A Taste of Colorado: A Day Rock Climbing in Eldo

Eldorado Canyon State Park is one of Colorado’s premier climbing destinations. Nestled in a hidden little valley just a few minutes from the edge of Boulder, Colorado, Eldo is a spot most people will never have reason to visit. Unless you’re a rock climber.

If you’re a climber, Eldo is a Mecca.

I spend a lot of time on the road. This is, after all, a travel blog. But I can never spend all my time abroad — the pull of home is too strong. And climbing, for me, is a huge part of that pull. I don’t write about it much — but the fact is, climbing is just as exciting as anything I do abroad. (And I have not been that successful at climbing while on the road). So today, we’re going to take a look at one of the reasons I love my home so much, and why Colorado is a premier travel destination for many adventurers.

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This Is Youth and Meg of the Mountain Climb a Mountain

Climbing snow on Long's Peak Cables Route in early July

Hey friends,

Those of you who’ve followed me for a while know that in addition to travel, I have another passion: climbing. (For more context, see one of my favorite essays I’ve ever written: ‘Work the Problem.”) The “Pieces of Life” feed is a pretty solid example of this: it alternates between climbing pictures and travel pictures. The two don’t mix, they come in blocks. A month of climbing photos, then a few months of travel photos. Then back to the climbing. Then more travel. Etc.

The night before I left Colombia, I met an American expat for drinks. Happy for a friend, he kept buying me rounds. Uneager to leave Colombia, I kept accepting. Together, over the course of what was supposed to be just a quick get-to-know-you afternoon, we drank 26 beers. Our pyramid of empties filled the tiny table.

I traveled home the next day: 12 hours, three airports, one hangover. I arrived in Colorado late on a Saturday night. The next morning, Sunday, I was in Boulder Canyon, climbing. Leading 5.10d and 5.11a, although certainly not elegantly. Most people wouldn’t do that.

I wasn’t speaking Spanish, but I was speaking a language I loved — climbers have a language and a diction all their own. Kneebars, cams, handjams, crimps, onsight… words I loved hearing almost as much as chevere, súper, and ciao.

Ever since returning home from Colombia, I’ve been climbing a lot. I find this is the most effective way to fight the post-travel depression that always sets in when I return from an extended jaunt abroad. Luckily for me, home is Colorado, where amazing climbing literally comes at you around every corner.

While I’ve been doing a ton of climbing, I realized I haven’t written much about it. So today, I figured I’d give it a go.

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An Average Climber’s International Trip

 

Climbing media is full of stories about unbelievable places you’ll never climb at in your life. For most of us, places with exotic names like Railay, Chamonix, Kalymnos, and Patagonia are simply out of reach. This is why Lumpy Ridge is the best trad climbing in the United States.

But all climbers—real climbers— are obsessives.

So how does a kid from Colorado chase climbing dreams across the sea?

Read on:

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#vanlife is so Passé… Meet This Couple Living Out of ‘the GNARbus’ — a Converted Old School Bus!

If you’ve got half an ear to the ground re: the cool kids on social media these days, you’re surely aware of the growing bohemian trend of living in your van. The New Yorker wrote a great article about the #vanlife trend recently, which means, like, obviously, the trend is no longer cool.

Sarcasm aside, there has been a huge increase in millennial interest in this trend of converted vans. So when I met my friend Jazzmin in Paris last year, I was a little surprised to hear her say she and her boyfriend Carson had recently bought, not a van. but a short SCHOOLBUS, with the intention of converting it into a tiny home on wheels.

You don’t hear much about converted schoolbus homes.

Now, half a year later, the bus is done, and the pair have hit the road. They recently launched a new website, GNARbus, to chronicle their lifestyle and adventures.

Hit the jump to find out a little more, and see a video walkthrough of their ultra-cool ‘mobile home.’

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Should You Work For Vail Resorts?

Vail's Blue Sky Basin

UPDATE: Here is an updated 2018 version of this post.

Or: Why I Worked for Vail (and Why You Should Work For Vail Resorts Too)

guest contribution from a ski town friend. They wanted to remain anonymous. But for those of you considering a season as a ski bum, with Vail Resorts in Vail or elsewhere, I hope the perspective’s helpful!

Although there seems to be a lack of snow nationwide, the 2016-2017 Ski season is about to kick off. Some resorts, such as Arapahoe Basin, are unbelievably already in full swing. People, just like you and me, from all over the world are therefore looking for ways to get their very own taste of some champagne powder – without paying $1000 for a season pass. Or maybe you’re like I was and have never skied or boarded before but are ready to give it your best shot. Either way, there’s an alternative to buying a pass.

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