Adventure Pro Spring 2018

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A D V E N T U R E P R O . u s



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At Backcountry Experience Yo u ’ l l f i n d t h e g e a r a n d i n f o r m a t i o n you need for any adventure. As Osprey’s first Pro Shop, BCEXP carries their full line of backpacks from the new Levity/Lumina series to t h e t r i e d a n d t r u e A e t h e r /A r i e l . P l u s , you’ll find a staff of experienced backpackers and thru-hikers to help y o u m a ke t h e b e s t d e c i s i o n . We ’ l l h e l p you hit the trail this summer wherever it may take you.


Yo u k n o w w h a t i s n ’ t c o o l ? S u ff e r i n g

f o r t h e w r o n g r e a s o n s . S u ff e r i n g t h r o u g h p h y s i c a l c h a l l e n g e s ? T h a t ’s c o o l . S u ff e r i n g b e c a u s e y o u r p a c k h u r t s ? N o t c o o l . S o w h e t h e r y o u ’r e p l a n n i n g o n d o i n g t h e L o s t C o a s t Tr a i l in a weekend or set ting a blistering p a c e o n t h e Tr i p l e C r o w n , w h y n o t take an ultralight pack that feels good on your back? Af ter all, nothing weighs more than pain.



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Get behind the wheel of adventure with a look at life on the road and how to do it right with Aaron H. Bible and Ben Gavelda.

44 BR R R RR R - IN G IT

Morgan Tilton teams up with polar explorer Eric Larsen to show us how to keep things warm and toasty at camp when the mercury drops in the mountains.

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DESTINATION DIRT The Running Bum Mo Sjogren pairs two of her favorite things in the southwest— singletrack and beer.


A kayaker paddling in the Santa Rita Whitewater Park in Durango, Colorado. photo by:

Terrance Siemon

A Collared Lizard soaks up the sun at the Phil’s World trail system in Cortez, Colorado. Photo – Brandon Mathis

A D V E N T U R E P R O . u s










editorial Brandon Mathis editor Amy Maestas senior editor Terrance Siemon photographer and videographer Laurie Kain photographer and videographer Hunter Harrell copy editor contributors

Aaron H. Bible Tiona Eversole Ben Gavelda Katie Kelley Brendan Lantzy Morgan Sjogren Morgan Tilton


a d v e r t i s i n g a n d d e s i g n Tad Smith manager of creative services Justin Meek designer Christian Ridings designer Samuel Lindsay designer David Habrat vice president of advertising Colleen Donley advertising director


Ryan Brown

production manager


Jamie Opalenik marketing director Tiona Eversole digital marketing Cassie Constanzo digital marketing


Jace Reynolds web designer Skylar Bolton web development manager

Douglas Bennett

chief executive officer

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Š 2018 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.

145 E. College Dr. Durango, Colorado 81301 (970) 764-4087 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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OPENING SHOT Adventure Pro Magazine photographer Terrance Siemon fought heavy winds and experienced dramatic and unseasonably warm temperatures while shooting Corey Wright climbing in a remote desert canyon on the Colorado-Utah border.

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Photo by Terrance Siemon

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Adventure Pro Magazine Editor Brandon Mathis partying hard in Moab, Utah – Photo Terrance Siemon

L E T ’ S “In spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” –margaret atwood


“In spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” –margaret atwood

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” –t.s. eliot

We agree. After months of short days and cold nights, it’s nice to feel the earth under our feet again. Even if we’ve been outside all winter, and even if it’s still snowing here and there, spring is a time when everything comes back to life.

This issue – our sixth issue of Adventure Pro Magazine, is all about breaking out of the mold and doing new things. Turn that old van into an adventure basecamp. Fix your mountain bike and find a trail. Load your backpack and stick your thumb out. Get in that boat.

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” –doug larson

Sound crazy?

Shorts feel strange, flip-flops even stranger. Front doors are wide open and we hear morning songbirds. We feel like whistling too – and mountain biking, and hiking, and running, and boating and camping. In fact, we might just pack up the van or the truck and trailer and hit the road. We might throw in the rod and reel, too. “If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.” –d.l. Because, like John Steinback said, “People don’t take trips, trips take people.” Traveling, adventure and getting out of our shells takes us to new versions of ourselves. We learn about who we are and who we can become. Ever been to Pine, Arizona? Neither had we. Ever dreamed of backpacking the Continental Divide? Now is your chance. Don’t think you’d like winter camping at 10,000 feet? Turn the page.

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“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.” –hunter s. thompson Sometimes it’s harder than you think, but anything worth doing is. The time is now. The days are perfect. It’s a season to make memories. Everything is new. We think we’re ready. Are you? After all, as Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party.” And we’re all invited. See you on the trails,


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BEN GAVELDA Gavelda has been practicing the art of powder mining for over two decades, with 10 of those years spent documenting said pursuits for global snowboard media. His handcrafted condo on wheels featured in this issue has become a new tool for access and residence in locales near and far. But having no fixed address comes with challenges, too. His inaugural run in the To-Go Box this winter proved pretty cozy and he’s keen on building custom campers in the future.

KATIE KELLEY With a penchant for the zest of life, Colorado native Katie Kelley returned home after several years of adventuring in the mountains of Alaska and the desert rocks of Nevada. A self-described gypsy soul and nature lover, Kelley has been published in The New York Times, Alaska’s Travel Guide and more – bringing to light the spirit and spunk of each place she visits. The best beat she has covered yet is the one that lets her wanderlust, wildly.

TIONA EVERSOLE Ti is a graduate from Fort Lewis College with a passion for writing that bodes well with her appetite for adventure. She enjoys everything that the Southwest has to offer. When she isn’t working, you can find her running or mountain biking the trails in Durango, snowboarding around Colorado, rafting rivers in Utah and Arizona or hiking 14ers with her boyfriend and dog, Sgt. Pepper. Follow Eversole’s adventures on Instagram at @run.wander.ride.

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AARON H. BIBLE Aaron identifies as a ski bum and lifelong outdoorsman first and foremost, but if pressed, will admit that he’s been a writer, editor and photographer in the bike, ski and outdoor world for nearly two decades. He’s a former editor of Sporting Goods Business, the Summit Daily News and Elevation Outdoors, and a regular contributor to Men’s Health, Backpacker and Gear Junkie, to name a few. He lives with his wife, daughter and two dogs at 9,000-feet in Nederland, Colorado. Follow Bible’s adventures on Instagram at @ahbible.

MORGAN SJOGREN Mo Sjogren runs wild with words anywhere she can get to with two feet and a pen. She is currently based in Northern Arizona but spends most of the year on the road. A runner at heart, and known as the “Running Bum,” Sjogren is on a constant quest for new human powered adventures from ice climbing to canyoneering, and following them up with a good beer. A passionate activist for public lands, her first book, The Best Bears Ear National Monument Hikes, is available now.

MORGAN TILTON Colorado-based writer Morgan Tilton is an award-winning adventure journalist. In 2017, she became a three-time Finalist and bronze medalist of two consecutive North American Travel Journalists Association Awards Competitions for her travel writing. Tilton mostly covers adventure and outdoor industry news with work featured in Outside, Men’s Journal, SELF and Backpacker, among other publications. Raised in the San Juan Mountains, she’s a lifelong skier, snowboarder, hiker and explorer. Her passion for discovering places and cultures led her to live in Italy, complete the first 100- mile SUP descent of Escalante River (unsupported), and to MUT running. Follow Tilton’s trails at @motilton and

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M O U N TA I N V I TA L S The West is amazing. It’s full of wonder and crazy facts and figures that help us see things in a new perspective. Who knew that the 13th step of the state capital building in Denver is exactly one mile above sea level? Or the state with the highest number of PhDs per capita is New Mexico. Or that Dove Creek, Colorado really is the actual pinto bean capital of the world.

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T H E S E A R E M O U N TA I N V I TA L S . L E T T H E N U M B E R S T E L L T H E S T O R Y.

486 15 to18 3,315’ 14,440’ 2,284’ 13,167’ 5 75% 20

miles: length of the Colorado Trail stretching from Denver to Durango, Colorado approximate number of caldera volcanoes in the eastern slopes of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, believed to have been active between 30 and 40 million years ago lowest point in Colorado

highest point In Colorado: Mt Elbert

lowest point in New Mexico

highest point in New Mexico: Wheeler Peak states can be seen from the summit of Capulin Volcano National Monument in New Mexico – Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico of roads in the state of New Mexico that are unpaved rivers begin in Colorado

277 45.3 122° -61° 2,000 1,309.88 585,501

miles is the length of the Grand Canyon, 18 miles wide and 6,000 feet deep feet tall is the largest living Champion saguaro cactus on record in Maricopa County, Arizona Fahrenheit June 26, 1990 is the hottest day recorded in Phoenix, Arizona Fahrenheit February 1, 1985 is the coldest temepreature ever recorded in Colorado, in the town of Maybell natural rock arches in Arches National Park, Utah combined square miles of Utah’s five national parks. Arches 119.8, Bryce 55.98, Canyonlands 527, Capital Reef 378, Zion 229.1 residents of Wyoming respresent just .18% of the U.S. population


feet is what a Prairie Rattlesnake can grow to in the Four Corners region

3 to7

thousand is the estimated population of mountain lions living in Colorado

Happy Carmona running along the rift valley near the Rio Grande Gorge in Taos, New Mexico. The gorge is home to the 7th highest bridge in the Unites States, and the 82nd tallest in the world. Photo - Terrance Siemon

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O S P R E Y L E V I T Y/ L U M I N A 4 5 B AC K PAC K Super light doesn’t have to mean super uncomfortable Rocking the ultralight backpacking and thru-hiker’s world of weight watching and gram counting, Osprey Pack’s Lumina/Levity series breaks barriers between lightweight and comfort. It’s no secret, this pack isn’t for everyone, and Osprey will tell you that. Unless you’re snapping toothbrushes in half, your favorite piece of gear is a .3 oz. long handled titanium spoon you got for $12, and your idea of a storm shelter is a tissue thin bivy sack, then… The pack is comfort-oriented and designed for meeting the demands of the weight-obsessed hiker for anything from fast and light weekends to 3,000-mile seasons on the Pacific Crest Trail. This breed of hiker avoids boots for trail running shoes. They weigh food, cut tags and labels off gear to shave grams and can wear the same socks for months on end.

Osprey, who has been making backpacks since 1974, has reduced bulk and materials where they could; this thing is full service at just 1.85 ounces for a medium size. Made with the brand’s own Nanofly fabric, a ghost light polyurethane integrated with Cordura Nylon, the packs are intended to be just as tough as they are light. It’s kind of a bag with half a bag wrapped around it. The taller interior bag’s fabric is paper thin yet strong, and a shorter more robust exterior creates quick hit compartments with top and side access. A roomy brain tops it off and two daisy chains provide latch points. A 6065 aluminum frame and 3D tensioned mesh back panel keep the load of the body for comfort and breathability, and the layers of mesh padding of the Exoform harness/ shoulder are surprisingly substantial, while the hip belt is somewhat minimal.

Osprey women’s Lumina and men’s Levity 45 LITER

250 $270



Photo - Terrance Siemon


Hand held on-the-go fill and filter water bottle that turns any water source into hydration Photo - Terrance Siemon

For runners, hikers, backpackers, and others who don’t want to be bogged down with the added weight of all that H20 sloshing around, we bring you the Katadyn BeFree. This filter made quite a splash, winning global awards throughout the industry, and works like a charm so long as there is a water source nearby. The ultralight BeFree uses a microfiber EZ Clean Membrane to filter harmful microorganisms built into the nozzle that screws securely onto Photo - Terrance Siemon

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a soft collapsible flask for a stunning 1,000 liters of water filtration. Fill up the flask, screw on the filter and squeeze. There’s even a lid to keep your water from squirting out while stashed. Cleaning is simple: splash it around in clean water or fill up the flask and shake. When you’ve quenched your thirst, wad it up and stuff it away. Be thirsty, be light, be smart and be free.

F I V E T E N H E L L C AT what:

A climbing shoe company makes a skate inspired shoe for biking — and nails it features:

SPD compatible / Stealth C4 outsole / Leather/ synthetic upper / Velcro bone-out strap / Breathable mesh tongue / vibration-dampening shank / compression-molded EVA midsole Photo - Brandon Mathis

It’s a debate in mountain biking: to clip or not to clip. Being based between the Rocky Mountains and the red rock deserts of the Southwest, we pedal up as much as we rally down, so for us clipped in is the way to go. While we prefer the indisputable pedaling efficiency and solidarity of a shoe-pedal interface, we do admit we’re getting over wonky cycling shoes that fall somewhere in between a stiff ballerina slipper and an old school track cleat. So, when a trail angel dropped a pair of Five Ten Hellcat mountain bike shoes on us, we were stoked to lace them up. We are firm believers in the brand’s super tacky C4 Stealth rubber and have been climbing in Five Ten’s rock shoes almost longer than some of Five Ten’s team riders have been alive. In fact, the name Five Ten itself derives from a scale of rating the difficulty of climbing routes. Five ten, or 5.10 in what is known as the Yosemite Decimal System, is considered the gateway to advanced climbing. With an SPD compatible cycling shoe, sticky rubber wasn’t always at the top of the list; it just somehow managed to work its way on to it. The Hellcat has a casual looking vibe as a skate-inspired trail shoe; but trendiness aside, this is a super comfortable shoe with a stiff, yet

walkable outsole and surprisingly plush insole. A burly Velcro bone-out strap across the talus bone is the icing on the cake to the custom fit that only a lace up shoe can offer, plus lacing is a kind of welcome homecoming after years of various straps and buckles and dials. Well known in the climbing crowd’s “approach shoes,” Five Ten’s C4 Dotty tread is a giant step up over many of mountain biking’s shoe traction, or lack there-of, when off the bike, and the footprint of the shoe is appreciated. Over all, the Hellcat scores huge on comfort, far more than most traditional cycling shoes. It sits on a stiff, broad platform that does well when hammering and while it might flex a tiny bit more than pure bred XC shoes, our guess is it won’t break like some other pure bred XC shoes. In fact, we like the give. We also like the dampening effect of the shoe’s shank, living up to Five Ten’s claim to reduce vibration from the trail. We noticed it. Nice touch.




Real instant coffee that tastes wonderful, packs a punch and saves your morning Photo - Brandon Mathis

When you’re getting up super early and running super late skiing, running, climbing, biking, or whatever, you’ve got to be on it. And if you’re like us, coffee is a must. So, one morning in Ouray when it was negative are-you-serious outside and we were running behind per usual, we remembered we had a box of something from Stoked Roasters of Hood River, Oregon. Eight little individually wrapped 12-ounce packets are 100 percent certified organic and come in medium or dark roast, but the important thing

is, they mean business. From then on, alpine starts came easy. Directions suggest eight ounces of hot water, although we’ve used much less, and lukewarm at best. Stoked Roasters seem to cater to the dawn patrol crowd – those adventurous souls who get up before the coffee shops open. For us the real beauty is good coffee that is ready crazy fast. And for that, you better believe, we’re stoked.



Photo - Terrance Siemon


Hard shell/soft shell jacket combination that beats weather and other jackets that cost twice as much The Outdoor Research Helium Hybrid takes two of this Seattle brands renowned jacket and fabric technologies and stitches them together, delivering a hard shell/soft shell combo for the best of both worlds. It’s close to becoming our favorite lightweight shell despite it being twice the weight of others in our closet. Then again, it’s half the cost too. We picked one up because we wanted some real weather defense that could take a beating. To date, the Helium Hybrid has stood up to some fierce alpine conditions – snow, wind, rain and those fun hail storms where the trails flash flood. Think lightweight ski shell that wads up into nothing. At 8 ounces, it’s gone. We dig Outdoor Research’s Pertex Shield, a light and weather resistant rip stop nylon. It really has worked for us through severe weather. With the soft shell Ferrosi fabric under the arms and along the side of the torso, it doesn’t breathe as well as wide open pit-zips under arm, but it does work, stretch and move more like a full soft shell. This is a crunchy little number as Pertex is stiff, but we can live with that. The Helium Hybrid was at the ready for the Telluride’s Pass Trail Run, spring and fall rock climbing on forgotten walls outside Moab and mountain biking the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park. We’ve even used it climbing ice in Ouray.




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» Rafting & Kayaking Trips » Zipline Tours » Raft & Zipline Packages » Rentals • Jeeps • Paddle Boards • River Tubes • Inflatable Kayaks • Raft/Frames S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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Photo- Taylor “Bama” Criswell

Photo- Jake Garlick

s the weather warms and the snow starts to melt, rivers begin to rise and rafts come out for the season. One of the best ways to take advantage of the early season high water is to start planning a multiday raft trip. The Colorado, Green, Salt, San Juan and other rivers offer plenty of opportunities for boaters of all levels to enjoy the stunning, remote landscape of the Southwest. Let’s break down the steps.

Photo- Taylor “Bama” Criswell




TIONA EVERSOLE DO YOUR RESEARCH Every river is vastly different and therefore requires a little research beforehand. Take into consideration when you want to plan your trip, what CFS (Cubic Feet per Second) level the river will be running at, and the intensity of the particular section of chosen river. Many river sections require a permit, which will need to be obtained prior to the desired launch date. Most permitted rivers hold a lottery at the beginning of the year through the website,

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Each lottery application can cost between $10 and $25. Keep in mind that you are not guaranteed a permit, but don’t let this discourage you. There are plenty of river sections with permits that are awarded on a first come, first serve basis or don’t require a permit at all. TRIP ROLES Typically, most overnight raft trips consist of a group of roughly 10-25 people, and will require every person to contribute in one way or another. One person will assume the role of Trip Leader, or TL. This person is in charge of organizing the entire raft trip.

If you are invited, be prepared to help out in any way possible. A TL might ask you to plan and prepare a meal, bring additional gear, set up camp or drive to and from the destination. “If you’re going on your first raft trip and you’ve been invited, it’s important to recognize whoever is planning that trip, how much effort they’ve actually put into that trip and how much effort actually goes into it,” said Nick Moses, an experienced rafter. If everyone is willing to help out with the tasks that go into an overnight raft trip, then the overall experience is guaranteed to be top notch.



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The La Sal Mountains and Fisher Towers provide a stunning backdrop for the Moab Daily section of the Colorado River. Photo - Jake Garlick

“Teamwork is the best thing going into an overnight,” said Taylor Criswell, or “Bama” as he is known by his Mountain Waters Rafting Company family. ROUNDING UP GEAR Rule NO. 1: Do NOT forget your PFD, (yeah, that’s not a life jacket- it’s a personal floatation device.) Even for gentle river sections, you should always have a PFD handy. Many put-ins will have a River Ranger that will make sure that everyone in the group has a PFD. Rule NO. 2: Get your groove on. Pack it in, pack it out. This also means fire ashes and human waste. Two other items that the River Ranger will look for are a fire pan and a groover, or a portable toilet.

“There’s no social media, no cellphone reception, no Internet … It’s just you with the people that you’re with,” Moses said. “Be ready to have a rowdy time!”

These three things are crucial for overnight trips. The rest of the necessary gear consists of basic camping items: tent, sleeping bag, tables, chairs, EZ up, cookware, sunscreen, music speaker, instruments, etc. For any and all gear brought along, dry boxes and dry bags are necessary for keeping gear dry throughout the trip. And when it comes to keeping yourself dry, make sure to include extra layers and warm gear. Bama suggests bringing a pair of muck boots, “because it’s so vital to have something dry to put your feet in at the end of the day.” READY TO RIG The trip is planned and now it’s time to get on the river. Getting an early start will give you plenty of time to make

it to your campsite without having to worry about losing daylight. Make sure to run shuttle right away, as this process can take a while depending on how far away the take-out is. While shuttle is being run, start unloading the gear from the cars and begin rigging the boats. Rigging can take a couple of hours as well depending on the number of boats and the amount of gear. Once the boats are rigged, shuttle is run and everyone is good to go, it’s time to push off and let the real fun begin. “There’s no social media, no cellphone reception, no Internet … It’s just you with the people that you’re with,” Moses said. “Be ready to have a rowdy time!”

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SERENDIPITY A group of mountain bikers pause for a look at the Candlestick during a three day tour with Western Spirt Cycling Adventures on the hundred-mile White Rim Trail in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.


A DV E N T U R E P R O . u s Photo - Terrance Siemon

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Photo - Terrance Siemon

Stars fill the sky in Canyonlands National Park

Joe Neiheisel and Emilie Johnson travel the west in their Mercedes Van, seen here outside North Cascades National Park. “The turquoise water is incredibly beautiful, the mountains are majestic, and the backpacking is as good as any you will find in North America,� said Neiheisel. Follow their adventures at @permanentroadtrip. Read about vanlife on page 28 Photo - Joe Neiheisel

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HOW TO HAVE PARENTS AND STILL HAVE A LIFE These kids turn a river trip with the folks into a rip roaring good time. What you’ll need: Rafts, umbrellas, kayaks, pack rafts, Stand up paddles boards, squirt guns, water cannons What to do: costume party, talent show, mud bath and day spa, cliff diving, fire starting contest Photos - Bee Alaine Mathis

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ADJUSTMENT Photo - Xochitli Cervantes

Photo - Colton Anderson


SHARE YOUR ADVENTURE Submit your photos, your stories, your videos to Altitude Adjustment at and hashtag your posts #adventurepromag to be featured in the next issue of Adventure Pro Magazine.

Photo - Rachel Ross

Photo - Jesse Kleinschmidt

Photo - Natalie Magee

Photo - Mallory Lynch

Photo - Sara Newman

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The West End

TRAIL BREAKER From the summit of Jah Man, Brian Davies looks over to Castleton Tower, the Nuns, the Rectory and the Priest in Castle Valley, Utah.


Photo - Brandon Mathis

With iconic sandstone towers rising 400 feet into the sky at the foot of the La Sal Mountains just outside Moab, Utah, Castle Velley is a customary destination of adventurers from around the world. Routes pioneered here such as the Kor-Ingalls route (5.9+, III) on Castleton Tower put up by legendary climbers Layton Kor and Huntley Ingalls in 1961, define traditional desert climbing adventures and still test the minds and body of those who step up to the rock today. TIC LIST

5.8 North Chimney - Grade III, 4 pitches 5.9+ Kor-Ingalls Route - Grade III, 4 pitches 5.10c Jah Man - Grade II, 4 pitches 5.11 Honeymoon Chimney - Grade III, 4 pitches E L RITO, NE W M E X ICO In the middle of the northern New Mexican desert, climbers are surprised to find their way into the dense forests above the town of El Rito, where massive conglomerate boulders broke free from cliff walls and rolled down hillsides to rest among the pines. Today, the pockets and cobles that create the fun nature of the climbing here plus the variety of good climbing at all grades make for the perfect weekend of sending. TIC LIST

5.8 Super Arête 5.9 Scurvy Dog 5.10+ Full Sale 5.11c Bolting Barbie TH E WE ST END

El Rito, New Mexcio.

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Photo - Brandon Mathis

While we could tell you exactly where to go and how to get there, we don’t want to rob you of the thrill of a chase. Just know that somewhere out there, away from the crowds, away for the traffic and scene that surrounds climbing in more frequented areas, is an immeasurable desert landscape of empty routes, open sky and dreamy sandstone bluffs. And enough climbing to last a lifetime. It’s known as the West End. It’s no secret, it just feels like one.

Photo - Terrance Siemon

MILESTO N ES IN BAC KPAC KIN G Take the weekend, take a month, or take the whole year. Just climb into your pack and go. BEGINNER: West Maroon Pass from Aspen to Crested Butte Colorado Start with the 12-mile hike on West Maroon Pass from Aspen to Crested Butte, or vice versa. The best time is summer when the wildflowers peak, or when the aspens are ablaze in the fall.

12 MILES LONG 12,500 FEET HIGH 8,000 FEET LOW Photos - Greg Mauger



INTERMEDIATE: Arizona Trail, Arizona The Arizona Trail traverses the entire length of the state of Arizona, from the U.S. -Mexico border in Coronado National Monument to the Arizona-Utah border on the Kaibab Plateau. Tip: it’s also stellar for mountain biking.

800 MILES LONG 9,600 FEET HIGH 1,700 FEET LOW ADVANCED: Continental Divide Trail - New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana Challenge mind and body. Begin at the New Mexican border and work your way through the rugged landscapes of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. You’ll finish at the Canadian border in Glacier National Park.

3,100 MILES LONG 14,278 FEET HIGH 3,900 FEET LOW

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

Hayduke Tour

San Juan Sky Zion to Taos Way Tour Epic Tour

World class riding through mind-boggling National Parks and National Monuments in Utah including The Bears Ears.

A 233 mile scenic loop through the San Juan Mountains (our backyard) of Southwest Colorado.

An 800-mile ride through the high mountains, national parks & hot springs of the Four Corners Region.

107 Aurum or Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 | 970.728.5891 |

durango urgent care LocaLLy owned & operated






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forCyaollur Adventure

Adventtsure Star us! with


T he train d and I starropped me off ted climbing !” CAMPERVAN RENTALS · (970) 903-9136

Discover miles of singletrack at Purgatory Resort


1205 Camino Del Rio Durango, CO •

0 301 55 0 8


Gear up for adventure at Backcountry Experience, Durango’s destination for outdoor equipment and information. A certified Outdoor Research Adventure Dealer and America’s first Osprey Pro Shop.

DOLORES RIVER BREWERY Good People Great Beer Tasty Food Cool Music

Ancient Arts Reinterpreted

Open Tues-Sun: 4pm - close 100 S. 4th St Dolores CO 970-882-4677 (HOPS) S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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“I knew I had hit the life-lottery when my wife agreed we could buy a van.� -aaron h. bible

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Slackliner Sean Englund and friends make camp at the location of a 100 meter highline at Freemont Canyon outside Casper, Wyoming. Photo- Terrance Siemon



A DV E N T U R E P R O . u s

Photo - Aaron H. Bible


How to live the good life on four wheels

Photo - Aaron H. Bible

Photo - Joe Neiheisel

Photo - Aaron H. Bible

ome say ‘living in van down by the river’ like it’s a bad thing. The truth is telecommuting, WiFi hotspots, solar power and 4-wheel drive never sounded so good. So, pack your skis, your bikes, boards and boats. Your dog will be game for sure, but you might have to talk your spouse into it. Whatever you do, don’t forget your selfie stick. But you can leave the tent behind. We look at the freedom of life on the open road, how to do it right, how to do it yourself and even get a glimpse of what you’ll miss. Start your engines and remember to get some ice. Where are you going? Wherever you want. You‘ve got a license to thrive. I knew I had hit the life-lottery when my wife agreed we could buy a van. Over the last four years, we’ve spent months traveling the country, living out of it. Sometimes it feels a bit like a traveling circus when we come rolling out with our baby, our 116 pound Rottweiler, my wife’s Chihuahua barking up a storm, fly fishing rods, climbing crash pads, five pairs of skis, inflatable kayaks and the like. Along the way, we’ve learned a few things about how to cohabitate, work on the road, poach showers and Internet, and live productive lives and stay relatively clean without getting detained by the police or frightening the locals. Here’s a few tips that come to mind. Only break one law at a time. Of course, this was much more important back in my younger days of solo van dwelling (i.e., before weed was legal and #vanlife didn’t exist, back then they just called us hippies.) But let’s just say you still don’t want to get pulled over – ever. It’s just a hassle. Make sure your lights are always in working order and your registration is up to date, especially when traveling in Southern states. Switch drivers every two hours. My father-in-law taught me this one. At first, I thought it seemed like a waste of time, but in the long run it’s made life more bearable and fun for all during long days on the road. Sure, if we’re just heading up to Steamboat for the weekend, a three-hour drive from my house in Nederland, we might not switch drivers. But for cross-country road trips, it’s a rule we try to follow.

Be seriously handy. Unless you are a Trustafarian, you must be able to fix, build and work on your van yourself. You know all those fixer-upper shows on TV where they timelapse everything and make it look like anyone can do it? Yeah, those are fake. Keep it neat. The most important rule of van life is the same rule professional organizers use: a place for everything, and everything in its place. In other words, pick up your shit, and put it back where it belongs. That way everything goes much smoother inside the capsule. You’ll never meet a messy van dweller, at least, not one with a girlfriend. Get a wireless hotspot, and a job that allows you to work remotely. We both happen to be writers and artists who work in digital media, so that’s how we’ve made it work. But you’ll be shocked at how much you can actually get done when you don’t have to go into an office. Invest in the right gear. You wouldn’t go climbing without the best gear, and I wouldn’t take my family out on the road without the best van camping gear. From put-it-on, leave-it-on Ridge Merino baselayers, MSR and Therm-a-rest everything, Biolite solar power and lighting system, backed up with our trusty Goal Zero solar batteries, to my collection of SOG knives and our Dometic fridge/ freezer, having the right gear makes everything better.


A A R O N H. B I B L E

Equipping your rig with the right gear, and keeping everything in its place, is almost as good as not getting pulled over, ever.

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Photos - Ben Gavelda



A custom, DIY, low-key, mobile tiny home may be calling, but so is indoor plumbing.

The intricate craft of building a shrunken home is challenging, but it’s something I’ve become passionate about.

It started with an obsession to be closer to the outside – a way to eliminate the predawn wakeups, tired drives home and roadway buffets. It was a quaint refuge from storms, yet a doorstep in the heart of them too. A vehicle can become more than a vessel to get from point A to B for those chasing outdoor pursuits. Sure, it serves as transport, but for many it’s a kitchen, bedroom, dining room, bathroom and more, all in one. The current variety and amount of wheeled-fabrications available is vast. There’s no easy solution, and no one vehicle to do it all. This box on wheels is my creation for mobile living. Deterred by the limitations, cost and quality of traditional campers and RVs, and the time I knew it would take to retrofit an older one, I sought to build my own. The goal was to create an efficient, simple and comfortable gypsy wagon for chasing winter. Insulation and heat was crucial, and plumbing a challenge. Gear storage was high on the list, as was solar power. Then the idea of eating well and being covert came into play. I had the layout roughed out in my head and loosely on paper. The many years of travels, time spent in cabins, campers and with friends and builders like Mike Basich offered endless inspiration. I started with a modified snowmobile trailer and bolted a box from a box truck on top of it. Then I worked on electrical wiring, windows, spray foam insulation and fabricating doors from scratch. Sorting through appliances and amenities came with serious scrutiny and

blurred the lines of RV, marine and household purpose. There’s a mini wood stove, propane heater, mini range, hot water heater, sink, water tank, large solar array and battery bank, marine-grade fridge, and of course—a party deck. The intricate craft of building a shrunken home is challenging, but something I’ve become passionate about. As money was pouring out in the process, I kept justifying the cost against future hotel rooms, meals eaten out and unique experiences closer to the wild. by


I often reminisce about travel before the van life craze; the days when camping was done in the truck bed, back of a Subaru, tent on the earth or simply a sleeping bag and pad on the dirt. When nights were spent at a cozy cottage or motel, and meals were taken at the local diner. There’s simplicity, value and beauty in these ways that can be forgotten in van life. A vehicular shell can isolate one from social interaction, but it can spur it, too. Solace is sometimes all we want after we’ve pedaled for eight hours or spent sun up to sun down on snow. And a stint of mobile living is a nice reminder of blessings like indoor plumbing, heating and your own washer and dryer. As more and more rigs fill the roads and byways of this country, where will they all park?

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M AY 5


Scott Mountain Bike Enduro


Free National Park Week APRIL 14-16

M AY 1 2

Moab SUP race

Moab Rocks Mountain Bike Trail Race

M AY 2 6 - 2 7

M AY 3 - 6


Photo Symposium

Thelma and Louis Marathon

Moab Arts Festival


M AY 5

Whiskey Basin Trail Ruins

Great Sedona Chile Cookoff


M AY 1 2

Prescott Punisher MTB Race

Flagstaff Frenzy

APRIL 15-22

M AY 1 8 - 2 0

Sedona Wolf Week

Overland Expo WEST



Zane Grey 50 Mile trail run

Big Pine Trail Runs


by margaret hedderman

A Native perspective on Bears Ears going beyond a current debate If you’ve been following the dramatic newsfeed about the recently designated (and even more recently reduced) Bears Ears National Monument, you’ll be familiar with some of the heavyweights duking it out over the monument’s future. In the left corner, we have the outdoor industry and countless conservation organizations. In the right corner, there’s land transfer advocates and proponents of energy development. However, if you’ve really been paying attention, you may know that the national monument was originally proposed by a coalition of Native American tribes who regard Bears Ears as a sacred landscape. But what is a sacred landscape? Outdoor recreation, like energy development, is a tangible thing. It’s quantifiable. Sacred is infinite. It’s immeasurable. How do you explain the value of that? In her latest book, Edge of Morning, Navajo/Dakota writer Jacqueline Keeler has compiled a collection of essays and poems by Native writers that seeks to define the cultural importance of Bears Ears. “The land means the world to all Native peoples of the United States. Their philosophies, origins, histories, and cultures are tied to the land,” writes Lloyd Lee (Diné or Navajo), an Associate Professor of Native American Studies at the

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University of New Mexico. “Land is more than a commodity and property for the people; it is their way of life and identity.” The perspectives and voices presented in Edge of Morning are essential to understanding all sides of the debate surrounding the Bears Ears National Monument. Keeler has curated a diverse selection of essays and poems from Inter-Tribal Coalition leaders, academics, activists, the young and old. Many of the viewpoints in Edge of Morning use Bears Ears as an opportunity to address issues of discrimination, modern colonialism, and cultural genocide. In his essay “Some Thoughts on a Long-Term Strategy for Bears Ears” Andrew Curley (Diné), a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, describes Bears Ears as “a place of struggle, a struggle against modern forms of colonialism that are incumbent in the political powers of the State of Utah and the federal government over tribes.” The voices in Edge of Morning demand your attention. The writers and poets featured in this neatly bound collection express their deep connection to Bears Ears in a way that is beyond material beauty. If words cannot express it, perhaps sacred can be found between the lines.



APRIL 14-16

M AY 2 0

Desert Rats Trail running Festival

Taste of Durango


M AY 2 6

Pueblo to Pueblo Cortez

Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

M AY 4 - 6

M AY 2 5 - 2 8

Fruita Fat Tire Festival

Telluride Mountain Film

M AY 1 2


12 Hours of Mesa Verde

Animas River Days

M AY 1 8


Four Peaks Downtown Music Festival and Mountain Bike Race

Steamworks Half Marathon



M AY 1 7

Earth Day

Dennis Hopper Day


M AY 1 9

Cerdro Peak ultra

Jemez Mountain Trail Runs


M AY 2 0

12 Hours in the Wild West Mountain Bike Race

Santa Fe Century

M AY 1 2

Anglefire Endurance Runs

Taos Farmers Market begins


M AY 2 9

The Melvins at Meow Wolf

T H E BEST O F BEAR S E A R S While we’ve all heard plenty about Bears Ears National Monument in in southeastern Utah, we don’t all know much about it. Those who do have wandered among its labyrinths of canyons and mesas, gazed silently at ancient ruins, climbed tall cracked cliff faces, been lost among the pines or drank from pothole oasis. They know the areas of which it is divided – Grand Gulch, Indian Creek, Dark Canyon, Cedar Mesa, Elk Ridge and others. But for the first time someone accepted the behemoth task of running, hiking, plotting and mapping trails among the thousands of square miles of landscape, which is now swept up in a political and cultural debate. Some of the trails within the sacred tribal land, a crown jewel of outdoor recreation or rich natural resource cheddar, one thing is certain, this place is incredible and overwhelming. Writer, runner and beer connoisseur Morgan Sjogren (see Destination Dirt, page 48) brings us The Best Bears Ears National Monument Hikes (The Colorado Mountain Club Press), a loaded color pocket guide of twenty-five trails of all lengths and levels of difficulty, including maps, insight, photographs and even a history lesson in presidential monument designation. While BENM is currently composed of two smaller monuments, Indian Creek and Shash Jáa, all trails in the book are still on federally protected lands. Go get ‘em. S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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Roof top dining · Inquire about private parties Award-winning wine list · Delicious local cuisine

1st Place Best Happy Hour 2nd Place Best Restaurant 2nd Place Best Fine Dining 2nd Place Best Romantic Dining 3rd Place Best Cocktails 3rd Place Best Sushi 3rd Place Best Service

From farm to table and from vine to wine, Eolus Bar & Dining offers something for everyone. The local bounty shines through as the restaurant features an array of local products from farms, ranches, vineyards and breweries around southwest Colorado. Our covered rooftop patio is a distinct place to enjoy the cuisine, providing ample protection from the elements while offering premium views of the surrounding mountains. Our elegant dining room provides a choice of tables or booths to relax and sample creative concoctions from the bar. Happy Hour 5pm-6pm Nightly 919 Main Ave, Durango CO | | (970) 259-2898 Open 5pm–9pm | Reservations recommended


• Moto/Bike/Truck • Service • Tuning

MOTO CAFÉ High Performance Parts and Gear Durango, CO • • 970-426-5088 34 |

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Animas Urgent Care staff know how important it is for you to get back to doing what you love. Convenient walk-in treatment for minor injuries and illnesses. Nathan, Radiology Tech, Animas Urgent Care

OPEN DAILY 8:30AM to 7:00PM

450 S. Camino del Rio / Hwy 550 Durango, CO | 970-385-2388 After-hours or emergency?

Visit the 24/7 Animas Surgical Hospital Emergency Department 575 Rivergate Lane, Durango | 970-247-3537 | Proudly physician-owned. S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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A DV E N T U R E P R O . u s Photos - Katie Kelley

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Pine is a one-of-a-kind adventure playground. You would miss it in the blink of an eye if you didn’t know it was there. That being said, Pine residents enjoy the magical secret they call home. And why wouldn’t they? From delectable eats to more than 200 trails nestled in the surrounding state and national parks, it’s a wonderful place to find an adventure. Photos - Katie Kelley

Only a half-day’s drive from the Four Corners area, the allure of Pine is hard to nail down into words. Part of the splendor and serenity is with each bend in the trail and new friendly face you meet. Whether you saddle up at a brewery for a craft beer, or you’re dipping in and out of drainages on passage 27 of the trailhead, Pine is a natural nirvana of natural fun.



REST YOUR HEAD While there aren’t many standard hotels here (if any), it only adds to the charm. Get the most out of your stay with a local Airbnb. This provides opportunities to get to know the locals who share insight into an array of secreted journeys that only a local truly knows. For a unique stay, head to Trident Winery. It is likely the most unconventional winery in the KELLEY country, where a yurt and adult-sized tree house overlook the ponderosa pine and alligator junipers edging the property. While there, enjoy sampling the collection of unique wines made from local ingredients, including that of the ocotillo cactus. For a longer sabbatical, explore silent yoga or Buddhist retreats at the serene Awakening Spirit Cabins. EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY Open less than two years, the Old Country Inn is the place to dine in Pine. Voted by Travel & Leisure as one of Arizona’s top pizza hotspots, it’s worth it to spice up your stay opting for the Pancho Woodfired Pie. Relish the one-two punch of flavors as the woodfired roast pork melts in your mouth alongside the Serrano cilantro

pesto. For breakfast you’ll find an eclectic mix of locals sipping coffee at The Early Bird. Take a walk down Pine’s historic lane at The Randall House. Here, there’s a topnotch menu of sustainable, healthy and downright tasty plates to start your day. Perfect after mountain biking, get your fill of elk and beef nachos in combination with the awardwinning Strawberry ale at THAT Brewery. Top it all off with homemade peach pie and some welcoming banter with the barkeep. NATURE’S PLAYGROUND If it’s adventure that you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. From hiking the world’s largest travertine bridge in Tonto Natural Bridge State Park to traversing the Blue Ridge Reservoir of the Mogollon Rim in a kayak, it’s easy in Pine to amp up the adrenaline. The easiest place to start a hike is at the Pine Trailhead, less than a mile outside of town. From there you can jump onto the Arizona Trail or take one of the many offshoots including the Mogollon Rim. Mountain bikers revel over trails climbing switchbacks and endurance challenges galore. For the more extreme hikers, Fossil Creek Trailhead in the abutted town of Strawberry offers a more intense adventure. Not for the novice, most locals actually deter you from the hike, but the glorious bit of beauty that lies at the bottom of this trail is its own utopia. You’ll need a permit for this one, as its popularity has called the Forest Service into action to control the crowds, parking congestion and litter from unregulated overuse. Descending 2,000 feet over more than four miles leads you to serene turquoise waters and a magnificent 70-degree swimming hole complete with a natural, picturesque waterfall. Don’t stop there. Boating, biking, ATVs, spelunking, hiking and so much more awaits at this sweet spot. Pine is worth the trip.

Other local gems to enjoy • Go “diamond” hunting at nearby Diamond Point where you can find pockets full of crystal quartz to take as souvenirs • Nosh on the green chile beer cheese dip with housemade breadsticks at Old Country Inn • Take a tour of the local lavender farm (also infused into the Trident Winery Merlot) • Enjoy the fresh air and clear sky perfect for stargazing

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The allure of the ride and how to get there

Ask any mountain biker and they’ll tell you why they do it. Because it’s fun. Because it feels good. You pedal to quiet your mind. Race a clock that doesn’t matter. Pedal to remember and pedal to forget. Mountain biking is more about freedom than it is fitness. It’s more about living than it is life. It’s a little about adventure, but a lot about soul. And all it takes is one good ride. “For me it’s meditative,” said Harris Bucklin, a grease nailed bike mechanic at Second Avenue Sports in Durango, Colorado. “You focus on the task at hand. You can let your mind just totally disappear.” Bucklin isn’t alone. In the U.S., 40 million mountain bikers are heading up the trails, pedaling after something. A moment. A feeling. Endorphins. Escape. Relief. “To me,” Bucklin said. “It’s the closest thing to flying.” BY

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A pair of mountain bikers taking in some late afternoon light in Moab, Utah. Photo – Terrance Siemon

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Everything you ever wanted to know about mountain biking, but were afraid to ask


Photos – Terrance Siemon

It’s all about the ride, but you want the right stuff. We talk shop in some of the biggest riding meccas in the world on how bike dealers help riders get dialed. “We try to get some information out of our customers,” said Jeremy Kipp from Big Al’s Bicycle Haven in Crested Butte, Colorado. “It’s to answer the question, where does the customer want to go and what kind of trails do they want to do.” THE BIKES “If they’re just going to be pedaling, doing longer distances, then they’re a little more cross country orientated,” Kipp said. Cross Country: No or very short travel suspension, narrow and fast rolling tires, light weight over durability, aggressive geometries that position you to pedal hard. “Something that’s going to be a good climber but more confident on the downhill side of things, they’ll be looking at a trail or all mountain kind of bike,” Kipp said. Trail Bikes: Joy riding and not racing. Relaxed frame geometries induce less physical fatigue and more comfort. Most trail bikes feature front and rear suspension

that takes a huge amount of the abuse out of long tough rides. Think fun. All Mountain Bikes: Designed for everything with a focus on aggressive riding, less uphill efficiency, more downhill ability. Think jumping, steeper downhills, rugged, technical terrain. “If people are going to be doing bike park laps and lift served stuff at faster speeds with bigger hits, they’ll be going from an all mountain bike to maybe a full on downhill bike,” Kipp said. Downhill bikes: Designed to go down, and fast. With substantial suspension, these rigs are more like acoustic motorcycles. Downhill bikes are the ones you see with all the body protection, sailing off cliffs, floating over brutal terrain at the ski resorts and wearing full-faced helmets.


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Taos, New Mexico.

Clean your grimy gear before you bring it in Even a quick spray down can help. The shop crew will appreciate this.

Make a date Don’t walk in with your broken bike on your shoulder. “We always want to have the shortest turn around possible,” Bucklin says. “We do our best, but there are a lot of people who want to ride their bikes.”

Care Package Made of ice cream. Beer works too. Bring the whole crew something frosty and you’ll earn some serious brownie points.

Trust We over-tightened a seat bolt once when our mechanic told us not to. Then we rode a long way home with no seat. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years,” Bucklin says. “You build up all that knowledge and then you learn everything for the new year to come. There’s always something different.”

Ride your bike “Seeing a well ridden bike isn’t a bad thing,” Bucklin said. “We love to see people who love riding and are riding their bikes.”


PLUS SIZE: BE TRUE: Get your wheels trued. You’ll be faster and safer Your old mountain bike has 26-inch in diameter wheels, with the structural integrity of the wheel in place. and they’re getting harder and harder to find. These days it’s NEW TIRES: “Tires are a huge and relatively easy upgrade 27.5 or 29-inch wheels, and between about 2.2 and 2.6 inches to make and can be customized to the type of riding that you wide. Now meet the “plus size.” like to do,” Bucklin said. “Especially if you are able to upgrade “A 2.8 width is good for traction, it’s good for control and to a tubeless system. That makes a world of difference in the it’s good for comfort,” said Chad Guyer of Poison Spider way bikes are riding these days.” Bicycles in Moab, Utah. “It does give you confidence on that UNDER PRESSURE: Just because your tires say they can loose sketchy style terrain.” handle 60 PSI, doesn’t mean they have to. Find So, a plus for stability and traction, but some a sweet spot. Hard is faster, but soft is more fun. Look riders claim less agility, response and nimbleness. Too soft and you’ll flat and damage your rims. Too around You be the judge. firm and you’ll chatter your teeth out of your skull. you at the Experiment. The right air pressure distributes a tire’s UPGRADE trailhead tread for more traction, and it takes up the bumps. So you can’t drop $5,500 on a mid-level KEEP IT SQUISHY: “A lot of people are surprised mountain bike? Bucklin has a few tips to make at all at how often manufacturers recommend that old ride shred like new, without breaking those suspension service - between 30 and 50 hours of the bank. clip-less ride time,” Bucklin said. “I think if you’re doing it “You get a pair or grips that feel good in your every year, then you’re doing pretty good.” hands, a saddle that fits you right and pedals pedals. GET IN TUNE: Your local shop has service that put your feet in the right place, that makes You’ll packages. Do yourself a favor: get one. Brakes, a world of difference in how much easier rides thank us suspension, wheels, gears, cables, seals and become in the long run,” Bucklin said. bearings all need regular service. Look around you at the trailhead at all those later. DROPPER POST: Yeah, we never thought we clipless pedals. You’ll thank us later. needed one either. Now we can’t live without one. WASH IT: Out West, dust and silt eat metal and NEW CHAIN/CASSETTE: Chains stretch and wear down the penetrate into the tiniest places. Pull out the garden hose, teeth of your sprockets. If you’ve ridden your stretched chain fill a bucket with warm soapy water, grab some brushes for too long you’re done and so is your drive train. Have your and get to work. mechanic measure your chain and see if you can get away LUBE UP: You shouldn’t sound like a cage full of canaries with a new one. If not, get a new cassette. It’ll cost, but think riding by, and skip the WD40. Keep your bike properly lubricated with trusted brands like TriFLow, Park or Squirt. of it as a new transmission.


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GLOSSARY Check your sag, clip in, don’t dab in the chunder and huck that booter before railing into the bown pow. How to talk, not taco, like a mountain biker. Brown Pow - soft loamy soil that produces a cloud or dust plume when kicked up by a rider’s sliding tires Loam - loose, pebbly soft soil Rail - negotiating a berm or turn perfectly at great speed Extra Credit - all the bonus moves, tech sections, hits and savvy feats of mountain bike handling a trail has to offer Flow - style of riding and trail where pedaling is not necessary but efficient use of gravity and inertia enhances the ability to maintain speed. Bonk - running out of energy

Chainsuck - when the chain is caught in between the drive train and the frame Granny - the smallest gear ratio on a bicycle making for easier climbing Snake Bite - a kind of pinch flat in the inner tube of a tire with two distinct holes Taco - bending a rim Whip - aerial maneuver where the rider whips out the real end of the bike Chunder - rough, blocky terrain that is difficult to navigate. Booter - aka kicker- a jump or roller that you can jump off and become airborne Dab - to put your foot down to refrain from falling

Huck - to jump or sail off of something with great enthusiasm Clipped in - pertaining to SPD or similar shoe-pedal interface, clipped in means the shoe is engaged with the pedal Manual - balancing on your rear wheel while rolling- sort of a wheelie but you’re not pedaling Sag - the amount of travel in your suspension under your body weight Drop - a drop off in the trail you can roll off or jump off on you bike Buff - smooth trail Travel - amount of travel in a bike’s suspension system S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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47th Annual

Iron horse Bicycle Classic Durango, Colorado May 26th–27th 2018

Join the Fun! • Quarter

Horse Race

• Mountain • Gravel • Kids



• Vendor

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Bike Race


Adavrenttsure St h us! wit

forCyaollur Adventure

Gear up for adventure at Backcountry Experience, Durango’s destination for outdoor equipment and information. A certified Outdoor Research Adventure Dealer and America’s first Osprey Pro Shop.

T he train dropped me off and I rode away! Discover miles of singletrack at Purgatory Resort

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1205 Camino Del Rio Durango, CO •

Ghost Walk Durango Take a walk through 140 years of haunted history in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Ghost Walk Durango is a guided walking tour starting at the Old Durango High School (201 East 12th Street) through the historic district of Durango, Colorado. Gun battles, including the Stockton Gang and the Simmons Gang feud, lynchings, and the Spanish Flu epidemic have all contributed to the folklore and legends that have been carefully preserved from generations of local storytellers. As educational as it is fun, Ghost Walk Durango is one of Durango’s most popular attractions and a sure bet for fun and thrills.

Perfect for families, couples and kids from 1-101.

Tickets $15 · Kids 10 & under FREE!!!

Are you ready for a supernatural adventure? book online @ · (970) 759-9393 S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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Brrring Cold camping tips from world-leading arctic explorer Eric Larsen BY

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A good fire and friends is all the night life you need at a chilly winter camp. Elk Mountains, Crested Butte, Colorado. Photo - Morgan Tilton


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A winter campout can seem hellacious, even for the adventurous types—especially in one of the coldest regions in the nation: Crested Butte, Colorado. The tiny town’s region ranks among the top ten most frigid places in the lower 48. Counterintuitively, those conditions are ideal for some. Enter the anomaly: Eric Larsen, a polar explorer, guide and CB resident who spends the majority of his nights in a tent. For Larsen, “cold is cool.” He holds the U.S. record for the most North and South Pole expeditions, including the world-record Three Poles Adventure where he became the first and only person to snag the North and South Poles and Mt. Everest in a 365-day period. Larsen grits through insane conditions but also knows how to make freezing nights quite comfortable. To learn Larsen’s survival tricks, I joined a fast-track iteration of his Level 1 Polar Training Course. The basics, which I’d like to use for multi-day backcountry ski trips, are applicable to any style of winter adventure. DEFINE THE GOAL Are you camping out with the family for a week or slamming a fast-and-light traverse? Define the group’s goals, then map out meals and cargo. Haul the gear and food via a sled and harness ( pulk systems and sleds) with no weight agenda: Don’t leave anything behind, but only pack the necessities to increase efficiency, organization and energy. Choose apparel for the weather and always include a wind protective layer plus fabrics that are insulating and breathable. Larsen prefers synthetic over wool blends for the wicking, yet quick-drying power.

Photos - Morgan Tilton

LAYERS “Being too warm is a huge risk,” Larsen says. “Sweat is our enemy. Getting chilled, which can lead to hypothermia, has a shorter window in winter versus summer. Controlling body temperature is critical, even for an hour-long afternoon hike, not just skiing.” Constantly adjust your layers. Larsen starts with a baselayer T-shirt followed by a lightweight long-sleeve baselayer and medium-weight long-sleeve baselayer to wick sweat. Next, the fleece and down jackets provide insulation. Then, a shell offers wind protection. Lastly, an expedition down puffy jacket (Baffin Nepal Jacket; $279.99) is the outermost barrier.

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“Take time to adjust layers,” Larsen says. “I’ve been in Antarctica on my fat bike and in a T-shirt, because I didn’t want to sweat too much.” Repeat the system on the head, hands and feet starting with a light wicking layer. Pack an extra pair of socks for dry feet in the tent. For camp shoes, tote tall, -58-degree Fahrenheit-rated boots (Baffin Coco; $249.99) will keep those toes nice and toasty. And, don’t forget, eye protection is crucial.

FUEL THE FIRE Eat and drink at regular intervals, every 30 or 45 minutes with precise quantities to maintain energy levels. Larsen’s hallelujah snack is warm soup in an insulated thermos which provides a double-whammy of electrolytes and hydration. Energy and hydration drink mixes help to clear mental fog. Ultimately, Larsen says “Be selfish. Care for yourself to lower risks for the entire group.”

STICK TO REGIMENTS Create systems – how and where to pack your gear, snack breaks, group communication, setting up camp, etc. – to increase efficiency and therefore enhance your group’s safety and chance of success. Larsen says: “Eat together: It means a lot when the rest of your world is a sufferfest.” ESTABLISH CAMP Scout for a section of consolidated snow out of the wind and away from a ledge. Set up the tent and shovel snow against the outer wall, which solidifies into a wind block. Larsen helped develop the MSR Gear Remote and Access lines for winter camping (All-season Remote 3 Tent, $899.95). Also designed by Larsen, the Thermarest Polar Ranger sleeping bag (-20F, $699.95) is built for extreme conditions and features side vents that enable arm use and temperature regulation, plus a snorkel to channel away condensation and to prevent cold drafts from hitting the snout. For additional warmth, sandwich two sleeping pads together beneath your bags. Get the snow boiling for cooking and drinking water. Add a bit of water to the bottom of the pot to quicken the process, and hang wet layers inside the tent to dry. S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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When you load up your mountain bike, running shoes or hiking boots, don’t forget a beer mug.




The author working up a thirst in Dolores, Colorado. Photos - Morgan Sjogren










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A D V E N T U R E P R O . u s


Sjogren crushing trails as Sleeping Ute rises in the distance. Cortez, Colorado.


MONTICELLO, UT TRAILS: The lower Indian Creek Trail is a 6.5 mile singletrack treasure that takes you from the Abajo Mountains and drops into Indian Creek—a mountain to desert journey landing you in the heart of the world’s greatest crack climbing destination. During heavier winters you will need to start the route at Newspaper Rock, just off the UT-211 en route to Indian Creek National Monument, because road access in the Abajos can be closed for snow.

ALES: Outside of Moab and Salt Lake City, Utah isn’t exactly known for beer—and certainly not full strength, but the Colorado border is 20 miles away, and so is the Stateline Bar. It’s the go-to spot for happy hour drinks and appetizers (4-6 p.m.) with typical bar grub. Better order the sweet potato fries.


DOLORES, CO TRAILS: Located in Dolores, Boggy Draw is a fun network of singletrack trails with nothing too steep or technical. The eight miles of the Boggy Draw Trail rolls gently in and out of the trees and lacks big crowds. Despite being at 7,000 feet elevation, it is possible to get on dirt here by late spring. Bean Canyon might be the gem, with 14 miles of solid trail, a stellar view and the biggest climb in the area. Still mucky? Grab your bike. Phil’s World in Cortez is 15 minutes away. Directly across the road from Mesa Verde National Park, these desert miles are some of the most celebrated trails in the the Four Corners. The Hippie House/Trust Loop is a fun 6-mile circuit perfect on bike or foot. Run the loops in the opposite direction of bike travel. Mountain bikers take heed: Do not miss the Rib Cage. Then ask for More Ribs.

ALES: Not only does Dolores River Brewing Company make some of the tastiest brews in the San Juan region, their woodfired pizzas with mostly local ingredients are perfect after a day on the trails. Sip on brewer Andy Lewis’ personal favorite pale ale as you watch your pie bake from your bar seat. You’ll find a unique beer selection with European influences; plus it’s a prime spot for live music. Even Sturgill Simpson once played here.


PRESCOTT, AZ TRAILS: Smack dab between Flagstaff and Phoenix, Arizona, Prescott offers a rugged four-season playground with the feel of both the mountains and high desert without the extreme heat and freezing temps. The 54-mile Circle Trail circumnavigates the city, and connects with an endless network of flowy singletrack that hits the Bradshaw Mountains, some flat prairie lands and the backside of Granite Mountain. At 7,625 feet, Granite Mountain is a 10-mile round trip singletrack, and a scrambling challenge for runners and hikers. But it is also surrounded by plenty of mellow and flat trails. The mountain also offers some of the finest multi-pitch climbing in the Southwest, so bring your rack if you’re interested.

ALES: Just off the Circle Trail, grab a refreshing Cortez Street Blonde to rehydrate at Granite Mountain Brewing. Flagship beers also include the smooth Black Cow Milk Stout with hints of chocolate and coffee, and the Iron King IPA with 56 IBUs derived from robust Amarillo Hops. Founders and current owners Audra and Damon Yamamoto and Damon Swafford are both avid mountain bikers and runners who favor the Granite Mountain area for their dirt fix.


TAOS, NM TRAILS: We love Taos for its mix of bohemian charm, culture and true grit. For some of the best alpine singletrack in the state, hit up the Northside at Taos Ski Valley, or bop over to nearby Angel Fire. Maybe book a shuttle for the South Boundary Trail. If you’re hanging around the plaza, head for the Rift Valley Trail. Out on the Mesa, it’s the Taos Gorge and West Rim Trails. Look for mountain sheep grazing along the rim. Tres Piedras is a favorite cragging spot west of town, or head south to the John Dewey Bridge. Hit up Taos Mountain Outfitters for beta.

ALES: Taos Mesa Brewing has three locations, each boasting its own unique draft list and style of food. There’s the Mothership Location with American/Southwest fusion like tacos, burgers and salads. (It’s located right next to the Hotel Luna Mystica, a collection of refurbished vintage trailers available for booking.) In town, the Taos Tap Room has wood fired pizza only mile away from famous South Boundary and the Devisadero Loop. The Ski Valley Tap Room (serving up only suds, no grub) is close to Williams Lake and the Northside. Don’t forget to grab cans of the New Mexico Common IPA for the road.


A DV E N T U R E P R O . u s S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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A frustrated fisherman’s guide to the river of lost souls


strange, previously unobserved presence started to appear along the banks of southwestern Colorado’s Animas River: fly fisherman. Lots of them. In the midst of an almost non-existent winter of 2018, anglers are braving the frigid waters in numbers never witnessed before. Any long time local angler will tell you that solitude is one of the Animas’ better qualities. For years, we marched unobstructed into any hole we pleased, anytime of day or year. Somehow to our great dismay, the inevitable has arrived. But hey, who can blame them? I can’t help but feel sorry for a large percentage of these folks. Many are new to the sport itself, while others bring years of experience. Either way, unless you know a guy or gal who knows a thing or two, chances are you ain’t catching a damn thing. It’s OK; I usually don’t either.


Photo - Brendan Lantzy

“The Animas must be taken with a grain of salt,” said Cole Glenn of The San Juan Angler in Durango. “We often refer to it as the ‘Animal.’ It’s possible to experience magic and have the most incredible day, only to have your teeth kicked in the day after that.” When creating a rough guide to fishing the Animas River, my immediate concern was that of any fisherman who cherishes their local fishing source: protect its secrets. Obviously, that is counterproductive in this context. With this in mind, I will welcome the newbies, provide some advice and observations and hopefully build good fishing karma for myself in the coming year. I usually need it anyway.

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A D V E N T U R E P R O . u s

Fish on! Jerad McBride and friend reeling one in on the Animas River. Photo - Jerry McBride/BCI Media

Cole Glenn from the San Juan Angler shares his advice to the new fisherman.

First, Glenn said figure out where you want to fish. “Is it going to be big rivers? Or little creeks, or both?”

Glenn said shops often offer starter kits ($200) that work well until an angler knows what they are looking for: a rod, reel, line and leader. You spring for the tippet (the tippet attaches the end of the line to the fly.) “And of course you’ll need some flies,” Glenn said. Check with your local shop on what the fish are biting. WHEN

The season will determine what kind of fishing you’ll do. “Early spring and you’ll be nymphing- subsurface, where the fish are looking for hatchlings. Summer, those creeks up high, it’ll be big bushy dry flies that stay on the surface.” ACCESSORIZE

“It’s nice to get some little fanny pack or a chest pack, even a back pack just to hold all your stuff. You’ll want some forceps for getting flies out of the mouths of the fish, and then you’re going to want to get some nippers so you can cut all your taggings off (the line).” “And get yourself a net,” Glenn says. “It’s a lot easier to land a fish when you have a net to put them in. Eventually get yourself some waders and boots.” X-RAY VISION

“You’re looking into the water and there’s glare and reflection, you just can’t see. (With) polarized lenses you can see into the water and you start to see fish.”

Photo - Terrance Siemon

Photo - Jerry McBride/BCI Media

Photo - Terrance Siemon Photo - Terrance Siemon

Photo - Brendan Lantzy



There Is No Place Like Home: I have never fished a river like the Animas. There are flies one day and they’re gone the next. The water can be any color imaginable. You catch fish in one place and never catch them there again. Ever. It’s OK to be frustrated. We all are. The point is this: The Animas is not the San Juan – or any other tailwater fishery for that matter. It is free flowing, full of weird minerals and silt. It is subject to drought and floods, and it doesn’t contain an abundance of insect life. But the fish are there. Depth: Please take this seriously. If you aren’t fishing in threeplus feet of water, or within an arm’s reach of it, you are literally and figuratively wasting your time. I usually shoot for a minimum of five.



Animas Trout Do Not Raise for Dry Flies: Or any flies for that matter. There are undoubtedly people who will disagree with me, but I spend as much time on the banks of the Animas as your average sewer raccoon and I have never seen a trout over 15” rise. Stay under the surface.


Don’t Overthink It: The fish are not that picky, they either aren’t eating or they simply aren’t there. If you are standing in a good (deep) spot, nothing is taking your size 20 Midge and you are considering trying a 24, or switching from a pupa to a larvae, you are probably overanalyzing it. I would highly recommend a change of scenery, and maybe a crawfish.


The Animas is fishing better than it has in 20 years: Don’t tell anyone, but somehow, in the midst of mine spills, river construction and whatever the hell is going on in other local streams (see Lightner Creek) Animas trout are more active than they have been in quite some time. We all have our theories, but most will agree that the last two years have been stellar.


A DV E N T U R E P R O . u s

I encourage all newcomers to have some patience. Take it all in stride. Try out a multitude of techniques, fish deeper water, and please catch and release. We have quality but we definitely don’t have quantity. Above all, remember you are waist deep in a river in the southern Rockies. Enjoy it. Glenn said: “One thing is for certain, the Animas will call you back for more.” S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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walking miles in remote areas of wilderness, crossing state lines and living off of the items you carry in your pack. That’s exactly what endurance athlete and thru-hiker Greg Mauger does. It started in 2016, taking the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. He did it again in 2017 on the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail. This spring, it’s the last walk for the Triple Crown—the 2,179-mile Appalachian Trail through eastern states of the Appalachian Mountains. We caught up with Mauger on how the trips have changed his life and what you need to know if you plan on hitting the trail.

Selfreflection, oatmeal and multiple pairs of shoes

At some point along a 3,100 - mile hike there’s bound to be inclement weather. Continental Divide Trail somewhere in New Mexico. Photos - Greg Mauger



Mauger will kick off his Appalachian Trail endeavor this May.

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WHAT’S THRU-HIKING? “It’s different for every person,” Mauger said. “There’s the super purist – where if they can’t hike the exact trail that they’re supposed to be on, then they will be totally thrown off by that. My whole thing is going that whole distance.” While Mauger has skipped sections of previos trails closed due to fires, he plans to go back to finish them. GETTING STARTED “October of 2015 I was working for Open Sky Wilderness Therapy at the time,” Mauger said. “And seeing all of the great benefits and excellent outcomes that that program was having really got me thinking about the things I needed to work on and the best way for me to grow.” Mauger consulted another reliable source: his mom. “She suggested ‘do something crazy; maybe go travel or do the Appalachian Trail or something,’” Mauger said. “A week later I had decided: I was going to go on the Pacific Crest Trail.”

A D V E N T U R E P R O . u s

FIRST STEPS “I’ll go through different resources. Whether it’s a guidebook or an app—there’s one called Guthook that has all of the resources you need on it,” Mauger said. “I’ll kind of work from there and pencil it all in and just get my brain wrapped around what the area is like and how many miles are going to be between my resupply stops.” Mauger will use spreadsheets to plan out his resupply boxes and other logistics. However, on the CDT Mauger took a more simplistic approach. “I wanted a more raw experience, and sure as shit that’s what I got,” Mauger said. “I didn’t realize that sometimes I would be resupplying out of a gas station. I’d be eating pop tarts and white bread for 100 miles.”

Mauger adds intensity to his snowboarding, hikes steep terrain at altitude and adds more practical training to his routine. “I would just put my pack on, put a bunch of weight in and hike around town,” Mauger said. “I’m just really trying to put as many miles under my feet as possible. This year, I’m going to do more running.”

PREPARATION “I do a lot of weight training four to six months out, and then recently I’ve been doing a lot of running, treadmill work and then a lot of snowboarding.”

GOING “KETO” “So this year I’m going to do it differently. I’ve had stomach issues and I think it is actually due to the way hikers eat.”

A Colorado Trail/Continental Divide sign points backpackers north or south in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Mauger is talking about Reese’s, tortillas, peanut butter, ramen noodles, oatmeal and instant mashed potatoes. “My favorite thing to do was EZ mac. I would put extra cheese and crushed jalapeno chips on top, maybe some chunks of salami in there.” It’s not a balanced diet, but it’s important to consume high calories to replenish those used as fuel. Mauger is now leaning towards a ketogenic diet. “I’m going to try and stick to a low-sugar, lowcarbohydrate diet on the AT if possible. It’s going to be a lot of meat products, a lot of high fat. It’s going to be pretty tough.” The diet includes healthy fats: nut butters and avocados. “The thing that’s great about the AT is that there are more towns along the way, closer together, so I’ll be able to get more fresh foods, more nutrientdense foods than I would have been able to get on the other trails.”

having the right shoes and keeping your feet nice is maybe the number one. I went through about five pairs (of shoes) on each trail.”

THE RE-UP “On the PCT, I made a spreadsheet where I had all of my resupplies planned out and I had pre-packed 22 boxes that my mother was sending to me, all with calories counted out, all bagged up into days and weeks. On the CDT, I did whatever the town had.” Mauger says he learned what is most important on the trail, and recommends having shoes sent to destinations so they’re ready for you. “Socks. I think socks and a sleeping bag (are most important),” Mauger said. “Shoes are really important—

BEST PRACTICES Mauger said it’s best to do research and talk to others to understand what you’ll need, where you can sacrifice weight and what will make you comfortable. Then, of course, there’s experience. “This year I’m not carrying any cooking equipment,” Mauger said. “I got rid of my knife. Anything I need to cut I can usually do with my teeth or random shit that I find, like the side of a can or something.”

COMMITMENT “I don’t do this because it’s easy,” Mauger said. “I do this, and I continue to plan these sort of things, because I like to put myself into those situations where I’m suffering, where I’m cold and miserable, where I’m wet, because those are the times that I grow.” Once he completes the Triple Crown, Mauger chuckled and said he planned to do it all over again.

COST The cost is about $6,500 on each hike, or $1000 a month, which includes beer and new gear, as well as staying in hotels every once in a while. “Be practical about your mileage. Understand what you’re capable of, but don’t limit yourself” Mauger said. S P R I N G 2 0 1 8

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Photos- Tony Hermesman

FIXED ON TWO WHEELS Tony Hermesman loves bikes. BMX bikes. Mountain bikes, road bikes. If it has two wheels and is human powered, chances are he’s ridden it. “Biking is a lot of things to me. It saved me in high school and gave me an outlet to express myself, and a place to fit. It’s a vehicle to push my mind and body to the limit.” He’s the guy in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, a grueling 50-mile road ride over three mountain passes with 6,000 feet of climbing at elevations up to 11,000 feet. In spring weather, that means anything goes. Rain, snow, freezing temps or sunshine. And he does it on his fixed gear bike. That’s right. Hermesman, 31, not only eschews gears, he doesn’t use brakes. Fixie riders slow themselves by resisting momentum with their leg strength. They can even lock it up by leaning over the front wheel. It’s a little terrifying. “In 2016 a friend got me into the Spartan obstacle races and the mindset to just beat yourself up got to me. I learned that it was more of a mind space where I got to push myself.” Hermesman’s drive doesn’t stop out of the saddle. In his Colorado hometown he created a social media following: Pedal Durango. “Being into biking since the mid-90s, I have seen the peaks and lulls in the impact of biking on Durango. Our community seems to know what Durango has to offer, and I just want to help show the rest of the world and share my passion for it.” Follow Pedal Durango on Instagram at @pedaldurango

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