Adventure Pro Summer 2018

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“By far the best backpacking equipment store in the state. Reminds me of the backpacking stores of the 70s: knowledgeable and passionate staff, attention to detail, and patience in matching person and product. Great job!” - Perry Towstik Independent businesses are the heart and soul of our little mountain town. They give Durango its unique flavor and make our community anything but mainstream or generic. At Backcountry Experience we’ve embraced those qualities that set us apart from the big box outdoor retailers. From the squeaky wooden floors to the way our staff treats everyone like family, we believe that the experience of exploring an “old school” gear store is (almost) as much fun as playing outside. Our love of the outdoors fuels our selection of hiking, climbing, camping, and trail running equipment and apparel. We stock the gear you really need, not just the products we think will sell. On top of that, we get out there and practice what we preach. Our experienced climbers, thru-hikers, and ultrarunners on staff will help you find the gear you need for your next adventure.

1205 CAMINO DEL RIO - DURANGO, CO 81301 www.BCEXP.com • 970-247-5830


AETHER | ARIEL PRO

T he Aether | Ariel Pro was born in the wild. It thrives on trips where f a i l u r e i s a l i k e l y o u t c o m e . I t ’s y o u r co-author for the s tor ies you w ill t e l l y o u r p a r t n e r w h e n y o u ’r e s t u c k in your tent on stormy days, even if they ’ve heard them before. T hese packs are the per fect ingredient for making the good days, even w h e n t h e y d o n ’ t c o m e e a s y.


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Gear up for your next adventure.

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6/11/18 11:48 AM


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CONTENTS

6 OPENING SHOT

8 FIRST LIGHT

10 CONTRIBUTORS 12 MOUNTAIN VITALS 16 GEAR BIN 20 CURRENT CONDITIONS: BRAIDED ON THE WATER 24 SERENDIPITY 26 ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT 28 TRAIL BREAKER: A GRAND ADVENTURE 30 EXPLORE: A FOOL’S ERRAND 36 HITLIST 38 KILLER WEEKEND 40 EXPLORE: BEHIND THE ZION CURTAIN 42 TWIST OF THE THROTTLE 44 BIKES, BEERS AND BURRITOS 46 HOW TO: TRAIL RUNNING 50 TRAVELING LIGHT 54 WILD VOICES 56 VISTAS

20 BR A I D E D O N T H E WATE R

The Southwest’s first womens fly fishing club is reeling them in, by Morgan Tilton.

28 A GRAND ADV E N TU R E

Your guide to 226 miles of river and fun in the Grand Canyon, by Tiona Eversole.

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50 TRAVELIN G LIGHT

This ultra light thru-hiker could buy his gear, but he’d rather make it. Meet Five Pound Pete, by Margaret Hedderman.

ON THE COVER Marcus Garcia on his home turf sandstone crags above Durango, Colorado

Photo - Terrance Siemon

Jumeau the monster-faced adventure dog is always ready for fun. Photo - Brandon Mathis

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


UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP! Mountain Bike Sales • Service • Rentals starting at $20 F O R

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A D V E N T U R E R

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

Ben Brashear Tiona Eversole Steve Fassbinder Rachel Ross Morgan Sjogren Morgan Tilton

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d e s i g n Tad Smith manager of creative services Justin Meek designer Christian Ridings designer Samuel Lindsay designer advertising David Habrat vice president of advertising Colleen Donley advertising director Jessica Kirwan Teressa Nelson Shawna Long Kelly Bulkley Faith Harmon Liz Demko Amy Baird Emily Campana Tana Bowen

production

Ryan Brown

production manager

marketing

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

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Jace Reynolds web designer Skylar Bolton web development manager

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S U B S C R I B E Adventure Pro is now available wherever you roam.

A DV E NTUREPR O. /ADVENTUREPROMAG

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u s

ADVENTURE PRO MAGAZINE

© 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.

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OPENING SHOT Renowned ultra-distance runner Caroline Chaverot of France makes her way to her first place womens finish during the 2017 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Race in Silverton, Colorado. Here, Chaverot is descending Handies Peak after a severe lightning storm. The Hardrock Hundred, held every July, is one of the most revered ultra runs in the world, and draws elite competitors and running enthusiasts from across the globe. The run has an elevation change of more than 66,000 feet as it crosses the craggy San Juan Mountains. Photo - Terrance Siemon

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FIRST LIGHT

O U R W

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L I G H T

e call this page First Light: a nod to all the possibilities of a new day. But it’s also the one chance I get to grab your attention and get you to read and share this magazine. But I’m not going to even try. With tens of thousands of acres of wild lands on fire and countless men and women working day and night to fight it, now is not the time. This is a time to be thankful for the people who came together from all over the country to protect us. Protect our homes, our families, our lands and our lives. This is a time to remember what’s important. Remember, if and when the time may come again, to pack only what you need and go. Remember what it means to be healthy, happy and free. Remember how lucky we are to share these forests and meadows, mountains and valleys. They go on for days, open for us to explore. To experience. To rely on. This is a time to renew our sense of why we love the places we do. Renew our ability to accept the things that challenge us. All of us. It’s a time to grow back from wherever there was something lost. The forest will flourish again. That is nature’s way. The tree will fall where the flower will bloom. The fires will go out and the air will clear. The black scars will heal.

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

And it’s a time to be proactive. Become stewards of the places we hold close. Wildfires can be devastating, but these mountains we call home are hard. And we are spirited. Mountain strong and desert tough. To some, the weekend get-away and pretty sights are a gratuity. A snapshot. A hashtag. To others these wild spaces are sanctuary. We melt into its depths as much as we can. We relish its mystique in pre-dawn hours. We rush to it for lunch-break solace, and we chase its light into the dark all summer long. The following pages are filled with things to be grateful for, places to explore and things to love and honor. A way of life to treasure and a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all ahead of us. So, to all who came from near and far to help fight these fires, we thank you. We are truly in your debt. And to those who were lost without our place, the days ahead are our time. A first light for all of us. We know you all love these wildlands. We do too. We’ll see you out there, and we will love them even more.

Photo - Terrance Siemon


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CONTRIBUTORS

BEN BRASHEAR Ben Brashear is a photographer and writer who is fortunate enough to call Durango his home. Runners, skiers, chefs, community leaders and war veterans inspire his work. His photography and writing has appeared in a number of regional and national publications including Edible Aspen, Bicycle Times, Outside, Trail Runner and Backcountry. Although, he spends most of his time chasing after endurance athletes, he is discovering that food photography and the personalities within the food industry might be his next big adventure. His work can be seen at www.brashearphoto.com.

MARGARET HEDDERMAN Margaret Hedderman writes creative nonfiction, short and long-form fiction and screenplays. Her work speaks to the importance of empty, lonely places on the map. She also manages marketing and events at Backcountry Experience. Based in Durango, Colorado, Hedderman spends her free time backpacking in the highcountry or getting lost in the Utah desert. She is currently writing about thru-hiking New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail with her father.

MORGAN SJOGREN Morgan “Mo” Sjogren runs wild with words anywhere she can 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 a good beer after. A passionate activist for public lands, her first book The Best Bears Ears National Monument Hikes is available now. She is co-authoring her next guidebook about Grand Staircase Escalante with Michael Versteeg who is featured on page 54.

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RACHEL ROSS Utah-based writer, photographer, canyoneer and climber Rachel Ross divides her time between the Southwest desert and traveling abroad. She has a passion for capturing grit, strength, talent and joy. After guiding in the technical terrain for years, photography became her method for thoughtful engagement with her surroundings. Her skills behind the lens have been crafted through hot and dusty canyons in the desert to the alpine meadows of Patagonia. Whether shooting landscapes or climbing big walls, photography and videography allow Ross to share emotions and inspire change.

STEVE FASSBINDER Affectionately known as “Doom,” Steve Fassbinder is a 20-year Southwest Colorado local who has been exploring his backyard for just as long. Not one for basic car camping, Fassbinder tends to think outside of the box when it comes to backcountry travel and planning. The bike holds a strong first choice in this department, but often this beloved friend will carry the other tools of the trade, including but not limited to packrafts for crossing bodies of water, technical climbing gear for vertical endeavors or skis for those snowy powder days and maps.

MORGAN TILTON Morgan Tilton is a writer with a passion for adventure and outdoor industry news. Over the past three years, her travel stories have received eight awards from the North American Travel Journalists Association including two recognitions for “Wild & Broken: A First SUP Descent of Utah’s Escalante River, featured in the December 2016 issue of SUP Magazine. Born and raised in the San Juan Mountains, she has skied and hiked since she could walk. When she’s not caught at her laptop, she refuels by trail running, mountain biking and climbing. Catch up with Tilton on Twitter and Instagram @motilton and follow her writing at www.morgantilton.com.

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M O U N TA I N V I TA L S Keep roaming around the greater Four Corners region of the United States and you’re bound to run into some of the locals. Here’s a meet and greet so you know when you should snap a photo, keep your distance or just flat out run.

2 THINGS THAT RATTLE Rattlesnakes will rattle their tail to warn you when aggravated, and you want to take note – they are indeed poisonous. Rattlers can, and do, use a dry bite for defense, in which no venom is released. The important and precious venom is often saved for hunting prey. In the greater Four Corners region there are two rattlesnakes to be aware of, though there are reports of others. Crotalus Viridis - The Western or Prairie Rattlesnake is typically about 3 feet in length, but can grow longer. The longest one on record was nearly 5 feet long. On the smaller scale, but no less fierce is Crotalus oreganus concolor: The faded midget rattlesnake. These feisty reptiles are typically below 30 inches in length.

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THINGS THAT CRAWL

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Lookout for Latrodectus Hesperus – the Black Widow – when you’re sticking your hands and fingers in nooks and crannies. These are common spiders, and one species or another lives in every state in America, usually under logs or porches, or under shelves and overhangs with their messy webs. They like a good clutter: tool sheds and wood piles in backyard corners. These glossy, eerie spiders – typically up to 1.5 inches in length – are believed to be 15 times as venomous as a rattlesnake.

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THINGS THAT PURR Mountain Lions: Puma concolor, can grow up to 8 feet in length and weigh 150 pounds. The largest cat recorded in the U.S. was 232 pounds.

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Tarantula: Aphonopelma. Yes, there are absolutely tarantulas in the Four Corners, at higher elevations than one would guess. Generally nocturnal, tarantulas are actually quite docile creatures whose bite is no worse than a bee sting. Not sure if it’s a tarantula? Get up close and take a look. A tarantula moves its fangs up and down, not side to side like other spiders. Most tarantulas encountered are migrating males. Female Tarantulas have been recorded living 20 to 30 years.

Bobcats: Lynx rufus, a kind of lynx, is the most common wild cat in the region and is often mistaken for a big housecat. They are between 8 and 40 pounds, and range between 20 and 50 inches in length.

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The only bear in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona is the Black Bear, Ursus Americanus. Brown, cinnamon, mottled and tan colors are all still black bear. There is speculation that there may be a few Grizzly Bears roaming in the remote backcountry wilderness of southern Colorado, but this has not been confirmed. And while Black Bears generally weigh around 275 pounds, in 2010 a man shot a 703-pound Black Bear in Craig, Colorado, possibly the state record. They are known to hunt but mostly subsist on grasses, berries, nuts, insects and carrion. During late summer and fall, bears consume up to 20,000 calories a day. If a hamburger had 550 calories, we’d need to eat 37 to eat as much as a black bear does in one day.

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The Canada Lynx: Lynx canadensis, in the region are much smaller8 to 24 pounds, and about 30 to 40 inches long. Lynx were absent for decades but were successfully reintroduced back into Colorado.

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THINGS THAT EAT A LOT

Camel Spiders: Solifugaes - is that a spider or a scorpion? It’s neither. Known as camel spiders, sun spiders or wind scorpions, gardeners know them for their full-blooded personalities and speedy movement.

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The tarantula hawk, or Pompilidae, are a kind of large spiderhunting wasp, and yes, they really do hunt tarantulas. Should you have a giant black and orange wasp fly by you when you’re out in dry climates, that just might be a tarantula hawk.

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Bighorn Sheep: Ovis canadensis. These iconic creatures are observed in two extreme environments: the high mountains and the dry desert. Known for their gallant racks and ability to negotiate dangerous terrain such as steep cliffs and slopes, in the Southwest there are actually two main species. Desert river trippers may find Desert Bighorns (Ovis canadensis mexicana) drinking from the banks or grazing on slopes. Other desert explorers may eye their likenesses etched into rock panels a thousand years ago by early cultures who relied on them for food. Mountain travelers might catch a glimpse of Rocky Mountain Bighorns (Ovis canadensis canadensis) high on mountain sides. Larger bighorns weigh around 170 pounds, though have been recorded at more than 300. A ram’s rack alone can weigh more than 30 pounds. When Rams establish dominance of the herd, they battle it out by ramming their heads together, charging at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

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THINGS THAT GRAZE Pronghorn Antelope: Antilocapra americana. Well, they’re not antelope, but the last kind of Antilocapra– an animal that lived in North America until about 12,000 years ago. These animals look like they belong on the African plain, but are right here at home in the Southwest. They can reach speeds of 78 mph, making them the fastest hoofed animal in the U.S.

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Mule Deer: Odocoileus hemionus. Nope those aren’t just big whitetailed deer. Named for their giant ears, mule deer are stocky animals. Bucks can grow enormous racks that weigh as much as 330 pounds.

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Rocky Mountain Elk: Cervus elaphus nelsoni. Elk like the mountains. During winter they are often seen in lower valleys where they can forage for food easier than under the heavy snows up high. They can reach weights of 700 pounds, and their antlers can grow as much as 1 inch per day. The Roosevelt Elk of the Pacific Northwest can reach more than 1,000 pounds.

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Moose: Alces alces. The largest member of the deer family. While Moose were known to wander down into the Colorado Rockies from Wyoming, they were officially introduced into Colorado in the late 1970s and populations are now thriving. They have been noted to weigh up to 1,200 pounds, stand 6 feet at the shoulder with racks up to 5 feet wide.

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Mountain Goat: Oreamnos americanus. These sure-footed animals are actually members of the antelope family and live almost entirely above treeline, living off of everything from mountain grasses to moss and even lichen, which they lick. They stand about 3 feet tall at the shoulder and generally weigh around 150 pounds. These are nature’s climbers, often seen high on precarious cliff faces, ascending and descending incredibly steep terrain. While they have been known to show aggression toward each other they are often passive during human encounters.

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THINGS THAT HUM Hummers: Trochilidae. Hummingbirds love the Southwest. There are 10 different species of hummingbirds in Utah, 11 in Colorado, 17 in New Mexico and 19 in Arizona. They are the smallest birds in the world, the smallest being the bee hummingbird that lives in Cuba at a mere .07 ounces. They have among the highest metabolisms of any animal in the world and can enter a dormant state of hibernation nightly, slowing their heart rate to one-fifth of what’s normal. Many hummingbirds have co-evolved with the flowers on which they rely. They are the only birds that can fly backwards and they’re fast as well- some reaching speeds of 33 miles per hour. Their name derives from the sound of their rapid wing beat that creates a high-pitched hum. Some species’ wing beats can reach 5,400 beats a minute when hovering.

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

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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.

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Are you ready for a supernatural adventure? book online @ ghostwalkdurango.com · (970) 759-9393 S U M M E R 2 0 1 8

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GEAR BIN

WHAT YO U N EE D TO GET O U T O S P R E Y R A P T O R 1 4 PAC K

FOR MORE ON GEAR VISIT

Sometime around the early 1990s mountain bikers started wearing water on their backs. It took a few years, but the rest of the market caught on, and by the mid 2000s the concept exploded. It’s no surprise that Osprey Packs, a long time pioneer of pack design, took the industry by storm establishing a line of hydration packs that created its own following. Years ago we put on an Osprey Raptor 10, and we fell in love. Somehow, some way, we lost touch with it. But now it’s back; new and improved, we love it more than ever. The Raptor 14 hits us with the Biostretch Hipbelt and harness. The zippered side pockets are sweet for go-to items. The pack comes with a wide mouth Osprey/Hydropaks three-liter reservoir that lives in its own sleeve. A large main compartment of the pack is easily accessible

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

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

140

$ Photos - Bee Alaine Mathis

and has two sleeve-style organizers perfect for pumps. An almost incognito stuff pocket on the outside is good for cramming layers in on the fly. A glasses stash pocket is soft-lined so it wont scratch the lenses, and there are a few internal mesh pockets for holding small items neatly in place. A small side exterior back pocket is great for snacks and keys, cash and cards. One clever feature is the roll-out tool pouch that hides in a lower rear pocket, so when trail repairs are needed everything is in its right place and the kit keeps tools out of the dust. The LidLock helmet fastener is convenient, keeping your kit neat and contained and ready for the ride. We are big fans of Osprey’s Hydraulics reservoir and bite valve, and they disassemble easily for cleaning. We’ve had a few bite valves tear on us, but thanks to Osprey’s guarantee, they replace them with no questions asked. But the real reason the Raptor 14 gets our vote is the comfort and fit on the trail. A cell foam framesheet lets you bend and shift and rock and roll. Mix that with the Airscape, a high tech mesh ventilation back panel, and you are mad comfortable.


AFTERSHOKZ TREKS AIR Here is a new approach to headphones or ear buds. The Treks Air by Aftershokz uses bone conduction, sending sound vibrations through your cheekbone rather than inserting tiny speakers into your ear canal. It’s different. It’s effective. And you can still hear the world around you instead of it being drowned out. They call it an open ear listening experience. Bluetooth and wireless, it’s agreeable when bikes whiz by, dogs run behind you, cars approach or someone talks to you. What’s superb is they have dual microphones that work incredibly well at cancelling unwanted outside noise during phone calls. There is programmed voice command software, and preset equalizer settings help you boost the bass when needed. A sweat and dustproof coating keeps them squeaky clean during activity. With six hours of battery life, you can do a lot of whatever activity you wish.

T A I LW I N D R E B U I L D

Photos - Brandon Mathis

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A team member at Adventure Pro recently found themselves in the middle of nowhere and a long way from home, fighting a losing a battle with setting up a tent, cramping and overall kaput after a long day on the trail. They mixed a packet of Tailwind Rebuild with about a liter of filtered creek water and started chugging. It wasn’t long before things began to change. This product uses organic rice protein, which when coupled with certain amino acids forms a complete protein. Carbohydrates and some good fats are mixed in with coconut milk and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. It is not only organic, but also 100 percent vegan. Time and time again at the bottom of our barrel, we’ve noticed Rebuild working in as little as 15 minutes, and that’s after hitting rock bottom when there is nothing left. That is, perhaps, when Rebuild works best.

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THERM-A-REST C O R U S H D Q U I LT

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THERM-A-REST NEOAIR X L I T E M AT T R E S S A bad night of sleep means inefficient rest and recovery, and that means the next day is going to be hard. If you spend some days out and about and some nights in a tent, you already appreciate a light and comfortable sleeping pad. If you’re car camping on a budget there are other options, like inflatable swimming pool floats. The Neoair Xlite is hailed as the go-to for fast and light backpackers. At 12 ounces, it is super light and rolls up to the size of a water bottle. It’s also beloved by people that just like a good night’s sleep

at camp. Truth is, it’s not a pad at all. It is a high-end, portable mattress. Using what they call Triangular Core Matrix, the Neoair is made from stacking triangular-shaped baffles together and treating them with a coating called ThermaCapture, a way of recirculating radiant heat for added warmth. The NeoAir is crispy, crackling its way to inflation, which is easy enough. Once you’re there, it is soft against the skin. When used with a Therm-A-Rest quilt, you can custom place adhesive loops that fix on the underside of the mattress so the quilt stays in place all night.

Photos - Brandon Mathis

Tent. Pack. Stove. Quilt? Therm-A-Rest, long known for their sleeping pads, has entered the world of sleeping bags, blankets and quilts. That’s right, quilts. Insulation, especially down, relies on loft to withhold heat. Much of the insulating properties are lost when loft is compressed under the weight of its occupant, so it’s doing little in the way maintaining warmth. A down quilt ditches the excess weight, and covers you like your favorite blanket at home. The Corus HD is a highly technical piece that uses a 650-loft hydrophobic down that actually repels moisture, and a heat reflective coating they

call ThermaCapture that redirects radiant heat back to its source. The quilt also has side baffles that tuck to seal drafts, plus a foot box that can slip over sleeping pads to keep feet toasty warm. We love that it can also be secured in place with a snap-button fixture technique designed to work with Therm-A-Rest pads, so no matter how much you toss and turn, you stay covered. The Corus HD and other Therm-A-Rest quilts can even be connected for camp date night snuggles. Photo - Terrance Siemon

REGULAR SIZE

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REGULAR SIZE

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GEAR BIN

WHAT YO U N EE D TO GET O U T NEMO SPIKE STORM TENT

Photos - Brandon Mathis

FOR MORE ON GEAR VISIT

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

We’ve slept in a bivy sack (short for bivouac; a tiny, mummy style one-person tent) one too many times. They’re great in a pinch and have their moments, but they have no place if you need some room to sit up. We wanted something small, but big enough to actually do stuff in, like organize our pack and clean our contacts. It had to be minimal, it had to be light and it had to be affordable. Enter the Nemo Spike Storm. With nearly 20 square feet of floor space, it’s roomy. And with a 42-inch peak height, it’s tall. At about 22 ounces it’s plenty light. Now, it is not super ultra light, but it’s not super ultra expensive either, coming in at about one-third the cost of some featherweight options. Using a hiking pole for set up, it’s a minimalist design. It has an all mesh door and a small but prized built-in five-square foot vestibule. It also has a swallow-shaped tail that can be supported upright. We use our other pole or fashion the perfect stick. Made with a tough, silicone-treated nylon that’s strong and durable, it’s not 100 percent waterproof but it does provide good shelter from weather. This tent is made to set up, take down and move on. Because it is not freestanding, it can be a little finicky, especially in soft soil or sand. We don’t love messing with guylines forever to get the tension of the walls just right, and there is only one vent other than the mesh door. The pole used to hold it all up is also in the middle of the door way. But that’s OK because we love the price. We also

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CAMELBAK E D DY This is an item that should live on your desk, in your car or at your bedside. Hydration isn’t only vital to exercise, but it’s vital to our health and performance in daily life, affecting every system in our body. It’s the mechanism of carrying nutrition to our cells, getting rid of waste and bacteria, and it feeds our brains, our muscles and our hearts. Undeniably, when a few of us started keeping an Eddy around, we started drinking more water. We like the spillproof top and the bite valve’s flip and sip convenience. No tipping necessary. Its screw-top wide mouth is easy to refill, and the bottle is marked with volume in ounces and millimeters so you can gage your water consumption.

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

love that it has a floor, plenty of wiggle room, a giant mesh door and it goes up pretty easily. We’ve even used it to roll out and lay on with a pad and quilt. When you’re done, it rolls up to about the size of cantaloupe.


S AW Y E R M I N I

S AW Y E R S E L E C T W A T E R F I LT E R S By using a special bottle with a foam core that attracts contaminate molecules to adhere to its surface–something Sawyer calls adsorption filtration

technology–Select Filters go beyond filtering bacteria and protozoa. It also purifies by filtering chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides and viruses.

Photos - Brandon Mathis

Sawyer is standard issue in the backcountry around the world. Its small size, two ounces, its small cost, $20, and its filtering capabilities make it the go-to for hikers, runners, hunters and others. It self cleans with a simple backwashing flush method, and even though the flow

rate might be a little low, this thing is good for 100,000 liters of water. With an included straw, it can be used to directly drink water from the source, it comes with a burly collapsible water pouch, plus it can fit any standard 28 mm threaded water bottle out there.

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$

ADVENTURA TEMPO HOODIE AND VIBE LEGGING Feel good and look good in Aventura’s eco-friendly clothing. The California-based company focuses on comfort and function, and the resulting product is made with sustainable materials. The Tempo Hoodie and Vibe Legging will have you feeling great during any workout. Looking for a nice lightweight layer? The Tempo Hoodie is perfect for a morning run or evening yoga session. The hood is not bulky and looks great both up and down, while the two hand pockets sit nicely against your body, creating a sleek look. From the yoga studio to a morning coffee date, we would wear this hoodie anywhere.

Photo: Brandon Mathis

The Vibe Legging is one of the most comfortable leggings that we’ve ever worn. The stretchy fabric allows for effortless movement. The seams are barely noticeable, and the best part? Pockets. Many women’s workout leggings don’t have pockets, but the Vibe includes two side pockets that provide enough room to hold even the biggest iPhone, while a back zipper pocket located just below the waistband is perfect for a key or some cash. We recommend Aventura’s hoodie and leggings for any caliber of adventure. Whether you’re rolling out the yoga mat or throwing on the running shoes, Aventura provides the comfort you need. Photo - Terrance Siemon

VIBE LEGGING

82 $89

$

BRS 3000T

TEMPO HOODIE

Photos - Brandon Mathis

Thru-hikers and trail runners are taking to the scales, and their choice is clear: light is right. When we were introduced to the BRS 3000T titanium stove, we weren’t really sure what to make of it. For one, it is tiny. Two, it seems a little cheap; and three, it is. This .9 ounce stove burner cost $17, so we just had to try this out. Here’s what we found: It certainly is insubstantial and inexpensive, and feisty to light The output is rather fickle. But if light is right, this thing wins. The truth is we don’t know how long the BRS 3000T will last, but as we write this, it is packed and ready for another trip.

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Club of female anglers inspire a nationwide movement of conservation

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First ever Braided meeting in Durango, Colorado.

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ON THE

WATER BY

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PHOTOS - KAMI SWINGLE

FOR MORE ON FLY FISHING VISIT

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

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

Braided Founder Kami Swingle on another fishing adventure.


Braided clinic held at Duranglers in Durango.

Good catch at Red River Ranch Pond.

The flat, turquoise water is as static as the hot air that surrounds our narratives about women in fly fishing, and the event sold out to 80 fishing boat. I loosen my grip on the rod and pinch the line in my other hand. spectators. The first casting clinic attracted 70 students. Less than a year later, “12 feet, 4 o’clock” whispers Paul Pinder, head guide for Abaco Lodge on Great the club expanded with a Northeast-based chapter, which Kutzer co-founded Abaco Island where I’m stationed in the Bahamas for a four-day fly fishing in Vermont, a perfect compliment to Swingle’s involvement in 50/50 On the school. Our primary target: The rare, elusive and skittish Bonefish, the ghosts Water, which she helped to develop during the campaign’s two-year research of the sea that occupy a saltwater flats region to the west of Abaco called stage prior to its launch at the July 2017 International Fly Tackle Dealer Show. The Marls. Among U.S. fly fishers, 31 percent are female, ages six and up. They are An Abaconian and 30-year guide, Pinder is a guru of the flats. He reads also the fastest growing demographic across the entire sport of fishing, every flicker of light below the surface. I heed his according to the Outdoor Industry Association’s 2017 command, lay my line back, let it unfurl and snap it Special Report on Fishing. That’s why she wanted “If I’d known forward. Ziiiiip. Silence breaks and the line shoots out to be proactive about making the sport accessible of my reel. “We got him,” says Pinder. I look down, and to women. fly fishing can in rookie fashion, the line chokes my ankle. Behind me, “If I believe that women should get involved in Jackie Kutzer, the third member of our fishing team, these sports and fly fishing, what am I doing about be this exciting, it?” Swingle said. grabs the rod as I slam to the deck to free the line. Seconds later, I’m back on my feet and work for ten The Southwest Chapter has 273 members to date I would’ve minutes to reel in the catch. plus another 135 anglers in the Northeast, and members “If I’d known fly fishing can be this exciting, I gotten into it a also include men. Skills clinics are women-specific, and would’ve gotten into it a long time ago,” I tell Kutzer, the conservation events are inclusive. They also serve long time ago” a dual-purpose: To strengthen ties between anglers co-founder of an Orvis-led initiative called 50/50 On the Water, which has a mission to establish gender parity as they explore a new local waterway, and to educate in the sport of fly fishing. “I’m not sure where to start members on environmental issues in their backyard. when I get back home. I don’t have a community in the sport,” I told her. To point, this year’s Southwest conservation lineup features a Silverton “I can help you with that,” said Kutzer. trip for anglers to learn about the Superfund cleanup of the area’s mining Enter: Braided, a fly fishing club based in Durango, Colorado, with a sites, followed by fishing. Other local issues include the restoration of native mission to strengthen communities of female fly fishers, support newcomers cutthroat trout in upper Hermosa Creek and advocacy for public lands. in the sport and inspire conservation. Events also include river cleanups and volunteer projects like clipping fins Founder Kami Swingle first tossed a fishing line a decade ago, during the for researchers. dating chapter with her now-husband, Nick. When the couple moved west Beyond the local ecology or skill of a catch, there’s the component from Washington, D.C. two years ago, Swingle hit a dam. She had no avenue of interwoven human connection, which is why I learned about a local to connect with other women who fish, so she created one. grassroots movement on a body of water 2,000 miles away. Braided debuted with a packed room of 25 women in April 2017. The “Braided revolutionizes relationships and grows community, which is one growth hasn’t stopped. They hosted Costa’s SLAM Film Tour, which featured of the biggest impacts of fly fishing,” Swingle said. “Catching fish is a bonus.” Angling on the San Juan River in New Mexico.

Braided founder Kami Swingle going big.

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

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SERENDIPITY

OF THE NORTH More riders, runners and rock climbers are hanging around this small rural town (population 1,705) in the San Luis Valley named for the grand river of the north, The Rio Grande del Norte. New business owners set up shop in Del Norte, Colorado because of the access to recreation. They believe it is going to be the next adventure mecca in Colorado. “It’s totally undiscovered,” said local rider and farmer Jeff McCullough. “From the valley floor desert to the high alpine, there’s boating, fishing, mountain biking, camping, climbing, hiking – something for everybody.” Trails at Penitente Canyon are fun, and when you catch your breath from the climb to 12,500 feet over on the Middle Frisco trail, you might faint from the beauty. Trail systems like Pronghorn and Stone Quarry have their own personality. Bring your pads for Bishop’s Rock. Plans for a new waterpark on the Rio Grande are already in the works, and the singletrack keeps coming. Del Norte is waiting for you. “It’s an awesome place,” McCullough said. “It needs people to come through to ride and build and explore. Make it their own.”

Bishop’s Rock. Photo - Terrance Siemon

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

Middle Frisco Trail. Photo - Brandon Mathis


Middle Frisco Trail. Photo - Terrance Siemon

Bishop’s Rock. Photo - Brandon Mathis

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ALTITUDE S UMMER RU LES:

THERE ARE NONE When you get a bunch of adventurous fun hogs together, odds are they’re going to cut loose a little. Whether they are riding bicycles over some of the most grueling highways in the country or jumping in the whitewater, these fun hogs can’t help going the extra mile. Photos - Bee Alaine Mathis

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


ADJUSTMENT Photo - Natalie Magee

Photo - Bryan Boagdol

FO R THE A DVEN TU RER IN A LL O F U S

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

Photo courtesy - Keith Harris

Photo - San Juan Angler

Photo - San Juan Angler

Photo - Jesse Kleinschmidt

Photo - Cody Sowa

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A G R A N D A DV E N T U R E

TRAIL BREAKER 22

STO RY

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FLAT WATER

Want to have a costume party? Barge the boats and have a float party? Now is the time. Having a little fun now helps take the edge off the fact that you’re slowly making your way towards imminent doo… I mean Lava Falls Rapid.

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LAVA FALLS RAPID

You can scout the biggest rapid on the river on either side, but if you decide to camp above the rapid, know that you will be able to hear the rapid, and it will probably haunt your dreams. On that note, don’t scout for too long- you could psych yourself out.

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PH OTOS

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EVERS O LE

27 tips for an epic raft trip through the Grand Canyon

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HAVASU CANYON

A trail from the river up Havasu Canyon offers some of the most beautiful scenery that the Grand Canyon has to offer. There are cascading waterfalls at the end of the hike that happen to be on the Havasupai Reservation and not in Grand Canyon National Park. Be prepared to pay a fee to the tribe if you plan on hiking all the way to Beaver and Mooney Falls. Cash feels like a weird concept at this point in the trip, but unfortunately the Havasupai don’t take credit cards.

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UPSET RAPID

If you missed the entrance to Thunder River or couldn’t figure out a shuttle, stop here and hang out on the Patio. It is a short and steep hike to the top of the waterfall, perfect for relaxing and sunbathing.

Though you’ve made it through Crystal Rapid, along with several other Class VII and VIII rapids, if you enjoy staying in the boat and not flipping, then you should still probably scout. Your guidebook might tell you to go left, but that depends on water levels. How far left you go also might determine whether you have a clean line, will hit the left hole or bounce off the left wall. If you want to be sure, just scout it. Oh, and did we already say that scouting is a good idea? Because this might have been the only carnage our trip saw on the whole river.

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DEER CREEK FALLS

MATKAT

Warmer waters make for an enjoyable hike through this awesome slot canyon. Once through the initial narrow part, the canyon opens up and you can walk alongside the creek.

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DEER CREEK FALLS Matkatamiba Canyon (Matkat)

TEQUILA BEACH

Don’t blaze through your margarita ingredients early on. Save a little bit of tequila for a celebratory shot or three at Tequila Beach. You’ve made it through Lava Falls!

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WHITMORE WASH HELIPAD

Flat Water

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If you’ve had your fill of Grand Canyon adventure, then you can pay a pretty penny to have a helicopter pick you up in the canyon and fly you to Las Vegas.

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WHITMORE WASH (Helicopter Flight) Mile 188

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WHITMORE WASH CAMP

This sandy beach camp is great for helicopter enthusiasts. Be prepared to see helicopters drop through the canyon behind camp on their way to and from picking up passengers at the Whitmore Wash Helipad.

BAR 10 RANCH

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DIAMOND CREEK

This popular takeout at mile 226 run by the Hualapai requires vehicle shuttle or shuttle services through an outfitter and a special permit through the Hualapai tribe. Take care of this prior to launch.

27 Diamond Creek

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Tequila Beach

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Lava Falls Rapid

Upset Rapid

HAVASU

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19 Havasu Creek

17 Thunder River

SOUTH RIM

THUNDER RIVER

The only bummer about this hike is that not everyone can join. A few people will need to guide the boats downstream to Deer Creek Falls where the trail pops out. If no one is willing to stay behind with the boats, then the whole crew can make their way to Deer Creek Falls and hang out in this cool spot together.

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ELVES CHASM

This is one of the most popular stops for boaters, for good reason. Crystal clear waterfalls surrounded by moss-covered rocks create a tiny paradise for passersby to jump in and cool down. If you brought canyoneering gear, however, the route up to Royal Arch above Elves Chasm provides spectacular rappels among red, ivy-covered walls and trickling waterfalls with little to no people.

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THE GEMS

This fun little rapid section, including the infamous Crystal Rapid at the beginning, is similar to the Roaring 20s. Throw on a warm layer for this section, which spans roughly eight miles through rapids with names like Agate, Sapphire, Turquoise, Emerald, Ruby and Serpentine.


Photo - Lindsey Malstrom

7

NANKOWEAP

A classic view of the Grand Canyon, this short but steep hike up to the granaries offers a glimpse into the past when early Native American tribes inhabited the canyon.

1

LEE’S FERRY LAKE POWELL

This is the beginning of it all. Water temperatures are extremely cold starting off, as the water comes from 200feet below the dam and ranges from 45 to 60 degrees. From Lee’s Ferry, the water will only warm up one degree fahrenheit for every 20 miles traveled downriver.

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BLACKTAIL CANYON

The Great Unconformity in the Grand Canyon tells the history of this magnificent place; and in this particular canyon, it is visible that 1.2 billion years of “history” is missing. Geologists today are still stumped as to what caused this rift in time.

MARBLE CANYON

BADGER CREEK RAPID

This is the first taste of the big whitewater that is to come.

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3 Badger Creek Rapid

ROARING 20S

You will want some layers. Dress to swim even if it’s hot out. You’ll cool down after a few good waves, especially between mile 24 and mile 26.

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Shear Wall The Roaring 4 20’s 5 Shinumo Wash Camp 6 REDWALL CAVERN

The Grand Canyon offers many different activities, from exploring the side canyons to playing Frisbee or bocce on the sandy beaches. Be sure to bring the necessities for your favorite activity, because although there are plenty of camps along the river that offer side canyon access, there are also many that don’t.

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BLACKTAIL CANYON

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HERMIT RAPID

Crystal

ELVE’S CHASM

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Hermit Rapid

PHANTOM RANCH

A little oasis at the bottom of the canyon, Phantom Ranch is the central hub for rafters, backpackers and ultra runners. People may also access it by burro, with both campground and cabin accommodations available. Flush toilets are a welcome sight. Sip on cold lemonade at the Phantom Ranch Canteen while writing out postcards to friends and family. The best part is that they are mailed out via burro. Also take a minute to fill up water jugs, as this is your last chance for clean water without having to filter and pump.

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GRANITE RAPID

Little Colorado River

SHEER WALL

REDWALL CAVERN

You won’t want to miss this natural wonder. Stop for a game of frisbee or catch. Just don’t throw the ball too high, or the roof of the cavern might destroy it (we may be speaking from personal experience.)

Hug the wall and pull back.

Gem Series

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Granite Rapid

NANKOWEAP GRANARIES

From Lake Powell

Named for the grooves left on your bum after squatting on an ammo can, the groover is your portable bathroom for the length of the trip. Luckily, most groovers now come equipped with a toilet seat that sits on top of the can so you don’t have to worry about those uncomfortable indentations. Picking a scenic spot to set up the groover will get you bonus points from the crew. Plan ahead and bring a prize for best groover spot on the trip!

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Is there low to medium water? HIT THE MEAT! You don’t want to bail on this fun wave train.

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SHINUMO WASH CAMP

NORTH RIM

LEE’S FERRY Mile 0

CREMATION CAMP

If you’re exchanging passengers at Phantom Ranch the next day, it’s best to get to these last chance camps early or risk hanging out on the boats.

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PHANTOM RANCH

10 Cremation Camp 9

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PAPAGO

Canyoneering is an excellent way to see other parts of the canyon that are not as easily accessible from the rim. If you plan on going on hiking or canyoneering side adventures, bring a guidebook and a GPS. Not all trails are trails. Also, cacti are not your friends.

Papago

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LITTLE COLORADO

One look at this confluence and you’ll understand why tribes such as the Navajo and Hopi hold it sacred. Blue waters unlike any other provide a dramatic contrast from the greenish-brown water of the main Colorado River where the two waters meet. Please obey all rules and regulations in this side canyon, including packing out all trash. You wouldn’t disrespect a church; this river is no different.

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EXPLORE

Photo - Terrance Siemon

FOOL’S : ERRAND A

Catharsis, mud and tears in Southeastern Utah P H OTO S BY ST E V E FA S S B I N D E R

BY

BEN BRASHEAR

“The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” Mark Twain

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When was the last time you went on a road trip without some app telling you exactly where to go, turn by turn? In a world that is hyper-connected, we risk living in an illusion of control and becoming disconnected from the natural one. There is one man fighting the good fight. He charges into the wilderness with close friends and thrill-seekers, eschews cellphones, embraces topographic maps and seeks out the plentiful unknown of southeastern Utah. That man is Steve Fassbinder, but you can call him Doom. “It’s not as though you’re choosing to intentionally suffer,” Fassbinder said. The Mancos, Colorado-based photographer and adventurer wears a tight-lipped smile. His gaze is piercing and his lust for exploring the unknown is alluring. He recalled his last trip into the Utah desert that has become affectionately known as the Fool’s Tour IV. The trip was eight days of climbing desert tower first ascents, packrafting, bikepacking and some much needed “Bob Ross’ing,” or downtime. The route was a circuitous 200 miles with a Toyota Tundra as the center point and gear cache located near Hite Crossing. The trip details and exact locations were intentionally fuzzy, but it all began at Dirty Devil Creek, wound

past Fiddle Sticks, cycled through the Underworld and Moki Cliffs, descended 3,000 feet from Ticaboo Mesa to Lake Powell and finally ended back at Hite Crossing. “We weren’t out there in the desert ordering up difficulty, rain and sleet, but it always makes for a good story,” Fassbinder said. Fool’s Tour is something that both Fassbinder and cyclist and graphic designer Jon Bailey dreamed up in 2006, with one simple guiding principle: True adventure at its heart will seem outlandish. They wanted a way to get out to discover the unknown, which after residing in the area for nearly 20 years has become harder to do. They poured over topographic maps, considered factors like distance and terrain, meticulously vetted their co-conspirators, judged the aesthetic appeal of their route and finally their modes of transportation which became their lens for perceiving and experiencing the internal psychological and the external physical landscapes. The first tour was probably the most demanding, according to Fassbinder. Although, he said the fourth trip gave it a run for its money. Accomplished


“Fool’s Tour was a tragic comedy, but it didn’t matter what we were doing or where we were going,” Carruth said. “All that mattered is that we were with our friends moving through the desert.” climber Kyle Dempster and acclaimed photographer Andrew Burr of Salt Lake City were on that first trip. Together, they set out to climb as many unclimbed desert towers as they could manage while taking the opportunity to bikepack unmarked trails and to packraft Dirty Devil Creek. “That first trip was the most extreme due to the number of towers we chose to climb,” Fassbinder said. “Each tower was a first ascent and we were carrying a lot of heavy gear. We had cameras, aid gear, hammers, a hand drill, three ropes and our bikes probably weighed over 60 pounds. We ended up rapping off in the dark for every climb and, of course, it was windy and cold.” A TYPICAL TRIP FOR DOOM AND HIS CREW Each year the tour evolves into a different beast as Fassbinder will combine previously ridden portions of the Utah desert with the yet unexplored. The group dynamic changes too, dependent upon what each new member brings emotionally from their day-to-day lives. Fool’s Tour IV was going to be one for the books. Fassbinder and Burr were still reeling over the tragic death of Dempster who died while climbing in Pakistan only months prior. Burr was facing serious struggles in his personal life, Fassbinder was sick and Bailey was his effervescent, even-keeled self.

The guys decided that a feminine element was needed and invited notable cyclist Ashley Carruth and adept climber Cara Kropp. While the addition of the women brought a more familial feel, it didn’t make the trip and its demands any easier. “Fool’s Tour was a tragic comedy, but it didn’t matter what we were doing or where we were going,” Carruth said. “All that mattered is that we were with our friends moving through the desert.” Carruth’s Zen approach did not come to her naturally. It was earned push-biking through thick clay, a countless number of beaver ponds up Shitamaring Creek, intense exposure descending steep sandstone fins toward Lake Powell and pedaling 50 miles through the Underworld in the hail and rain. It came after she let go of her inclination to be in control and simply trust in Fassbinder’s master plan. That’s just how Fassbinder likes it. He revels in being able to help others discover the amazing places he has found. The emphasis is on discovery; he is the only one on the trip that knows the exact mileage and final destination for each day’s objective. “These kinds of trips are not comfortable,” Kropp said. “Doom gives you a rough idea of what you are in for, but he doesn’t really go into details. The appeal of these trips is the mental difficulty and pushing yourself to see what you can do. One day could be 15 miles, but it might be down a canyon without trails and chock full of boulders. Every day was like that; you would just get up and go.” Each member had their individual trials but also had the support of the group. One night became known as Exorcist Camp. As you might guess, there was some wailing and projectile vomiting. “We called that night the Exorcist night because we had a fallen soldier who really struggled,” Carruth said.

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FOOL’S ERRAND: A

Catharsis, mud and tears in Southeastern Utah

Fool’s Tour may sound like tedious torture to some, but it encouraged a genesis of life and altered perspectives.

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

There were moments of levity as Burr, known for bringing the lightest weight gear and yet the heaviest, most absurd and “highly appropriate” items, produced a handle of whiskey and Guadalupe votive candles at Cave Camp, which was resourcefully fashioned out of a rodent cave by Bailey and Burr after a day of push-biking through deep sand near the Moki Cliffs. Hilarity came with Zoolander-esque water fights in Ticaboo, Utah (population: 78) at a gas station in an attempt to wash pounds of heavy clay and mud from one another and their bikes, all of which was followed by a 100 dollar junk food feast. The duration of the trip brought conversations of life, love, career and relationships while paddling, riding and climbing in the desert. Bailey, an ingenious bike mechanic fixed a broken derailleur, turning Kropp’s bike into a single speed. By day eight, hail, snow, rain and wind inspired in Fassbinder the epiphany of Culvert Camp, a massive 15-foot irrigation tunnel outside Ticaboo. “The intention was never to set absurd goals; it was just that the goals were absurd. It took a fool to even consider doing it,” Bailey said. “I don’t really look at it that way though. It was a way to kind of reset and tune into the natural surroundings that we steer so far away from in our daily society. We all have our different needs or ‘drug’ and for some people it’s extreme

things that are over the top. These are a reset for some and a source of extreme anxiety for others. I definitely don’t find myself attracted to extreme things, but I do find that I enjoy getting deep into the natural world and the natural world can be extreme.” Fool’s Tour may sound like tedious torture to some, but it encouraged a genesis of life and altered perspectives. Catharsis it would seem, rarely occurs in our day-to-day lives. Sometimes, perhaps a little exercise is needed to exorcise our demon, and sometimes it might take the entire stash of whiskey. We are creatures of comfort and often we avoid delving into the existential questions required for growth. Start small suggests Bailey, and find your reset. Look for the natural rhythms of the world even on your daily bike commute and then when you go to the wild, go prepared, choose your team wisely and always remember that even in your hardships, there should always be an aspect of celebration.


EXPLORE

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2018 Flagstaff Off-Road Marathon FLAGSTAFF www.flagstaffmarathon.com SEPTEMBER 23-29

Grand to Grand Ultra GRAND CANYON www.g2gultra.com

MO U N TA I N E E RIN G The Freedom of the Hills Standard issue for any aspiring or serious mountaineer and backcountry traveler, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills was first bound in 1960 by a climbing club called the Mountaineers out of Seattle, Washington. Its origins, however, can be traced back to 1935, when the club began collectively publishing notes in what was called the Climber’s Notebook. In 1948, a hardbound manual was created but was outdated within 10 years. Today, in its ninth edition, Freedom of the Hills is a growing and evolving collective body of nearly nine decades of climbing and backcountry safety and experience. Want to learn about dressing in layers? Turn to page 22. Mountain navigation: 93. Tips on rock climbing footwork: 225.Avalanche Saftey: 366. First aid: 500...Everything from camping, rock and winter climbing, safety, rescue, environment and geology is covered in its pages.

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Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run SILVERTON www.hardrock100.com

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Creede Mountain Run CREEDE www.creedemountainrun.com Imogene Pass Run OURAY AND TELLURIDE www.live-raceresults.com SEPTEMBER 9

San Luis Valley Potato Festival MONTE VISTA www.coloradopotato.org


N E W M E X I C O J U LY 6 - 8

2018 UFO Festival ROSWELL www.ufofestivalroswell.com J U LY 1 6 - 2 1

Silver City Clay Festival SILVER CITY www.clayfestival.com AUGUST 4

Taos Ski Valley Up and Over Trail Run TAOS SKI VALLEY www.taosskivalley.com AUGUST 9-12

KTM/AMA National Adventure Riding Series: Enchanted Circle Adventure Ride TAOS SKI VALLEY www.skitaos.com AUGUST 24 – SEPTEMBER 1

Santa Fe Music Week SANTA FE www.santafe.org SEPTEMBER 1-2

Hatch Valley Chile Festival HATCH www.hatchchilefest.com SEPTEMBER 5

Fall Crawl Four Wheeling FARMINGTON www.cliffhangers4x4.com

U T A H J U LY 2 7 - 2 8

Bryce Canyon Geology Festival BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK https://www.nps.gov/brca/ annual-geology-festival.htm AUGUST 27 – SEPTEMBER 13

Moab Music Festival MOAB www.moabmusicfest.org SEPTEMBER 14-15

Green River Melon Days Festival GREEN RIVER www.melon-days.com SEPTEMBER 7-8

Kokopelli Mountain Bike and Ultra-Marathon Relay MOAB www.kokopelli100.com SEPTEMBER 19-23

Moab Skydive Festival MOAB www.skydivemoab.com SEPTEMBER 22-23

Moab Century Tour MOAB www.skinnytireevents.com SEPTEMBER 28-29

Zion Music Festival ZION NATIONAL PARK www.zionpark.com

SEPTEMBER 15

Bull of the Woods Trail Race TAOS SKI VALLEY www.bullofthewoodsrun.com

NOR T H Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail In Scott Jurek’s account of his record-breaking and record-setting Fastest Known Time bid of running the entire 2,189 miles of the Appalachian Trail, you will follow the beloved ultra runner and writer through his internal and external struggles. Written by both Jurek and his wife Jenny, both of Boulder, Colorado, the book balances insight between the two while giving the reader a comprehensive dose of what it was like for both the runner and his support system. Jurek perseveres injury, doubt and exhaustion and the story is not short on page-turning anticipation and adventure. Carl “Speedgoat” Meltzer even joins the quest. WIth a mobile home based in a van dubbed Castle Black, the book also conveys the emotional weight of passionate athletes and their peers in a transitional stage of their lives.

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KILLER WEEKEND

BLUE MESA

G E T IN The southwest has some pretty sweet places to set sail, swim, paddle, row, float, drift, fish, cast, dive, dunk, carve, wake, splash and more. Sure, these bodies of water might be reservoirs; but the fishing is good, the winds are prefect and the weather is just right. Here are a few spots to check out:

Gunnison, Colorado n Surface area 9,180 High desert oasis water world At 20 miles long, Blue Mesa is Colorado’s largest body of water with 96 miles of shoreline. Part of the Curecanti National Recreation Area just outside Gunnison, the hot spot for salmon and trout fishing has two marinas and one restaurant on the water. Mountain biking Hartman’s Rocks in Gunnison is world class, The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is where serious big wall climbers go in Colorado, and nearby Crested Butte is a quintessential Colorado mountain town, making this area a great space to roam.

Photo - Tiona Eversole

McPHEE RESERVOIR

LAKE NIGHTHORSE Durango, Colorado n Surface area 1,500 Mountain waters minutes from downtown Durango After a long wait, this body of water is now open for fun. Anglers, paddlers, swimmers, water skiers and wakeboarders will love it here. Intended for families and day use, Lake Nighthorse is also stocked with rainbow and brown trout and Kokonee salmon; and the Bald eagles know it, too. At two miles from downtown Durango and minutes from any and all kinds of recreation, this space adds to the attraction of this destination.

Dolores, Colorado n Surface area 5,000 Western Colorado’s lake weekend getaway McPhee Reservoir is named after a once thriving lumber village of 1,500 people that supplied a significant portion of the lumber to the state. Here, 380,000 acre-feet of water with 50 miles of shoreline, is Colorado’s second largest body of water, and is fed by the Dolores River. It was constructed to supply water to the surrounding communities nestled in the canyon like Dolores. McPhee offers boating, camping and hiking and general water recreation; plus it is close to classic mountain biking at Boggy Draw.

Photo - Terrance Siemon

FOR MORE KILLER WEEKENDS VISIT

A DV E N T U R E P R O . u s Photo - Tiona Eversole

S A N D H O L L O W S TAT E PA R K Hurricane, Utah n Surface area 1,322 Stunning crystal waters on scenic slickrock plaground This scenic reservoir below the Pine Valley Mountains in southern Utah makes up some of the 20,000 acres of the state’s newest state park, with 6,000 acres of dry land space dedicated to Off Highway Vehicle use at the water’s edge. The deep orange sandstone dunes and bluffs are cool to explore. There are OHV and boat rentals located in the park. You can even go scuba diving, or earn your scuba certification from professional instructors. Rumor has it, some creepy stuff can be seen in the abyss of the like, like an old bus and plane. Photo - Terrance Siemon

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GE T FU LL KILLER BBQ

K I L L E R PAT I O

The Cowgirl n Santa Fe, New Mexico This award-winning restaurant has the look of a dive bar and the taste of the best barbecue this side of the Rio Grande. Get the barbecue sample platter: mesquite smoked ribs, brisket and barbecue chicken, Texas Toast, barbecue beans, coleslaw and potato salad.

11th Street Station n Durango, Colorado This uber cool gas station inspired indoor/outdoor food truck court is a new local favorite for fashionable lunches, après trail burgers and beers. It’s a quick hit, bar-hopping, munchie rendezvous. There’s even a yoga patio, live music and rooftop seating. Early riser? Check out Taste Coffee.

Photo - Terrance Siemon

GE T CRA NKI NG KILLER MIND GAMES

Photo - Terrance Siemon

GET LOST

Looking for a weekend exercise plan that works your entire body and cardiovascular system together while increasing stamina, sharpening mental focus and burning calories? It’s called rock climbing. According to Marcus Garcia, professional climber and owner of Rock Lounge Climbing Gym in Durango, Colorado, rock climbing transfers to all aspects of life, but none more than than the old adage: healthy body, healthy mind. “When I first started, I was told climbing is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical,” said Garcia. “No other sport challenges me like climbing has mentally and physically from the moment I leave the ground, until I am safe back on the ground. It has allowed me to truly understand myself and what I am fully capable of. I can take the lessons I have learned in climbing and use them to take on challenges life throws at me.”

F I N D YO U R OW N I S L A N D Silverton, Colorado n Island Lake, Ice Lakes Trail If you want your own island, if only just for a little while, you’ll have to swim or paddle to it in this exceptionally gorgeous setting in the San Juan Mountains. And that’s after the four mile hike climbing 3,000 feet. And yes, at 12,400 feet in elevation, that water is cold.

Photo - Terrance Siemon

Photo - Brandon Mathis

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Z FOR MORE CANYONEERING VISIT

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ZION B E H I N D T H E

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Zion National Park is a habitat for budding canyoneers and expert explorers alike who return for the technical terrain and scenery within the depths of this desert landscape. But for the zealous explorer, a true canyon adventure is found outside the park.

BY

RACHEL

The Navajo sandstone in the area has formed beautifully sculpted slot canyons that can require some work to get to, knowledge to descend and a hearty appetite for endurance to finish. Canyoneering is similar to climbing in that you solve puzzles with your limbs and core and it involves physical and mental dexterity and finding safe and reliable ways to solve nature’s puzzles (hint: no jumping). “Canyoneering requires considerable improvisation and judgment,” said Tom Jones, the progenitor of Utah’s online canyoneering resource, Imlay Canyon Gear. “This really is a wilderness adventure.” When done well, canyoneering feels like an efficient relay race, where each member of the team uses his or her strongest asset to move, enjoy and scramble. ROSS The popularity of this area has become a distraction. It is difficult to obtain permits for canyons inside the park boundary and large groups create long people jams. The crowded park has one smelling exhaust from the road within a few miles radius. Enter the remote backcountry. There are many draws to canyoneering just outside the park boundary. It holds incredible views and, more importantly, a chance to hone technical skills. These remote canyons have few bolts, maybe even none. Bolting in canyons is similar to attaching plastic holds to an outside climb; it detracts from the creativity required and reward gained through problem solving.

“Canyons change,” Jones said. “Anchors come and go. Things get harder or easier… Consider it a point of style to create a solid, reliable anchor that intrudes upon the natural environment as little as possible.” Canyoneering is less about slinging bolts and more about teamwork through physical and mental obstacles, finding your way to the canyon or building trusted anchors. These are canyons for those looking to use their skills verses learning them. A day in these canyons begins before the drive- printing technical information, counting ropes, organizing gear and guessing water conditions. The hour or more drive from the town of Springdale, Utah allows time to envision the day ahead. With heavy packs a’jangling you must bushwhack your way above drainages into them, and finally down to the chosen one. After each drop, you scan for anchor possibilities. The sun will shine on the eastern walls, as flood debris becomes beloved anchors and pockets of water provide a desert reprieve in the corridors of ancient sediment. These canyons typically spit individuals out in larger drainages, and the hike back to the vehicle allows time to reminisce on the day. There is beauty in seclusion. Between orienting and creative natural anchoring, these canyons are an invigorating experience that challenges adventurers to stay one obstacle ahead.

When done well, canyoneering feels like an efficient relay race, where each member of the team uses his or her strongest asset to move, enjoy and scramble.

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T W I ST

OF THE

THROTTLE High in the old forests of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains above Taos, New Mexico, a motorcyclist breaks out of the fog and rounds the bend. He shifts gears, turns off the pavement and heads straight up a gravel mountain road. Seconds later, another one follows. Then another. This is adventure riding, and the deserts, mesas and mountains around Taos are perfect for it. In fact, it’s an adventure riding mecca. “It’s a unique vehicle that is really capable, sturdy and strong enough to withstand the rigors of an off-road route,” said Roger Pattison, a familiar name in the adventure biking and touring community. A lifelong competitor, his wife Kerrie is also a revered champion, and her father pioneered motorcycle trail riding – a style of riding up daunting paths and steep chutes. The Pattison’s ride nearly every day. Adventure riders are hearty. They range in ages, but all are curious and hungry for the journey. The bikes are rugged, stout machines, designed for rough terrain but they still glide on highways. Adventure riders are easy to spot. Their rigs are loaded with gear: tents, packs and boxes stuffed with food, tools, clothing and equipment. A small computer screen might be mounted on the handlebars. Many riders travel states, countries and continents sticking strictly to remote routes and linking together forgotten highways and lost back roads to see the countryside. They often make camp instead of booking rooms, and many are climbing, skiing, mountaineering and trail running when off the bike. Some even carry mountain bikes on the back.

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“You get out on a bike like that and you have some confidence,” Pattison said. “I think what you’re after when you’re on this kind of a trip is to see places you’ve never seen.” It still happens to him. “I’ll be driving along and I’ll see this dim dirt road disappearing off into the hills and I cant help myself,” he said. “I’ve got to know where it goes, and the only way I can do that is on my adventure bike.” Taos, New Mexico and the West lend themselves to the genre. Country roads make webs across the landscape with ever-changing scenery, culture, food and art. You could stick to paved roads, but it may be tough. In New Mexico alone, 70 percent of the roadways are unpaved. The couple loves adventure riding so much that they collaborate to put on an adventure bike rally in Taos Ski Valley: The KTM AMA National Adventure Riding Series. It’s a place to learn new skills, meet other riders and above all, see new places. Drawing on riders from around the country, there are guided and selfguided tours far reaching in every direction around New Mexico, many on less traveled roadways. Of course, it’s always fun to leave the cement, and Pattison loves getting people to spread their wings. The culture even has special maps, like Butler Map’s Backcountry Discovery Routes that highlight remote routes with points of interest. Mobile applications like Rever.com’s digital tracking link a global community of riders and rides. “I want to encourage people who have never been off the pavement to do so, and find out how fun it is and what a great way it is to see the outdoors,” Pattison said. “And I want the extreme riders to know they can have fun without beating their bikes to death.” The rally is celebrating a lifestyle, yet also serves as a fundraiser for the American Women’s World Trophy Enduro Team, who will be competing in Chile this year.


FO R M O R E O N TAO S V I S I T

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

Photo - Roger Pattison

Photo - Roger Pattison

A D V

Photo - Roger Pattison

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THE BIKES: “You’ve got a bike that’s street legal but it’s got on-road and off-road tires in it,” said Craig Carlton of Santa Fe Motorsports in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “Most have larger gas tanks. It’s a very multi-purpose bike. It’s where it’s at in motorcycles these days.” You don’t want to run out of gas at 12,000 feet, or a hundred miles into the desert. ADV bikes are burly- built to withstand the trail and the speed of the open road. They’re often fitted with panniers and boxes to carry gear. IF YOU GO: Tires: High, blocky tread for solid The KTM AMA traction off road, but efficient and stable enough for paved roads. National Adventure Suspension: Soft and compliant for a Riding Series takes plush ride over terrain. Many modern place August 9-12 in ADV bikes used high tech computerTaos Ski Valley. managed suspension, traction and braking control systems.

THE RIDER: “They want one bike that covers a lot of things,” said Carlton. “It’s a person who likes to spend a week or two on their bike- camping off their bike, big long trips.” “It takes a personality that is willing to go off on a journey without having all the answers,” said Pattison. “If you go on a route you don’t know very much about, you’re bound to have surprises.”

THE WHY: “Being on a motorcycle is a chance to see some points of interest and scenic beauty that is plainly not available if you stay on the pavement,” Pattison said. “This gets people into the backcountry on some of the unpaved roads. The real memorable experience, the reward for being on this kind of a deal is coming around the corner and seeing this view you would have never seen except for this opportunity. That’s the reward- the memory.” S U M M E R 2 0 1 8

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B R I T T N Y C O WA N Mother of two and still racing and riding strong, Cowan says the team is her way to stay involved. “This team has allowed me to participate in the community.

LACEY ANDERSEN Andersen started as a cross country racer but quickly found that she liked enduro racing. “It’s continuing the fun. This community has made me the rider that I am. You feel like you’re floating when the dirt is good, you’re with amazing people. You get such a high from it. I love it.

Bikes, Beers, THE GOOD THINGS IN LIFE

O

n a still summer night in the foothills above Durango, Colorado, a mountain biker comes careening down a swinging ribbon of single track. Their form is textbook, eyes peering and focused. The hum of their tires fades as they glide by, floating with the rhythm of the trail.

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It was 20-year-old Lacy Andersen. And just like that, she’s gone. Nothing but a cloud of dust and swaying branches. Andersen is the newest member of the Ska/Zia/Trek Mountain bike team, and ever since she started riding with them, she’s gotten faster. “I grew up dirt biking,” Andersen said. “I started racing U14 (ages 14 and under) and I was lucky enough, I had some super rad people in my life.” That dirt biking shows, and those rad people are her family, peers and older cyclists that took an interest in her blatant talents in the saddle. People like Nick Gould, Brittany and Phil Cowan, Grady James, Sarah Tescher, Miles Venzara and others. Mentors. Coaches. And die-hard mountain bikers. That’s what the Durango Ska/Zia/Trek Mountain Bike Race Team does. They find promising riders and bring them up. Some go on to professional careers, some stay involved and keep giving back.

With this team, it’s not all or nothing, it’s more along the lines of elite cyclists that enjoy mentoring young riders as much as they love crushing trails. Their mantra is simple: bikes, beer and burritos. With support from Ska Brewing, a wildly popular craft brewery in Durango; Zia Taqueria, one of the busiest locally sourced food establishments in the southwestern town, and Trek Bicycles, one of the largest makers of mountain bikes on the planet, the team has earned their place in the volumes of mountain bike lore. Team manager Nick Gould, an accomplished rider on and off-road, says it comes down to helping others. “I enjoy working with younger kids,” he said. “That’s when I started mountain biking, and it takes me back to that time when I felt the love of two wheels and the freedom of having the joy of the bicycle. Working with kids that age, the bike is a great avenue to keep


LUKE LEMAIRE “I’m here to have fun,” says LeMaire. Looks like it’s working for him. He’s the one shredding with a handlebar mustache and pink tutu.

The Ska Zia Trek Mountain bike Team is : Nick Gould Lacey Andersen Brittany Cowan Phil Cowan Luke LeMaire

NICK GOULD

Grady James

Gould says the team celebrates the mountain bike culture. “We’re a race team but we’re not just racers. (the team) has a really chill vibe. We’re a representation of all the best things Durango has to offer.

Colton Anderson Miles Venzara

, Burritos them out of trouble. It’s a healthy addiction.” In Durango and other cycling savvy communities, there is strong provision for developing cyclists; but beyond it can be harder for riders to find support. “Our team can step in and say, ‘Here’s a bike, here’s some gear, here’s some entry fees and let’s get you to some races,’” Gould said. “We’ve had riders come out of our program and get on a professional team.” A week after chasing Gould, Andersen and teammates Phil Cowan and Grady James on their home turf trails in Durango – and eating their dust – we caught them and a good cross section of the local cycling community at one of the team’s annual Town Series events: a short track race through a brewery. Brittany Cowan was taking care of racer registration, and her two children. “Being on the team, it’s just fun,” she said. “We’re out here

“I love to race seriously but having fun is my main goal” - LeMaire

enjoying ourselves. It’s not a huge competition atmosphere at all. We’re really just in the community promoting what we love to do and showing everyone that you can work and have kids and still ride.” Moments later and Cowan is in her riding kit, rolling up to the startling line. It’s pretty clear that parenthood hasn’t slowed them down. Every year a curious crowd forms at the brewery’s loading docks, where an arrangement of cascading pallets form a staircase that riders must descend to exit the building. Luke LeMaire, of Ska Brewing World Headquarters, one of the team’s title sponsors and event host, explodes into the daylight by riding a wheelie down the entire thing. The crowd loves it. “I love to race seriously but having fun is my main goal,” LeMaire said.

Ian Burnett

LeMaire coaches the downhill team at Fort Lewis College, a school with a pedigree of collegiate cycling national championships. “I’ve seen a lot of racers get burned out, and that’s just unfortunate especially when they don’t ride anymore,” he said. “I like to see racers and new riders have fun and not get too serious about it.” LeMaire keeps it light. His wild red hair and pink tutu- a statement in support of suicide awareness – tells you this guy doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He just wants to ride – hard. “Its’ more about the lifestyle of being a mountain biker,” Gould said. “The trails, trail building, our races series. Just the culture of the sport. Durango is a mecca and it’s its own unique place here. It’s magical. Bike crazy. Our team tries to represent that and tries to wave that flag the best we can.” S U M M E R 2 0 1 8

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HOW TO

WILD N AT U R E ’ S M E D I C I N E

Ever run on a path instead of pavement? That’s trail running, and it has exploded in the U.S., from 4.5 million trail runners in 2006, to an estimated 9.5 million in 2016. We take a look at how it’s different, why it’s good– and misunderstood– and why it just might change your life.

FOR MORE ON TRAIL RUNNING VISIT

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In its most fundamental form, running on dirt paths through meadows, forests, canyons, creeks and the rest of the natural world has immeasurable benefits, and not just for your physical health. Studies have shown that spending time in nature releases stress more effectively. According to Harvard Medical School research, nature can create feelings of happiness and connection, expedite healing and improve concentration. Running in general is known to improve your immune system, build muscle, relieve stress and increase endorphin levels. Your cardiovascular system will thank you, because running lowers the risk of heart disease. Trail running is also believed to burn ten percent more calories than other forms of running because the constant variation of the terrain makes the body work harder.

BREAKING NEW TRAIL Getting hooked? Remember to take it easy. Going out too fast can lead to overuse injuries. Take it from six-time Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run finisher Drew Gunn of Durango, Colorado. Coming from a cycling background, Gunn hit the trails to build fitness for climbing and mountaineering. Then he caught the running bug.

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QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

“Go slower,” Gunn said. “People that come from track and road very much base things off of mileage and minutes per mile. A lot of that should go out the window when you’re talking trails.” It is best to increase mileage slowly. Some trainers preach a ten percent rule, meaning they increase mileage no more than ten percent each week. Others rely less on a number, but more on how they feel. Take things slow and ease into it.

WAT C H YO U R S T E P Trail runners might not keep a record pace, but they tend to quicken their cadence, ready to react to variable conditions. “You need to think about foot placement,” Gunn said. “Some people need to slow down and focus and be able to constantly adapt to terrain. You work in more of a lateral plane when trail running. You have to move side to side a little bit more.”


FREE TA K E A WA L K

U LT R A M O T I VA T E D

“There are some people that think you should run every step, and that is just not going to happen,” Gunn said. “Especially at altitude. Altitude puts a damper on everyone. Anybody who really wants to trail run, they’re going to have to accept there is going to be some hiking involved. That’s something you can practice: Just learning to walk faster uphill.”

Committing to running 30, 50 or a 100 miles means you love being out, but starting from the ground up can seem overwhelming. Gunn said don’t sweat the small stuff. “Don’t get too hung up on the numbers,” he said. “The consistency of getting your body used to running a lot creates a lot of physiological changes and also a lot of psychological changes. Go out and enjoy it, like it’s a natural thing to do. It should be something that feels good.”

G O I N G T H E D I S TA N C E “The most important thing is to just be consistent,” Gunn said. “Just getting out a lot- even if it’s just shorter distances. You’re better off to run five miles five times a week than 25 miles one time a week.”

MISUNDERSTOOD “I’d run, but it’s too hard on my knees.” That might be on the contrary. Modern research supports that running may actually be good for joints like your knees. According to David Felson, an epidemiologist at Boston University School of Medicine, runners show fewer cases of osteoarthritis than non-runners.

VOCABULARY Trail running genres Ultrarunning – technically anything over 26.2 miles can be considered an ultra run. In trail running, this typically starts with the 50K, or about 33 miles. Next stop might be the 50-milers, and of course, the 100-mile distance is gaining popularity. Sky running – somewhere over 6,600 feet above sea level you start running up hill, usually with an elevation gain of 4,500 feet or more. Turn around and run down. Sky running is huge in Europe although there are competitions stateside. Mountain running – It is just what it sounds like: Running in the mountains. Of course, many people walk or power hike the inclines. High elevations are the norm. This incredibly blissful category is no less inspiring than it is scenic.

Adventure running – Adventure running typically takes participants on a variety of surfaces, on and off-road and through remote and challenging terrain that may rely on some navigation and orienteering to find your way. Things like food and water and other provisions should be preplanned, and carried. Fastpacking – Combine trail running, ultra running, adventure running and backpacking together and you have fastpacking. Fastpackers stay out for longer lengths of time, whether that’s a 50-mile overnight excursion through a desert canyon system or a 500-mile journey across the Rocky Mountains. Considering the terrain they cover, fastpackers need to travel light, so they borrow much of their strategy from ultralight thruhikers, weighing everything meticulously. Some fastpackers may travel for days on end with packs weighing less than ten pounds. While they may not run every step of the way, the run about 60 to 80 percent of the terrain they cover.

Katie Zdanowski enjoying the merits of trail running on Lizard Head Pass outside Telluride, Colorado. Photo - Joey Schrichte

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HOW TO

FIRST STEPS How to complete an ultramarathon

We all make mistakes, but the worst feeling is realizing how many mistakes one can make over the course of 32.5 miles. Don’t find out the hard way. Follow these five tips for a stronger, less stressful race day. BY

TIONA EVERSOLE

1

D O YOU R R E SE A R C H

All trail races are not created equal. With that being said, picking out a race requires a little research. Keep in mind aspects such as elevation gain, geography and weather.

2

GIV E YOU R OU T FIT A T E ST R U N

Chafe: a distance runner’s worst nightmare. The best way to avoid chafe is to test your desired outfit during a training run that is comparable in distance to the length of your race. Make sure that nothing rubs in certain spots or rides up in weird areas. Make sure to apply an anti-chafe product (I use Body Glide and Monkey Butt) before and during your race to help alleviate any rubbing.

3

PAC K YOU R BAG T HE N IGHT BE FOR E

There’s nothing worse than having to stop and dig through your pack midrace, only to realize that the electrolytes or bandages you need didn’t make it to the starting line. Take the necessary precautions and make time to pack everything you’ll need the night before your race.

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U TI L I Z E TH AT D R O P B AG

A drop bag is crucial for your comfort. Even if you don’t think you’ll need anything midway through the race, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Good things to include in your drop bag are a couple pairs of socks, an extra set of clothes, your choice of fuel (I like Clif Shot Bloks and Tailwind Nutrition), a blister kit or other first aid supplies, anti-chafe cream and a headlamp if you think you’ll be finishing in the dark. Race directors are good about making sure that your bag makes it safely back to you. You shouldn’t have to worry about your items getting lost somewhere between the time you drop it off and the finish line, especially when you’re already exerting yourself.

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PACE YO U R S E L F

The gun goes off, and the adrenaline kicks in. This is where you need to fight all urges to set off on a 10k pace when you’re running five times the distance. Start slow, and if you’re feeling good towards the end of the race, then pick up the pace and finish strong.

At the end of the day, you might look back on your race and think of what you could’ve done better. However, don’t let that take away from the fact that you just completed your first ultramarathon! Take your own mistakes and use them to run an even better race next time.

Hannah Green making her way out of Cunningham Gulch during the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run, one of the most challenging ultra-marathons in the world. During this event runners experienced rain, hail, lightning storms and radical temperature changes, all in mid summer. Photo - Brandon Mathis

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Colorado Lodging

REDEFINED SETTING THE STANDARD FOR SILVERTON LODGING For the discerning guest looking for the ultimate place to stay in Silverton, The Benson delivers with a newly renovated facility, modern technology, and all the amenities you would find at home and then some. Among our designer living quarters and suites we also offer Wi-Fi, HDTV’s, SpaLike Amenities, and a State of the Art Business Center. For the ultimate experience in Southwest Colorado, book yourself a suite at The Benson.

1210 Greene Street | TheBesonLodge.com | 970.387.9891

THE ONLY ALL-IN-ONE NUTRITION YOU NEED. TAILWIND = COMPLETE ENERGY + ELECTROLYTES + HYDRATION Made by endurance athletes in Durango, Colorado (Who write your name on every bag)

GO EXPLORE.

PHOTO BY CORY REESE

WWW.TAILWINDNUTRITION.COM

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T R AV E L I N G

LIGHT Meet the man who builds his own backpacking gear

In BY

the ounce-counting realm of ultralight backpacking, the lightest pack wins. Not that backpacking is a competitive sport. But if it were, Pete Vogt, AKA “Five Pound Pete,” would leave his competition in the dust. As his trail name implies, Vogt hikes light – really light. In fact, he hiked the entire 486-mile Colorado Trail with a five pound backpacking kit. With food and water, his entire pack weighed just 12 pounds. To put that in perspective, the average empty backpack without a tent, sleeping bag and other necessities weighs roughly a third of that. So how does a retired engineer from Boulder hike 500 miles carrying a fraction of the weight most of us would use on an overnight trip? He built it himself. Before hiking the Colorado Trail in 2017, Vogt designed and modified the majority of his own equipment, including a tent, backpack and a down quilt that served as his sleeping bag. His featherweight backpacking kit is Space

MARGARET HEDDERMAN Age glamour meets intense minimalism. With no frame or suspension system, the backpack is long and tubular with a roll-top enclosure and a mesh pocket on the outside. And like many extreme ultralight backpacks, the hip-belt and shoulder straps are narrow, with minimal padding. Vogt sourced camouflage Cuban fiber, often called dyneema, from the ultralight backpacking manufacturer of Zpacks for both his pack and tent. “I like to blend in when I’m backpacking,” Vogt said. “I don’t want my tent to stand out and be obtrusive. Can I make this thing look like a rock? I’ve always wanted to do low visual impact camping.”

Photos - Terrance Siemon

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


Using his trekking poles in place of standard tent poles, Vogt’s tent is built like an A-Frame with a mesh opening at the front. To save weight, Vogt developed a design that allowed him to use as few as four tent stakes. News travels fast on the Colorado Trail, and eventually he met up with some fellow hikers on the trail who called him out. That was the first time he was called Five Pound Pete. “That’s how I learned my trail name,” he said. Much of his design process is about problem solving. How can he make something lighter, less expensive and easier? He designed his first piece of gear in 1981 when he sewed two sleeping bags together - a lightweight and a heavyweight - for him and his wife. They would flip it over depending on the temperature at night. “I realized the one on the bottom wasn’t doing us any good because we had Thermarests,” Vogt recalls. He ditched the bottom bag and “replaced it with a nylon liner with a pocket for the pads.” Thirty-plus years later, Vogt incorporated a similar design for his ultralight down quilt, a translucent white V-shaped coverlet with patchwork baffles. He even devised his own mess-proof method of filling the baffles with notoriously unmanageable down. Though it only took Vogt six months to design and construct his custom gear for the Colorado Trail, the equipment has been a lifetime in the making. He has built three tents and backpacks, and plans Much of his design to develop another iteration soon. “I like the creativity of building something process is about that’s lighter than the previous thing I’ve built,” problem solving. he said. “Part of it is the challenge of how light How can he make can I make my gear. I also have to balance something lighter, less convenience, safety and weight.” expensive and easier? Professionally, Vogt was an electrical engineer who worked on computers, but he describes himself as more of an inventor. His imagination not only allows him to design new outdoor gear, but to modify existing consumer products as well. “Modifying things is also available to people, but not as intimidating,” Vogt says. “You can take your existing tent, add a panel of fabric, and make the vestibule bigger. Or add a strap onto your pack for a cellphone.” Vogt is generous with his ultralight knowledge, readily sharing tricks of the trade from design and modification ideas to lightweight products. He keeps an ongoing list of new products that help lighten his load and make ultralighting as luxurious as possible. Vogt will also lead a clinic at Colorado Trail Days in Durango, a threeday celebration of the outdoors featuring free clinics on backpacking and wilderness skills as well as gear demonstrations and prizes. There, attendees can see Five Pound Pete’s custom gear in person and learn how to lighten up. For more information about Colorado Trail Days, visit www.CTDays.com.

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EAT. SLEEP. FISH.

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WILD VOICES

SOUTHWESTERN

RENAISSANCE M A N

STORY AND PHOTOS BY MORGAN SJOGREN

Runner, climber and part-time vagabond, Michael Versteeg has no end in sight. And that is just the way he likes it. 54 |

Even if you’ve heard Versteeg’s name before, perhaps from ultramarathon race results or his acclaimed record run on the Arizona Trail, you probably don’t know anything about him. And that’s the way he likes it. Despite his opinion that people today are often known only for their “Instagrammable feats,” Versteeg keeps his athletic, artistic and intellectual feats low key. A former scientific researcher and chemistry professor, he now works as a carpenter to fund his enviable nomadic lifestyle. Based in Prescott, Arizona with land on the backside of Granite Mountain, a hidden gem for trail running and multi-pitch climbing, he regularly roams the Four Corners based out of his van or even hitchhiking to his next adventure destination. “Northern Arizona and southern Utah have always been home to me,” he said, but you can also find him in the high country. “Between canyon country, the mountains of the San Juans and the Grand Canyon, the Four Corners has it all – big mountains, big canyons,

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

narrow slot canyons, rivers. Running, rock climbing, ice climbing, floating, water skiing.” His multi-sport repertoire is impressive, and with his background in climbing and mountaineering, he has found rapid success in the sport of trail, mountain and ultrarunning. Ten months after his first trail run ever, he won his first 100-mile race, the Stagecoach in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“It was the first and maybe last time I felt emotionally involved in a race,” Versteeg said. “I thought what I was doing was cool, pushing the limits, when I crossed the line it felt emotional.” However, Versteeg’s biggest accomplishment was his 15 day 22 hour 39 minute run setting the supported Fastest Known Time on the 830-mile Arizona Trail. His motives to tackle such a daunting undertaking were as


much about his love for his home state as a quest to find that emotional spark encountered during his first win. “Growing up most of my life in Arizona, the Arizona Trail was always something I wanted to do before running,” Versteeg said. “When I got to the point where I lost my passion for running, I started looking to personal projects. I felt destined to go out and do this. It’s cool to see how many miles you can do a day on a consistent basis (He averaged 51 miles a day). It redefined the word “endurance” to me. My definition is different than a lot of people’s now. What you can do day after day with no end in sight.” Last year he continued to win races in the southwest, including the unfathomable John Cappis 50K in Silverton that boasts 19,000 feet of climbing and a 19 hour cut-off time resulting in only two finishers. But Versteeg also dove into a completely new type of project, taking photos for the first hiking guidebook to Bears Ears National Monument and spending more than two months in the area. “It was nice spending time with boots on the ground in Bears Ears and enjoying the place rather than in the political fiasco it got turned into,” Versteeg said. Despite this, he spent extensive time researching and writing about public lands policy for his blog, Run. Climb. Ride., even staking mining claim as an exploration of conservation tactics. And he is currently coauthoring a guidebook for Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

“Escalante feels a lot different,” he said. “The local community seems a lot more open to recreation. They’ve had 20 years to evolve and adapt to that climate. To be honest, Escalante seems a lot more chilled out and not caught up in the political game, and that seems like it has a lot to do with Indian Creek not being there and Patagonia not posting ads. If public lands were really the driving force behind the motives, Grand Staircase would be a bigger part of their push. Coal mining is a serious concern in the area and it’s not getting the same attention as Bears Ears because the outdoor industry doesn’t necessarily see the same value in it as Bears Ears unfortunately. There is just so much out there.” Despite Versteeg’s very instagrammable life and accomplishments and his under the radar mentality, you’d be hard-pressed to keep tabs on him. His sporting philosophy is “to move fast through the mountains” but he dashes just as swiftly through all corners of the Southwest, sprinting through slot canyons, climbing towers, sleeping under the stars and stirring up ideas to help conserve and push for wilderness. It’s a refreshing outlook and persona in today’s social media-saturated, check-the-box-and-define-yourself world. Instead, he is a brilliant species forged by a region that supports creatures well suited to wild swings in climate, treacherous obstacles and scrappy ingenuity. Find this wild voice in remote parts of the southwest, or online via his blog http://michaelversteeg.blogspot.com S U M M E R 2 0 1 8

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U TAH

V I S TA S

Buckskin Mt

Coyote Valley

Jacob Lake

Colorado River GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK

Coconino Rim COCONINO NATIONAL FOREST

Flafstaff

The man. Photo - Steve Elder

THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF FUN,

UNLESS YOU’RE STEVE ELDER

Type I is fun in the moment. Type II is fun when it’s over, and Type III, well, maybe a few years down the road you’ll look back and cherish the experience. If the volume on the stereo goes up to 10, think of Elder cranking it up to 11. Two weeks shy of his sixtieth birthday, with 45 years of climbing experience encompassing numerous solo ascents of difficult routes in both his native New Zealand and the U.S., former Outward Bound instructor Steve Elder started missing his mountain bike. According to Elder, he and his wife Lynn moved to southwest Colorado and began a solid regimen of skiing and climbing. For months on end, his mountain bike sat collecting dust. Then it hit him: he would enter the 750-mile Arizona Trail race. “Every winter I told myself that I would go and ride down in Arizona, but never committed to making it happen,” he said. “So, I committed.” In spring 2018, approximately 70 riders took the challenge of the Arizona Trail’s fabled and rugged terrain. Some riders even opt out at 300 miles. Others go the entire length, through the Huachuca, Santa Rita and Rincon Mountains, up through the Santa Catalina and the Mazatal Mountains, up the Mogollon Rim, toward the San Francisco Peaks, and, of course, the Grand Canyon. “Bikes are not allowed to be ridden or pushed anywhere in the canyon,” Elder said. “Basically, the wheels cannot touch the ground, so this section entails mounting the bike on a backpack and carrying it across.”

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The rig. Photo - Steve Elder

Walnut Canyon National Monument Mormon Lake

ARIZONA

Allan Lake

Blue Ridge Reservoir

MogoHon Rim

RACE RULES ARE SIMPLE:

1 Complete the entire route under your

Pine TONTO NATIONAL FOREST

own power.

2 No support crews. 3 No caches. 4 No motorized transport or hitchhiking,

with the exception for travel to hospital for medical care

5 Gear: Though nothing is required,

Roosevelt Lake

Four Peaks Superstition Mountains

Tonto National Monument

The system. Photo - Steve Elder

nothing is prohibited.

“Type 4 fun perhaps, But we only live once.”

“Because the route encompasses such a wide range of terrain and climate, the challenges were formidable,” Elder said. “From 105-degree heat in the early stages, to 19-degree overnight lows in the northern regions; from bike-destroying trails to soul crushing “hike-a-bike” sections. Attrition rate of riders and bikes was very high. Almost half the field pulled out of the race this year.” To complicate things even more, Elder was fighting a respiratory infection. “Considering my daily riding times varied between 16 and 22 hours for the 14 days of the trip, the lack of sleep was weighing heavily on me by the end of the race,” he said. Though he was sick, cold, hot and tired, Elder called it fun. “Type 4 fun perhaps,” he said, “But we only live once.”

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

Gila River

Santa Catalina Mountains Tucson

Oracle State Park CORONADO NATIONAL FOREST

Saguaro National Park Santa Rita Mountains Patagonia

Huachuca Mountains

M E XICO Elder in his winter element.


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