I was born and raised in Challis, ID and damn proud of the 7C culture. Growing up in such a remote mountain town was a dream come true. There wasn’t a second of my upbringing that I wished I were anywhere other than home! Inspired by my parents, I was raised with an incredible passion for the outdoors and the ways of a true outdoorsman. Mom and Dad had their hands full, three boys and one tough sister. There wasn’t a moment of down time that I can remember between all of us being extremely involved in every sport possible, especially wrestling, and our regular early morning hunts, evenings changing water, fishing, hiking, rafting, and dirt biking.
After a long growing season, a complete wood stack, and a full freezer it was finally time for our family to enjoy winter sports and the fresh snow. I quickly realized a true passion for power sports especially snowmachines when we would snowmobile into backcountry lakes to go ice fishing. My first sled was a 1978 Polaris 440 TX, and man would that baby scoot on the hard pack in the flats! Quarter inch channel aluminum cleats riveted to the track made for killer traction on the hard pack! I quickly learned that pinching the throttle from hard pack to powder was a necessary means of making it to another track or additional hard pack in order to not get stuck.
My first real ‘mountain sled’ was a 2007 summit 151” skidoo that I had snow checked from Hinson’s Power Sports (now Mile High Power Sports). I really had no idea how to keep up with the local riders at the time of purchase, but I wasn’t about to let that hold me back. I had moved to McCall for the winter that year and intended to ride 5-6 days a week. I was fortunate enough to get mildly accepted into a very strong, aggressive, and adventurous group of local riders. It was certainly time for me to figure out how to get myself unstuck and keep up. The other option, find my way back to the truck, sell my sled and chalk it up as an experience, was not even an option for me! Needless to say, I picked it up quickly, and I was quickly nicknamed “the energizer bunny”. I did ride 5-6 days a week sometimes I’d ride 14- 16 days in a row, the true beauty of living in McCall… everything is so close. I have been fortunate enough to throw a leg over several snow ponies since and will be riding an 850 154” this season…. Possibly boosted!
I haven’t looked back a single time since that winter, guide in the summer/fall months and ride all winter! That was the plan until I realized “life” still needed to happen, hahaha! Luckily, I met an incredibly understanding woman that truly loves my passion for riding the backcountry and wouldn’t have it any other way then for me to continue to find ways to keep after it.
Sledding to me is something that I can constantly find challenges to overcome, new amazing zones to explore, and a true sense of freedom from all of life’s demands. I truly wish I could help every Idaho resident that has any sense of wild in their nature to see and experience what we are so fortunate to witness every time we take these incredible machines into the backcountry. The terrain and areas that we are able to access extend far beyond any other mode that is currently possible other than by flight. All while not disturbing a single thing!
My son, Riggins James Butts, is yet to be born at the time of this, but I am eager to show him the great backcountry of Idaho and believe that Cody has started something that should have been started a long time ago! I now have two additional brothers and a badass wife that share the same passion of winter exploration via snowmachines. I whole heartily look forward to helping Sum+It Riders keep Backcountry dreams alive!
Sum-It Riders | Jason Butts