Have you ever told yourself: I'd love to go helicopter skiing but it is just too expensive?
What if I told you there is another option, known as "poor man's helicopter skiing," and it is free or cheap? What if this budget option gave you access to backcountry terrain and also helped you escape the crowds, without an expensive alpine touring kit?
Welcome to cat skiing, the best way to escape spring break lift lines and get powder turns days (or sometimes weeks) after the resorts have been tracked out, all without hours of hiking and route-finding.
Often overlooked, cat skiing at Summit County resorts gives you a backcountry experience with little to no avalanche danger and quick access to après beers. Even locals occasionally shrug off the cat skiing experience in favor of their familiar secret stashes, but the cat-accessed terrain can satisfy your powder addiction days after a storm.
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ook up in the sky. It’s a bird! No, it’s a plane! Wait — it’s a skyrunner?
In attempts to escape the cold weather and set myself up for a real challenge, I took a short trip north to the beautiful town of Estes Park to explore running in Rocky Mountain National Park, what some consider the Skyrunning Capital of the USA.
Our captain yells the order as sailboats in front of us quickly scurry to get out of our way moments before a head-on collision.
There is nothing easy about sailboat racing on Lake Dillon. Rumor has it that our hometown reservoir is one of the more difficult places to race sailboats in the world, but I have little background to justify that statement. If you want to experience the thrill of a high-alpine lake regatta, join a racing crew. It’s the real deal: Due to the constant wind shifts and random directional changes, a crew out here must be prepared for anything. Learning to sail on Lake Dillon gives you the skills to sail anywhere in the world.
On my recent trip to Glenwood Springs, I pondered the power of water in new ways. I give it the respect and admiration it deserves for creating massive, roller coaster-sized waves to play on with my whitewater kayak, but I often forget its role in carving out underground caves and formations like stalagmites and stalactites. Glenwood is the epicenter for incredible water creations, including the underground caverns, mineral hot springs and a whitewater play park located on the mighty Colorado River. The experience can be described in three words: powerful, restorative and mesmerizing.
Springtime is here and what does that mean? Backcountry skiing! Who says it’s time to put away your skis just yet? Colorado mountain weather is unpredictable, and snow in May is always a possibility (There’s a storm rolling in as we speak), so why not get some last-minute runs before it all melts off?
“We all have ideas as entrepreneurs. I had an idea as I was traveling the world, and I really like to take my sports with me,” longtime local Shawna Henderson said. She launched her own business, Adrenaline Escapes, in 2012, with the goal of connecting Summit County visitors with local guides and heart-pounding activities. The idea dawned on her in the midst of a trip to Colombia, when she tried to pull together plans for a mountain biking excursion.
Ouray: Ice-climbing legend Jeff Lowe and the Switzerland of America
March 17, 2016
On my latest trip to Ouray, I discovered more than an incredible ice-climbing mecca — I found a way of life. I recognized the importance of living in the moment while learning from the past through the inspiring stories of pioneers, entrepreneurs and visionaries in small-town Colorado.
Here’s a question for you: How many times have you driven from Frisco to Breckenridge and gazed off to your left (the far edge of Lake Dillon near Farmers Korner) and been captivated by the sight of colorful kites in the sky, pulling their passengers along on a wild ride across the snow? We’ve all probably said it at least once: “Wow, that looks fun. I’d love to try it.”
Did you ever have a secret desire to run away and join the circus? Maybe not the best idea you ever had, but the idea of travel, freedom and being part of the “big show” always had an allure compared to regular life.
When you think about starting the new year off right, what comes to mind? Like many of us, you may follow the time-honored tradition of making a list of goals and objectives to further your growth and better yourself over the next year. Unfortunately, these lists often end up sounding a lot like your list from the year before. Perhaps it’s time to shake things up a bit and try something completely different.
Best of 2015: Spending the night on top of a Colorado 14er
January 02, 2016
Recently, I met adventurer Dr. Jon Kedrowski from Vail, who slept on the summit of every Colorado 14er in 95 days. He wrote a book on the experience, titled “Sleeping On the Summits,” and inspired me to leave my 500 thread-count cotton sheets and down comforter in order to set up a new bed — at the top of Quandary Peak.
So what did you do this past weekend? I’ll be honest — November is not my favorite month in Summit County. As an outdoor enthusiast and longtime local, the idea of taking one run at a local ski resort on the White Ribbon of Death has lost its appeal. Luckily, with our recent good fortune of white gold from Ullr, hiking up the mountains to catch a few powder turns has been epic this month.
Adrenaline Escapes — Founded by Summit local Shawna Henderson, Adrenaline Escapes gives adventure seekers a way to actually find adventure, not just a tired tourist attraction. It pairs traveling bikers, anglers, skiers and more with local guides with insider knowledge of the area. Looking for the best backcountry access on your first trip to Breck? This app is for you. It will launch for iOS this holiday
Out of all the outdoor adventure topics to write about, I will admit that I have no authority giving any specific advice on the sport of hunting.
Some people may wonder why a girl who rarely eats meat and cannot kill a spider would write about hunting.
I believe it is about understanding and finding out the real motivation behind the sport. What I really wanted to know is, what drives man (a general term) to sit out in the woods for days waiting for an animal to kill?
Are you ready to change your perception? As a child, did you enjoy those optical illusions where you can see objects in two different ways, depending on how you look at it? Remember seeing the vase? Or was it two faces? How about the old woman, or is it really a young girl facing away?
Just as our eyes can fool us, so can our perception of a situation. This leads me to my last adventure: Taking a daytime activity — whitewater kayaking — and doing it at night.
When the USA Pro Challenge found home in Summit County
August 23, 2015
There is a special energy when people gather to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of exceptional athletes. The USA Pro Challenge attracts individuals who are pressing the boundaries of their sport, along with fans who want to celebrate this major accomplishment of nearly 620 miles in seven days.
Endless adventure mountain biking from Telluride to Moab on multi-day hut trip
July 23, 2015
Do you ever think about that fine line between pleasure and pain?
Some people might argue that we want to avoid pain at all costs, but, in order grow and learn more about ourselves, we must feel the pain and let it work in our favor. When it comes to sports, good pain helps us become better athletes. The body needs to work through the pain in order to become stronger or else nothing changes, and you stay in the comfort zone.
Summit County app pairs outdoor junkies with coaches and guides
June 19, 2015
When Shawna Henderson took a recent rock-climbing trip to Spain, the longtime Summit County local was at a loss.
Henderson is familiar with the crags and cracks back home. But in a foreign country — even one teeming with world-class climbing — she wasn’t sure where to begin. Should she pony up cash for a guided tour and risk getting stuck with a beginner group? Or should she blindly scour the Internet to find exactly what she wanted in a sea of user-generated content?