Lately I’ve realized that the life I’m living isn’t mine, and it needs to change. How do I know? I haven’t left the country in over a year. And it’s totally because I don’t know how to stop overthinking the whole travel thing.
Maybe you’ve experienced this too. You dream of visiting Paris or Micronesia or Svalbard. But you keep finding reasons to file it in the “someday” category, letting opportunities pass by. You just can’t seem to commit and pull the travel trigger.
And that’s really tragic. Because when social scientists ask dying people about their biggest regrets, they almost never say, “Dang, I shouldn’t have blown all that time and money traveling.” Instead, they almost always regret the things they didn’t do.
I’ve been immersed in the high-altitude mountaineering world since January. And to be honest, it’s getting a little testosterone-y. At this point, I seriously don’t care what 8,000-meter peak you’ve climbed or $3,000 tent you own or how fast you can do The Incline. I just want to have fun without everything being a goddamn competition. So I was thrilled to find a few girlfriends who were interested in climbing the Angel of Shavano Couloir.
So before I get in trouble, I just want to point out that there are no truly easy Colorado 14ers.
There’s nothing easy about hiking uphill in the thin air 2.5 miles above sea level. The only 14er hike I’ve ever done where I haven’t suffered just a little was from the parking lot to the gift shop on the summit of Pikes Peak.
On the other hand, there are plenty of Colorado 14ers that are “easy” in a relative sense and can be climbed by mere mortals. Even mortals who are new to hiking, don’t have perfectly sculpted gym bodies, or just got off the plane from Florida.
If you’re willing to sweat and suffer a bit for a chance to stand on top of the Rockies, this blog post if for you. Let’s look at nine easy Colorado 14ers that anyone with basic fitness and lots of heart can climb.
Once upon a time, someone believed I could be a mountaineer. And it changed my life. When you’re doing something that huge and scary for the first time, it’s hard to know how to believe in yourself. You almost need someone else to believe for you.
I remember standing next to my instructor looking up at my first couloir. It looked completely vertical, this thousand-foot wall of snow. “You can totally do this,” he kept telling me as sweat broke out on my forehead. “You’re gonna love it.” And he was right.
But you can’t always rely on other people for your courage and motivation.
One of the most common questions we hear at Miss Adventure Pants is how to get started with hiking (or backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, etc.). Hiking for beginners can be overwhelming. People wonder things like, what do I wear? How do I find people to hike with? Will I get eaten by a bear?
The good news is that hikers are a friendly bunch. No matter where you are and what you want to learn, there’s probably someone out there who would be thrilled to introduce you to the sport they love. You just need to find them. Continue reading Hiking for Beginners: How to Get Started
Spring is here, which means it’s couloir season in Colorado. If you’re excited to put on your crampons and kick some steps, here are three easy Colorado snow climbs you need to check out: Juliet Couloir, Boudoir Couloir, and Whale’s Tail Couloir.
These classic Colorado snow climbs have a maximum slope angle of less than 45 degrees (though conditions vary a bit from year to year). They’re all great choices if you’re new to the sport, feel like easing into the season, or are introducing someone to Colorado snow climbs. Continue reading 3 Easy Colorado Snow Climbs You Need to Try
So we’ve all probably had that moment when it’s like, “Damn. I really need a better hiking first aid kit.”
Mine came when a friend fell off his mountain bike and skidded across 15 feet of dirt. “I’m OK!” he said, leaping up. And then his shin melted like the Nazi’s face in the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And this was upsetting, considering he had no hiking first aid kit, and I had two Band-Aids and some Advil.
How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest? These days, about $70,000 dollars. Yeah, it’s totally annoying that the uber rich can pretty much buy their way to the top, complete with porters to carry their Gucci-brand climbing gear. But don’t be bitter, because today we’re going to talk about cheap adventure trips that all of us can afford.
You see, most super-posh adventure trips have a cheap alternative. Often it’s lurking surprisingly close — in the next mountain range or valley over. And once in a while, it’s possible to take the same itinerary for a fraction of the price.
So last weekend, we tried to climb Snowmass Mountain (14,092’) in the snow. Wow, talk about having to push through pain.
To give you an idea, we ended up hiking 22 miles with over 5,000 feet elevation gain in 48 hours. All on about one hour of sleep. With 50-pound packs
Usually when I hike, I have music in my head and cheeseball joy in my heart. But as we descended (slowly) toward the car, I got stuck in a black place. I felt nothing but my sore toes and tired legs and burning hatred of the monster on my back.
As endurance athletes, we’ve all probably experienced these moments (or hours) of suffering. It comes with the territory. There’s not much you can do during a tough race, climb, or hike, but push through the pain.
Or is there? Here are seven tricks to help you tap your reserves of resilience and mental fortitude when the going gets tough. Come to think of it, some of these work off the trail, too.
In the process of creating this blog, I spend a lot of time on stock photo sites searching for shots of “adventure travel,” “adventure woman,” and “adventure couple.” I also spend a lot of time following “adventurer” accounts on Instagram. And in the course of that research, I’ve concluded that the modern hipster version of the adventure travel photo has squat to do with reality.
Lovely travel bloggers, Insta-lebrities, Unsplash contributors, and the like: I totally get that social media where we live our fantasies. No one wants to see “adventure woman” with chapped lips and snot running down her nose.