‘It’s a community and it’s special’: Summit locals enjoy community and adventure while keeping monthly skiing streak alive
It is hard to beat the feeling of taking a few turns down a mountain with your friends at your side.
Two Summit County women have taken this feeling to a whole new level by maintaining a consecutive monthly ski streak, searching for snow in the summer and plunging through deep powder in the winter.
Paige Sims, Meghan Walsh and their group of girlfriends have worked together to ski or ride every month. Sims has kept her streak going for 51 months while Walsh has now tallied 32 months.
“The year I started it was that big season when we had all that snow,” Sims said. “I think it was the spring of 2019 when the Basin was open through July 4. By the time we skied at A-Basin on July 4, I figured I might as well keep the streak alive. That is what kicked it off.”
Sims said she met Walsh in winter 2019 and quickly convinced her to keep up with the monthly skiing streak.
“We kicked off and did it I think the following summer,” Sims said. “I think our first big ski was that July 2020 in the Fourth of July Bowl.”
Over the better part of two years, Sims and Walsh have taken turns mostly in Summit County while taking to the St. Mary’s Glacier area near Idaho Springs as a last-resort location.
“We would rather hike a long way for very little snow than do (St. Mary’s Glacier) again,” Sims said.
The most challenging part of keeping the monthly skiing streak alive has been finding snow to ski or ride on at the end of the summer and in the early fall.
“August and September are the most challenging months,” Walsh said. “October is probably also the most stressful in a way because the ski resorts are supposed to open, but the weather may not work out in their favor to open.”
This season, Sims and Walsh had little trouble hitting up a local ski resort or their backyards for a turn in October, but in 2020 the duo was forced to ski down Frisco’s Mount Royal.
“We went on Halloween,” Walsh said. “ We got all dressed up in costumes and hiked up Mount Royal and skied down.”
“There was sort of snow, and we hoped there was enough to ski on,” Sims said about the Mount Royal turns.
Sims and Walsh also routinely rely on friends who are willing to drive deep into the backcountry in order to find a patch of snow to take a few turns on.
“We have been blessed with friends that have been able to drive us into the middle of the mountains to find us a patch of snow, somewhere that not a lot of people can get to easily on foot, which has made the adventure even more incredible,” Walsh said.
One of Sim’s and Walsh’s favorite backcountry summer escapades occurred when one of their friends took them high up into the South Forks Swan Mountain area in his Polaris RZR.
“It was like way up and above Montezuma,” Sims said. “We came down off of Montezuma and somehow ended up back off of Tiger Road after that. That was one of my favorites. We rocked out to classic rock for like an hour going uphill, bought our friend Chipotle, did our skiing, and then we came down again.”
Most of Walsh’s favorite memories of keeping the monthly streak alive occur in the summer months, when the weather conditions are variable with rolling thunderstorms.
“We drove up to Peak 9, and as we hiked, a storm was rolling in,” Walsh said. “We ran up to the snow, strapped on our stuff and skied down really fast. It started pouring rain and lightning was striking Peak 8. We got in the truck, cracked a beer and were like, ‘That was dumb,’ but we drove all the way up, and we were committed.”
Beyond the adventures the streak brings, Sims and Walsh also enjoy the community aspect of skiing with their fellow girlfriends on a monthly basis.
“What is cool is all of us are working professionals,” Sims said. “Meghan and I kicked it off, and then we have kind of looped in two other girlfriends who come with us, as well. We know once a month that you are going to catch up with your girlfriends. I love having this group of women that I get to go out and giggle with for a few hours. It’s a community, and it’s special.”
Sims and Walsh have no end date in sight for the streak and hope to perhaps go to South America or Australia to get some extended turns in during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter season.
For those wanting to start their own skiing streak, Sims and Walsh recommend finding a group of buddies to enjoy the turns with.
“Find a good partner,” Walsh said. “Somebody who is adventurous like you. It can be anywhere. It’s a great excuse to make a day trip or even a weekend trip to get out of reality and go on an adventure.”
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