AdventurePro Spring 2017

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DUR A NGO, C O · (970) 247-5830 · W W W.BCE X P.C OM





Light, nimble and ventilated, this multi-sport chameleon features a redesigned AirScape™ backpanel to limit perspiration and a carry system that stabilizes loads during dynamic activities. A variety of volumes accommodate everything from minimalist day hikes to lightweight backpacking trips. No matter what trail or pack you choose, we’ll see you out there on the #CommonPath.


What Is Your Adventure?

No Reservations Required 993 NM 516 Aztec, NM • 505.334.5500 • (4 miles west of Aztec, and 1 1/2 miles east of Flora Vista)


Camp is where you park it! You never need reservations when you bring your very own camping system along with you. • 10 ft by 10 ft sleeps 6 people comfortably. • 6 ft by 6 ft rainfly extends usable area and provides added protection for the entire roof. • Full access to vehicle while inside tent. • Great for tailgating or as a shaded environment for outdoor gatherings.

Your Four Corners Honda Dealer Since 1991

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Great communities build great trails and great trails build great communities 250026


Photo by Terrance Siemon


MOAB, UTAH From magnificent mountain biking to perfect hikes, we take you off Main Street and show you spots off the beaten path.


TREASURE MAP The Southwest knows a thing or two about beer. Find your way to the taproom in our craft beer lovers guide to paradise. We highlight some of our favorite barley pops from Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.


HEALING WATERS These magical miles of the San Juan River are part relaxing float trip and part whirlwind through time. Geological splendor meets cultural history during this three-day river trip.

WILD VOICES 54 HOMETOWN HERO You may have seen Stevie Kremer fly by you on the trail, or running up a mountain, but we slow her down long enough to hear how she balances the life of a professional trail runner with her role as a small town girl.

ON THE COVER Riders take in the view before heading up the Gold Bar Rim Trail in Moab, Utah, part of the Magnificent 7 trail network. Read more about these trails on page 42. (Photo by Terrance Siemon)




SPRING 2017 Brandon Mathis, Editor Claudia Laws, Sr. Manager, Online News Content & Video Production

Terrance Siemon, Photographer and Videographer

Laurie Kain, Photographer and Videographer Ben Gavelda, Freelance Photographer and Videographer


Todd Bartz, Director of Creative Services

Justin Meek, Art Director

Jim Dodson, Art Director

Christian Ridings, Art Director

PRODUCTION Ryan Brown, Production Manager

DISTRIBUTION Aani Parrish, Senior Operations Manager

MARKETING Brittany Cupp, Digital Marketing & Audience Development Manager Jamie Opalenik, Marketing Communications Manager




Aaron Heirtzler, Director of Web Design and Development

Kricket Lewis, Vice President of Digital Product & Product Management

David Habrat, Vice President of Advertising

Colleen Donley, Advertising Director

Hank Blum, Account Executive

Kelly Bulkley, Account Executive

Kerry Curtis, Account Executive

Ami McAlpin, Account Executive Emily Roos, Account Executive

Shawna Long, Account Executive

Teressa Nelson, Senior Account Executive



Douglas Bennett

Bob Ganley

© 2017 All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Published in the United States by Ballantine Communications, Inc. – 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Ballantine Communications uses reasonable effort to include accurate and up-to-date information for its special publications. Details are subject to change, so please check ahead. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this guide. We welcome suggestions from readers. Please write to the editor at the address above.

SPRING2017  7


A Grand Tour Nearing a dawn finish of the legendary Gore-Tex Grand Traverse ski mountaineering race, teams of two climb and descend some 15,000 feet, over a distance of 40 miles, across the Elk Mountains of Colorado. The March race begins at midnight in Crested Butte, and ends between 7 and 16 hours later in Aspen.

Photo by Trent Bona


SPRING2017  9


Photo by Terrance Siemon

Spring is Nature’s Medicine I

t’s hard to put your finger on it, but mountains, deserts and trails heal like magic. And to think that Americans spend as much as 90 percent of their lives indoors. Ouch. Being outside has benefits for improving mental and physical health. Vitamin D levels, known to combat cancer, depression and even heart attacks, soar with as little as 15 minutes of sunlight, according to a Harvard Medical School report. And more time outside can lead to more activity. Being active outdoors has been documented to elevate moods and improve self-esteem. Researchers in England call it green exercise. One study at the University of Pittsburgh showed that surgical patients exposed to natural sunlight took fewer pain medications and suffered less stress. Even magazine editors work better if they can ski, run and ride trails several times a week. (OK, that last one is based on our own research.) 10

So, soak up some vitamin D, because spring has sprung, and that means anything is possible. This second issue of Adventure Pro is about embracing that possibility. We explore Moab and mountain bike Moab’s Mag 7 trails to the edge. In Wild Voices, legendary trail runner Stevie Kremer shows us how she holds a job and still crushes everyone by running mountains around the world. We explore mountain waters with San Juan Anglers, hit some waves while stand up paddle boarding and float through time on Utah’s mighty San Juan River. All of us love the majesty of the outdoors, but sometimes we may forget how vital it is. Not only for our peace of mind, but also for our bodies, our communities, our economies and our quality of life. Southwestern outdoor advocate and author Edward “Cactus Ed” Abbey says it best:

“So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air … I promise you this one sweet victory … over those deskbound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”  See you on the trails. BRANDON MATHIS, Editor

When you envision yourself in a place that lets you live life to the fullest, what do you see?

What is your dream of paradise?

Durango is often found to epitomize many of the ideals that people associate with living in ‘paradise’: high quality of living, tight-knit community, and healthy environment. Thankfully, our ‘paradise’ is not just a dream. We take great pride in assisting many people in making Durango their home.

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Colorado Love Outdoors Headed to The Dolores, Salt, or Colorado River? Zion, Moab, Grand? Stop here on your way to your destination. Centrally located in the heart of The Southwest, we have the apparel & gear for you. Backpacks Clothing Shoes Maps Rafting Gear Waterbottles Tents Climbing Gear Accessories & Gifts 28 W Main Cortez, CO (970) 564-3299

Love What You Do. SPRING2017  11


Brandon Mathis Editor

“I always knew I’d be writing and doing something visual,” Mathis said. Starting as a freelance writer, later becoming a newspaper reporter, Mathis’ skills in the outdoors quickly changed the trajectory of his career when he cofounded Adventure Pro in 2015. His love for the outdoors shines through in his photos and in the craft of his writing. When not in the office pounding away at the keyboard, the Adventure Pro editor can be found pretty much anywhere outdoors – typically with his camera and recorder nearby. He’s on a constant carousel of outdoor pursuits from rock and ice climbing to snowboarding and splitboarding to trail running. A lifelong cyclist, he is perhaps best at home somewhere out on the trail. And as a resident of southwest Colorado for 25 years, he knows the empty canyons, the mountain stashes and where to be when the weather is right throughout the Four Corners. “For me it’s about quality of life,” he says. “Friends and family, enjoying work, run, ride, ski, climb: That’s a good week.” Mathis lives with his wife, Bee, and their puppy monster, Juneau.

Sara Knight Illustrator

“I was that kid sitting in the back of class in junior high or high school doodling in the margins of my paper instead of paying attention. Or maybe it was as a way to pay attention,” Knight said. Originally from Texas, Knight traveled to Colorado for college, fell in love with the mountains and 9 years later is a seasoned Coloradan. While an artist most of her life, Knight just recently began to combine her love of the doodle with her love of the outdoors. An avid mountain biker, trail runner, hiker, skier, and snowshoer, she has a new vantage point while outdoors lately. “When I go on a hike now I think of how I would doodle it and it gives me a different perspective.” Knight lives in Durango, Colorado, with her fiancé, Josh. Check out Knight’s doodles in our Wild Voices article on page 54. Keep up with her doodling adventures at


Terrance Siemon

Videographer and photographer Gifted with a camera from his grandfather at the age of 12, Siemon built a telescope, attached the camera to it and took photographs of the moon from his New Mexico home. On that day, Siemon’s love of photography was born. In college, he began to experiment with timelapses, combining still imagery into moving images. From here, he made the short leap to videography. After college, Siemon worked as a news videographer and in marketing before landing his dream job shooting video and photos for Adventure Pro. “I like being outside with a camera,” he said. And outside he is: Snowboarding, mountain biking, climbing and running, Siemon does it all and typically with a camera strapped around his neck and video equipment on his back competing for room with his other gear. “You feel different when you finish a day of skiing instead of watching a basketball game on TV. You’re pushing yourself.” And, he still gets to explore astrophotography. Some of the most compelling videos on feature Siemon’s timelapse work.

Justin Meek Art director

It’s all about play for Meek, whether at work or in the outdoors. And combining his love for outdoor activities with his work as a graphic artist has been incredibly satisfying. “It’s nice, it’s enjoyable. A lot of people don’t get the chance to do that: Play.” A southern boy at heart, one who still speaks with a friendly, lulling drawl, Meeks was thrilled to return to his Colorado roots a few years ago. Born in Denver, the mountains and the beauty of the outdoors called to him during his life growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A job opportunity landed him at the foot of the La Plata Mountains where his two favorite outdoor activities reign supreme: fishing and mountain biking. The stillness of fishing appeals to him, in the same way the thrill of biking does. “I love just being out in the wilderness alone, outside of civilization and the unknown of whether or not you could catch a fish. It’s a surprise,” he said of fishing. In biking, it’s the thrill of the ride. “I love the endless amount of trails. There’s always something new, something different.”


We have videos. You like videos. Watch our videos. Biking, climbing, rafting, fishing, stand up paddleboarding, camp hacks, splitboarding, backcountry safety and so much more.


MOBILE On the trails, the wall, the water or the slopes. Find us on mobile – we’re everywhere you and your pocket computer are.

ADVENTURES Gather around the campfire with friends, grab a guitar and sing a song, but don’t stay up too late, tomorrow’s a big day. Plan your adventures. /ADVENTURE

KILLER WEEKEND Five places not to miss, 2 days to hit them all. We scout out the best trips for a killer weekend. /KILLERWEEKEND

CLIMBING Sometimes getting out is just plain fun. All it takes is a few friends and a little grit. Check out the climbing scene. /CLIMBING

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SPRING2017  13

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RENTALS · DEMOS · REPAIRS ALWAYS CARRYING THE MOST UP TO DATE GEAR 970-259-7377 · 46825 Highway 550 N. Durango, CO ·














Mountain Vitals A different perspective on all things outdoors Shedding winter layers sends people rushing to the gym every spring to get back in shape. But the best health club may be the getting outside.

Photo by Hank Blum


Calories Burned Per Hour by Activity

Spring into Step!

Basic weightlifting: 224 Bicycling at 20 mph: 892 Aerobics: 520 Running a 7-minute mile: 1,078 Tired of swimmer’s ear and chlorine? Rock climbing burns as just as many calories: 820 Even mowing the lawn and gardening will help you burn off those winter cupcakes: 334 Hiking: 450 Watching TV: 56 Mountain biking: 632 Sitting in meetings: 120 Walking: 300 Sleeping: 46

Money Maker Outdoor recreation isn’t just fun and games. The $646 billion annual outdoor industry is serious business. It generates nearly $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues each year. Some 142 million Americans went on 11.6 billion outdoor outings in 2015. The outdoor industry supports 6.1 million jobs in the United States. Some 768,000 jobs in the U.S. are related to trail sports. That’s forty thousand more trail jobs than there are lawyers (728,000) in America. For every dollar spent on outdoor gear, four dollars more is spent on trips and travel.

Online or Lift Line?

Your one stop spot for everything running! 473 E College Dr Durango CO 81301 970-764-4366 @durangorunningcompany HOURS : MON - SAT 10AM - 6PM & SUN 12PM - 5PM

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Money spent on internet access: $54 billion. Money spent on snow sports: $53 billion.

Which One Are You?

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2015 top three outdoor activities:


18 percent of Americans run, 51.5 million participants. In 2006, there were 4.56 million trail runners. By 2014, there were 8.14 million.


16 percent of Americans fish, 45.7 million participants


15 percent of Americans ride, 43.1 million participants.  *Information from Harvard Medical School, Outdoor Industry Association’s 2015 Report,

741 Main Ave., Durango, CO Winter Hours: 11am-9pm 970-247-0264 • @firedupdurango SPRING2017  17


Photos by Terrance Siemon

OSPREY DURO 1.5 TRAIL RUNNING VEST Hit the ground running. Stable and secure. At the foot of the Rockies, anything can happen. You just better be ready and that means being prepared. So when Osprey Packs released their anticipated Duro/Dyna men’s and women’s trail running vest line, we loaded one up with gear and hit the trails. Osprey is a seasoned southwestern Colorado-based company as much about creating a healthy culture and environmental stewardship as it is about getting people in one of their packs. Starting out modestly in 1974, they have flown to the summit of the bag design mountain that exists today. Pack masters for every kind of excursion, they’re working trail, targeting runners and adventurers, all “forward movers,” with little tolerance for sloshing weight and clumsy features. That’s where the Duro/Dyna design comes in. 18

They wanted something that was a true trail running pack/vest, according to Osprey Senior Marketing Manager, Vince Mazzuca. Something that could vanish on your torso, even when loaded with water and gear, solid, but not overbearing. Five pockets up front. Done. Two low small stash pockets, one zipper, and two that are perfect for optional 500 ml Osprey Hydraulics Soft Flask water bottles, or maps, bars, gels, gloves/hats or giant cellphones. A tiny whistle gets tucked away, trekking pole stow loops are at the ready, a small weather-resistant pocket sits high on the back, and two mesh side pockets are perfect for stashing things out of the way. Couple the design with a BPA-free Hydraulics LT 1.5 liter bladder on the back and you have a forget-it’s-there

hydration pack vest that is good for everything from the toughest lunch runs to fast and light peak bagging. The Duro has a reassuring tactical feel with no bouncing and no constriction, thanks to what Osprey calls its body wrap harness: a breathable, snug wrap mesh material, soft on skin, cinched up by two removable sternum straps and two side straps. Ours fit like it was made for us. While it’s not the lightest vest on the market, it’s far steadier and poised than other vests that can sag and droop. Ours isn’t just part of our running kit, it became most of our running kit. Available in three sizes: 15, 6 or 1.5 liter $140, $110, $90

Photo courtesy Road ID

DARN TOUGH LifeStraw SOCKS We randomly ended up with a pair Darn Tough Socks when we couldn’t find our other favorites on the road. And we haven’t looked back since. Ric Cabot of Northfield, Vermont, shared an idea with his dad: Make the best socks in the world. The soft, yet uber rugged merino wool socks are made with a 168-fine-needle-weaving process, and are shrink-treated so they stay as perfect and comfortable as they are burly — ­ each sock has about 1,400 stitches per square inch. What you get is a high-quality, handinspected sock made in the USA at a family-owned and operated mill in the Green Mountains of New England. “We make one thing, and we make that one thing better than anybody,” Cabot says. In fact, each pair comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. That’s right. Don’t like them? Send them back and they’ll replace them. Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew — $20


Imagine a water filter as simple as a drinking straw. Just put it in dirty water, pull through the straw and drink all the clean, safe water you can. That’s LifeStraw. By sucking the water through a hollowed membrane fiber which physically strains out bacteria and protozoa, LifeStraws are easy to use, high flow and easy to clean. They’re surprisingly inexpensive and the filters are replaceable. Developed by Switzerland-based global health company Vestergaard and distributed by Eartheasy in the U.S., there are no moving parts and no batteries or chemicals. One 2-ounce LifeStraw, about 9 inches long and one inch in diameter, will deliver 1,000 liters or 264 gallons, the equivalent of one year of safe drinking water, to its user. “The EPA standard for removing the usual suspects, Giardia, E. Coli and Cryptosporidium, is 1.0 microns,” says Ben Seaman of Eartheasy, who first tested LifeStraw on a three-day backpacking trip in the mountains of Western Canada. “At 0.2 microns, the LifeStraw provides five times more filtration.” And with their Follow the Liters program, for every straw they sell, they’ll donate one to a developing country. You’re not only helping you, you’re helping someone else.

When Edward Wimmer was 21 he began training for his first marathon. Much to his father’s dismay, he carried no form of identification, but that was about to change. Brushed by a large truck at 50 mph while on a run, Wimmer found himself laying in a ditch, grateful to be alive. It started to sink in, how traumatic it would have been for himself and his family if he were unconscious or seriously injured with no identification or information for emergency personnel. That’s when he and his father founded Road ID The concept is simple: an ID tag worn somewhere on your person with basic information and phone numbers for emergency contacts. “Our company purpose is to saves lives and provide peace of mind,” said Road ID spokesman David Zellen. “We created a new category to make IDs that are comfortable and durable so they could meet the needs of athletes and active people. We also made them more stylish so they could seamlessly work all day, everyday, from training to the office.” And with their Elite series, you’re able to create an interactive profile linked to a database service. Road ID wearers can provide an entire medical profile via an account number to first responders without saying a word.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter — $24.95

Road ID — starting at $20

Check out our gear closet. It’s getting full.

SPRING2017  19


Going Rogue A

Photos Courtesy of Nick Smolinske

fter a hiking trip turned into a bike-packing trip due to closed roads in the spring of 2014 somewhere in the mountains of northern Arizona, Nick Smolinske of Flagstaff had a revelation: He would make the perfect bike-packing bag. By autumn, armed with a sewing machine and “too much time on (his) hands,” he set out to make a bike frame bag for himself, learning the hard way that panniers and road bikes were not best suited for the kind of riding he was infatuated with – long, dirt roads and high, rugged mountains. Two years later, Rogue Panda Designs has five employees producing a complete line of bike-packing accessories out of Flagstaff, Arizona. “What we do is make bags in the U.S. efficiently and affordably,” Smolinske said. “To offer custom frame bag options with a quick turn around time.” And custom is key; all it takes is a photo. Smolinske and his team scale it and get to work. “So instead of having to send a template or having to trace your frame, all you have to do is take a ruler or tape measure up against your bike and take a photo. And then I do a lot of math.”

In fact, the former math instructor said the system is as accurate as any other method. Growing from a solo mission to a full staff, Smolinske said he’s busy with the trappings of a blooming business, combining two things he loves: riding and designing. The staff is a mix of experienced needleworkers and riders and that formula is working. According to Smolinske, who longs for outings on the 750-mile Arizona Trail, Rogue Panda is for anyone interested in carrying things on their bike. Whether just getting into it, or crossing over from other genres of long distance cycling. His product is tough, and well thought out. He uses a durable sailcloth base fabric that is weather resistant and internally waterproof, and when called for, the seams are sealed. The fabric has no stretch, so it retains its shape. The result is a burly piece.

A point of pride for Rogue Panda, whose name is derived from a prank - a hacked digital road sign near Flagstaff - is that everything is made in-house. “We do all the cutting and sewing. Nothing is outsourced.” And remember, custom is key. “We can cut out designs and press them onto the fabric,” he said. “People want custom designs on their frame bags. We’ve done state flags: Colorado, Arizona, Utah. That’s one thing we’ve been doing a lot of recently.” And from photo to finish, it all takes about two weeks for Rogue customers to get their goods. Clients are about half local and the company has even done international orders. While Smolinske makes his own hours, sometimes that means working three weeks straight, weekends included. Other times, it’s “product research.” We found him on the road traveling back to Flag after a holiday trip. “It’s like being a workaholic interspersed with more opportunity to get outside. “ And to Rogue Pandas all over, that’s their main objective: Building a kit, and hitting the trail. For a closer look, visit them at

Watch how Rogue Panda makes their custom designs at 20

Red Rock Podiatry will get you back on your feet doing what you love. Podiatrists Dr. Carelock and Dr. Cook offer surgical & non-surgical procedures for all ages: Foot Fractures, Bunions, Hammertoes, Osteoarthritis, Ganglion Cysts, Ingrown Nails, Tendon Ruptures, Nerve entrapments Ankle Fractures, Instability, Bone Spurs, Tendon Ruptures, Cysts, Tarsel Tunnel

if you need us, we’re here. Close to Home

1311 North Mildred Road. Cortez, CO | 970.565.6666 |

Build a healthier body from the ground up


aking proper care of your feet keeps you healthier in the long run. At Southwest Medical Group, the podiatry team led by Dr. Terry Cook and Dr. Ben Carelock, strives to keep patients active by providing top quality care for a variety of common issues concerning the foot and ankle. What is a podiatrist? A doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) is a physician or surgeon specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions of the foot, ankle or related leg structures. What services and resources are available for podiatry patients at Southwest Medical Group? At Southwest Medical Group, the most common issues for the podiatry team revolve around the care of patients living with diabetes and athletes. The care team also handles both surgical and non-surgical procedures. Whether a patient has mild joint discomfort or a full fracture in their foot, podiatrists are trained to treat a

variety of conditions. The list includes foot fractures, bunions, hammertoes, osteoarthritis, ganglion cysts, ingrown nails, tendon ruptures, nerve entrapments, chronic foot pain, ankle fractures, instability, bone spurs and tarsal tunnel. “We typically are able to get 95 percent of patients better without surgery,” Carelock said. The foot specialists can also take x-rays, customize orthotics and brace or cast patients in house. For urgent issues and acute pain, patients can schedule same day appointments, but Carelock says they always appreciate a call in advance.

SPONSORED CONTENT How can people stay on their feet? For some dealing with chronic pain in the heel or joints, seeing a podiatrist is often the best step forward. These issues are often easily amenable, but won’t go away on their own. Between everyday wear and tear, injuries and infections feet experience, focus on activity can actually be more beneficial. “Stay active,” Carelock said. “Periodic activity and inactivity is a risk factor for injury. We see a lot of injuries from people who are weekend warriors. They used to be active, but they get out of shape. Then they wind up trying to do something intense and hurting themselves.” If I receive a sports-related injury, can I see a podiatrist? Often podiatrists can specialize in other fields within the practice, such as surgery, sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics and diabetic care. The physicians at Southwest Health System are trained and experienced with these types of injuries. “We are not sports medicine specialists, but we do offer sports medicine services,” Carelock said. “Sports medicine has a slightly more functional component to get people back to the activity quickly.”

Podiatrists Carelock and Cook are happy to serve patients in the Four Corners region, including the Ute Mountain and Navajo reservations. For happier, healthier feet or better shoe recommendations call to schedule an appointment at (970) 565-8336. SPRING2017  21


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Now AcceptiNg MedicAid AloNg with All other iNsurANces




Service · Sales · Rentals • Full Service Repair Facility • Custom Boot Fitting is our Specialty • Durango’s Best Selection of Alpine Equipment • Fun for the Whole Family

SERENDIPITY Jeremy Dakan enjoys a winter reprise in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Spring storms can hammer the Rocky Mountains long after the seasons change, and many skiers and snowboarders jump at the chance to get in a few more turns.

3533 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301 (970) 247-1923 | Photo by Terrance Siemon


SPRING2017  23

Your guide to events in the Southwest and beyond

BEHIND THE ROCKS ULTRA  MOAB - MARCH 25 Take a 30K, 50K or 50-mile jaunt through scenic Utah. With the top race boasting an elevation gain of 7,000 feet, this competition provides pristine views of the La Sal Mountains and the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Area.

GRAND CIRCLE TRAILS ULTRA ADVENTURES MONUMENT VALLEY NAVAJO TRIBAL PARK - MARCH 25 Have something going on? Share it here. Don’t miss out. Grand Circle Trails features seven races each year, each one providing amazing views, difficult terrain and incredible bonding experiences. This one features Mountain Valley singletrack like you’ve never seen before.

OUTERBIKE  MOAB - MARCH 31–APRIL 2 Opt for a full demo experience, bring your own bike or just get a social card and enjoy one of the best spring biking festivals. Can’t make this one? Outerbike offers two other events: Summer in Crested Butte, Colorado, or head back to Moab in the fall.

GRAND CIRCLE TRAILS ULTRA ADVENTURES ZION - APRIL 7-8 This tough, tried-and-true trail run is one of the most scenic events in the West. Pick from a half-marathon, 50K or 50 miles of trail.



ADVENTURE XTREAM MOAB  MOAB - APRIL 22 Racers can choose from two courses in this multi-sport event. Either the 50-mile AXS Sport Course consisting of mountain biking, kayaking, a 300-foot rappel course and navigation or a similar 50-mile course, the Adventure Duathlon, which skips the kayaking section. This course challenges even the gnarliest competitor.

AMASA TRAIL RUN  MOAB - APRIL 29 Shorter than many courses on this list, this race offers 6.5-, 9.5- or 15.5-mile runs just northwest of Moab. Take your time and check out the views of the Canyon Country and the La Sal Mountains.

FLY FISHING FILM TOUR RIDGWAY, COLORADO - MARCH 10  AND  GREEN RIVER, WYOMING - MARCH 18 This captivating collection of eight fishing films takes viewers on a journey through the lens and into the lives of anglers the world over. From Christmas Island to the Rocky Mountains, Eastern Russia to Mexico, and up and down the East Coast of the U.S. from Maine to Virginia, all capturing the spirit and obsession that surrounds the love of fishing.

JACKSON HOLE RENDEZVOUS MUSIC FEST JACKSON HOLE - MARCH 15-19 The four-day Rendevous Music Festival in Jackson Hole blends the best of the Teton’s spring skiing with free concerts on a stage right downtown. Wrap it up with the Marmot Coombs Classic, a fierce and exhilarating lap race off the chair at Jackson and out one of two challenging routes in the spirit of legendary skier Doug Coombs.





GRAND TRAVERSE  CRESTED BUTTE - MARCH 25 Held at elevations above 9,000 feet, this two-person, 24-hour race is a tough one. Starting out at midnight, skiers ascend 6,852 feet to reach Star Point (12,303 feet.) Safety precautions abound, after all this is the backcountry, so carefully review the event’s website to make sure you’ve got the required skills and gear before you register.

WOMEN OUTSIDE ADVENTURE FORUM  DURANGO - MARCH 28-30 The second annual Women Outside Adventure Forum by Backcountry Experience is not to FRIENDS OF CHEYENNE CAÑON ANNUAL HUMMINGBIRD be missed. The forum will feature a diverse lineup of female athletes, writers, filmmakers FESTIVAL  COLORADO SPRINGS - MAY 21 and outdoor industry professionals – including National Geographic adventurer, author and activist Shannon Galpin. The forum is open to women (and men!) of all ages and will Food, art, wildlife experts, birds of prey and hummingbirds. Eat, drink and be merry for this showcase the incredible adventures and work women are doing in the outdoors. Mother’s Day weekend event set in North Cheyenne Cañon. Enjoy miles of trail among the more than 1 million acres of the Pike National Forest, with trails for hiking, trail running, RUMBLE AT 18 ROAD  FRUITA - APRIL 22-23 biking and horseback riding. This multi-sport race, combining mountain biking and trail running, is one of the first of the TELLURIDE MOUNTAINFILM  TELLURIDE - MAY 24-29 season. Catering to ages and talents of all levels, this race is a great one to test your legs after a season on the slopes. Enjoy the outside inside. Mountainfilm celebrates the spirit that motivates outdoor enthusiasts to get out and do great things. Films feature world-class athletes, environmental FRUITA FAT TIRE FESTIVAL  FRUITA - APRIL 27-30 issues and highlight the joy of being in the outdoors. You’ll walk away inspired. This bike fest celebrates everything we love about Fruita and Grand Junction MTB COLLEGIATE PEAKS RUN  BUENA VISTA - MAY 6 trails. Pristine singletrack, great music and a good time with friends makes this a perfect weekend. The Collegiate Peaks Run features either a 25- or 50-mile loop run. With an elevation gain/drop of 3,500 feet on each loop, this race is a tough one. But the singletrack, jeep DESERT RATS CLASSIC  FRUITA - MAY 13 trails and killer views are worth every step. Choose from either a 50K or 100K mountain bike race winding through the Kokopelli Trail 12 HOURS OF MESA VERDE  MESA VERDE - MAY 13 and the Zion Curtain Loop Trail. Designed for either geared bikes or single speeds, this challenging race is one to work up to. This endurance mountain bike race offers a unique opportunity to explore the Phil’s World Trail System, a classic featuring some of the best singletrack on the Western Slope, TASTE OF DURANGO  DURANGO - MAY 21 right under Mesa Verde National Park. Hungry for something off the menu? Join a crowd of about 12,000 people and stroll IRON HORSE BICYCLE CLASSIC  DURANGO - MAY 26-28 through four blocks of Durango’s downtown Main Avenue, grabbing mouthfuls of anything from sliders to lobster macaroni. Chefs present something special just for the event, and A road race pitting bicyclists against the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train cocktail maestros get super creative. Tasters can vote for a best of, last year’s choice was to see who can complete the trip from Durango to Silverton the quickest, this is a highlight a flatiron steak with king crab sauce and fingerling potatoes. The best cocktail was made on the Western Slope. In the years since it began, top racers easily best the train, but for the with a local honey vodka on the rocks. average racer the scenic race through the mountains of Colorado is pure man vs. machine. SPRING2017  25

SEDONA MOUNTAIN BIKE FESTIVAL  SEDONA - MARCH 3-5 Held in the Red Rock Ranger District of Coconino National Forest, this festival celebrates some of the world-class singletrack found only in Arizona.

SEDONA YOGA FESTIVAL  SEDONA - MARCH 9-12 There’s no better way to enjoy the energy, vortices and weather of Sedona than through practicing yoga here. And the SYF offers this in spades, kicking off with sunrise yoga and following up with numerous meditation and immersion sessions.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE QUEST  WHEREVER YOU ARE - APRIL 14-16 Grab a group of friends and hit the outdoors. A new concept, Outdoor Adventure Quest pits teams of adventurers against one another throughout the state via a series of challenging tasks found on the organization’s app. Get digital to get out.

PRESCOTT MONSTERCROSS  PRESCOTT - APRIL 15 This epic ride features a shorter route, nicknamed the mini monster, 60 miles long with 7,500 feet of climbing, or a longer route, the mega monster, 72 miles long with 12,000 feet of climbing. Neither of these rides are for lightweights, but if you’re up to the task, be prepared to spend 6 to 12 hours working those quads.

THE WHISKEY OFF-ROAD  PRESCOTT - APRIL 28-30 Hit Prescott’s Whiskey Row and compete in any of the three off-road mountain biking races offered (15-, 35-, or 50-mile races.) This festival offers music and a kids’ ride to boot.

GRAND CIRCLE TRAILS ULTRA ADVENTURES GRAND CANYON - MAY 27 Only do the toughest of the tough compete in these epic 50-mile, 50K or trail halfmarathon races through difficult terrain, but once there and competing, the views and the challenge are definitely once in a lifetime. Check out this race and see Grand Canyon views you’ve only dreamed about. Behind the Rocks 5 by Ryan Smith, Behind the Rocks by Chris Hunter, Fat Tire Festival Photos courtesy Fruita Fat Tire Festival, Grand Traverse 1 Alex Fenlon, The Grand Traverse, Grand Traverse 2 Petar Dopchev, The Grand Traverse, Grand Traverse 3-4 Kevin Krill,The Grand Traverse, Mountainfilm Photo courtesy Mountainfilm, OAQ Photos courtesy Outdoor Adventure Quest, Outerbike by Dave Kozlowski, RATS Photos courtesy Desert RATS, Taos Photos courtesy Taos Ski Valley, Whiskey Off-Road by Brian Leddy Photography, Sedona Mountain Bike Festival Devon Balet, Sedona MTB Festival



Behind the Rocks 5 by Ryan Smith, Behind the Rocks by Chris Hunter, Fat Tire Festival Photos courtesy Fruita Fat Tire Festival, Grand Traverse 1 Alex Fenlon, The Grand Traverse, Grand Traverse 2 Petar Dopchev, The Grand Traverse, Grand Traverse 3-4 Kevin Krill,The Grand Traverse, Mountainfilm Photo courtesy Mountainfilm, OAQ Photos courtesy Outdoor Adventure Quest, Outerbike by Dave Kozlowski, RATS Photos courtesy Desert RATS, Taos Photos courtesy Taos Ski Valley, Whiskey Off-Road by Brian Leddy Photography, Sedona Mountain Bike Festival Devon Balet, Sedona MTB Festival




FUEL FOR LIFE. LIVE LIKE YOU MEAN IT, LIVE HUPPY. TAOS FREERIDE CHAMPIONSHIP  TAOS - MARCH 2-4 If you haven’t been there, this mountain is the real deal. And this 4 Star Freeride World Tour Qualifying event is a blast to watch. Head down to Taos and see top athletes compete.

BATAAN MEMORIAL DEATH MARCH MARATHON WHITE SANDS - MARCH 19 A memorial march, this marathon honors military personnel who sacrificed during World War II. A mix of military and civilian athletes take to the desert to pay tribute to the past.

POND SKIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS  TAOS - APRIL 2 This unique event takes advantage of the end-of-season snowmelt, as athletes dress in costumes and skim across a pool of ice water by skis alone.

ALBUQUERQUE HALF MARATHON  ALBUQUERQUE - APRIL 8 Unlike the runs that weave through the mountains of the Southwest, this half marathon takes advantage of Albuquerque’s flat terrain. Get ready to clock one of your fastest course times.

12 HOURS IN THE WILD WEST  RUIDOSO - APRIL 22 This 11.6-mile loop features 1,200 feet of climb. A relatively friendly ride, this course features the outer loop of the Grindstone Lake Trail System.



SPRING2017  27

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Photos by Adventure Pro staff, Dylan Hoos, Emily Kagan, Jenna Spahlinger, Cameron Horst, Dave Klar, Tarah Pekich, Reinhard Danninger, Michael Remke,Tonya Mulkey, Stephen Karpen



Out in it. Getting out. Out there. The real deal.

Adventure Pro wants to showcase people getting after it all over the incredible landscape in which we live. Here are a few of our favorite shots sent in from our friends and fans. If you have a great photo, we’d love to see it. If we like it, we’ll run it in our summer edition and give you cred.

Send pics to

SPRING2017  29


We were lucky to be able to help a sponsor an event for Friends of the San Juans in Durango, Colorado. Their avy awareness program is rad and we’re stoked to be a part of it. We held a contest and gave away Adventure Pro neck gaiters and two tickets to Wolf Creek Ski Area. Thanks to everyone who supported the cause and to all our winners! FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Photos by Lexie Sperduto, Matt Pickren, Juan Carlos Briceno, Kseniya Boldyreva, Spencer Haws, Tristan Kraatz. CONTEST WINNERS: Seth Shank, Claire Shank, Otto Lang, Morgan Shippen, Addison Bollaert, Laura West, Aurelie Van De Wine, Josh Holley, Jake Wild, Liz Blair, Kelsey Peabody-Wortman, Caroline Schmidt, Kelli Brush, Devon Cunningham


Pure Cane Energy to fuel your next adventure.

El Rancho Tavern

Send your best adventure photo with Zuberfizz to to be published in the next edition!

ar! e y h t 5 7 r g ou Celebratin own. t n i s y r a yM Best Blood Breakfast and Lunch Served Daily

Durango Soda Co Inc 284 Sawyer Dr, Durango, CO 81303 970-259-9600 •

Open Monday-Friday 10am-2am Saturday & Sunday 9am-2am 975 Main Ave., Durango, CO 243993




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Conveniently located in the epicenter of the San Juan Mountains 970.387.8774

Visit for tee times, tournament information & club information. 243990

2300 RIM DR - DURANGO, CO 81301 | 970-247-1499 SPRING2017  31


Search and Service: Colorado Highland Helicopters fulfills vital roles in mountain community In the heart of Southwest Colorado, a blue bird hovers above the peaks of the San Juan Mountains. It’s not just any kind of bird though – it’s a MD500c, and Colorado Highland Helicopters flies her frequently for flight instruction and rescue missions alike.


Locally owned and operated by Brandon Laird and Dayle Morningstar Laird, Colorado Highland Helicopters serves the region primarily by providing flight instruction. The couple opened the business after the helicopter EMS company they were working for in Durango closed. Though the two were offered different positions in the parent company, they loved the community, and chose to stay in Durango. “There isn’t a flight school around here that is any competition for us,” Dayle said. “So we thought that would be something graduating high schoolers could come do, rather than just going to college. You can move into an awesome career by earning your commercial certificate. It offers youth around here another way to progress their life.” Colorado Highland Helicopters offers the only flight instruction program in North America that trains commercial and private pilots in Mountain time, Turbine time, Search and Rescue and external load while earning their initial certificates. Though their primary goal is to teach others to fly, the pair expanded services based on community needs. Because helicopters and other aircraft are extremely useful in navigating thick forests and rocky cliffs of the Four Corners region, the business provides search and rescue services too. This spring, Colorado Highland Helicopters will also launch a human external load program they developed alongside local emergency management to enable rescue personnel to access people in hard to reach places, making the outdoors a safer place for everyone. “We actually felt like this business was needed before the other one closed,” Dayle said. “Most search and rescue missions in the U.S. are completed by the air national guard, the coast guard and the forestry service. Air ambulances don’t typically get involved in search and rescue because their primary focus is critical care and transports. They might donate a portion of their time for free, but their company regulations limit their capabilities. So we recognized there needed to be a legitimate rescue helicopter here. We are happy to fill the void.” But their services don’t stop there. Colorado Highland Helicopters is one of just a few companies in the United States that uses their helicopters as an educational shooting platform through air tactical training for civilians and law enforcement. For farmers, agricultural services such as frost patrol, tree harvesting and field surveys are available. They also offer assistance with pest control as well as wildlife management and forestry support. The company’s access to the sky makes their range unlimited, and gives Colorado Highland Helicopters more opportunities to provide a little something for everyone. “That’s the great thing about what we can do,” Dayle said. “We can go anywhere.” For those looking to capture the majesty of the mountains through a lens, Colorado Highland Helicopters offers aerial photography too. Adrenaline junkies parachute to thrill. Whatever the need, Colorado Highland Helicopters has the bird’s eye view. For more information about Colorado Highland Helicopters and the services offered, visit coloradohighlandhelicopters. com or call (970) 259-1423.

If you ask us why we live here, we might tell you ...

But we invite you to find out for yourself.



t was one of those days on the trail where nothing seemed to go quite right. Right off the bat I realized I forgot my bike shoes. My friend Jenny and I drove to Dolores from Durango to try out Boggy Draw for the first time and there was no way we were driving back. Tennis shoes would have to work today. Things seemed to be going ok once we started riding. We were cruising along, soaking up some Saturday sun and taking in the incredible snow-capped views of the La Platas. Then Jenny flatted. I had an extra tube, so we were back on the trail pretty quickly. We rode the rest of the Italian Canyon Loop then added on the Boggy Draw Loop too just to make a full ride of it. About a mile from the parking lot, hungry, thirsty, and a little scraped from hitting a tree, I heard the unmistakable hiss of a quickly deflating tire right under me. With no spare and no patch kit, it was a slow and frustrating walk the rest of the way to the truck where we silently loaded up our bikes and climbed in. What now? Jenny said a friend had recommended the Dolores River Brewery. A beer did sound good after an ill-fated bike ride, or any bike ride for that matter. I was sold when she told me they had pizza. When we walked into the little bar right off the main road we were greeted by the smell of homemade

pizza filling the cozy room. The place was friendly and welcoming with its original tin ceilings and old wood floors, a horseshoe bar and band posters all over the walls. We found a little table by the window, dropped our backpacks and sunk gratefully into our seats. First priority was beer. Jenny grabbed the first round, two ESBs, explaining that the bartender said they were a favorite. I could just feel the bubbles loosening my tired muscles as they worked their way down, and the clean, dry finish was refreshing. Jenny and I thought back about the mishaps of the day’s ride, joking about our misfortunes from the safety and comfort of a little, small-town bar. We looked around at the other people there, all sharing their own stories and laughing together. We overheard one guy at a nearby table talking about a crash he’d had on his fat bike over the winter, and we felt right at home. When our beers were almost gone our minds turned to the next order of business. Food. We looked over the menu and agreed on the Neanderthal: Homemade marinara with onion, ham, pepperoni, sausage, bacon and cheese.

Another round of ESBs later the pizza appeared on the table. Fresh out of the oven, the meat and cheese were still steaming ever so slightly, and I’m pretty sure my mouth actually started watering. The conversation died a little as Jenny and I inhaled every last crumb, then picked back up again as we started discussing plans for making this a tradition. We agreed that we’d try to leave out the flat tires and forgotten shoes but the quirky little brewery would always be a stop on the way home. We closed out our tab at the bar and waved bye to the bartender, promising to return next time we were in town. As we climbed into the truck I realized I had forgotten how grumpy I had been just a couple of hours earlier. We were both refreshed and ready for the drive back home. As Jenny pulled the truck out onto the highway we agreed that next time we should make a full day of it and come when a good band would be playing. SPRING2017  33


for Beer



Brewery Byway After riding down the mountain, climbing up the peak or floating on the river, a good brew always hits the spot. Here are some top spots to grab a beer in the Southwest. COLORADO





Let’s face it - beer tastes better at 9,318 feet above sea level, just ask Avalanche Brewing, located high in the San Juan Mountains and voted Best of Fest at the 2016 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival with their Dawn Patrol Breakfast Stout, Double Diamond Blackberry Gose and Glass Off Session IPA. Owner/master brewer Austin Lashley just might be dropping by – well, dropping in. Lashley, a dedicated paraglider, takes flight from Kendall Mountain just outside the Avalanche, and up about 3,000 feet.

After rolling off world class singletrack and out onto Lightner Creek Road, try the celebrated Lightner Creek Lager, a German-inspired American light lager. Owner Mike Hurst, an avid cyclist, is self-described as a beer drinker with a cycling problem. Hurst is known for his repeated finishes in the revered Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, and has been seen racing fat bikes in single-digit temperatures on frozen terrain. In summers, Carver’s back patio is filled with patrons regaling their adventures from on and off the trail.


On sunny days, try the Ridgway Blonde, Silver Medalist at the 2106 Great American Beer festival in the English style summer ale category. Perfect for mountain gazing. Perfect for mountain climbers. Colorado Boy’s Chad Jukes has been on not one, but two of the tallest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. “Turns out, Everest is pretty damn hard,” Jukes says. “Nobody told me that.” But it’s not too hard to haul up a Cowboy Can to the top. Jukes hauled a can to 29,035 feet.


“Our mission is simple,” according to Dolores River Brewery. “Brew the best dang beers available anywhere, without fear or favor, use the finest ingredients we can find, regardless of cost, and never, ever take shortcuts with our process.” Stroll into this small town brewpub a few blocks from the Dolores River and if the beer doesn’t get you the pizza will. Nestled in the Dolores River valley, right away you get this place is a stop on the way home for locals. We love the Spicy Hawaiian pizza, and you can’t go wrong with the Dolores River Ale.


The High Alpine Brewing Company in downtown Gunnison has a growing reputation for brewing some of the best beer in the Rockies. Recently rated 14th in Colorado by the beer lover’s guide Untapped, their craft beers made with local hops, water and other ingredients are working for them. They also have a tasty pizza menu, and snack hits like their bruschetta or hummus plate. For brews, try the Black Canyon stout, a dense and dark oatmeal chocolate with a nice head and creamy balance. Roll off the gritty crushed granite of Hartman’s Rocks and into this two-story staple downtown.


“We aim to be a true public house,” say the owners of Mancos Brewing Company. As the only brewery in town, they meet their mark. They call themselves a nano brewery, meaning that all six of their brews are made in single-barrel small batches. Perfect after a day mountain biking in the La Plata Mountains, Mancos Brewing is low key with a high ABV. For a kick in the saddle, try the Dizzy Blonde Pale Ale, made with citrus hops with a crispy malty flavor. At 6.9 percent alcohol, you just might feel a few. Clockwise from top left: Photos by Ben Gavelda, Terrance Siemon(4), Chad Jukes and Brandon Mathis

Try the award winning Valle Especial, a silver and bronze medalist at craft brew festivals in the region, but if you want the flavor of the Southwest - green chile and beer - go for the Valle Caliente, a Mexican lager soaked with Hatch Green Chiles from New Mexico. Chile or no chiles, this gang knows beer. Hosts of the annual Rails and Ales Brewfest, craft beer lovers can join them via a narrow gauge train ride to 9,700 feet in the Sangra de Cristo Mountains every summer for one whopper of a music and beer fest.

These local boys started a revolution. Their Pinstripe Red Ale, True Blonde Ale, Mexican Lager, Euphoria and others all have core followings, and a long list of medals. Their stateof-the-art brewery just south of downtown Durango is a hot spot for locals, and is known for hosting running events, climbing competitions, trivia nights and ska music bands on a regular basis. Do yourself a favor and “lip up fatty.”


Location is everything, and Smugglers has it. Steps from the chairlifts of Telluride’s incomparable slopes, this bustling restaurant/brewery is our go-to in this legendary box canyon ski town. The beer goes well with the menu, as chefs use locally-sourced ingredients in creative dishes. Enjoy the barley while you can - they keep their craft brews right at home where they belong. Available only from the establishment, their award winning ales of classic style follow tradition and season, with a few brew master creations to add a little flavor here and there.


On at least one day of the year, a mountain bike race makes its way in the front door and out the back. It’s a good time for their notorious Backside Stout. If a dark Oatmeal Stout isn’t your thing, go for an award winning Slam Dunkel, a German wheat. Oh, and the peanuts are free. Throw the shells on the floor, and speaking of shells, go for the Cajun Boil when you get hungry. The craft beer and the food menu here make this one of Durango’s busiest establishments. NEW MEXICO


Taos Mesa Brewing just outside Northern New Mexico’s famed Taos Ski Valley is a microbrewery, radio station, restaurant and indoor/outdoor brew club on a mesa with romancing vistas. With 10 to 12 handcrafted beers on draught, plus wines, homemade food, alarmingly good live music and killer views, it’s no wonder this commune-style brewery/music venue has received the attention it has. UTAH


Two things thirsty adventurers should know about The Moab Brewery: They were awarded the Silver Medal at the World Beer Cup for the Squeaky Bike Nut Brown Ale and a Bronze Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for Rocket Bike American-Style Lager. And you never know who you’ll pony up to next at this Moab watering hole. From globe trotting rock climbers to fearless base jumpers, wide eyed river runners, crusty mountain bikers to just somebody passing through. Everyone stops by the brewery for a pint. SPRING2017  35

Take us on an adventure! (970) 247-2660 · 863 Main Ave · Durango, CO

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The best in hand crafted beer, artisan pizza, and other tasty appetizers at 9,318 ft. 1067 NOTORIOUS BLAIR STREET SILVERTON, CO




* Artisan Craft beer * Proud Supporter of Local Market Farms *Beer To Go! 550



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Silverton, Colorado’s newest brewery on the historic “GOLDEN BLOCK”. Serving wholesome wood-fired pizza, paninis & salads.

970.387.5962 | 1227 Greene St – Silverton, CO 81433


Elevate your life. Helicopter Mountain Training, Search and Rescue, Parachuting and Aerial Photography. Call today to get involved.

(970) 259-1423 •

#durangobluehelicopter SPRING2017  37


What’s SUP!?

Learn how to paddle out on the water at

Get Up, Stand Up, Paddle Out by BRANDON MATHIS


ou can trace it through centuries, from African warriors to island-hopping Polynesians to Hawaiian surfers. But today, stand up paddle boarding, SUP, has become one of the fastestgrowing activities in the world. And it has worked its way inland, up rivers and streams to lakes and ponds and is popular from coast-to-coast. SUP-ers are catching waves, touring inland seas and floating for yoga sessions. To many it’s a fresh take on the water. “I’ve been kayaking all of my life and I got to a point where I’d run most of the rivers in North America,” said paddle sports legend Luke Hopkins, winner of the 2015 GoPro Mountain Games SUP Cross. “On some level I think I got a little bit jaded. As soon as I stood on a paddle board in whitewater it was a reset in the environment. Back to being a beginner.” With its inviting all-access vibe, all it takes is a body of water and anyone can paddle out and over the great abyss, reaping the rewards of its physical demands - SUP is a tremendous core workout. But it has particularly caught the hearts of whitewater river enthusiasts, hooked on the breaking waves of the fleeting spring runoff. It’s a niche that has grown so rapidly that board manufacturers can hardly stay afloat. 38

“I absolutely love it,” said Vanessa Taylor, a professional SUP surfer from Colorado and a Badfish Stand Up Paddle ambassador. “It’s such a neat feeling. You’re kind of just suspended in time. You have found this place on this moving river, all this chaos and noise with the water going on around you, but there is so much stillness in the moment.” Taylor is at the forefront of SUP competition, as is Nadia Almuti of Hala Gear who travels the country promoting the sport. She said alongside the exhilarating cutting edge of the sport, SUP is for everyone. “On the lake, on the pond, on the river,” she said. “You stand up and paddle around. It’s that simple.”

Photos by Brandon Mathis

Picking the Perfect Board F

rom swelling ocean cruises to inland lake tours, to catching a wave or a little bit of everything, there’s a board - and a shape - for the job. “The rule of thumb with paddleboards is the long narrow shapes are going to be great for lake or ocean touring or fitness,” said Alex Garhart of Hala Gear. “If you want to go down river, get a little whitewater, you’re going to have a wider board that’s a little bit shorter to give you a lot of stability.”

“On the lake, on the pond, on the river. You stand up and paddle around. It’s that simple.” Garhart, a climber and SUP-er based in Colorado, learned to surf on the coast of southeast Alaska. “Five millimeter wet suites, grizzly bears and orcas every day – it was a good time,” he said. For real river excitement, he suggests a rocker shape, sort of like a skateboard. “You can take a step back, take a hard paddle stroke and it’s going to pivot turn off of the tail, which allows you to avoid rocks and features in the river.” In the mountains, the inflatable boards are blowing up. They travel well and squeeze into specialized backpacks. Most even come with an electric pump to get inflation started, then a hand pump to finish it off. “They’re very portable,” Garhart said. “You can check them on an airplane or just throw then in the back of your car.”  SPRING2017  39

Moab, Utah, is synonymous with adventure, but for every typical excursion, there are a million other adventures that fall by the wayside. We let the cat out of the bag on a few of our favorites. by BRANDON MATHIS

CORONA ARCH - RAPID RECOVERY FROM MODERN LIFE  For fast relief, this 3-mile round trip trail quickly carries hikers into quintessential Moab backcountry.To get there, travel north of town 4 miles, turn west on Potash Road and follow for 10 miles. Set up camp at Gold Bar Campground on the Colorado River or park at the trailhead. Climb a well-marked trail and wander into a slickrock moonscape, passing a serene gallery of balanced cobbles and stones left by previous hikers. Follow the carved out ancient footsteps of ancestral Puebloans and find a sturdy modern ladder that will put you on a bench and you’ll easily view the direct route to Bowtie and Corona arches. Photo by Terrance Siemon


MAG 7 - MILES AND MILES OF MAGNIFICENT MOUNTAIN BIKING  This masterpiece trail system located 23 miles outside Moab offers everything you could want in desert riding in one wellmapped network. Gemini Bridges, The Great Escape, Bull Run, Arth’s Pasture, 7 Up, Gold Bar Rim and the Portal Trail all make this one of the most coveted rides anywhere. Find slickrock playgrounds, fast, buff singletrack, chundery technical trails and plenty of nerve-racking exposure. Oh, and some the views are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Read more about this sick ride on page 42.

Photo by Terrance Siemon

LOVE MUFFIN - DON’T BE TOO TOUGH  What do you get when you mix a seasoned die-hard coffee barista with a local hardcore mountain bike mechanic? In Moab, you get Love Muffin, a breakfast/lunch nook that bustles with local guides, bike wrenches, hip tourists, climbers, bikers, ultra runners, wanderers and generally cool people from all over the world. Start any adventure with one of their breakfast Paninis, burritos, granola or even quinoa. Don’t forget the bold brew. And grab a lunch sandwich to go and stuff it in your pack for later.

Photo by Terrance Siemon

FISHER TOWERS TRAIL - WALK AMONG GIANTS Twenty-two miles east of Moab down Highway 128, and another 2 miles up the dirt Fisher Towers Road sits a small campground cluster and trailhead. Rock climbers who ascend the great-sculpted behemoths of crumbling stone most commonly use this moderate and engaging out-and-back trail. Seemingly made of dry mud and dust, the Moenkopi and Cutler formations that compose the Fishers are indeed eroding, and they do fall down. The Fishers are also frequented by photographers, hikers and trail runners as the 4.2-mile trail winds into and across a rugged wash before rising and passing under towering spires like Ancient Art, The King Fisher, Echo Tower, The Oracle and The Titan.

Photos by Ben Gavelda

SPRING2017  41

Mountain biking in the mecca: To the edge and over it. by BRANDON MATHIS


Photo by Ben Gavelda

SPRING2017  43


network of ever-expanding trails, the Magnificent 7 vibe ranges from confidence inspiring to downright lethal. We drop in with a few locals and see what this mega zone is all about. You’re going to want to shuttle this one; it all starts about 23 miles out of town. Follow U.S. Route 191 north for 11 miles, pick up Utah State Highway 313 and head west for 12 more miles to Gemini Bridges Road and start cranking. “Mag 7 starts out with some pretty fast downhill,” says Chad Guyer of Poison Spider Bicycles in Moab, Utah. “But, there’s some pretty strenuous uphill. You get some great views at the top.” Linking up this point-to-point singletrack has options: A mile down Gemini Bridges road, head into 5-plus miles of Bull Run (fast, chunky steps and canyon views), or take the pedally meandering Getaway singletrack from the start. Crank a quick mile-plus through Arth’s Pasture to 2.5 edgy miles of Little Canyon or take the Great Escape for even more downhill and slickrock. Just be ready: When Gold Bar picks up, everything changes.

Photos by Terrance Siemon

The best way to explore the Mag 7 is to ride it. The second best way is to watch our video at




Lizard Head Cycling leads spectacular bicycle tours across the American West!

Trans Utah Tour A journey across southern Utah’s other-worldly terrain that explores among the most spectacular landscapes in North America. Photo by Ben Gavelda

San Juan Sky Zion to Taos Way Tour Epic Tours A 233 mile incredibly scenic loop through the San Juan Mountains (our backyard) of Southwest Colorado.

An exceptionally scenic route through the high mountains, national parks & hot springs of the Four Corners Region.

101 Bobtail or Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 | 970.728.5891 |

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After some demanding climbing, Gold Bar Rim’s giant, tilted slab of barren slickrock brazenly flirts with some severe edge-of-the-world exposure mixed with engaging challenges for the next six miles. This is that hard, notorious desert riding you’ve always dreamed about: barely-make-it climbing and descending staircases, pulling off unlikely moves among an endless expanse of desert landscape. It all dwarfs you. Wrap it all up with the Portal Trail, perhaps one of the most infamous two-plus miles in all of mountain biking. “You want to be careful,” Guyer said. “It’s a pretty fast, rocky descent.” Leaving Poison Spider Mesa, this Portal is like a leap of faith. Dropping 1,000 feet per mile, it has taken a few lives with it. “There’s a famous section of exposure,” said Kyle Mears, owner of the Whole Enchilada Shuttle Company who is known for high-stakes riding. “If anybody cares about you, you probably want to get off your bike and walk.” He called it survival. “Those are kind of like survival trails. You just want to get your bike and yourself down in one piece.” This ride requires your full attention. “It’s a full-body experience,” Gattis Tyler of Rocky Mountain Bicycles said about riding Moab. “Every time I go out on a trail I find a new line.” Mag 7 is all new lines. Perhaps no other trail system anywhere will present such appeal coupled with challenge. Many riders report it’s the best they’ve ever performed, or the worst. It’s an open canvas. But see for yourself. This ride is worth it.




Twin Buttes S

ome only dream of rural living with urban convenience. Twin Buttes, a new 900-acre, mixed-use community in the City of Durango, uniquely blends in-town living with easy access to nature, recreation and agriculture, as well as local shops and restaurants. Just two miles from Durango’s charming and historic Main Street via a multimodal trail, the Twin Buttes community offers residents a farm-to-table lifestyle and a hands-on agricultural experience at Twin Buttes Farm, a working farm right in the neighborhood. Keeping up with Durango’s active, outdoor vibe, the community features more than 675 acres of preserved wilderness and 12 miles of purpose built trails for world class hiking, biking and horseback riding. Adjacent to Twin Buttes, 10,000 more acres of wilderness and even more trails await exploration in the Perins Peak Wildlife Preserve. It’s Durango out the front door and the wilderness out the back. Phase one of this extraordinary new community is now complete and lots are selling fast. The first homes will break ground this spring. For the adventurer looking to marry rural living with urban convenience, check out the development at Twin Buttes - where the great outdoors are right in town.


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Photo by Josh Stevenson


THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by BRANDON MATHIS WHO Climbers, base jumpers, hikers and rattlesnakes. WHAT Looking Glass Rock, East Rib (5.4) Bolted, three pitch sandstone dome sport climb that ends with an unforgettable 120-foot rappel. WHEN All year, though summer can be hot. WHERE Looking Glass Rock, 30 miles south of Moab, Utah. From 191, head west on Looking Glass Road for 1.5 miles, turn south and travel to a small, but obvious, parking area. WHY This hollowed out solitary half dome forms an amphitheater with a small keyhole arch high in the ceiling and has another window arch on its western side. The climbing route follows a rib up the exterior of the dome and rappels through the ceiling. A landmark on the Old Spanish Trail, this outing is outstanding fun for experienced climbers, and is often used to introduce beginners to multi-pitch climbing. “You could take anyone up there,” said John Brewer of Moab Cliffs & Canyons. “As long as you’re not intimidated by exposure, it’s a great first day out in the desert. And that’s a really exciting free-hanging rappel.” HOW You’ll need at least one 70-meter rope, or two 60-meter ropes, quickdraws, belay, and anchor gear.  MORE It’s not the climb you want to see, it’s the drop. Watch the video from Looking Glass


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Chains of Love Chains are the lifelines of bicycles. So why do we neglect them so?

Photos by Terrance Siemon


We hit up 2nd Avenue Sports in Durango, Colorado, where their maestro mechanics linked it all together. Things you’ll need:

A shop rag or towel, degreaser, lubricant and a bike stand (or simply flip your bike upside down.)



With the chain in the middle of the cassette, spray the degreaser directly on the chain while rotating the cranks backward, careful not to contaminate the disc brake rotors. Some degreasers won’t affect the rotors, but better safe than sorry.


Use a drip lubricant while working on disc-brake bikes. Holding the applicator on the chain, drip the lube lightly onto the chain for a few rotations, continuing to run the cranks backward to allow for the lube to soak into the chain bushings. Rotate forward and switch gears to spread on the cassette.



With the chain wet, wrap the rag between the cranks and the rear derailleur to clean the chain of gunk while rotating the crank backward. As the rag dirties, move on to a clean spot, and continue until there is no more grease coming off. Repeat this process as needed.


Remove excess lubricant by the same process used to clean the chain, and continue until the rag stops picking up lubrication.


Allowing excess degreaser to evaporate will eliminate any chance that it interferes with the lubrication process. So just wait. Five minutes should do it.


Your bike mechanic will love you. Watch a step-by-step on cleaning your chain at

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Running, riding, hiking, touring? Here are our editor’s picks.

Rustler’s Loop/ Horsethief Bench HB 3.8 miles | RL 3.6 miles | 12 total miles | Mainly singletrack | 387-foot ascent | 425-foot descent | 4,814 feet high | 4,499 feet low









Kokopelli Trails - Fruita, Colorado WHAT: Stunningly gorgeous singletrack loops skirt the edge of the Colorado River Canyon. Run, ride or hike this scenic slice of high desert near Colorado National Monument and McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area. WHY: There’s something for everyone. Begin with a giddy fun warm up on Rustler’s Loop. There are even signs with skill tips to help you brush up on mountain biking singletrack technique. When you’re ready, climb up Mary’s Loop, 1.6 miles, and ramp things up (way up) on Horsethief Bench, dropping into the clockwise loop via the ominous staircase (that some riders do actually ride) and engage a loop of world class singletrack where a buff winding trail with inspiring views blends with daunting technical features. 52




Photos by Brandon Mathis

US Basin, Red Mountain Pass 12,805-foot McMillan Peak elevation | 35 degree max slope BASIN PEAK











San Juan Mountains, Colorado WHAT: A readily accessible alpine paradise, this huge mountain basin with top-ofthe-world vistas and endless possibilities for high country adventure. WHY: It’s winter every season, almost. A destination for backcountry skiers and snowboarders, cross country skiers, winter campers, sledneckers, ski-mos, snowshoers and more, around the somewhat low angle and tame U.S. Basin and McMillan Peak, you can find wintery conditions as early as autumn and as late as June. When avalanche conditions and inhospitable weather make neighboring mountain recreation sketchy, this area sees plenty of use. These guides are meant to be just the beginning to your adventures, and are in no way intended to be a complete map to rely on solely. Please check with your local shops and guides for more information, and review weather and avalanche conditions. Happy trails!  SPRING2017  53



Photo by Ben Gavelda

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rofessional trail runner Stevie Kremer might not strike you as a force to be reckoned with on the trail. Her youthful smile, freckles, giddy nature and spunky demeanor are completely heartwarming until she laces up. When she hits the dirt, she’s gone. “I thought I was a lover of running,” the Salomon athlete said. “But I really think I’m a lover of trail running.” We spent a stormy afternoon with Kremer chatting about her life and the place she calls home. Her philosophy is simple: Just have fun. A naturally gifted athlete, Kremer started running to stay in shape during her college years. After entering a few races, and a marathon that she called the hardest thing she’s ever done, she got the bug. But it took some discovery along the way. “I was never a runner,” she said outside a coffee house in Crested Butte, Colorado, a postcard-perfect mountain town shrouded by the Rocky Mountains, and Kremer’s home for the last 10 years. “I was horrible at (high school) soccer. I was on junior varsity until my senior year, because seniors weren’t allowed on JV.” After high school, she moved from Connecticut to the alpine paradise of Colorado. This is where she fell in love with trails. “It’s the changing terrain,” she said. “No two days of trail running are the same.” Kremer took a teaching position in Italy in 2012, and regularly entered trail races all over Europe. Then she regularly began winning. Over the next several years she would take first place in trail and steep uphill mountain races across the world: Colorado, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Japan, France and Greece. Today, as a professional athlete competing on a global scale, her itinerary is demanding. Though she’s made numerous friends in the worldwide trail community, she still calls herself a small town girl. To Kremer, it’s vital to keep her equilibrium: A personal life and a life as an elite athlete. “I had to find this balance,” she said. “How I could train and be fast, but also have a life. I think I found that perfect balance where I wake up at 5 (a.m.) and go for an hour run then I do my work. Then around 5 (p.m.) I might go for another run and then I’m done by 6:30 or 7, so I can go grab a beer with friends or I can go home and have dinner with my husband. I’m in bed by 9:30. It’s very important for me to have all those elements of my life.” And that’s an important balance to maintain in a quaint small town. In Crested Butte, everyone seems to know everyone. “I’m not a city person,” she said. “I like having a P.O. Box. I like waving to everybody. No matter where I go, I recognize people. It’s a big family that you are a part of, living here.” These days, Kremer enjoys her training. It’s not her job, although she is a sponsored professional athlete, it’s her passion. And that, she says, is how you excel at something.  56

Listen and learn. Stevie Kremer holds the secret.

Gunsight Pass Trail

Gib Lo op

Gunnison Pass Trail

Illustrations by Sara Knight

Upper Lower Connec tor

Tr Bud


ect Conn

or Trai l

Photos by Brandon Mathis

sW alk Tra


d Wo o


o, I make sure to keep my runs fun,” she said. “I find trails that I haven’t done before or I find my favorite trails and I might do them three or four times a week. It’s all about the enjoyment. If you enjoy something, you’re going to do better at it.” “There are lots of moms out there,” she said. “They have jobs, they have two kids and they are out there running and competing and doing well. “Once you get that runner’s high, it’s hard to get rid of it. Go see the mountains,” she said. “See the wildflowers. You can do it. An hour a day.” SPRING2017  57


Trail Work

When the going gets tough, the tough breathe in


e chased down accomplished ultra runner and running blogger Joey Schrichte to see how he tackles the ups and downs of tough terrain. “Trail running isn’t about running a specific pace,” Schrichte says. “It’s more about just being comfortable on the trail.” Chill out

“The No. 1 advice I would tell people is to go a lot slower than you are used to,” Schrichte says. “Make sure you’re calm and relaxed.”

Stay light on your feet

“My second focus is shortening my stride,” he says. “I have more gentle footsteps. I run a little bit more up on my toes.”

Breath in

“I definitely have a heavy focus on my breathing,” he says. “Just try to make sure it’s not super labored.” For many new runners this might mean taking plenty of breaks and walking, which is just fine.

Balancing act

Photos by Terrance Siemon


Schrichte says he uses his arms, especially on the climb, to gain inertia and help carry his body uphill. “To get momentum from that and put more power in the upper body as opposed to the lower body doing all the work.”

On the downhill, his extended arms help him balance. “As you’re jumping from side to side, you’ve got to have upper body balance too. You don’t want to be flailing.” Schrichte also says to keep your feet under your body weight on the downhill to provide traction and maintain that sense of balance.

Find your line

Trail runners can see through the most unforgiving terrain and float over it like magic. “I try to find the path of least resistance,” Schrichte says. “My eyes are 5 to 10 feet ahead, and I’ve mentally picked out my next few steps.” Find the line and stick with it.

Find your inner child

“What draws people to trail running is that it’s just natural. Enjoy it,” Schrichte says. “It relaxes the mind, takes you back to being 8, running through creeks and streams. Hopping on rocks. You’re more connected to everything.”

“Make sure you’re calm and relaxed.”

“My second focus is shortening my stride.”

“My eyes are 5 to 10 feet ahead, and I’ve mentally picked out my next few steps.”

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HEALING WATERS Floating for miles through an open book of geology, taking desert side hikes to ancient ruins, cooking meals among the coyote willows and basking in the early morning light: This is a trip on the San Juan River.


Photo by Brandon Mathis


uide services like Wild Rivers Expeditions, established in 1957 in Bluff, Utah, routinely take groups of people down stretches of the San Juan River. Lewis Williams, a Navajo tribal member and Wild River guide for the last five years, grew up along the water’s edge. Sharing with others is his form of conservation.

Photo by Brandon Mathis

Photo by Ben Gavelda

Photo by Ben Gavelda

Photo by Ben Gavelda

“This is how I protect it,” he said. “My contribution is bringing people out here, and they gain respect and they take care of it.” When he’s not rowing, cooking, making or breaking camp for guests, he makes desert big horn fetishes out of willow reeds in between impromptu lectures on natural history. “I love the water,” he said. “And this river draws me to it. It draws all this wildlife. It’s ever changing, it’s not the same.” “It’s an economic source for a lot of people,” Williams said. “That’s just one aspect. The other is its power.” He calls it a metaphor. “You kind of could picture your life like that, be strong, help out people but never stay the same, you’re always forever changing for the good.” It’s a peaceful existence. Unpack, eat, sleep, pack and float. Take in tiny seconds among the incomprehensible scope of the river’s timeline: A bighorn sheep, the tall stalk of a yucca, the blue belly of the ornate tree lizard, the fossils and the sky. Like so many of the guests he leads down the water, Williams said he finds solace in the canyon. “It heals itself, so you kind of take that into your daily life,” he said. “Wake up and thank the river. Say, ‘Wow, river, you’re a pretty strong river. I’d like to be like you. Give me strength.’” SPRING2017  61


Photo by Ben Gavelda


SAN JUAN RIVER Honaker Trail Formation Paradox Formation

Pinkerton Trail Formation 62

Redwall Limestone


orn in the Rocky Mountains, the San Juan River flows 383 miles through desert to the Colorado River. A time warp into the Colorado plateau, it slices through hundreds of millions of years of natural history.


A popular 26-mile recreational river stretch is from Sand Island near Bluff, Utah, to the town of Mexican Hat, Utah. It floats over an ancient sea that is now a desert landscape cut from Navajo sandstone, the Kayenta Formation and hard Wingate Sandstone onto Comb Ridge, the Lime Ridge Anticline and the dazzling Raplee Anticline. In some places, fossils line the shores. Ancient corral reefs form fossil benches above the water. Crinoids, long tubular plant-like animals, can be seen on the surface, hundreds of million of years old.

Learn To Be A River Guide! New Guides will be hired from this course

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April 23 - 30 & May 15 - 22, 2017


Evidence of human activity along the San Juan dates back to 10,000 B.C. Like the river itself, it’s a long and meandering journey. From giant archaic spear points and campsites of a Paleo-Indian culture to the flourishing societies of ancestral Puebloans and their elaborate stone dwellings, painted pottery and rock art, these stories are left in the sand and remain along the river corridor. • 500 B.C.: Early Ancestral Puebloans, the basket makers, lived in pithouses and began farming and weaving in the region. • 700 A.D.: Basketry gave way to ceramics, and a culture of pottery was born. They had became masons, linking homes together as pueblos, a style that can still be seen today in New Mexico. • 900 A.D.: Civilizations flourished, and trade routes linked distant peoples. Skillsets were refined and artwork became more intricate. • 1150 A.D.: Pueblos continued to grow, but the Puebloans moved their homes to alcoves and under cliffs. The River House Ruin, easily found from the San Juan River, is from this cliff-dwelling period. • By 1300, people had left the area. Later, America’s pioneers moved through the area: Mormon settlers, gold rushers and oil boomers. The byproducts of the hunt for natural resources can still be seen along the banks.


• on the Rio Grande & Rio Chama • near Taos, NM • Fun, exciting & dynamic 8 day river guiding course

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Experience the river, wildlife, ancient ruins and words of wisdom. Watch the video at




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SPRING2017  63



Photo by Brandon Mathis


“Trout don’t live in ugly places.”


nee-deep in a clear rushing Colorado river lined with conifers stretching toward the sky, Cole Glenn is fixated on a particular eddy, a deep pool of still water. His eyes are locked, his 9-foot fishing rod is held level and high as his line drifts slowly down river. With an all-consuming anticipation, he waits. Glenn is a fly fisherman. It’s a lifestyle that defines him. Countless flies hang from the fabric of his car ceiling. A few are stuck in his cap. He calls it an active pursuit. “You’re able to experience nature,” he said. “Trout don’t live in ugly places.” His fishing partner, Brian Capsay, is upstream, lost in his own trance of trying to lure a fish onto his line. His cap says Fly Fishing Team USA, a membership that has carried him around the world, although he says it’s on his home rivers, creeks and streams where he finds pleasing distraction. “I get into a place where I can relax,” he said. “I’m in the water, I’m one with nature. I don’t have to worry about things, I focus on what I’m doing.” The two anglers begin their day together, talk about flies and share insights, but soon drift apart. Before long they blend within the rocks and running water in an unspoken effort to find their own experience. There are similarities, but they each break into their own style. Glenn guides clients from all over the country into mountain waters, sharing his passion for the river with those new to the sport drives him. Capsay called it a simple art: How to fool a fish. “It’s a learning game,” he said. “Always changing. Every cast is different.” But at the end of the day, it’s about more than the catch. “Catching fish is certainly the focus,” Glenn said, “But being outside, walking through water, hearing the birds and seeing the fish, it all cumulates into a special experience.”

Watch Cole Glenn and Brian Capsay cast their flies in this mountain stream at

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Photos by Ben Gavelda

How to Tie a Fly



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Cast. Hook. present this ad for a Land. Release. 15% discount on merchandise We'll Put You expires: may 21st, 2017 On Trout!

The fail-safe angling knots are fast, strong, fundamental knots. Expert fisherman Cole Glenn of The San Juan Angler shows us how to tie them.

The double surgeon’s knot connects the tippet line to the leader. 1) Begin with one end of the tippet and one end of the leader. 2) Overlap the two pieces by a few inches and put an overhand loop in the overlapping lines. 3) Take the two free tag ends and pass them through the loop twice. 4) It’s good idea to add some lubrication to the knot before cinching it; That’s what anglers are doing every time you see them putting lines in their mouths. 5) Slowly pull the knot tight. Plastics that are this fine can melt with a rapid increase in temperature.

The clinch knot ties on the fly. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

Thread the line through the fly. Pass the tag end around the line five or six times. Pass the tag end back through the fly. Use a little ol’ fashioned lubrication (spit) to grease the line. Pull the knot tight.

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SPRING2017  67


“Sunrise is my favorite part of the day. The world seems so still and yet alive at the same time… it always feels like I have the world to myself,” — Joey Schrichte During a 21-mile rim-to-rim run of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Schrichte paused long enough to capture his partner Katie Zdanowski on the South Kaibab Trail. “Because the canyon gets so hot during the day you want to get an early start. We started at dawn, a perfect time because it was late enough where we didn’t need to bring headlamps. Some people may say that we missed a bunch by hurrying across, but I don’t think that’s entirely true. I’m constantly taking in my surroundings as much as possible when I’m running.” Instagram user @joeyschrichte

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