinced that the double rainbow he sees means nothing because at the time it would have read like Colin True was convinced that the double rainbow he sees means nothing. (01:56) It's a painful reminder of the idiot I used to be and a validation of why I only keep a Facebook page for work purposes and no longer even offer captions to photos I post on Instagram. I definitely don't want to be that guy anymore. And the vast majority of these posts were from when my family and I were living in Park City and doing our best to be mountain town people, which was the second time we had moved to a place with that express intent, the first being a year spent in Colorado's front range, we aspired to be the type of family who moved to a place that cemented our status as outdoorsy, one of those coveted locations that allowed us to answer the question, where do you live in a way that is dripping from a bath of jealousy? The, I know you're jealous of what I just said thing because doesn't everyone automatically just want to live in one of those places? Isn't this one of the dirty secrets that no one talks about in the outdoor community? The assumption that anyone who steps foot outside is also yearning to live in one of these western Speaker 2 (02:58): Mountainous locales. That perception is actually earned because for those who live to go outside and yet live in a place that doesn't resemble a park city, a Tahoe, or a Jackson hole, it's been drilled into our heads that those are the places you should want to move to. Thanks that decades worth of photos and videos from outdoor brands and athletes. And once you're a resident of one of these places, you have an obligation to continue to promote this sturdy secret with social media posts of mountains and captions like, how beautiful is this place? Or I can't believe I get to live here. As well as to show up to all the terrible outdoor concerts that are held during the summer. Excitedly tell everyone how many days are left until the local ski hills open Think t-shirts sold in local shops that read my life is your vacation are hilarious. (03:47) And all of this, of course was the genesis for many of the horrible Facebook status updates I force myself to revisit on a daily basis more than a decade later. Now, before you think I'm just a total hater with a lot of regrets, I actually think anyone who values being in the mountains should absolutely have this experience because the root of the attraction, easy access to incredible outdoor places, to all the fun adventury things, anyone who was a fan of this show likely does is real. You wake up every single day in a place that is defined by our community, those little nods of the outdoors that you see in everyday modern life bikes on cars, outdoorsy stickers, people wearing puffy coats, beanies and plaid shirts are the norm. And it's hard not to fall in love with what we do all over again when you show up in these towns. (04:38) But it is an illusion because living in a place that is exceedingly one dimensional isn't really living. It's hiding from real life. For most people living in these places, it's just intellectual masturbation. You talk all the time about how amazing it is, but it's only truly done to satisfy yourself. And yeah, I'm allowed to say these things because I've been there. I've done this twice. I worked hard to be a quote mountain person and I have the old Facebook status updates to prove it. If I were to ever write a self-help book, it would probably be on this topic. So in order to help everyone out, the rock fight is here to implement three guidelines to determine if you should live in a mountain town or if you choose to live in a mountain town, how to act. Here we go. Three guidelines. Number one, the act like you've been there before rule. (05:29) You know when people get pissed at athletes for celebrating a touchdown or flipping their bat after a home run and they say something like, Hey, act like you've been there before. Yeah, that's where we're starting. You need to remember that by choosing to live in a mountain community, you are not doing anything special. It could be a big deal for you, it could be your lifelong dream come true, but any commentary about how lucky you are blessed you are fortunate you to do anything or be anywhere is 100% humble bragging or just straight up bragging. If you made it to where you want to be, good for you, but there's nothing special about it to anyone else. And your comments can and do come across like you're somehow better because you now live at like 7,000 feet. Number two, the Colorado clause. If you land in a mountain community or frankly anywhere for that matter, from here on out, you are restricted from telling people where you live. (06:29) Like people in Colorado do because no one in Colorado is just from Denver or just from Crested Butte or just from Steamboat Springs. No, when you ask them where they are from, it's always, ah, I'm from Denver, Colorado. Hey, I'm from Crested Butte, Colorado, or I'm from Steamboat Springs. You guessed it. Colorado. Colorado and more specifically, Colorado towns with ski resorts are definitely ground zero for bad outdoor town behavior. I don't know what PR firm Colorado used to try and claim to be the outdoorsy capital of the universe, but they were definitely underpaid. I recently saw an outdoor journalist post something on LinkedIn about Colorado being unlike anywhere else in the world and true to their poor mountain time behavior. They ignored me completely when I commented. Really, there's nowhere else in the world where you can do what you can do in Colorado. And all of that is a shame because it makes me not like Colorado, which is a truly awesome place. (07:27) But whether that's the state in which you live or you live in a different mountain community, we don't need the full title to rub in the fact that you live in a cool place. We know. Yeah, we already know. Number three, the ski resort paradigm. Look, if you truly want to live a life in the mountains, then you need to be a true mountain dweller, an explorer, not an enthusiast, a descendant of Jeremiah Johnson who traded in their fur trap for an ice ax. If you're moving to a mountain town specifically to ride lifts and to ski or ride at a resort, then you can just fuck right off. You can like to do that, but it needs to be at the bottom of your list of favorite winter activities after things like backcountry skiing, mountaineering, or even just winter peak bagging. I have no statistics to back this up, but I feel like the overwhelming majority of those who move to a mountain town do so in order to ski inbounds at a resort and claim to be outdoorsy. (08:22) Go back to the first episode of this show to get my thoughts on resort skiing. And while I think it's fun and a component to living an outdoor lifestyle in a mountain town, moving to an incredibly expensive town to log more days at the park, that's the antithesis of the best of what these towns have to offer for real explorers. Ultimately, here's what matters. There is great outdoor stuff everywhere. Deifying these mountain towns is an old way of looking at things. It used to be that adventure existed in these places almost exclusively. And now we know that adventure can be found all over the place. Social media and the digital world is often shit on in the outdoor community as we look for ways in our lives to get away from screens. But without YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, there are places and adventures that I never would've known about. (09:08) But more importantly, and the real reason why I'll never live and one of these places ever again is that they're missing the rest of what makes life enjoyable. I like going to the movies or an n b A game or a museum, and I certainly like variety when it comes to things like eating out. I mean, it's cool that a place like Bend has like 30 breweries. Well, my town has 150 breweries and the trails near my house are awesome. So I love knowing that I'll have choices when it comes to the frosty cold glass of giggle soup I'll have after wandering around in Bend, but for the day to day, I'll stay local. Ultimately, variety is the spice of life and living in a mountain town, it's just too narrow a way to define yourself. So there is one other. The reason I continue to subject myself to those Facebook posts, and that's because occasionally the memories feed will provide a gem of a photo of my oldest daughter when she was little, and those moments are great to relive and share with her now that she's a senior in high school. (10:01) Recently, one popped up from our time in Park City when my daughter was about, I don't know, seven or eight years old, and in the picture she's sitting on her bike, a big box procured rig I believe was called Rosebud, had a FFR handlebar bag, coaster brakes, and probably 12 inch wheels. It was the first nons scoot bike she ever owned. A relic of a previous Christmas, the bike, she learned how to ride on without training wheels. On the day we took this picture, we had taken her to do a local kid's mountain bike race. At the time I was in the racing mountain bikes and while at least up to that point, she never exhibited any real competitive inclinations. She liked the idea of going to do a race and be like Dad. And that so far has been her first and only bike race. (10:39) In the photo she's smiling and I can recall her liking it well enough, but ultimately it was box checked. Let's move on. This is also reflected in the photo as she's smiling, easily waiting her turn to roll through the star gate and out onto the course, she's dressed in a frilly white tank top and wearing shorts that I'm guessing we got either at a thrift store or at Old Navy. She's wearing her mom's old bike helmet and looks like a kid who just likes being out on her bike rather than a bike racer. And I say that because behind her in this photo is a kid who was dressed more like what the other kids racing that day were wearing, which was basically a kid's version of a spandex and synthetic bike racing kit Rudy Project or Oakley Sunglasses and sitting a stride, either a trek or specialized 26 inch wheel, legit mountain bike. (11:23) Now I can't prove it, but the expression on this racer's face as they look towards my dressed like a kid, not a bike racer daughter perched on top of Rosebud is a little in the vein of who the hell is this and why are they here? And I guess that's fair. It was a race after all. But not long after this photo was taken, we moved from Park City to Seattle. Marking the second time we left a notable mountain west outdoor town for a major city. Our outdoor adventures wouldn't stop, but they would change in a way that was better for us. Speaker 3 (11:52): Living in mountain towns definitely helped us prioritize what was important in our lives. And though it's tough to look back at some of my more cringey Facebook posts, I can say that our lives are better because we tried those places on for size. So if you're considering it yourself, do it. Just remember my three rules and if you're already there and you love it, I'm happy for you. I'm legitimately happy for you, good for you. But please let me ask you something. Do us all a favor the next time. It's a random Tuesday and you're riding up a ski lift while on a Zoom meeting for work. Just resist posting something about it. I promise you don't need the rest of us to click a heart shaped like button to validate your choices. Alright, that's the show for today. Before you leave, click subscribe or follow and leave us a five star rating. Also, send your feedback on Mountain Town living to my rock We'll be back later this week with more outdoor ideas that aim for the head. The rock fight is a production of Rock Fight C, I'm Colin True. Thanks for listening and here to take us out as Krista Makes with the Rock Fight Fight song. We'll see you next time. Rock fighters.

bottom of page