Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride The Rockies: Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride The Rockies
Whoa, what a night! I know the year is young, however, last night might well turn out to be the best night of the year for me and perhaps one of the more memorable of my life.
You see I went to the near-famous Lizardhead Igloo. No, it’s not some kind of a fancy restaurant or swanky bar. I’m talking about a real igloo, crafted in the Inuit tradition and situated in the wilderness high above Lizard Head Pass in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
Ever since my first winter in Telluride nine years ago, I’d heard about the igloo. And I always wanted to go. It took the visit of Mary Ann, an out-of-town friend, to serve as the catalyst in making this dream a reality. You wouldn’t think I’d need such a nudge, but keep in mind that it’s darn cold out here in the Rockies at night—especially after a day on the slopes. So it takes real motivation to muster up the energy required for such an adventure.
Although you only have to drive about forty minutes outside of Telluride to reach Lizard Head, an impressive pass with an elevation of 10,222 feet, you have to venture into the woods a distance to reach the igloo. What was announced to be a twenty-minute hike turned out to be at least double that, a strenuous ascent that required us to climb more than 500 feet on a snow-packed trail which had only been mildly tamped down by the igloo revelers that passed before us. Mary Ann, Mary Dawn, Neil and I formed our little party of nighttime snowshoers, a small group of plodding souls that I’m sure irked Neil to no end. (Apparently he powers up the mountain in a fraction of the time it took us.)
Being Green Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride Telluride Festivals Travel: Being Green Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride Telluride Festivals Travel
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Here it is Friday afternoon and plus it’s almost summer. Many people in the United States are gearing up for the weekend, starting it full-on actually. This is the time when most of us exercise our God-given right to play. Recreation, sport, play—have you ever contemplated how important this is in our lives? Most of us first learned to play when we were little kids. Play teaches us so much—how to get along, how to compete, how to follow rules and more. It’s not just about fun although fun is a key component to any game.
So imagine being a child in a war-torn country where play of any kind is nonexistent. Frank Marshall, part-time Telluride resident, renowned Hollywood producer and director of the ESPN movie “Right to Play,” talked about his film and the necessity of play last weekend at a coffee talk at Mountainfilm Festival here in T-ride. Mr. Marshall told the story about how one kid in a far flung, ruined country became popular because he had a long sleeve shirt that could be rolled up into a ball and used for play. Contemplate that when you’re out on your boat this weekend.
Thank goodness there are heros like Johann Olav Koss, an Olympic speed-skating champion from Norway that used his drive and influence to create the global organization Right to Play. Now over 700,000 children in about two dozen countries are benefiting from the joy and discovery of play made possible by Johann Koss, a score of other Olympic athletes and teams of workers from around the world. Frank Marshall captures the indomitable spirit of this Olympic champion and the hope and love he brings to the children touched by Right to Play. Best of all: You can watch the forty-two minute “Right to Play” film tomorrow afternoon, Saturday June 2nd, on ABC. Check your local listings for the correct time in your zone. It’s such a wonderful film that I’d guess it will be played again on other outlets at other times. more »
Colorado Outdoor Adventures Podcasts Shopping Travel: Colorado Outdoor Adventures Podcasts Shopping Travel
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Did you know that most of our mountain towns attract more visitors in the summer than in the winter? Heck, yeah. As the saying goes, “I came for the winter and stayed for the summers.” Our hills are alive with all kinds of great outdoor activities. Actually our mountains, valleys and streams furnish glorious backdrops for fair weather fun of every stripe.
I chatted with Bob Gleason, owner/operator of Bootdoctors and Further Adventures, in a recent Travel Fun interview and he provided me with a fantastic overview of the rafting, fly fishing, hiking and biking in Telluride, Colorado and the outlying area. Between the lush alpine landscape and the rugged red rock of southwestern Colorado, the whole region offers many stunning experiences both on the water and off.
“I like to play on those H2O molecules all year round,” Bob says. It’s true that as the snowpack melts, the level of fun rises on our rivers and streams. This year’s flow will be rather thin, yet there are still good times to be had. Further Adventures arranges rafting trips on two different rivers in southwestern Colorado: the San Miguel and the Uncompahgre. This year the season is super short on the San Miguel (only through early June), although most years you can run the river through the end of July. Bob and his band of river guides will be conducting float trips on the Uncompahgre all summer long.
“There’s nothing like floating thru a river canyon to see the geology of the area,” Bob says when talking about some of the highlights of river rafting in the West. “Any time you spend on a body of water is a time of peace. The Native Americans called the river system the veins of our mother,” he adds.
Outdoor Adventures Podcasts Travel: Outdoor Adventures Podcasts Travel
As ski season winds down, many people in our mountain towns are hurriedly formulating their travel plans for off-season. Whether you’re planning to heli-ski in Canada or loll on the beach in Florida, you definitely should consider what kind of protection you have in case of accident or illness when away from home. All travelers should pay attention to this post, in fact, since no matter your age or your level of adventure, you never know when you might be knocked down with some unfortunate medical emergency.
Colorado Outdoor Adventures Skiing & Snowboarding The Rockies: Colorado Outdoor Adventures Skiing & Snowboarding The Rockies
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It’s that time of year again. Ski areas are opening up one after another here in Colorado and one of the first questions on people’s lips (right after what are the conditions) is what’s new?
It seems as though Vail Resorts might be out-doing the rest of our best-loved Colorado ski resorts this year, at least in terms of high-tech fun. Yeah, you no longer head to the mountains to get away from it all—especially in terms of communication—since smartphones and social media make staying in touch an inevitability.
And then comes the EpicMix, an application launched last season by Vail Resorts that features technology embedded into a card that does just about everything to enhance your on-mountain experience except carry your gear. The card—which is provided just as easily for season passes as for day lift tickets—allows the ski company to scan passes through jackets without the hassle of needing to make them visible. Add to this a ton of other special features that allow you to track vertical feet, number of days on the mountain, noteworthy feats and other achievements and you’ve got a whole lot of stats about your snowsports experience at the ready.
Outdoor Adventures Podcasts Shopping The Southwest Travel Writing & Books: Outdoor Adventures Podcasts Shopping The Southwest Travel Writing & Books
How many of America’s national parks have you been to? I’ve only visited a handful even though I love the great outdoors, wide open spaces and awe-inspiring scenery. It’s so beautiful here in Telluride that I often feel like I’m living in a national park. But still. There are so many out there to discover; the question is where to begin.
Here’s a great start: let James Kaiser, award-winning travel writer, photographer and expert guide you. Listen to my Travel Fun interview below and hear what James has to say about some of America’s greatest treasures. Like me, he agrees that most Americans are missing out on what’s in their own backyard. “Fifty percent of the people you see in America’s national parks are foreigners,” James says. “They travel halfway around the world to visit our national parks,” he continues. And while you’re listening to our interview, I suggest you check out his site, JamesKaiser.com, where you can see and shop for some of his spectacular national park photos.
Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Podcasts Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride The Rockies Travel: Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Podcasts Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride The Rockies Travel
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It should come as no surprise that we have one of the world’s best alpine adventure companies based here in Telluride, Colorado. Our surrounding peaks rival the mightiest of the Alps, so it’s no wonder that Peter Walker, founder and president of Ryder-Walker alpine adventures feels right at home in our mountain town. Here he has also enjoyed a great rapport with the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School for many years, a fruitful relationship that has enabled him to enlist some of their top instructors as Ryder-Walker guides year-round. “We have the passion of an insider and an outsider,” Peter told me during a recent Travel Fun interview, referring to his company’s approach and philosophy both in the Alps and in Telluride.
Peter and head guide, Ken Fuhrer, talk with me in the below podcast about how Ryder-Walker has grown over the past twenty-seven years and why it consistently ranks as a top travel company among discerning travelers. National Geographic, in fact, has rated Ryder-Walker as one of the top ten best outfitters on earth. “We bring a very fresh perspective to everything we do,” Peter explains in the interview. This, combined with a depth of knowledge about the Alps and other destinations they feature on their tours, has assured them a devoted following partly made up of clients that have been taking trips with them for years. Kenny, a top ski instructor, emphasizes the adventure as a whole. “It’s the group experience that makes it so special,” he says in the interview, explaining how people feel about themselves and others at the beginning and then at the end of the trip. I’ve known these guys for a number of years through Telluride Ski & Snowboard School and I can tell you that in addition to being highly skilled mountain guides, they’re fun, enthusiastic, great people-persons and highly professional.
Trekking season is winding down in the Alps but it’s a good time to start planning for next year since many of the Ryder-Walker tours fill up fast. They offer a terrific trek in and around Telluride in the fall and a tour to the desert Southwest in the spring. Their success has lead them to create tours and programs in far reaching countries such as Slovenia, India and Bhutan as well. I was happy to learn that there are rumblings about Ireland, too. Know that Ryder-Walker can set you up with many self-guided hikes and no special request has proven too tall for them. (Champagne toasts roped down to a client on a high peak have become almost commonplace for these adventure specialists.)
Listen to the below interview to hear more about this dynamic company. Peter also talks about how he recently came to create a unique relationship with PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America). Yes, with side country skiing growing and pushing all kinds of boundaries, it’s no wonder PSIA asked Ryder-Walker to become a member school. Someone needs to instruct all those instructors!
Kenny also talks about Alpenglow Ski Safaris and Telluride Mountain Guides, two sister companies of Ryder-Walker that also offer some fantastic opportunities for being expertly guided through the mountains.
Click on the play button below to listen to our interview.
Hotels Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures The Rockies: Hotels Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures The Rockies
We’ve been in the throes of monsoon season throughout most of Colorado, that cool, wet time of year that typically rolls in with the fourth of July and leaves by Labor Day. It doesn’t rain every day, but you can count on a decent soaking at some point—usually in the afternoon—just in time to relieve us from the hot, Colorado sun. These bountiful rains have made our rivers and streams swell and our mountains and valleys verdant and lush. I feel for the people plagued with sweltering temperatures and drought in other parts of our country. Indeed, many Texans have been seeking relief here in our delicious alpine climate.
I listen to the soothing din of the tiny stream that courses down the mountain next to where I live and work. I’m calmed by its steady flow by day and night. Its surge is lasting longer this year due to our blessed rains and our melting snowpack. Yes, there’s still snow way up in the high country, thanks to the abundant storms of this past spring.
People here love to get out on the water. They fish, raft and explore our pristine waterways, forever grateful for the moisture that the mountains release. Some of the river adventures offer calm float trips, others thrill with exciting whitewater rafting. One thing’s for sure though, the water’s pretty darn cold. But oh-so fresh.
I’ve gone on trips-of-a-lifetime (at least thus far—there’s still the Grand Canyon) on the Gunnison River the past two summers. Each provided an outdoor adventure extraordinaire for this rather girly girl. I loved the fierce embrace of the river throughout both of these thirty-two hour expeditions. They impressed me so much that I wrote about them at Rafting and Roughing It on the Black Canyon of the Gunnison: Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.
This year I’m sending my hunny off solo. I rarely do things twice—unless it’s a visit to Paris or a hike in the mountains—so I decided not to accompany him this time around. I’m sure I’ll be dreaming of the river’s infinite caress though, the canyon’s beckoning walls.
Fortunately I can take solace in the incessant sound of the water outside my window.
Creek Side Bed & Breakfast, 790 N. Grand Mesa Dr. (US Highway 65), Cedaredge, Colorado, 970-856-7696, creeksidebed-breakfast.com. Situated near the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and the Grand Mesa, this little b & b can serve as a base for visiting these two spectacular sites on the western slope of Colorado. And if you love to be lulled to sleep by rushing water, it’s a must for you. Owners Terry and Carol Jarbo will welcome you with great warmth.