What I love about being in the outdoor and travel industry, besides, let’s face it, everything. Is that the the outdoors belongs to all of us. Nature is a leveling playground, it doesn’t discriminate on age, gender, ethnicity or ability. That’s one up in my book within societies normal constraints. And so far 2016 is shaping up to be a year of epic inspiration with fundraising initiatives from the Outdoor Industry Association, and a spotlight on the centennial of our nation’s national parks. I say take on the next adventure and make yourself comfortable in the outdoors. Make outdoor adventure personal, and treat the Earth well. In the words of an inspirational Indian proverb, we should appreciate the need for the perpetual health of our nature.
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.”
–Ancient Indian Proverb
I spent the first part of 2016, at the Outdoor Retailers Show, the nation’s largest installment of outdoor industry pros in one targeted location. The outdoor movement and inspiration was palpable, along with the insights to upcoming events. I’d like to give a big welcome to our mountain neighbors in Colorado, starting off the New Year by creating accessible outdoor events. The kickoff event with the YMCA of the Rockies is a leading example of the “outdoors for everyone” mentality with it’s first ever family winter mountaineering weekend, February 26-28.
“You don’t have to be an extreme athlete to get out into Colorado’s rugged backcountry,” said Sarah Shelton, brand manager for the YMCA of the Rockies at Estes Park Center. “Our goal is to give every family the confidence and know-how to experience all Colorado has to offer in the winter season. From families with young children to those with teens and grandparents, everyone can experience a wide variety of activities suited to their interests and goals.”
While outdoor adventures and gear are getting better with market demand, more families, women and groups are jumping into real training and pushing their boundaries. However not everyone will want to learn how to make a debris hut, or primitive wildlife survival skills, so the family oriented back country weekend is the perfect option. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect with registration on the YMCA Rockies site and lodge booking.
Back Country Meet Up at Hidden Valley – Mountain Shop
Stretch your legs out at Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park. As one of the most popular backcountry spots in the park, it has a lot to offer all levels of backcountry skiing, split boarding, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing. Hidden Valley was established as a ski resort in 1955 with its first tow rope, and all lifts were removed in 1993. Trek through old ski runs and lift lines with your family or hike up to Tombstone Ridge for a more extreme experience. Not a guided activity. Nothing is provided (safety equipment, gear, etc)
Meet at Hidden Valley Warming Hut at 8:00 am to meet up with others wanting a morning of family adventure in the park!
Outdoor Winter Survival 101
Never been to the Este Park/Rocky Mountain National Park area? Curious to perfect your skills in the field? Every backcountry area is different and requires different preparation and skills. Get outside and learn about winter conditions in the Rocky Mountain National Park area with one of our experienced locals. Skills taught include preparation, orienteering, snow cave making, fires, snow variations, and more!
Meet at Sweet Memorial at 9:00am on YMCA of the Rockies property. Be prepared to be outdoors for the duration of the excursion.
Winter Ecology Hike
If you’re interested in learning about the animal adaptations and local Rocky Mountain ecosystems, join our local hike masters on a hike into Rocky Mountain National Park through Moraine Park. Hike the 3 mile loop into the park while learning all about the winter adaptations of the area. Families are encouraged to come together!
Meet at Sweet Memorial at 9:00am on YMCA of the Rockies property. Snowshoes, microspikes, boots, child carriers, and trekking poles available for rental at Sweet Memorial.
Winter Family Adventuring
Take the family out for some winter fun! Get the children out together to enjoy what the season has to offer. A little hiking, some games, snowman and igloo making, snow painting, and some indoor activities. Come and go as you wish 9:00am-11:00am. Activities will be located outside of Sweet Memorial, hike begins at 9:00am will run until 10:30am.
Book directly, and confirm availability for the event, along with kickoff party and keynote speakers, Tommy and Becca Caldwell.