Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of I-70, every bend of Berthoud Pass ushers in a new view, a refreshed perspective, and the promise of adventure. Whether you’re exploring the farthest reaches of the ski boundary in the Cirque, or just taking a moment to admire the towering peaks of the Continental Divide, Winter Park’s beautiful surroundings and closeness with nature have the ability to change you. Just ask longtime local and powerhouse skier, Ryndi.
“My name is Ryndi. I’ve lived up here my entire life, and I love getting outside and just experiencing all the incredible beauty this place has to offer.”
Wondering if living and playing in the same place year after year gets old? We don’t think so, and neither does Ryndi. There’s nothing quite like connecting with your natural surroundings on a daily basis.
“Being out in nature provides a total reset from the different stresses of any day, to just take a moment and breathe and get out there and be myself and be one with nature… Suddenly everything else just seems to make a little more sense; why I want to work and live here and why it’s important that I’m doing what I’m doing. It’s incredible to have trails like this right outside your door.”
You might expect that Ryndi was born with this passion for skiing, but that was not at all the case.
“Growing up, I totally rebelled against my dad. He was a huge skier and wanted me to be a skier. I didn’t want to be a skier. When I turned 10 or 11, I finally got a pair of Volkls and got out on the Hill with my dad, and it changed me for the rest of my life. I used to want to live in a city and have some high paying corporate job, and as soon as I started skiing, I realized that what’s important to me is being here and being outside and just be completely myself on the mountain.”
On those stressful days that we’re all bound to have, it’s especially important to Ryndi to get outside and reset in nature.
“In the winter our days are short and very busy, but being able to just go outside, get out on the hill, whether it’s skinning after work, getting out in the morning or a couple of laps on the chairlift, it just changes your entire perspective. It reminds you what’s important in life, and that is experiencing everything that this wonderful place has to offer.”
Its not all about a sense of place, however. Its the people, too.
According to Ryndi, Winter Park “provides such an incredible sense of community. All my friends up here are amazing skiers, and being able to go out and rip with them, whether it’s after work, before work or on a Saturday, it’s the best type of friendship you can have.”
While nature can absolutely be appreciated and enjoyed alone, it seems that some of the best moments are shared.
“I think the moments I most look forward to are those crazy ‘can you believe this is happening?’ moments. Whether it’s eight inches of fresh powder or hero dirt and you’re with your friends and all of you are at the bottom of the trail and you’re just like, ‘did that seriously just happen? I mean, that was incredible,’ those are the moments you live for.”
Skiing didn’t just provide Ryndi with a new hobby, it provided her with a new outlook.
“These amazing ski hills and all this nature right outside my door changed who I wanted to be and who I’ve become. I kind of believe that this place helps people be better versions of themselves. You learn so much more about yourself being out in nature than you’ll ever learn about yourself when you’re sitting in a chair watching TV.
Being out in nature and skiing especially has turned me into the best version of myself. It provides an amazing opportunity to really think about what your priorities are.”
For Ryndi, those priorities are the community and experiencing life to the fullest.
“The people up here are absolutely incredible and they’re so welcoming and care so much about one another and about nature.
They want people to get to experience the outdoors and be able to venture out just like they do. If you’re not sure where to go, you can ask any local and they’re going to give you all the down and dirty knowledge to get you out there and make sure that you’re having just as incredible of an experience as we are.”
Ryndi added, “It’s also taught me how important nature is and how special it is and how important it is that we work as hard as we can to keep land like this looking like this.”
When it comes down to it, for Ryndi there is something special about venturing out in Winter Park.
“There’s another mountain or another trail or another awesome experience to be had, and those are experiences that you can’t get everywhere. There’s so many different options for every type of person. There’s adventure out there and it’s open to everybody.”
One thing is clear, Ryndi’s purpose-driven and adventurous life is something to aspire to, and we’re so happy she’s decided to call Winter Park home.
“I honestly don’t know what I would do without nature. It suffuses every aspect of my life. And I’m so lucky that I pretty much plan my days around getting outside and being out in these incredible mountains.”