My Epic Skiing Road Trip to 11 Mountains

I will be starting an 11 mountain ski road trip on February 1, 2017. The ski pass that enables this is the Mountain Collective pass. For only $400 (about $18 per ski day), it gives you 2 days of skiing at every mountain. This trip wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for this pass – I am eternally grateful for it! The retail price for 22 days of skiing would be over $3000.

I plan on staying at each mountain 3-4 days bookended with one day of driving (and sometimes two days). So I will have 1-2 days of rest/non-skiing play at each mountain – if you have any recommendations of things to do, drink, or eat PLEASE comment below.

Most of the driving between mountains will be about 5-6 hours except for the 2 days that it will take me to drive to and from the three Canadian mountains (Whistler, Revelstoke, and Banff).

I plan on sleeping in the van only when it is reasonably warm (nights that are not below 20 degrees F). Otherwise, I will be staying with friends, AirBnBs and hostels (which I love). I do have a small camping heater and 12 volt plug-in blanket to keep me warm. I have a new set of winter tires, a spare tire, snow chains, 24/7 roadside assistance and I just changed my oil to a lower viscocity of oil (0w30) for the colder weather.

My criteria to define a ‘successful’ trip are very low – as long as I don’t crash the van or break my body or get horribly sick, the trip will be considered a success. With so much winter driving, inevitably something will go wrong. I want to be as well prepared as I can be.

The mountains (in order) are Mammoth (CA), Squaw Valley (CA), Alta/Snowbird (UT). Sun Valley (ID), Whistler, Revelstoke, and Banff (all in Canada), Jackson Hole (MT), Aspen (CO), Telluride (CO), Taos (NM). Of the 11 mountains, I have only skied one (Telluride) so almost every mountain will be new to me! Here is the map of my planned route (starting in California and finishing in New Mexico).

Please comment with any ideas, recommendations, or places to see or visit on my epic road trip!

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Photo is Telluride, Colorado where guys ski in cowboy hats!

2016 Year in Review

Moved to Austin, Texas
After being on the road for most of 2014 and 2015, I needed to find a warm place to spend the winter. I had never been to Texas before but heard wonderful things about Austin so I went there in January 2016. All of the hype was spot-on – I loved my time there!

Here are some quick highlights from my time in Austin:

  • Camped and hiked in Big Bend National Park
  • Went to lots of cold springs in Texas
  • Went ski diving for the first time
  • Sung karaoke for the first time (totally sober!)
  • Started investing in real estate and have owned over 400 acres of land in Texas.
  • Did the Landmark Forum and had multiple breakthroughs and now I see endless possibilities in life.
  • Learned how to have authentic, genuine conversations with anyone.
  • Learned how not to treat women and also how to seem women as people and not an object of my desire.
  • Built great relationships with many new friends.
  • Planned a 3 month ski road trip to 11 mountains over 7 states and into Canada
  • Sold my old rusty van and converted a new(er) sprinter van into my new ‘house’
  • New Crossfit PRs: a 310 lbs front squat, 410 lbs deadlift, 255 lbs bench press, 240 lbs clean, 8:51 Helen, 1:32 – 500m row.
  • Camped at most of Texas’s great state parks
  • Attended one of the best business conferences – Freedom Fast Lane Live.

Personal Goals for 2017
All of my goals this year will be possible from making $10k per month in personal income.

ONE-TIME
Sell condo
Pay off all remaining debt

ONGOING
Do Yoga classes
Begin learning Italian
Thank everyone that has impacted my life
Write daily
Meditate and do gratitude daily

FUN STUFF
Take massage classes
Guitar lessons class
Singing lessons
Dancing classes
Krav maga classes
Do a silent meditation retreat

HEALTH
Get consult with online doctor / Finish health related testing
Screen for colon cancer
Back squat 400lbs – front squat 350 lbs

BIG GOALS

Setup my life to start full-time international travel

Build the foundation to start building self-sustaining, intentional communities


Picture is of 50 acres of land that I own in Texas.

My Current Home – 2006 Sprinter Van 158 Model

In August 2016, I purchased a used 2006 158″ Dodge Sprinter van (Super high) from a dealer in Texas for $16k. It has 98k miles and the bottom of the van has a rust-protecting undercoating.

I converted the van into my new RV in 10 working days spread out over 4 weeks. I purchased a one-month membership at Techshop so I had access to a chop saw, table saw, tools so all of my cuts were straight and accurate. The TechShop also was next to a Lowes so it was extremely convenient while building the van.

I modeled my van by using Cyrus Sutton’s folding bed/hammock design. I chose it because I would have easy access to the storage cabinets on each side of the van and it allowed for a much larger bed (almost king size) while not sacrificing access to storage.

Electrical additions:

Other additions:

Insulation:

When I first started researching the vanlife, I picked up the Sprinter Buyers Guide.

After I bought my Sprinter van, I used this Sprinter Conversion Sourcebook to aid in the buildout.

SOLD: 2005 Dodge Sprinter is for sale – 144 High Top 2500

UPDATE: THE VAN HAS BEEN SOLD!

I’m selling my first DIY camper van that I converted myself. I am not a wood worker and it’s a little rough but everything is completely functional.

Priced to sell at $12,900. The van is located in Austin, TX. 

2005 DODGE SPRINTER VAN 2500 ¾ ton 144″ WHEEL BASE.

SUPER HIGH TOP ONLY 180,000 MILES PERFECT CAR FAX

The vehicle number is WD2PD644455726505. The title is clear and is in hand.

On the inside, the seats are both in good condition, with no sign of wear. The fabric is good on both seats, with no rips. All gauges and indicators work fine. Mechanically, the 2.7 liter Mercedes diesel starts quickly, runs quietly, and has good power. The transmission shifts smoothly. The front end is tight. There is no sway or wobble. The tires are at least 75% all the way around. All service has been performed.  

Here are the minor issues with the van:

  • The air conditioning needs to be recharged
  • There is rust on the frame in a few spots however I have painted all visible rust with Rust Stopper
  • The side sliding door lock is sticky at times
  • The radio does not work (I have no idea what is wrong with it – I just never took the time to diagnose it)
  • One glow plug seized in the head – was still able to start in 0 degrees in Colorado winter. Two error codes: P0380 and P0672 – the codes are for the bad glow plug circuit. It has no effect on the performance of the vehicle.
  • The brake light is on but the brakes are in excellent condition.

The front 2 tires only have 12k miles on them while the rear tires have only 2k on them. Oil, fuel and air filters have been changed religiously. Sprinter mechanics are always impressed with how smooth the engine runs. It is ready for another 100k miles!

Conversion additions (which will be sold with the van):

Other improvements:

$1854 in additions have made this Sprinter a great, comfortable van to sleep in. I having been living in it full-time for 2 years. I recently bought a new van to convert so this one needs to be sold. It is ready immediately for a road trip!

The van is located in Austin, TX.

Email me at hashtagvanlife@gmail.com or comment with any questions. Thanks for looking!

Sprinter Van Conversion


When I first started researching the vanlife, I picked up the Sprinter Buyers Guide.

After I bought my Sprinter van, I used this Sprinter Conversion Sourcebook to aid in the buildout.
I have stayed on top of all engine maintenance since I purchased the van on January 5, 2015.

Mileage Date Oil change Fuel Filter Air Filter Transmission Fluid Shell ATF 134 Tires Engine Coolant (60k) Notes
140,000 1/1/2015 New brakes, pads and rotors, new alternator, new turbo tube and resonator
160,000 3/5/2015 x Replaced ball joints, front struts, and oil seals. Completed rear diff service. Completed wheel alignment.
165,000 8/1/2015 x x x New camshaft position sensor, replaced turbo resonator with aluminum eliminator
166,600 9/16/2015 x 2 rear New transmission fluid and filter. Used Shell ATF 134 fluid. Glow plugs replaced
171,280 1/5/2015 x Oil change
174,536 3/6/2015 x Put 2 gallons of Pennzoil Dex-Gold and flushed out old engine coolant
175,700 4/24/2016 x x Oil change and air filter
176,000 5/17/2016 2 rear Rotated and balanced rear tires to front; 2 Yokohama tires 225 /75R16

 

Why am I living in van

My traveling, downsizing, and living in a van is in response to many things that I experienced over the past few years. Here are a few:

My experiences owning a junk removal company
I spent 7 years of people paying my franchise to remove and haul away items from their house. Especially when the items were in perfectly good shape and could continue to be used. Let that sink in. We donated or recycled over 75% of the items but I was always shocked at how many things people owned but didn’t need.

I was also surprised at the number of items that were still ‘new in the box’ or never opened that we hauled away. It shows you that items are sold at such a low price that people don’t think twice about getting rid of an item that they never even used!

Living in a condo
I purchased a 2 bed/2 bath condo in late 2008. It was a steal but I quickly realized that I didn’t spend much time in my condo. I never got a television or cable and it was 30 minutes from downtown Denver so friends never came to visit.

My daily schedule dictated that I leave my condo between 6-8am and return between 8-9pm each day. I used my condo just as a place to sleep for 8-10 hours a day. That’s when I started to think about not commuting each day to my office and being truly mobile.

My high school years
I wholeheartedly believe that the job of a parent is to raise their kids to become independent, self-reliant adults. I feel that my parents did a wonderful job of this because at 15 years old, I felt like I could take on the world. I bristled at authority and being told ‘No, you can’t do that’ – I would often disobey my parents and do what I wanted to do.

My high school years felt like I was biding my time to get to college and then the ‘real world’. It was a time that I felt that I didn’t have much control over my life and was constantly yearning for freedom. Many young people see the the ‘real world’ as a scary place, but for me, it’s the most freedom I’ve ever felt in my life. I could do what I wanted – no expectations and your choices could forge your own path.

These experiences had been bouncing around inside of me for years and finally manifested itself after my talk with my coach in my #vanlife. I still may not know exactly what I’m going to do with my life, but at least I feel like I have the freedom and autonomy to choose how and where I live.