snowboarding_like_real_estate_investingReal estate investing is just like snowboarding. Wait, don’t stop reading if you don’t snowboard; you’ll still be able to follow along, I promise.

I love this time of year because my anticipations about getting back into snowboarding are getting stronger by the day (although obviously not strong enough because I haven’t driven out to the perfectly snowy slopes yet). As I was pondering my upcoming snowboarding season, I flashed back to last year, which was the first time I ever went backcountry snowboarding.

I remember when I did that how I almost immediately started thinking about how I could relate backcountry snowboarding to real estate investing (nerdy, I know). I even started to write my conclusions into a blog last year, but I was still so emotionally invested in the experience that the blog was about five pages long by the time I finished telling the story. You would have been snoring halfway through! So now I’m back, less emotionally tied to the story, and I can give you the quick and dirty about how I now relate snowboarding to real estate investing.

Hear me out…

Snowboarding Explained

This section is going to help you out if you fall into either the category of 1. never snowboarded at all, or 2. never backcountry snowboarded. I was in the latter category until last year. Even though I snowboard quite often, I had no idea the logistics of backcountry. Also, I am using snowboarding because that is what I do. I can’t speak exactly for backcountry skiing but I’m sure it is very similar to backcountry snowboarding, so feel free to interchange snowboarding for skiing if that is more applicable for you.

Okay, here we go. Typical snowboarding procedures:


This is just your basic snowboarding.


You go to a ski resort, you buy a lift ticket, you lock in one of your feet to your board, you scoot across the snow to the lift, you ride the lift to the top of the mountain, and you snowboard on down (with a huge frozen grin on your face). The only equipment needed is your board, which is attached to your feet with bindings, and that’s it. That’s the whole process, minus the technicalities of how one actually snowboards successfully.


$50-110 for lift tickets, depending on what slopes you are on.

Backcountry Snowboarding

Oh man, where do I even start? For the record, when the opportunity was presented to me to go backcountry snowboarding, there was not one mention of the reality of how this all works. All I heard was that there was an abandoned ski resort (in Estes Park, Colorado, for anyone interested) and people go boarding down it. Woohoo! I was in! Abandoned anything, and a ski resort no less? Sign me up.


First, you pack a backpack with all your necessary gear. Who knows what that even is? Then you attach your board to the outside of your backpack. What? Well, you have to carry it somehow, and your hands are too busy using ski poles, which, until that day I thought were essentially sissy-sticks. So your overly long board is now sticking out of your heavy backpack, and you put all of that on your back. Okay, got it. Then, you strap into snow shoes. Snow what? I didn’t even know these existed.

You are now harnessed into these long, wide, bright orange platforms that you walk through the snow with. They aren’t awkward at all {insert eyebrow-raised face here}. Then you are handed the sissy-sticks. You now have your sticks, your bright-orange huge footies, your board creeping out from behind your back hitting you in the head, and a look of concern on your face. But! No problem, you’re an athlete and hello, this is an abandoned ski resort! Doesn’t get better than this for cool points and Instagram.

Now, it’s time to start up the mountain. I have no idea why I didn’t think further into this when it was initially proposed to me, but here we went. You start walking. It’s kind of flat at first, no biggie (a little weird with your big orange shoes, but whatevs). Then you get to the part where the uphill starts. Remember, you are walking directly up to the top of a ski mountain, so it’s decently steep — steeper than you probably realize from your normal boarding or skiing because you go side-to-side going down the mountain (unless you’re a downhill skier with a death wish).

Now you are walking straight up. Straight…up. Well, something else happens as you climb the mountain that you probably hadn’t thought of. The higher up the mountain, the fresher the powder gets. What happens then? Well each time you put one of those big orange snow shoes down into the snow, it goes about an extra 3-5” in than if you were walking on packed snow. The problem? If your foot goes in an extra 3-5”, you have to pull it back out an extra 3-5”. Let me tell you about some snow shoes, 3-5”, and some Achilles tendons!

In my case, we walked a solid 1,000’ up the mountain. It’s not totally relevant, but I think worth noting is that I live at sea level, and this 1,000’ straight-up climb through fresh powder in snow shoes was happening around 10,000’ in altitude. I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE. Or my lungs were going to collapse, or… all I know is that is the first time I’ve ever used caps in a blog I’ve written. It was that severe.

Here’s proof this really happened:

Read The Rest On Bigger Pockets.

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