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Summit Sometimes

NICOLE FORMOSAsummit daily news

Buz and Katie Rathburn are the quintessential retired Colorado couple. Their cozy Frisco duplex is decorated with primitive outdoor gear, a sprawling landscape of the Grand Canyon and a poster of Havasu Falls, a highlight of the couple’s backpacking trip in Arizona. Their bookshelves are packed full of a wide assortment of outdoor guides for backcountry skiing, hiking and climbing Colorado’s tallest peaks. Some would argue that they’re more active in their 70’s than most 20-somethings who are fresh into the county. Buz has bagged 37 fourteeners and Katie joined him for his summit of Mt. Sherman. He skis 40-50 days a season, in between his volunteer position as ambassador at Copper Mountain.”I just like the outdoors,” Buz said. “Put me outside in a snowstorm, and I don’t care.”

The couple grew up in Wisconsin and lived in Los Angeles for a short stint before moving to Boulder more than 40 years ago.Over the past three decades, they’ve owned two mountain retreats in Summit County, one in Dillon Valley and most recently, in Frisco.Why did you decide to buy in Frisco for your second purchase?After several years on hiatus from having a Summit County getaway, Buz couldn’t take it anymore.He told Katie, “I’ve got to have another mountain house,” thus the househunting began.

At the time, they owned a couple of lots near Hoosier Pass, but decided the commute into town would be too much of a hassle. Breckenridge was too expensive, so they settled on Frisco.”Frisco is the center of the county,” Katie said. “You can walk all over. You don’t have to drive anywhere.”How often do you come to Frisco?”I try and get here several times a month, every other week if not more. I just got to get a mountain fix,” Buz said.

You’re obviously very active, what are your favorites?The Rathburns have been skiing since they took their first lessons at Eldora Mountain in 1962.They also love to cross country ski, bike and hike. Buz recalled one adventure when he and a friend hiked over the Tenmile Range from Copper Mountain to Frisco.”We picked them up at Bill’s Ranch because they couldn’t make it another step,” Katie remembered with a chuckle.


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