Outdoor Enthusiasts to Watch

I started this blog to connect with fellow nature lovers, whether they too live in Colorado, are on the other side of the country, or even living out their own adventures elsewhere. I love to read about other people’s adventures, and get ideas for my (smaller scale) future treks.

Here are some of the places where I find my inspiration:

The North Face

Skiing Twitter

Team Makalu

Whether it’s skiing, climbing, hiking, or running for hundreds of miles, hopefully you can find some inspiration here too.

Throwing It Back to My Days As a Racer

So I never really thought I’d be a competitive skier, but I did have a few years of recreational racing in college. Mostly I liked it because I had a group to go skiing with at least 4 days a week, and people that didn’t mind skipping class for a day of fresh powder. Racing was always fun, and it made me a much stronger skier, but I never cared too much about the clock or how I was placing. 

So it is kind of funny to think that I might be racing in a rec league again this weekend! Pray I don’t blow a knee, I’m not as young (or reckless) as I used to be.

Staying Motivated

Days are getting longer but it is still tough to wake up in darkness, and leave work in darkness.

I hate getting out of bed when it is still dark, only to pull on my warm running tights, shorts over those, my warmest shirt, gloves, a hat, and lace up my shoes to get in a few miles before work.

I could hit up the gym, but getting up another 20 minutes earlier to run on the dreadmill just seems so unappealing.

This article has some good tips for those days that you hit snooze no less than 12 times. I may or may not have done that twice this week. These tips can be easily adapted to any workout routine, not just running.
What keeps you going when it’s cold and dark?

Another Instagram Adventure

Some more cool skiers to follow on Instagram:

Scrolling through my feed in the morning helps get me through a long day of work by pumping me up for the lines I’ll make on the mountain on the weekend.

Cody Townsend has got some sick pics that will make you crave the slopes. Check him out here.

 

 

Looks Like Winter is FINALLY Coming to the East!

Living out west was the best decision I ever made. Well, maybe second to asking my girlfriend for her number…

Mostly because I don’t have to carefully save my vaca days to get a nice week of skiing in.

But I have plenty of friends on the east coast. Heck I’ve been skiing out there quite a few times over the years. Mad River Glen is always an adventure.

But when you don’t live nearly as close to the slopes, a ski weekend isn’t always doable. I know a few of my buddies who moved to the Mid Atlantic are struggling to figure out how they are gonna get their powder fix. I tell them to visit me all the time! But travel and work and spending time with your family can be a tough balance. We all have our priorities.

How many days on the slopes do you guys normally get every year?

Brad’s Essential Ski Gear

Now that the holidays are over and everything is on sale, and winter has finally hit the east coast, you guys might be looking into some new gear!

These are my essentials for staying warm on those bitter cold days when sane people won’t even go outside.

Buff headwear. I don’t love being frozen solid while I ski, but I especially hate getting sweaty under all those layers. You get colder on the lift, and it just makes you uncomfortable for the whole day. These extra long, multi-use neckwarmers are thin and lightweight. They keep the frigid air out, but allow you to breathe and feel a little wind on your face.

Ski socks that are warm, but thin. In your tight stiff ski boots or snowboard boots, you need air to circulate to keep those feet warm. Layers of socks won’t help, but a high quality wool pair will. Spend a little more to get the good ones.

A windproof/waterproof shell. Seems like a no brainer right? You’d be surprised how many people I see out there in puffy down coats, or what looks like their everyday winter jacket. Down or synthetic is a great mid layer – but it won’t stop howling winds. Also down won’t stay warm when it is wet.

Glove liners. These changed my life. Seriously. My hands are the only thing that gets frozen numb. I added a pair of synthetic glove liners to my mitts, and I’m good as new.

When all else fails – go to the lodge and grab a hot chocolate, and maybe a beer. Then get back out there!

Brad Nierenberg’s Bucket List

Sorry all, been off the grid a little bit because of the holidays! As we are heading into the new year, I thought I’d post a bucket list. Everyone’s got one. Mine is constantly evolving and I’m always adding something new if I’ve checked something off.

  1. Skydive with my girlfriend. (Checked skydiving off my list years ago!)
  2. Go heliskiing.
  3. Climb a big mountain. Not sure which one. Denali, Kilimanjaro, we’ll see where the wind takes me.
  4. Swim with sharks.
  5. Thru-hike at least part of the Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail.
  6. Run the Boston Marathon.
  7. Run an Ultramarathon.
  8. Believe it or not, I have never seen a show in the Red Rocks Ampitheater. Crazy, but I’ve got to do that someday soon.
  9. Compete in a rally race.
  10. Be at the game when the Avs win the Stanley Cup.

Some of these are easy, some are left to chance. Some will take an awful lot of work and running. What is on yours?

Extreme Sports Are Changing Lives

Stumbled upon this fantastic article about Paralympians starting an adventure camp for people with disabilities.  A lot of people experience the world in a different way, and extreme outdoor sports haven’t always been the most accessible to them. It is great to see these champs creating exciting and accessible opportunities. Bringing more diversity and different perspectives to extreme sports can only enrich the experience for everyone involved.

With sports like waterskiing, downhill biking, kitebuggying and kayaking, this is a great step toward supporting everyone in following their passions.

How do you think we can make the world of extreme/outdoor sports more inclusive?

3 Things to Think about When Buying Skis

Terrain

If you are into groomers, go ahead and get a nice carver that will rip down a steep face. But if you like to venture into the backcountry, you will find the narrow underfoot a little unstable. Think about your favorite terrain, and whether or not you want skis specifically for that terrain. There are plenty of great all-mountain skis that will allow you versatility if you like a little bit of everything.

Over the years, I have collected a few pairs of skis. I have some longer, stiff skis for the days that I want to tear up the frontside, some fat skis for deep powder days, and a pair of shorter, softer all mountain skis if I want to spend a day skiing bumps.

Length

This depends on your level of skiing as well as the terrain you plan to ski. Longer skis carry more speed and cut through cruddy snow, but can also be harder to control for novice skiers, and can create some unsavory situations on crowded slopes. Shorter skis are easier to control for novices and also better suited to more technical terrain.

Level of skiing

If you are an expert skier, let me ask you one thing: why are you coming to my blog for ski buying advice?! Kidding. I know my stuff as much as the next guy. But if you are an expert, you probably already know what you are looking for. In my opinion it is best for beginners to buy something all-mountain to start since you may not know your abilities very well or have an idea of what terrain is your fave.

Happy Ski Season everyone! Let’s make it a good one.

A Darker Side of Skiing

I found this article from a little while back and thought it needed to be shared.

Nothing beats the quiet of backcountry skiing when it is just you, the mountain and the trees. However, this is some seriously upsetting news. Skiers should be trying to preserve the environments where we ski, not tearing them down. Cutting down a few trees to create a new trail may seem harmless, but this article talks about many consequences that people obviously aren’t thinking about.

Respect the environment, after all without, we couldn’t ski, hike, or bike without it.