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RAD EURO GEAR | CITIZEN SCIENTISTS | LOVE IN AN AIRSTREAM SEPTEMBER 2013

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GO OUTSIDE & PLAY

COLORADO’s

Best Mountain Towns

THE Hottestfor Home BasesCk, Singletra , limbing C , Water ogs and D , Trails Parties

WOMAN ON TOP

Ellen Miller

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SECRETS OF

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Lots of spots want to lay claim to the title of best mountain town in the state. So we put the vote to readers for ultimate bragging rights for the best bike, water, climbing, trail, dog and party spots. Crested Butte, Salida, Ouray and Aspen finished big.

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Five Ten founder Charles Cole invented the Internet (of climbing) and has a brand new home near Dinosaur National Monument.

30 Elwayville Peter Kray runs down his five favorite Westerns of all time.

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contributors What’s the best mountain town you ever called home? E D I TO R I A L EDITOR-IN-CHIEF DOUG SCHNITZSPAHN doug@elevationoutdoors.com MANAGING EDITOR JAYME MOYE jayme@elevationoutdoors.com SENIOR EDITORS CHRIS KASSAR, CAMERON MARTINDELL COPY EDITOR AARON BIBLE CONTRIBUTING EDITORS ADAM CHASE, ROB COPPOLILLO, JAMES DZIEZYNSKI, SONYA LOONEY, CHRIS VAN LEUVEN EDITOR-AT-LARGE PETER KRAY CONTRIBUTING WRITERS rhea Maze, megan michelson, scott yorko

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ONLINE EDITOR JACK MURRAY jack@blueridgeoutdoors.com

ART + PRODUCTION ART DIRECTOR MEGAN JORDAN megan@elevationoutdoors.com DESIGNER CHAD BASSETT chad@elevationoutdoors.com ASSOCIATE DESIGNER LAUREN WALKER lauren@elevationoutdoors.com

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A cabin on Bear Creek outside Cameron, Mont. The four of us who lived there brought our guitars; mountain lions listened.

monicadavis

Crystal Mountain, Wash., 1990. Seventeen years old—I was too young to stay in the employee dorms so the head of ski patrol let me stay in the fire station loft.

jaymemoye Issaquah, Wash. The salmon would spawn in the creek running through my backyard, and I could see the paragliders launching from Tiger Mountain.

chriskassar Girdwood, Alaska. Tiny town only about a mile long. Amazing hiking, backcountry skiing, riding, running. Peaks with views of the ocean and people who know what it means to be there for others.

aaronbible I live in a great, under-appreciated mountain town but Steamboat will always be my magical home.

D I G I TA L ME D I A ONLINE DIRECTOR CRAIG SNODGRASS craig@blueridgeoutdoors.com

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meganmichelson I recently moved back to Tahoe City, Calif., after eight years away. I love it here for the endless ski and mountain bike terrain, the big blue lake and the tight-knit community.

scottyorko In the fall of 2011, I moved with my dog and belongings to Santa Fe, N.M., in a hachback. By the time I left town 13 months later, my gear closet was so swollen I had to buy a cargo trailer.


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End of the Line Not everyone likes fishing. In fact, there’s often a concerted effort to keep it away from the human-powered outdoor sport world that we cover in this magazine. Lots of hard-charging, focus-on-my-heart-rate athlete types think it’s, well, boring and not a “sport.” Hey, Five Ten founder Charles Cole, who we profile in this issue of EO even says, “We don’t make fly fishing shoes because you can’t die doing it.” Take that attitude when it comes to the art of angling with a grain of salt. Perhaps, we should tell Cole that his Sticky Rubber Canyoneer shoes are the best wading boots we have ever taken to the stream (they are, after all, built for scrambling over wet rocks). Or consider Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard who rates fly fishing—especially his new passion of Tenkara, the Japanese form of fly angling without a reel—up alongside more deadly pursuits like surfing and big wall alpinism. In fact, if you have lived in a mountain town, you know that the most die-hard ski bums and snowboarders often spend the summer guiding fly fishing trips as all that snow becomes river melt. The mountain bikers and hard-partying resort skiers who can’t roll cast are just visitors, it’s the locals who know the hatches. Fishing gets you deeper in the blood of those towns and their mountains. It brings you to places you might not see when you are bombing down the trail. You become intimate with that place when you fish it. That’s why I knew I had to write about fishing for this, our mountain town issue. I have certainly gotten to know Boulder (I know, I know, it’s not a real mountain town) better by fishing it. Who knew the fishing in Boulder could be so good. Yes, the fish are small and often selective, but it’s the water that is beautiful. And clambering out to it, sometimes with my 70-year-old dad, sometimes on my own, sometimes with another fly-fishing addict who is just in town for a day. I know where the water goes here, in these spots that the bike path zooms on by. Sometimes, I spend focused hours trying to outsmart fish the size of a big streamer up in the quiet depths of a canyon. Sometimes I’m surprised to pull out a big trout while triathletes run past, seeing none of it. Here’s the thing about fishing. There are far too many days when you go home mystified. You see the water. You visualize the fish. Hell, sometimes you even see the fish. But nothing happens. It’s a day of anticipation on the line. But still you stay there, hoping. Eventually, you just give up on the fish, but not on the river, on the changing light, on perfecting your cast. It’s certainly a cliche to compare fishing to meditation but at this point, you find the same things in both practices: you stop looking for results, stop judging the experience and give in to the actual world around you. But, damn, that can suck. If you didn’t actually catch fish (and if you didn’t feel some profound change in how you view your being on this planet when it comes to meditation), you would never go back. Because in between those Zen sessions of non-catching, there are days that the fish are fat and at the end of your line. Days when nothing can go wrong. It’s a like a powder day, a gift. This is why you do this. This is your spot. You live here now.

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Steve Sunday Photography

SHORTS

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty: The results of a 2010 Canada lynx study that looks at the impact of recreation on the endangered cat will be released this fall.

Fresh Tracks

Is the Canada lynx Colorado’s most important snow cat operation? Taking advantage of a powder day in Colorado requires specialized gear—for humans, anyway. Lynx have it easier. Naturally tricked-out to thrive at high altitudes, the medium-sized wildcats come equipped with large hind feet that act as snowshoes. Winter recreationists and lynx utilize the same snowy spaces in Colorado’s coniferous high-mountain habitats. Does one influence the other? Maybe. The United States Forest Service, in collaboration with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, launched a first-of-its-kind study in 2010 with the goal of understanding how winter recreation could impact the threatened Canada lynx. The study was particularly novel because it recruited skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers and snowmobilers to carry GPS units while they recreated. Their movements would be

compared with the respective movements of 24 lynx outfitted with GPS collars. Areas covered included the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area and locations near Silverton, Leadville, Telluride and Summit Country—including Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone, Loveland and Arapahoe Basin ski resorts. “Winter recreation in the Vail Pass area is bigger than anywhere in the U.S.,” says Elizabeth Roberts, wildlife biologist with White River National Forest and co-principal investigator of the study. “It’s also designated as great lynx habitat and a linkage corridor. We wanted to look at all of these land use patterns to see how they would overlap.” Volunteers put down nearly 4,400 sets of human recreation tracks since the start of the study, and the research team is set to begin analyzing results. “The findings could help management agencies continue to provide recreational opportunities without harming wildlife,” says Jake Ivan, Colorado Parks and Wildlife researcher and study collaborator.

Trapping, poisoning and loss of habitat led to the virtual disappearance of lynx from Colorado. In 1999, Colorado Parks and Wildlife began the reintroduction of 218 individuals to the state, pronouncing the effort a success in 2010. Lynx rely on lodgepole and spruce-fir forests with an abundance of their primary food source, the snowshoe hare. “They are very strictly tied to specific habitat and don’t have a lot of options to go other places,” says John Squires, research wildlife biologist with the Rocky Mountain Research Station and co-principal investigator of the study. The research team hopes that their findings will help the endangered lynx thrive while still allowing for the winter recreation opportunities Coloradoans love. “This is the most innovative recreation data the Forest Service has had,” says Roberts. “The study was a privilege to be part of and I think a lot of good is going to come out of it—we’re excited.” —Rhea Maze

SEPTEMBER 2013 • ElevationOutdoors.com

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Courtesy Ellen Miller

quickhits

SHORTS planned for life below 23,000 feet. You already had a storied career, becoming the first American woman to summit Everest from the north side in 2001, and then the only to summit Everest from both sides in one year. Why Nuptse? The Khumbu region is my second home—I go there Climb with a View: Miller on the every year as a summit ridge of Nuptse and Everest in the background. trekking guide— so my decision to climb Nupste was deeply personal. It’s not only a stunning mountain, but also a mysterious Ellen Miller talks about her life on mountain—only 20 people had climbed it when the planet’s highest peaks my team summited. Part of it was my desire to show my commitment to the Khumbu region and to the sherpas who live there. And part of Last May, after summiting 25,771-foot Nuptse it was about finishing a beautiful project before in Nepal, Ellen Miller became the first American retirement. woman to complete the Everest Triple Crown, including Everest (29,029 ft) and Lhotse Your career included skyrunning, adventure (27,940 ft). The Colorado resident subsequently racing and mountaineering, some of the most announced that she was retiring from a 25-year physically and mentally punishing sports on career in extreme high altitude mountaineering. the planet. What’s your deal with pain? We caught up with her to find out about her It’s really about getting to know myself better. latest accomplishment, and what she has

Woman on Top

People ask me why I climb mountains. One reason is for the sheer beauty and grace you get to see at high altitude. But also, I do it to find out who I am because in order to really connect with someone, you need to know yourself. And at the end of the day, at the end of my life, it’s not going to be where I placed in the race or the summits I’ve stood on, it’s going to be about the relationships with the people I’ve met along the way and the shared experiences. How did you decide it was time to retire from extreme high altitude mountaineering? I’m 54 now, and I realized I’m not able to manage the discomfort as well as I could when I was younger. But more importantly, I was very frightened while climbing Nuptse. It was the first time that I looked around thinking oh my god, what we are doing is so bloody dangerous. When I was 35, or even 45, I just didn’t think that way. It kind of hit me this year. That’s when I realized it’s time for me to let this go. Part of being a good climber is knowing when to stop. So what now? I’m very passionate about the French language and want to spend time studying it in France. Plus I love the French Alps. I’ll always be a climber, but I’d like to travel to other places and climb other things besides the Himalayas. The extreme mountains take a lot of money, time and energy. I’d like to have some fun now, you know, relax a little bit. —Jayme Moye

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SHORTS Alexandria Bombach

Treinish engaged in “research.”

Weird Science

Adventurer Gregg Treinish is building an army of citizen scientists. Join him. While hiking the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail, and then completing the first trek of the Andes Mountain range from equator to southern tip (7,800 miles in 667 days), Gregg Treinish had plenty of time to ponder. One recurring thought was how to give back to the places he had trod. The former backcountry guide felt expeditions were, for the most part, selfish. Even when he was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2008, Treinish didn’t feel his journeys resulted in meaningful impact for anything or anyone other than himself. “On every expedition I’ve been on, it was something I talked about with climbers and divers and boaters and everybody,” Treinish says. “They all wanted to be doing more for the places they were visiting. But there was never an easy way.” Two years later, he formed a hypothesis based on his background as a wildlife biologist. “There’s tens of thousands of athletes that go outside every single day,” Treinish explains. They’re hikers, climbers, boaters, skiers—they’re people who are going to every square corner of this planet. And anywhere they go, there’s a scientist who needs them to collect data.” He founded Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation in 2011 to pair adventure travelers with conservation scientists in need of data collection all over the world. Besides extreme athletes, Treinish also envisioned ASC working with schools, military vets and even families on vacation. Turns out he was onto something—more than 1,000 travelers have since gathered data for more than 100 researchers. In one project, thru-hikers collected grizzly bear DNA on the Continental Divide Trail, and in another, rowers retrieved plankton samples from the Arctic Ocean. Treinish’s matchmaking services are free. “Anyone traveling anywhere in the world can come to us and ask for a science component to their trip, whether they’re doing a day hike or climbing Everest,” Treinish says. “All you have to do is fill out a form. And scientists can do the same.” A short film on Treinish’s initiative, part of the MoveShake Series by Red Reel, premiered at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival in May, snagging a “Moving Mountains” award. Watch it at moveshake.org. Learn more about ASC at adventureandscience.org.

We’ve all heard that processed foods aren’t good for us. But even devoted Whole Foods shoppers often make exceptions for long hikes, rides or runs—noshing on synthetic gel, goo, blocks and bars. Boulderbased sports physiologist Dr. Allen Lim partnered with Chef Biju Thomas to find a better way. Their latest book, Feed Zone Portables (VeloPress $24.95), provides 75 quick and easy recipes for cyclists, runners, triathletes, mountain bikers, climbers, hikers and backpackers who want to pack real food. In the introduction, Dr. Lim, who was the director of sports science for the Garmin and RadioShack cycling teams, makes the case for real food as a more easily digestible, higher-performance source of energy than prepackaged fuel products. And because the body burns solid and liquid foods differently, Lim defines a new approach for athletes to drink for hydration and eat real food for energy. Try free sample recipes at feedzonecookbook.com.

quickhits

Feed Zone Portables

Fall in love with Frisco as we celebrate the turning of the leaves with live music, the lumberjills, wood

Gear We Love This stainless steel growler is double-wall vacuum insulated and keeps your beer cold for at least 24 hours. What more do we need to say? Oh, it comes with a lifetime warranty. That makes it one easy sell. To be honest, the only really tough decision to make here is what Colorado microbrew you want to use to fill it up for your next backcountry jaunt. hydroflask.com; $49.99

carving and a seasonal street market!

Register for the Mt. Royal Hill Climb and earn your after party

Number

1,500

Number of Colorado women expected to show up in Lyrca for the 6th Annual Venus de Miles bike ride on September 29, 2013. The event will raise $250,000 for Greenhouse Scholars, a Boulderbased non-profit that provides mentoring and scholarship support to high-performing, under-resourced students. colorado.venusdemiles.com

FriscoFallFest.com

—J.M. SEPTEMBER 2013 • ElevationOutdoors.com

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|Near Wolf Creek Ski Area|

Small town charm. Calendar of Events

+august 31: Fireworks Show and Fish Fry

+september 7: Silver Thread Artist Studio Tour 10: Community Potluck 21: Kamp Komfort Days at Riverbend Resort 23: Fireball Run Adventurally

BIG outdoor

+october 8: Community Potluck 13: Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Closes 17: Chili & Salsa Cook-off 31: Halloween Safe Stop Trick-or-Treat

fun.

+november

12: Community Potluck 28: Kiwanis Thanksgiving Dinner 30: 8200’ Anniversay Sale

+december 6: Christmas Party & Giving Tree @ Visitor Center 10: Community Potluck 31: New Year’s Celebration Skating Party Keep checking back to see our delayed summer schedule of community events!

Contact the Visitor Center for a free information packet.

South Fork Visitor Center

www.southforkcolorado.org 1.800.571.0881 PO Box 1030 | South Fork | CO 81154

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quickhits

Courtesy Reel Rock

SHORTS

Samurai Hold: Daniel Woods boulders in Japan.

Keeping It Reel

The Reel Rock film series kicks off its eighth season

ElEvatE Your

PERSPECTIVE Explore Colorado Springs for exceptional views and rugged adventures.

Charge down a mountain bike trail, scale the red rocks in Garden of the Gods and conquer the rapids of the arkansas river. Indulge all of your outdoor passions in Colorado Springs and get ready to elevate your perspective.

Hold on to your crash pads. The World Premiere of Reel Rock 8 kicks off in Boulder this month at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 19th and Friday, September 20th, at The Chautauqua Auditorium. This year’s films range from the guiding controversy on Everest that led to violence to the first woman to climb the British grade of E9. And the action won’t be limited to the screen: local athletes Daniel Woods and Emily Harrington, as well as international athletes Simone Moro and Yuji Hirayama will be in attendance and talking to viewers. Be sure to come before the films to enjoy the beer garden and sponsor booths (5:30 -7:30 p.m.). And it’s all for a good cause. In 2012, Reel Rock raised over $15,000 for non-profits, partnering with more than 150 retailers, university outing clubs and climbing gyms. reelrocktour.com

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VISITCOS.COM SEPTEMBER 2013 • ElevationOutdoors.com

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ISSUES

flashpoint

Scott Jarvie

Rigged for Danger Creighton and his crew aren’t setting up your average backyard bike jumps or swing set zip lines. They’re assembling fullon Mission Impossible/007 stunts that yank at your guts with massive G-forces. Here are a few of their most insane escapades:

City Waterslide In an old storm drain under Interstate 80 in Salt Lake City, they dam up the water with old road signs and logs before letting the flows surge down the ¼-mile-long metal tube, riding kayaks, floatie rafts, and boogie boards out the other end. SuperTramp went through holding a Canon 5D Mark III without a water housing. Paintball Warfare With 80 paintball guns—including one paintball bazooka firing 80 rounds per shot—and 400,000 paintballs, as well as Jeeps, ATV’s, dirt bikes, a $600,000 dune buggy launching jumps and paramotor operating from the sky, they made a video of the most epic videogame-like Capture The Flag scene you could fathom and recreated the Iwo Jima flag-planting photo at the end. Water Swing They have plans to bolt a

Swing Low Sweet SuperTramp

A group of young Mormon athletes are undertaking insane outdoor stunts in the name of making it big on YouTube and growing their faith.

extreme visionaries: Devin SuperTramp is a good Mormon boy blowing up YouTube. “I believe that people are more comfortable with their own mortality knowing that if they’ve led a righteous, spiritual existence, then they’ll be ok in the afterlife,” says his partner in human slingshot stunts, Creighton Baird.

By Scott Yorko Imagine how upset you’d be if your roommate harnessed you to a massive human slingshot on a boat in the middle of a lake, pulled the quick release on a rope (that ended up ripping your scrotum) then posted it on YouTube. You might hate the guy, but only if he wasn’t making every other day of your life the most exciting one yet. Meet Creighton Baird, the leader of a growing cabal of young, Mormon adventure junkies, based mostly in Utah, who are rigging up dangerously fun stunts that look like they’re straight out of video games. To wit: They throw 40-person glowstick parties in dark caves that require a 60-foot rappel to enter. They rig 500-foot ziplines from the tops of canyons to double-decker houseboats below and drop into rivers on snow skis. They even have pirate-themed paintball wars between rival ships in the Salt Flats and play human Duck Hunt with giant catapults. Their explanation for this raucous behavior is quite mature, however. “We don’t go out and drink, so we have to entertain ourselves somehow,” says Baird, who is responsible for rigging most of these risky exploits. “A bunch of 25-year-olds who aren’t getting laid consistently need to find a release somehow.” They might seem like a bunch of trust fund kids on a perpetual spring break—several do live

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rent-free in a six-bedroom, 11,000-square-foot house in Provo with a 12-foot movie screen, two saunas, two steam rooms and an 80-foot zipline over the outdoor pool—but some are building highly profitable businesses by playing as hard as gravity allows.

Enter Devin SuperTramp Baird has done all of the logistics and setup for 10 videos by Devin SuperTramp, a Youtube movie sensation who went viral in February 2012 with an arousing video of kids freefalling on a 150-foot rope swing from Moab’s Corona Arch. They’ve been hired by Hershey’s, Nitro Circus, The Travel Channel, Ford and even Mountain Dew to execute wild commercials in the great outdoors. Baird has locked down sponsorships with Vooray clothing and Reebok to fund the gear and production costs for their bizarre stunts. “He just has this super high energy and always brings a ton of it to the people he’s with,” says SuperTramp. “It all comes down to inviting the right friends. So many commercials have people with no chemistry, but these are real friends and real people, which comes across as more natural and lets the viewer feel more like a part of what’s going on.” To get paid legally and route all liability

highline on either side of South Provo’s Bridal Veil Falls—a 607-foot double cataract waterfall used for ice climbing in the winter. They’ll launch over the top section of the falls on an inflatable dolphin and drop into yet another giant rope swing suspended from the line.

through a legitimate company, Baird filed his own LLC in March at the behest of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which also paid him to make a rock climbing video as an encouraging message to Mormon youth. His company is called The Static Line, and it’s a Utahbased outdoor adventure consulting, rigging, and guiding outfit that makes him “more legitimate than just a college dude who’s good with ropes.” It appears to be working. Production companies from all over the world are trying to get on Creighton Baird’s schedule, which is booked for the next year. So are private groups with big money who want to play out the stuff they see on shows like Thrillbilly and Nitro Circus with their colleagues and friends. Japanese and Norwegian tourist groups have paid Creighton thousands of dollars to set up private weekend camps with epic zip lines and rope swings and waterfall rappels. Creighton only started rock climbing four years ago, but he’s been able to pull off this lunatic-for-hire type of tourism that’s emerging as people watch more extreme dirtbag videos and boost their expectations for adventure guides. But while everything Baird does is fun and inspiring—he’s the kind of guy whose Instagram account makes you cry at your desk—it’s cer-


ISSUES Scott Jarvie

Viral Mastermind: Devin SuperTramp and Creighton Baird have figured out how to simply have fun with their friends, risk their lives… and rack up 11 million YouTube views.

tainly not safe. The scrotum fiasco really happened in July. In February, he rigged a 400-foot pendulum rope swing in a south Utah canyon while SuperTramp shot a stomach-dropping film with an Opticopter. Baird’s girlfriend of three and a half years, Jess, hesitated in her harness for an hour and a half before Baird stroked her hair, told her he loved her, then pushed her off the cliff as she screamed into the drop, “I’M BREAKING UP WITH YOUUUUUU!” That outtake has rivaled the actual video with over 10 million views and made the news rounds on TV stations as far as Germany. “I quickly became as un-dateable as Chris Brown,” Baird says. Other paricipants’ casual carnage includes broken ribs, legs and one of their engineer friends getting knocked unconscious in the middle of a lake, all from miscalculations or botched landings while shooting these internet shenanigans. Baird himself has broken his neck, leg, toes, fingers, and spent two-and-a-half consecutive years on crutches. He has more sore spots on his body than a stunt man, but does that really qualify him as safe?

Devout to the Thrill Aside from some redundant checklists and always volunteering to go first on anything he rigs (sometimes resorting to Rock, Paper, Scissors), faith is another big factor in the risks that Baird and his crew undertake. A growing number of daredevils in the action sports world, especially those related to Gregg Godfrey and his Nitro Circus gang of highflying daredevils and wheelchair backflippers, are highly devout Mormons with an uncanny lack of fear when it comes to throwing themselves off bridges and 50-foot skate ramps. Nitro Circus athlete Erik Roner, who grew up Mormon but isn’t so devout, has noticed this

ethereal invincibility. “Some of them are fresh off their missions and they have a lot of faith and belief in God [as their protector] and just go for it,” he says. Baird likens this kind of evangelical thinking to that of Ferdinand Magellan, the 16th century Spanish explorer and devout Christian who boldly pioneered the New World in pursuit of the Indonesian Spice Route. Magellan repeatedly led his men into death-wish battles against against unconquerably large native armies under the belief that God would not let them die. “That worked three or four times until he felt presented by like he was superman,” says Baird, “Then they went to battle some natives of an island near The Philippines and they were all murdered and he was decapitated with his body put on a spit on the beach somewhere.” Though historical accounts differ slightly, the point remains—God does not make you invincible. But there is some religious connection to this sort of adrenalinefueled deliverance. “I

flashpoint

believe that people are more comfortable with their own mortality knowing that if they’ve led a righteous, spiritual existence, then they’ll be ok in the afterlife,” says Baird. “I don’t believe that it gives them a sense of invincibility—just less to worry about when they cross over if they do die on a BASE jump.” While not the strictest of practicing Mormons, he does maintain a spiritual awareness in his daily life. “Creighton gets much more spiritual enlightenment being outside, enjoying what God has created for us than he does sitting in church,” says Johnny “Bubba” Quintana, Creighton’s longtime friend and sidekick who once shoved a straightjacketed and goggle-less Baird in a padlocked dog kennel to the bottom of a 12-foot pool and timed his escape attempt, which failed miserably. When all is said and done, these adventures aren’t a challenge to religious faith—they’re a celebration of it. Two years ago, Creighton Baird, Devin SuperTramp, et al. were just a group of rowdy BYU kids trying to get their kicks by going big and skirting danger while bonding with their closest friends. They’re still doing the same thing, but money just found a way in and enabled them to pursue their madcap passions every day. To some, that’s worth the occasional broken neck or torn scrotum. • Creighton Baird and Devin SuperTramp will be traveling across the country this month (September) in a Mountain Dew tour bus to make fan-inspired videos alongside anyone who has the faith to join them.

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GPS ADVENTURE

thetrail feeling ambitious, have a good headlamp, and the weather is favorable, then crank out the 5.4-mile, 2,400-foot vertical gain to get here for your first night.

5

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1 Map C 2013 Open Cycle Map. Map data CCBYSA 2012 OpenStreetMap.org & OpenCycleMap.org contributors.

2 3

The Divide 39.95945, -105.69319

If you opted to camp at King Lake (good call!), you’ll probably have the 2.5 miles along the divide to yourself the next morning and the amazing views of James Peak to the south, Corona Lake right below you as you crest the divide, and the magnificent Gore Range to the west. Take your time. After all, it’s all downhill from here.

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Devil’s Thumb 39.97794, -105.68495

Climbers on this route will be eyeing this famed jut of rock. Routes range from a single pitch 5.4 to a 4-pitch 5.10a. The 1,000-foot exposure to Devil’s Lake below and the pristine nature (no bolts or pitons needed) makes this tower climb a favorite. There are plenty of chockstones at the summit to enable your descent. Mind the weather.

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Devil’s Thumb Lake 39.97330, -105.67701

For those punching over the divide instead of camping at King Lake, this is where you’ll want to stay that night. As is true with all backcountry camps, your tent site must be 100 feet from all lakes, streams and trails. From the lake, you’re only 5.5 miles from the car. Well done! •

Devil’s Thumb Jam

This 14-mile backpacking loop in the Indian Peaks makes for a solid weekend trip. Download the free ViewRanger App, load the coordinates for this trip, and run with the Devil.

By Cameron Martindell

1

Hessie Trailhead 39.95472, 105.60269

This may be a little daunting for some, but if you have a high clearance vehicle, you can scoot past the crowds parked in the limited roadside space at the 4th of July junction and take the left fork down into the cobblestone creek bed. After driving through Middle Boulder Creek, continue along the road to the small parking lot at the end. The water can be deep in early summer, but drains down later in the season. A footbridge over the next creek is the start of your hike. Otherwise, park with the masses and start

hoofing the half mile to the Hessie Trailhead.

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Lost Lake 39.95085, -105.61640

Only one and a half miles in, Lost Lake is easy access if you’re getting a jump on the weekend by starting Friday after work. There are seven designated campsites; the nicest is the most remote on the southwest side of the lake. Set up camp and kick back and enjoy your first night away from the hubbub of work and home.

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King Lake 39.94057, -105.68543

Here’s the thing with thunderstorms are known to form in the afternoon in this area in the summer. If you get an early start out of Lost Lake you’re timing will be well suited to punch past King Lake and onto and over the Continental Divide before a storm starts to brew. If you’re looking for a more leisurely itinerary consider making this Camp II and explore the nearby ponds and beautiful cirques. If you are

Camping permits are required June 1 - September 15 from the Boulder Ranger District (303-541-2500).

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viewranger.com/gpsadventure

Route code ELEV0020

EVEN EASIER: JUST SCAN IN THIS QR CODE FOR THIS ROUTE.

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hotspot

Courtesy Pagosa Springs

escapes

The Backyard: Pagosa Springs is right next to the 488,210-acre Weminuche Wilderness. That’s one big playground.

Three Ways to Do Pagosa Springs

With the southern end of the San Juans serving as its playground, this little town with its famed healing waters is the ideal spot for an autumn getaway.

By Doug Schnitzspahn

BIKE IT

Pagosa falls under the radar when it comes to Colorado bike towns but there is plenty of singletrack here to explore. The biggest draw is the Turkey Springs area just north of town. This network of trails, which was officially sanctioned and renamed last year, offers the opportunity to ride many options—long rides, short rides, rides for the whole family, rides that make you puke. The closer loops run from 3.5 to 5 miles, longer options rack up to 15 miles, and of course you can keep riding and mixing the loops for new, longer rides. Too lazy to stray too far from the hot springs and microbrews? There’s also riding right in town on Reservoir Hill. The highlight here is the Gravity Ride, this shot down a ravine used as a snowboarding fun park in the winter can give you a quick hit of fat-tire adrenaline. Further afield, there’s a plethora of singletrack in the surrounding San Juan National Forest. Highlights near town include rides like the burly Cade Mountain trail system 10 miles north of town, the 22-mile Jackson Mountain Loop that can be accessed via a road ride that starts in town, and

even rides on the Continental Divide Trail. Oh, but wait. It’s not just the mountain biking that’s sublime here. Road rides can take in everything from the big huff up Wolf Creek Pass to a variety of rides on Highways 160 and 151, all starting in town. A long list of local rides are mapped out at pagosatrails.net/home/roadbike-routes. Want more info? The local Wolf Creek Wheel Club (sites.google.com/site/wolfcreekwheelclub) maintains information and maps on pretty much every ride in the region. In town, two bike shops serve up beta, supplies and repairs: Pagosa Pedal and Power (pedalandpower.com) and The Hub Bike Shop (ridepagosasprings.com).

HIKE IT

Pagosa is the best base for exploring the massive 488,210-acre Weminuche Wilderness, the largest protected roadless area in Colorado. The wilderness takes in the high peaks of the San Juans and harbors two major long-distance trails in the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. But you don’t have to be a thru-hiker to take advantage of the location. Again, some of the best options start right in town, with Reservoir Hill being the easiest to access. The 11.5-mile walk to the natural Rainbow Springs hot pots is probably the best-known and most popular hike here, but be warned of two things. First, the trail is closed due to fire as of late summer 2013 and, second, there’s a good chance you will not be alone up here. If you are looking for a walk with a lot of bang for your buck, head to Four Mile Falls. It’s a 6.6-mile round-trip that ends up at one of the biggest waterfalls in the state,

a 300-foot drop that makes for an ideal spot for lunch on a leisurely fall leaf-peeping day. If you are looking to combine a hike with a bit of fly fishing, head to the Piedra River Trail, an 11.2-mile jaunt along the stream in a canyon with rainbows and browns waiting in pools and riffles along the way. It’s another ideal spot for taking in the fall foliage and it one of the easiest to access trails in the region when the snow starts to fly. It’s also a good place to start a backpack trip into the deeper regions of the Weminuche.

DRINK IT IN

When it comes to relaxation, Pagosa combines old and new. With the deepest geothermal spring in the world, Pagosa Springs lives up to its namesake (Pagosa comes from a Ute word meaning “healing waters”) this is the place to soak and revive those old bones you wore out on the trail. The famed Springs Resort and Spa (pagosahotsprings.com) sits astride this hot spot and it’s the best luxury accommodation in town (or just stop in for a soak). As for the new? Microbrews. Two outstanding breweries have taken up residence in town. The Pagosa Brewing Co. (pagosabrewing.com) has been a locals favorite for a while now and serves lunch and dinner alongside standby beers and seasonals like a FallFest Bier for October and a wet hopped IPA. Just celebrating its grand opening in June, Riff Raff Brewing Co. (riffraffbrewing.com) is located in a newly renovated historic Victorian downtown, and features possibly the best deck and beergarden in Colorado. •

SEPTEMBER 2013 • ElevationOutdoors.com

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702 S. Main St Moab, UT 84532 | chilebikes.com

PRE S E NT S

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J.C. Leacock Courtesy FIBArk

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Well readers, we asked you to vote for your favorite mountain towns in the state when it came to bikes, trails, rivers, climbing, dogs and parties—and you delivered. So here they are—the proud winners of our annual Best Colorado Mountain Towns poll, with some insider info on how to make the most of them. by Doug Schnitzspahn We thought it was too much to simply ask our readers to vote for the best single mountain town in the state. So we broke it down a bit into all the aspects that make living in the mountains so important. We put the poll up online and watched the winners slowly assert their dominance. And it ends up that we did find a single most popular mountain town, as Crested Butte took three out of the five categories. The only loss is the towns that didn’t win. Because just being in the mountains is best.

reason why this is such a great bike town. You just have to be here and see it in July. Proximity to multiple great trail networks. Townies everywhere all the time. Healthy happy people loving riding bikes. It’s fun to be part of it for sure,” says John Chandler, president of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association. “There are simply too many great trails around here to narrow it down into any one recommendation. There all great for different reasons and for different riders.”

ELEVATION OUTDOORS

BEST COLORADO MOUNTAIN TOWNS

ELEVATION OUTDOORS Don’t Believe Us? Head to the The Alpineer (alpineer.

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Why It Won It’s sort of unfair to include Crested Butte

The Arkansas, which drains the eastern side of the Continental Divide runs right through town, and as the city has grown into the 21st century, it has followed that water course into an economy that’s just as much whitewater rodeo as it is cattle ranching and irrigation. Of course, the biggest river party of them all the FIBArk festval takes place here every summer and you would

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in a “best bike town” poll. After all, this is one of two places in the world which claims to be the birthplace of the mountain bike (Marin County, Calif. the other) and the town’s whole identity seems to revolve around the famous 401 Trail. But, as the USA Pro Challenge continues to raise Colorado’s profile in the cycling universe and so many other towns in the state have made cycling a staple of their economy and identity, Crested Butte has still managed to lead the pack.

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be hard pressed to find a local who doesn’t own at least one boat. But what has really set Salida above an impressive field of river towns is how it has held on to its authenticity—it doesn’t look or feel too much like a New-West recreation mecca—while also providing all the comforts modern-day hipsters crave, like a tapas bar.

take it from a local “The recreation opportunities in and around Salida are endless and stupendous, and it all surrounds the lifeblood of the community, the Arkansas River. Salida is located in the middle of a 100 mile long stretch of the most popular river in North America, and just down stream from Brown’s Canyon, a proposed wilderness area,” says a guy who has it in his best interest to sing the praises of the town... Mayor Don Stephens, who is a big-time boater. “Most telling of our river centered recreation is the annual pole, pedal and paddle race that starts with a ski leg starting on the Continental Divide, continues with a mountain bike ride to the Arkansas River and finishes with a paddle to downtown Salida with festivities at the finish line. This race is a rite of spring that celebrates the end of winter and the onset of the biking and boating season, a true adventure that encompasses the essence of our towns broad recreation culture. We also get to fish a fabulous trout fishery year round. Salida’s riverside plaza has four man made surf waves that also attract hundreds of kids to its gentle swimming holes daily. I myself spend numerous days on the Upper Arkansas on a year round basis, and I have over 400 trips through Brown’s Canyon. I have yet to tire of the experience, and it is one of many reasons I have chosen to raise my family in Salida, Colorado.” If we lived in Salida, we would vote for him.

Don’t Believe Us? Run the class IV and V gauntlet in Brown’s Canyon with AVA (coloradorafting.net). Runners Up Durango (22%), Buena Vista (19%), Steamboat (12%) SEPTEMBER 2013 • ElevationOutdoors.com

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Crested Butte to Aspen. There are 14ers to climb, alpine lakes to fish and numerous quiet spots where you will not see a soul, despite how many tourists are in town. Beyond all that, a good trail network should find ways to accommodate multiples user groups and the system around Crested Butte does just that with plenty of places where hikers, mountain bikers and motorcycles all make use of the same dirt in relative harmony. But you can still hike where they can’t go.

J.C. Leacock

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‘Wildflower Capital’ of Colorado for nothing,” says local photographer Matt Berglund. “We have the best trails because so many options are conveniently located.”

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CRESTED BUTTE 32% of vote

Why It Won With all the focus on mountain biking, you forget that CB is also a damn fine place to just walk. You start in town and just keep going. The same trails that bikers love can be even more enjoyable when you stop to smell the wildflowers and Crested Butte is surrounded by two major roadless Wilderness ares—The 64,922-acre Raggeds and the 176,172acre West Elk—with the 31,534-acre Fossil Ridge Wilderness to the south. It’s possible to hike from

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members here. To wit, the local paper, The Crested Butte News, runs dog obituaries, which usually outnumber those of humans, despite the penchant for extreme sports in this town. Many hotels and vacation rentals are pet friendly. Most trails are open to dogs and the Crested Butte Nordic Center allows dogs on its trails in the winter. That’s not to say dogs have free run here. Do be very aware of the local laws regarding where dogs can go, when they need to be on leash and be sure to clean up after your best friend.

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original mountain bike town, Aspen was the place where folks came from all over the planet in the ‘60s and ‘70s to get it on... And though Hunter S. Thompson is long deceased and real estate prices have pushed the people who actually work here into the (excellent) public bus system, that vibe of living life to its fullest is still strong here. But it’s not just the party scene—you can catch a good buzz and dance with beautiful people plenty of places—it’s the ability to go cycling and climbing up Independence Pass, rip lips on the Roaring Fork, bomb the Government Trail singletrack and then go out and do Jägerbombs with reality TV stars.

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ASPEN 27% of vote

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you join Disser for a traverse along the Mt. Wilson/El Diente ridge, a classic knife edge between 14ers. Or try canyoneering in Portland or Oak Creeks.

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Beat This: What can top Crested Butte singletrack?

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Nate Disser who runs San Juan Mountain Guides (mtnguide.net), an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) accredited operation that gets folks of all abilities out climbing and peakbagging in town. “Ouray offers the highest concentration of easily accessible ice climbing in North America. Combine that with a plethora of local rock climbing crags and host of other classic alpine climbs and you’ve got a pretty unbeatable combination.“ Sign us up.

(13%), Aspen (9%)

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Runners Up: Steamboat (16%), Durango

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party central? The Conundrum Trail begins near Gothic and climbs over Triangle Pass to reach Conundrum Hot Springs, which is pictured quite nicely on the cover of this very magazine. It’s an 18-mile round trip, so we suggest you camp out near the springs and make some new friends.

BEST COLORADO MOUNTAIN TOWNS

will not find another town on the planet that dedicates itself to ice climbing like Ouray. But the climbing here is not confined just to frozen water. There’s crags just outside of town and numerous nearby peaks to scale like 14er Mount Sneffels or the 13,119-foot Lizard’s Head, one of the few truly difficult summits to climb in the state. Beyond the physical goods, the climbing community here continues to evolve. The ice park makes climbers welcome visitors to the town and the two local guiding companies that run trips and instruction in the park, San Juan Mountain Guides and Peak Mountain Guides, are working hard to develop a European-style guiding culture that’s far more than a few dirtbags with a rope. That effort is helping the town gain international cred, too.

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in a small mountain town. I’m constantly meeting cool new friends who like to party and shred. There’s endless good music and epic outdoor parties. Belly Up is the place to get down. Pre-game with the locals at the Red Onion or the Aspen Brewery,” says local hero and telemark ski champ Nick Devore. If you somehow find yourself howling at the moon and banging drums at Devore’s geodesic dome, you know you have arrived.

take it from a local “If you were to come back to this world as a dog, there’s no place you would rather be,” says Evan Kezsbom, owner of Mountain Tails (cbmountaintails.com), the town’s pet boutique. “There’s no dog park because Crested Butte is one huge dog park. They enjoy the same lifestyle humans come here for. It’s paradise for dogs and their owners.”

Don’t Believe Us? The party scene of all flavors usually revolves around the iconic J Bar (hoteljerome. aubergeresorts.com). And be warned, there may be no party more insane than Gay Ski Week.

Don’t Believe Us? The high-end Ruby of Crested Butte (therubyofcrestedbutte.com) bed and breakfast actually offers spa treatments for dogs as well as other canine treats.

Runners Up Boulder (20%), Breckenridge (11%), Durango (11%)

Runners Up: Durango (19%), Steamboat (11%), Telluride (7%), Nederland (7%), Denver (7%) •

BEST CLIMBING TOWN

SEPTEMBER 2013 • ElevationOutdoors.com

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Making it Stick

Five Ten founder and Stealth Rubber inventor Charles Cole talks about a life on the rocks from his new home near Dinosaur National Monument. by Aaron H. Bible

I

n the world of climbing, coming up with a gamechanging, nay, life-changing, invention like Stealth Rubber was like inventing the Internet. Sure, many outdoor athletes at the top of their sport have started companies (Royal Robbins, Scott Shipley, Gary Fisher and the list goes on), but people like Charles Cole— true innovators who elevated not only their own sport but affected outdoor play forever in so many sports—are pretty rare. They tend to be at the top of their game, in whatever chosen discipline of pain and fear it may be, and in Cole’s case, that game was big wall first ascents. And so through his passion for climbing he founded Five Ten: a.k.a. the company that invented sticky rubber, invented the first approach shoe, developed the first down-turned climbing shoe (The UFO in 1991), the first women’s climbing shoe, the first pull-tabs on shoes, the first Velcro on climbing shoes and the first water shoe (the Water Tennie). “Everything we were doing was completely different,” says Cole. “The key to success was to develop a product that was not somewhat better but significantly better,” he explained. “In dangerous sports, where people were risking their lives, people appreciated what we made. It changed the way climbing was done.”

break you,” says Cole. “Why can’t anyone copy our rubber? First of all you have to be a climber. It’s much easier to teach a climber rubber chemistry than it is to teach a rubber chemist climbing.” Secondly, Cole said, he was able to put together a million-dollar chemistry lab on the cheap. “All the manufacturing in the U.S. had gone to China, so this machinery was left just sitting around.” With the original Five Tennie, he launched the “approach shoe” category. His initial goal was to create a multi-use shoe for climbers to wear before and after ascents. In 1985 he began doing serious research and developed the first Stealth Rubber. Because rubber cannot be re-engineered from the finished product—it requires a secret formula—once he developed the formula, people couldn’t copy it like they could so many other outdoor products of the day like frame packs, tents or down jackets. Since the late ‘80s, Stealth Rubber has been considered the highestfriction rubber available, used by the military, NASA, and even other companies that secretly buy Stealth Rubber for resoling. His products are protected by more than 10 patents and a secret rubber-research facility in Redlands, Calif. “It’s like coca cola—nobody knows the recipe,” Cole says.

The Past

The Present

Cole started the company with his mom back in 1984-85, needing to find a job after his father had a stroke and a heart attack. Cole was a top Yosemite aid climber, specializing in solo routes. Despite being a self-admitted climbing bum, he did also have an undergraduate degree in Engineering from USC and an MBA from the University of Michigan. “It’s the only sport I know of where the shoes can define whether you can do a route or not. In climbing, it’s an absolute certainty your shoes can make you or

Jump to 2013, and Cole has other firsts on his mind. At January’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, the company was honored with Gear Institute’s Best In Show Award for its new Stealth MI6 rubber. Cole is extremely passionate about this latest innovation and believes it will create another “soft revolution” in shoes. He initially created this newest, softest rubber for Tom Cruise to scale glass buildings in Mission Impossible 4, and in so doing found it had the most

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incredible cushioning and shock absorption he had ever developed. According to Cole, dropping a weighted ball on a Vibram sole leads to about a 75 percent rebound; the same drop on MI6 rebounds only 8 percent, absorbing 92 percent of the shock. And, incredibly, the material has the same durability as Stealth S1 or C4 rubber. “It just has this insane wear residence,” Cole said. “In the lab it measures about 10 times the abrasion resistance of our normal climbing rubber. But I was able to soften it so it has a durometer rating of 48, and most climbing rubbers are in the high 70s. It has this massive friction where if your foot just touches something it will interlock with the surface. People who have put the shoe on don’t want to go back to the old shoes. It’s a pretty big change.” MI6 rubber will be on Five Ten’s new Team VXi shoes this Fall (the lightest performance competition climbing shoe available at 5.1 ounces per shoe), and the Freerider Pro VXi Element--a winterized allmountain flat-pedal bike shoe. And Cole sees even more applications on the horizon.

The Future Cole still believes that authenticity is the key to success, especially in the extreme sports world. “Back in ‘85, my mom was in charge of the present. I was in charge of the future. And future is by definition, new.” He adds, “You don’t make a business by winning awards, you make a business by making great products.” No surprise, Cole is also a master in chess and plays tennis and mountain bikes every day. “I don’t like to get caught up in a routine,” he says, “it begins to feel like work. Everything in my life’s a bit tied together. I like doing new things.” One of those new things included selling his family-run, U.S.-manufactured business to shoe and outdoor giant Adidas in 2011. “For 28 years, my mind was on Five Ten 80 to 90 percent of the time. The other 10 to 20 percent used to be on tennis. Now I mountain bike every day,” Cole said. For almost three decades he competed against larger companies through innovation, not price wars, and he’s been able to make a critical difference not only in the sport of climbing, but also in paddling and cycling, among other human-powered sports. (“We don’t make fly fishing shoes because you can’t die doing it,” he says.) “All the innovations I do now, I get to see other people put to great use, and I get a lot of gratification out of that,” Cole continued. “If I can positively change things by an invention, I get really psyched about it. It’s very motivating for me to get it right--just like doing stuff that’s new. I guess that’s why I did so many first ascents.” As a climber who started a climbing business, Cole couldn’t be happier to relinquish a little bit of control. “I’m still the president. I don’t really consider myself a businessman… I didn’t care about control or some of the things that someone in my position might. If I want to sit around and make rubber all day I can do that.” This year, however, you might be able to find Cole sitting around his new ranch… if you can find it. He recently purchased what he calls his dream property, situated deep in Dinosaur National Park on the Yampa river, a private adventure playground of rocks, cliffs, trails and rivers—perfect for putting up new routes, and probably trying out a few new sports as well. Aaron Bible writes about gear for Sporting Goods Business and other publications from his home in Frisco, Colorado.


W

ith over three million acres of breathtaking wilderness, Pagosa Springs is the perfect place to play. You can explore miles of singletrack, head out for a trail run, climb a new face or do whatever else gets your heart rate going. It’s up to you and it’s all here in Pagosa Springs. Discover Colorado’s Secret at www.visitpagosasprings.com


gearguide

best gear

Tres Chic, Bro It takes a certain confidence in your masculinity to wear this stuff. by Adam W. Chase

Cary Jobe/caryjobephotography.com

of a plush quick-drying material with underarm mesh venting, the shirt is highly functional. $90; clubrideapparel.com

Rapha Hi-Vis Gilet This vest may be a bit much for regular wear, but if you want to mix safety and fashion, nothing beats it. That said, it might be over the top for hunting safety or when cycling in Red states where drivers might not be too friendly with “Pinkos” or those who put homophobic motorists on edge. The pink vest or “gilet” packs the pop with its eye-catching qualities and added reflectivity and comes in men’s and women’s versions. $160; rapha.cc

Dynafit Trail Short Sleeve Tee Jersey A true Euro-cut, “athletically tailored” top that uses body mapping technology for a conforming fit that matches different materials for performance, durability and wickability. The t-shirt features micro mesh, silica protection, an MP3 pocket and even a sunglasses wiper. $120; dynafit.com

Pearl Izumi Canyon Short Complete with a detachable mountain biking chamois, the Canyon Short is a utility vehicle for subtle statements like the stripes of the lightweight stretch fabric from which they are constructed. You get plenty of freedom in these 11-inch inseam shorts that feature an adjustable interior waistband and zippered side pocket. $70; pearlizumi.com

Ashmei Classic Jersey Short Sleeve

A Real Man-pris: Adam Chase shows off his stuff on the streets of (where else) downtown Boulder.

As an early adapter of “man-pris,” bright colors, and Euro-tight shirts, I often hear friends say, “I’d never be able to pull that off, but you can get away with it.” And while I’m still not sure I know what they mean, I’ve translated their “you can pull that off” as a way of saying, I’m enough of a clown that I don’t care if I stick out. Others have told me that it’s a certain confidence and comfort level with my masculinity that allows me to select my wardrobe based strictly on its sheer performance, rather than fear of looking too Euro. You too can pull this off, but be warned—the following apparel is only for those who don’t mind pushing the fashion boundaries in the name of performance and comfort.

nylon and elastane blend offers stretch, quick drying and durability. The fit is tailored for pedaling, including the offset seams to avoid chafing. The pink lining on the inside will catch drivers’ eyes—and the right rear pocket is even reinforced to fit a D-lock. $220; rapha.cc

Rapha Jeans

Even with its off-angled plaid shoulder fashion statement and a zipper and snap button combo that would keep Dapper Dan busy, the Bolt is nonetheless a performance top. Constructed out

Built with Italian denim made for the British cycling outfitter extraordinaire, these velo jeans are designed with the city rider in mind. The cotton,

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Club Ride Pin’It Shorts You know skinny jeans, how about skinny shorts? Club Ride, a hip company out of Sun Valley, Idaho, makes them (the Pin’It Shorts are even pin striped). It’s not just hipster flair—the stretch fabric is technical and burly. $80; clubrideapparel.com

Club Ride Bolt Shirt

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Thanks to the temperature-regulating qualities of wool, the Classic Jersey is less likely to get you sweaty in the first place, but if it does, it naturally wicks the moisture away and is quick to dry. Ashmei, an edgy British company, even stylises this jersey with an “iPod cable tidy system,” two-way pockets that accentuate the piece. $140; ashmei. com

I/O Bio Glory Zip The Glory Zip is a hoodie made of ultra-light and buttery soft Australian merino wool with a touch of lycra. It breathes, dries quickly and sports functional versatility like thumb holes, a deep vent chest zipper and a snug-fitting hood that easily fits under a helmet. $90; io-merino.com

La Sportiva Atmosphere Long Sleeve Want to look like an Italian superhero? This seamless, contoured, silky-soft top is body mapped for ventilation and insulation where you need those qualities. The fabric is resilient and contains an antiodor treatment. The long sleeves have integrated thumb holes. $99; lasportiva.com •


best gear

Fall Into Gear

gearguide

We tested the pants off this gear over the summer and it all transitions well into the cool temps of autumn. So here they are, our editor’s choice awards for the season’s best gear. by Doug Schnitzspahn

9 8

1. Braven BRV-1 It’s hard to believe such fantastic sound comes out of this wireless, Bluetooth speaker that can fit in your hand. Even better, it’s waterproof and nearly indestructible (Braven ran a Hummer over it in one demo). That makes it ideal for everything from car camping to tubing trips to cruiser rides. Or just bring it out on the deck and don’t worry about the weather changing. This was hands down our favorite $180; braven.com

2. Treksta Evolution GTX You deal with all the elements come fall and this is one light hiker that can handle mud, slop, talus, puddles and snow. A Gore membrane allows it to breathe even when it’s shucking off the elements and a solid sole will grip everything from packed snow to rock. Add in a NestFIT system that holds the foot according to its natural curves and you have our favorite shoe for fall. $150; trekstausa.com

3. Deuter Guide 35+ Hut trip season is nigh and this comfortable pack is our top pick for hauling in all the essentials to a backcountry cabin. It’s definitely a winter pack, pimped out with a ski/snowboard carry system, ice axe holder, detachable hip belt and a snow skirt but that doesn’t mean you can’t also use it for overnight backpacking and other autumn excursions. It’s roomy and easy to pack, and the top pops up for an extra 10 liters of space, which proves useful when

you need to shed and stash layers. That’s a lot of versatility for a pack that rings in for less than $200. $189; deuter.com

4. E-Case for iPhone 5

also an impressive ba without that bit of tech flair—a comfortable, durable hauler that’s just as at home on a college campus as it is on a day hike. $119; osprey.com

Yep, now that you have your oh-so-hipster iPhone 5, you also have to buy a whole new bevy of accessories for it. That’s how the American economy works, friends. This is one little purchase you will want to make if you spend any time in the wild. This case will keep your new baby safe from foul weather and more. It is fully submersible in water and includes a nifty headphone jack so that you can still listen to tunes when you are out there playing hard. $40; cascadedesigns.com/e-case

7. Marmot Minimalist

5. Stio Kirby Wind Shirt

There’s an old recovery mantra that goes: rest, compression, elevation, ice. Usually, you put that ice on your injury. In this case you put it in your belly. What’s not to like about a pre- or post-workout popsicle? $9 for box of 6 pops; powerice.com

Direct-to-consumer brand Stio is the brainchild of former Cloudveil founder Steve Sullivan and based out of Jackson, which means it just oozes mountain town credibility. The nifty Kirby typifies the brand’s offerings. It’s a wind shirt for hiking, a light layer for skiing or a shit-kicker in the bar. $115; stio.com

6. Osprey Pixel Port Ok, so you have that fancy waterproof case for your iPhone, but what about your iPad, Mr. Mustachioed Fixie Man? Never fear, Osprey’s latest series of commuter bags include a clear protective window that allows you to view and operate that fancy toy while it is still safely inside the pack. The Pixel is

We test a ridiculous amount of jackets over the year, but nothing else combines protection and light weight as well as the Minimalist. This 15-ounce shell relies on Gore’s Paclite fabric, a lighter version of the waterproof/breathable standby that’s virtually just as effective in the high, dry Rockies. We used it for everything from alpine climbs to backcountry skiing to backpacking. $200; marmot.com

8. PowerICE

9. Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Got big, wide, freaky toes that hate to be squished into a running (or worse, climbing) shoe? No fear. The folks at Altra have developed a zero-drop running shoe that takes into account one aspect of your foot that many natural gait companies miss: the toe box is nice and wide—your toes room to be strong and free. $115; altrazerodrop.com •

SEPTEMBER 2013 • ElevationOutdoors.com

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B A C K YA R D A D V E N T U R E

theroad

Silver Lining Lusting for a vintage Airstream trailer and the adventures that go with it.

I

by Megan Michelson photos by blake gordon

t sat alone and shiny in a random, deserted parking lot. A 22-foot-long Airstream trailer from 1961. Its silver coat glistened in the afternoon sun. Its shape curved and retro like a spaceship from the past. When I saw the For Sale sign posted on the back window, I literally jumped up with excitement. This beautiful adventure on wheels could actually be mine? I started to envision the road trips: Mountain bikes strapped to the back, long treks around Utah and Colorado, picturesque campsites along rivers and lakes. It was love at first sight. And then, the price tag: $23,950. My heart sank. Who could afford to spend that much on a historic artifact that was basically a soupedup tent? Not me, that was for sure. The enchanting road trips I had planned in my head evaporated as quickly as they arrived. That moment marked the beginning of my Airstream obsession. I knew it was something I couldn’t have, and that made it all the more tantalizing. I bookmarked a website dedicated to refurbishing vintage Airstreams. I’d do double takes on the highway

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when I’d pass a 16-foot Bambi from the 1950s. I would stare enviously at the driver on my way by. In the middle of a road bike race, I passed a house with three vintage tin-can trailers parked out front. I almost veered my bicycle off the road due to my Airstream rubbernecking. While driving across Utah, I convinced my driving partner that it was worth it to head over 200 miles out of our way to spend the night at a hotel whose accommodations were eight custom-designed Airstreams. But when I called with baited breath to make a reservation, the owner told me the place was closed for the season. “Check back in April,” he said. It was December. My head hung low. We stayed at some crappy motel off the highway instead. On a spring ski trip to Mammoth, I called an Airstream delivery company in southern California (yes, those exist) to see how much it would cost to have them drop an Airstream for us at the campground in Mammoth Lakes. It’d be over $500 a night. “Forget it,” I said, while hanging up the phone. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe I’d

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never get a chance to sleep in a silver-sided trailer. I appeased myself by figuring that I could afford a vintage Airstream when I retire, in a mere 30 or 40 years from now. Eventually, the thought dawned on me: The appeal wasn’t so much the trailer itself—although I loved those clean lines, iconic style and shimmering aesthetic—but the escapes I knew the trailer would bring. Once I realized that, I figured out that I didn’t actually need the trailer. I had a car, a tent and friends who love to explore. I had everything I needed to pursue the dream on my own, sans trailer. Now, when I drive past an Airstream on the highway, I picture the driver looking longingly at me, mountain bikes racked up on the roof, hatchback crammed with camping gear and a cooler. No gasguzzling trailer weighing me down. I picture them looking over at me and thinking, ‘Wow, it looks like she’s having a good time.’ Megan Michelson is a freelance writer and the editor of ESPN Freeskiing. She lives in Tahoe City, Calif., but her heart’s a mobile home.


B A C K YA R D A D V E N T U R E

theroad

HOW TO

GET BIG AIR(STREAM) Rent a Trailer Can’t afford to buy a $30,000 vintage Airstream? That’s OK. You can rent one for the night. Here’s where to do it:

Shooting Star Drive-In, Escalante, Utah Hike into Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument right from the deck of one of eight Airstreams at this drive-in resort. At night, watch an outdoor movie from the bench seat of a 1964 Cadillac convertible. From $149; shootingstardrive-in.com

Sou’wester Lodge, Seaview, Washington At the historic Sou’wester, you can opt to stay in their 1880s lodge, a campsite or their fleet of 1950s travel trailers. It’s located beachside on the southern tip of Washington, and bands from nearby Portland, Oregon, play the yard on weekends. From $68; souwesterlodge.com

Starlight Classic Campground, Canon City, Colorado The vintage trailers at this campground near Colorado’s Royal Gorge come with cutesy décor and nicknames like “Shaggy” and “Tiki Bago.” Hike, fish or raft in the surrounding area. From $79; starliteclassiccampground.com

Shady Dell, Bisbee, Arizona Ten vintage trailers from the ’40s and ’50s make up this retro cool RV resort in southern Arizona’s high desert. Décor includes martini glasses, record players and vintage magazines. From $87; theshadydell.com

Living Airstream, Denver, Colorado You can rent both modern and vintage Airstreams from this Denver-based company. Tow the trailer to your campsite of choice or have them deliver it for you. Delivery is free within a 25-mile radius of Denver. From $175; airstreamparty.com —M.M.

The Real Canned Ham: A 1940s Boles-Aero makes for a moving home base for photographer Blake Gordon

the breckenridge craft SPIRITS Festival Main Event

October 4 to 6

STILL ON THE HILL:

A Grand Tasting of Handcrafted Spirits Saturday, October 5 at 4 pm Riverwalk Center $25 in advance, $30 at door

Best of Fest

Poker Run Historic Saloon Walking Tour Breckenridge Distillery Open House Honey Gitters at the Gold Pan Walking Tours of Breckenridge Hangover Brunch & Bloody Mary Specials Dining Passports

Lodging

Lodging starting at $99

gobreck.com/spirits-festival or call 877-593-5260

BreckenridgeCraftSpiritsFestival.com

STILL ON THE HILL BRECKENRIDGE CRAFT SPIRITS

SEPTEMBER 2013 • ElevationOutdoors.com

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FRONT RANGE LIFE kevin howdeshell/kevincredible.com

elwayville

Cowboy

Up

My Five Favorite Westerns

M

by PETER KRAY

ost of my life (maybe even now) I’ve dreamed of being a cowboy. What kid hasn’t, especially here in Colorado where America’s most enduring icon remains remarkably relevant in the form of working ranches and mini Steamboat or Antonito cattle drives? And as much as I was inspired by the open plains, endless peaks and thoughts of riding the high country, I fed that inspiration with Gunsmoke and Bonanza reruns, Louis L’Amour novels and about 20 to 50 viewings of most every Western ever made. John Wayne was and is the king of the Western, especially in movies such as The Searchers, Fort Apache, The Cowboys and Rio Bravo. But for my generation it was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and every Clint Eastwood spaghetti shootem up from a Fistful of Dollars to Hang ‘Em High to, especially, The Good, The Bad and Ugly that provided a more modern, more menacing sense of cold-blooded frontier cool. For folks looking for a little more box office bravado, there might be a preference for the Technicolor take of Tombstone (with Val Kilmer playing it to the hilt as Doc Holliday), the perfectly pitched little cattle war of Open Range, or the cliché loving camp of Silverado, which for me, has unfortunately aged the worst of them all. Which is not to say that I wouldn’t tune in if it was on TNT or AMC this Friday when I came home from the bar. Anyway, here are my five favorites. My only rules were not to duplicate any lead actors, and really to focus on what resonates with me the most. I’d certainly like to hear about your picks, and why they mean what they mean to you.

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High Noon (1952, Gary Cooper, Gracy Kelly, Ian MacDonald) High Noon established the Western as the ultimate morality play, where you knew several someones were going to get shot, and the only question was who would still be holding a gun when the curtain fell. Cooper as Will Kane, the marshal, is left alone by everyone in town, including his gorgeous Quaker, non-violence preaching wife Amy Fowler (Kelly) to face the outlaw gang of Frank Miller (MacDonald), who is returning on a train at the aforementioned time in the title. Anyone who ever saw this flick figured they’d be the one person in town to stand with Will, but it’s Amy who shoots one of the outlaws dead to save her husband, and Kane who gives the town the finger, flipping his badge into the dirt after the shootout to end the story.

True Grit (1969, John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell) When U.S Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Wayne) faces Lucky Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall) and his gang in an open field, proclaiming that he intends to kill Pepper or see him hang, Pepper replies, “That’s mighty bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.” Wayne’s incensed answer, “Fill your hand you sonofabitch,” may be the greatest line in Western history. Shooting them all down with the reins to his horse like a bit between his teeth—while ‘Texican’ La Bouef (Campbell) finishes off Pepper with a rifle shot from a ridge— only seals the victory. Special points are earned for the Colorado-based cinematography, and the fact that Wayne won an Oscar for the role. But it’s

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Mattie’s (Darby) role as an utterly no-nonsense girl seeking revenge for her father’s death that really carries this movie.

The Wild Bunch (1969, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan) Full disclosure: this is my favorite movie. The fact it was made the same year as True Grit, a kind of PG-13 Disney tale at heart, still blows my mind. That’s because when it comes to violent realism, The Wild Bunch is The Fully Monty. Holding together an aging, feuding gang of outdated outlaws across a final series of raids from Texas to Mexico, Pike Bishop (Holden), and his lieutenant Dutch Engstrom (Borgnine) are as ready to kill as they are to philosophize their reasons for killing. Betrayed gang member Deke Thornton’s (Ryan) chase of them, only adds to the sense of indifference between justice and final gory glory. All of which leads to a final outrageous shoot-out unmatched by anything other than Spielberg’s treatment of D-Day. Throughout, the term, “Let’s Go,” has never been so weighty.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976, Clint Eastwood, John Vernon) This is my only Clint pick, so let’s clear the air. All the Sergio Leone directed movies are bona fide classics, and I re-watch them all regularly. But long before High Plains Drifter’s six-gun mysticism slipped into Pale Rider (where the final shootout really does suck), I kind of lost the thread of the all-knowing borderline ethereal killer. And even the brilliance of Unforgiven is still just a reworking of Wales, where the embittered gunman-turnedfarmhand can’t resist his violent skills, especially in the face of obvious pistol-packing lessers. I personally count eight classic shootouts from minor to major over the course of this film, an ongoing how-to regarding professional gunfighting, and the timeless line, “Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’” from Wales to an eternity-bound bounty hunter.

No Country for Old Men (2007, Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin) There were certainly a few wild cards considered here, from Dead Man to Blazing Saddles to One Eyed Jacks. But No Country for Old Men I believe is the eerily accurate template for where the Western will continue to go in the future. Not just because the massacre and money that Llewelyn Moss (Brolin) finds are connected to drugs, setting the murderous spree of Anton Chigurh (Bardem) in motion. Or because Chigurh is a super creepy hitman with a seemingly compulsive joy for his work beyond the realm of any mere gunslinger. Or because Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Jones) is a bit of an apocalypse preacher, seeing the end of days in the sins all around him. But more because this movie continues to remind us that in places like El Paso and Mexico, many people continue to live in the Wild West right now. Please do check out this story online at elevationoutdoors.com, where you can add your own list of favorite Westerns. Peter Kray is EO’s editor-at-large and co-founder of the Gear Institute (gearinstitute.com).


TABLE WITH A VIEW.

IT’S IN YOUR NATURE.

TM

Let’s face it, the great outdoors isn’t just somehwere you go. It’s who you are. At Cabela’s, we feel the same way. That’s why it’s in our nature to support you with thousands of experts, more than 50 years of experience and every last bit of expertise, so you can treasure this passion for the rest of your days.

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IT’S IN YOUR


p: Jay Beyer


Elevation Outdoors September 2013