Dave Mackey and Avery Collins talk PEDs (together in real life)

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If you’re a fan of ultrarunning and use the Internet, you’re probably aware of the latest social media dust up over performance enhancing drugs, in this case cannabis. Dave and Avery got together with us in person to continue the conversation.

From Dispatch’s perspective, the responses and judgements being thrown at both Avery and Dave over social media in the past couple days have created separation in our ultra running community. Our hope is that in sitting down to talk together we can help reconnect in our differences and see that both of these guys ultimately come from a loving place for the sport who share many of the same passions.

Jeremy Hendricks also stopped by to sketch up some artistic interpretations of the conversation.

And of course a shoutout to Upslope Brewing!

We happened to recently do a #KitchenSesh show with Avery just before this, so check out more of Avery’s backstory here: http://www.dispatchradio.com/kitchensesh-avery-collins-devon-olson/

 

#KitchenSesh with Avery Collins and Devon Olson

***Please note before listening that cannabis is thoroughly discussed in this episode.  If that doesn’t strike your fancy, please skip this one.***

We’re joined in the kitchen by ultra runners Avery Collins and Devon Olson. Kelly P hangs out to drop some knowledge, and why not add Ryan Lassen and Eric Edgerton in for some fun too!

Mad props to Avery for winning the Georgia Death Race last week! This is a gnarly “68-ish” mile race put on by Run Bum, and by winning Avery scored a chance to toe the line at the big one, Western States 100.

You can probably guess what we spend a lot of time talking about… And like any #KitchenSesh this is more about hanging out, chatting, and having fun than it is a scripted show.

Shout out to Avery’s sponsor’s: While Mary’s Medicinals and The Farm Co. were talked about the most, in addition to cannibas sponsors Avery also has… an underwear sponsor!? Saxxunderwear.
And of course actual running biz sponsors too inov-8 All Terrain RunningHoney Stinger and Farm To Feet.

Also props to Devon for a top 10 finish at Behind The Rocks! How’d it go against those Salomon Runners 😉

Oh yeah, and shoutout to Upslope Brewing Company!

(Please also note that Dispatch radio is just facilitating a conversation on this topic.)

Abby Wise Dispatching from the Women’s Climbing Fest

We partnered with Mountain Project to cover the second annual Women’s Climbing Festival, an event where 300 women gather in Bishop, California, to take clinics, participate in open panel discussions, and climb together. From an interview with Shelma Jun, the event’s founder, to clips from the media clinic, led by Julie Ellison, former editor-in-chief of Climbing magazine and current contributing editor at Mountain Project, and Natalie Siddique, co-founder and COO of Moja Outdoors, here’s an inside look at the in-demand festival that sold out in a single minute.
Women and brands highlighted:

 

#SufferBetter #KitchenSesh with Bob Africa, Josh Stevens, and Peter Maksimow (part 1)

Time for another #KitchenSesh, where we hang out and chat with special guests in a chill setting. Competitive trail runners Bob Africa, Josh Stevens, and Peter Maksimow join us for this one. In part 1, Bob Africa talks about what it means to #SufferBetter, and Josh Stevens (who just got 4th at Rocky Raccoon 50-miler) tells us about overcoming his opiate addiction that stemmed from multiple injuries sustained in multiple IED explosions in the line of duty, which for Josh comprised 24 years of serving our country in the Army Special Forces. Fortunately Josh made it through that, and now is helping to fight the opiate epidemic by working with the Herron Project and SufferBetter. it’s not all serious though, this is a #kitcensesh after all (so we’re not editing out all the beer can openings). Part 2 with peter in the hot seat will air next week!

#DrinkEveryTimeYouHear: #BobAfrica

Josh’s crowdrise page: https://www.crowdrise.com/endurance-adventures-for-recovery
The Herren Project: http://www.theherrenproject.org
Bob’s #SufferBetter: http://www.sufferbetter.com
And a shout out to team Inov-8!

#GoDoTell

Quitting the 9-to-5 for a life of full-time adventure with Chris Brinlee Jr

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On a summer day in 2014, Chris Brinlee Jr. walked away from his comfortable, well-paying job as an advertising art director to “experience something more,” as he puts it.

He had been backpacking a total of one time, a year before. So the logical next step was to quit his job and set off for adventures across the globe.

Over seven months, Chris’s adventures have led him around the globe—he’s paddled remote fjords in Greenland, ridden motorcycles through Vietnam, sailed with a crew to Antarctica, and climbed 6,000m peaks in Nepal.

Chris also recently started up his own content creation company called Content Machine.

We talk with Chris from co-host Kelly’s home in Boulder and hear about Chris’ adventures and how he makes it all happen.

Links

Chris’s website: http://www.chrisbrinleejr.com/

Chris’s “IndefinitelyWild” columns articles for Outside Magazine: https://www.outsideonline.com/2052846/chris-brinlee-jr

Chris’s story, as told to Outside Magazine:

https://www.outsideonline.com/2138796/everymans-guide-planning-epic-adventure

Three years ago, I went on my first-ever backpacking trip. About a year later, I decided it would be a great idea to quit my job and go on epic adventures around the world. Most recently, I paddled a folding kayak 50 miles into a remote fjord in eastern Greenland, base camped for a week, and made the first ascent of an alpine rock route. Right now, I’m sailing to Antarctica.

You can do this stuff, too. I’m not a super athlete. I’ve never been that good at sports. For most of my adult life, I didn’t even spend that much time outdoors. I never went backpacking growing up. I didn’t climb my first pitch of rock until I was 26. (I’m 28 now.) I didn’t learn to ski until earlier this year. I’m by no means an expert at any of those things, but I can do them now. This is to say that it’s never too late to learn something new.

Articles about Chris:

Adventure Journal: https://www.adventure-journal.com/2015/01/square-shooter-around-the-world-with-a-backpack-and-a-badass-beard/

Weather Channel: https://weather.com/travel/news/paragliding-over-big-sur

Gear Institute: http://www.gearinstitute.com/gear-news/pack-like-a-pro/item/pack-like-a-pro-adventure-photographer-chris-brinlee

Chris’s bio:

Stories, however, are not best-told from inside the walls of a cubicle, so in August 2014, Chris left his behind—quitting his fancy advertising art director job to go experience something more.

Since then, Chris’s adventures have led him around the globe—he’s paddled remote fjords in Greenland, ridden motorcycles through Vietnam, sailed with a crew to Antarctica, and climbed 6,000m peaks in Nepal.

Chris celebrates discomfort—a theme at the core of each adventure, and each story he tells.

As a contributor for publications such as Red Bulletin, IndefinitelyWild, Outside, Huckberry, and Gizmodo—his words, photos, and videos have inspired millions; his strong presence on social media provide daily doses of inspiration.

Conservation and Public Lands with Brady Robinson, Doug Schnitzspahn, Aimee Ross, and Lloyd Athearn

Listen as we talk conservation and public lands.  A few highlights from the show we recorded last night…

Rebecca Schwager tells us a bit about our venue, the Studio Boulder, and at 4m45s we get rolling.

Lloyd Athearn and the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative bought part of a kickass mountain (Mt. Shavano) for $50k, so we can all hike it!

Hey, mountain bikers! #dontbeadick

Brady Robinson rocked a ponytail for 6 years too long; is on the fence whether Access Fund will attend Outdoor Retailer shows (it’s complicated)

Doug Schnitzspahn really wants you to VOTE!

Aimee Ross answers the burning question about IMBA … who the hell says “bicycling”? Offers great advice for those who want to get active protecting public lands.

We come up short looking for evidence that hunters and self-powered athletes are working together. But there’s hope!

The Studio Boulder is one killer venue! Equipped with an Airstream and brewery next door. What more could you want in an office-share?!

Drink when you hear:
bicyling
#swagresponsibly #dismountandchat #dontbeadick
Grayson Schaffer
low energy

Special thanks to our crew and special guests:
Cory Kelly Russ Melissa Wade Abby RobynAnd to our awesome hosts at The Studio (Boulder)! You guys rock!

Dispatch Weekly: Public lands, FKT news, activities around town, Dispatch crew updates

Show notes – Dispatch Weekly: February 13-19

Running with the FRXC running group out of Colorado

Training for the Dirty 30 ultra-marathon

Things happening in the outdoors world

Controversy around the Outdoor Retailer show – If you want the full scoop, read this fantastic Men’s Journal piece by Doug Schnitzspahn, editor in chief of Elevation Outdoors magazine: Outdoor Companies Take A Stand In the Fight for Public Lands. For this week’s Dispatch Radio Hour, we’ll be talking conservation with Doug and Brady Robinson, director of the Access Fund and prolific climber in his own right. As well as Aimee Ross from IMBA and Lloyd Athearn of the Colorado 14ers Initiative.

Epic ski season continues in the West! #fots Fritz Sperry’s latest: January 2017 was one of the finest months for powder skiing in years

FKT Fastest Known Time awards from Ultimate Direction: 

Several friends of the show in the running: Gina Lucrezi for Mount Whitney car-to-car and Joe Grant, Colorado 14er self-powered and self-supported; Meaghan Hicks for her Nolan’s 14 FKT; Karl Meltzer for AT FKT; Nick Elson’s Grand Traverse. Buzz Burell will join us soon to tell us who won.

Things happening with the Dispatch Radio community

Shows that are out now:

Anton Krupicka and Joe Grant – Adventure BFFs

Grayson Schaffer, editor at large for Outside Magazine – Psychedelic Drugs and Globetrotting on Outside Magazine’s Dime

Professional climber and yogi Olivia Hsu and ski mountaineer Dr. Jon Kedrowski – Climbing Tall Peaks

Coming up on Dispatch Radio:

Dispatch Radio Hour with Brady Robinson, Doug Schnitzspahn, Aimee Ross and Lloyd Athearn

Kitchen sesh with Bob Africa and Josh Stevens, overcoming opiate addiction and running for a cause

Kitchen sesh with Peter Maksimow, U.S Mountain Running Team member gets real about injury

Things going on in Colorado 

Tuesday, Feb 14 – climbing movie premier in Boulder

Thursday, Feb 16 – Skirt Sports hosts Women Run the World event

Saturday Feb 18 – Telefest at Monarch Mountain

Sunday Feb 19 – Outlaw Yoga at Sanitas Brewing

Feb 25 – Elk Meadow Trail Race, 10 mile trail race in Evergreen

If you want your event featured: info@dispatchradio.com

Psychedelics and Globetrotting on Outside Magazine’s Dime, with Grayson Schaffer

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When you write for Outside Magazine for 14 years, chances are you have some stories. From Lance Armstrong to Mount Everest to kayaking first descents and everything in between, Grayson Schaffer has covered it. We connect with him to discuss his latest piece, on psychedelics, and his other creative endeavors these days.

Topics discussed, with host Russ Rizzo:

His 14+ career writing for Outside Magazine

psychedelic drugs

His new creative firm, Talweg

psychedelic drugs

Lance Armstrong

psychedelic drugs

Big water boating

psychedelic drugs

An old fling

psychedelic drugs

Bareback riding (horses)

psychedelic drugs

Hunting elk with a bow and arrow

psychedelic drugs

Links:

Grayson’s website: http://www.graysonschaffer.com/

Grayson’s creative agency, Talweg Creative: http://www.talwegcreative.com/

Grayson’s latest in Outside Magazine: https://www.outsideonline.com/2143036/are-psychedelics-new-prozac

Gociety Adventure Fest part 3: Climbing tall peaks with Olivia Hsu and Dr. Jon Kedrowski

Olivia Hsu, climbing badass. Photo credit: Heff Rueppel

Recording live at the Gociety Adventure Fest 2016 in Denver, we talk with professional rock climber and yogi Olivia Hsu and Dr. Jon Kedrowski, an accomplished mountaineer, author and climatologist, about their pursuits in the mountains.

Professional explorer Dr. Jon talks to us about his successful project to be the first person to sleep on the summit of all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks and the challenges he faced during his 2016 attempt to break the speed record for skiing all of Colorado’s 14ers.

Professional climber and yogi Olivia Hsu discusses her own Himalayan exploration as well as exploring the balance between rock climbing and yoga and how to keep your ego in check.
Both discuss how they overcame initial parental disappointment for their chosen paths to explore the outdoors as a full-time job. Spoiler: everything turned out just fine for these two legends of the Colorado outdoors.

 

Dr. Jon Kedrowski sleeps alone on tall peaks

 

Gociety Adventure Fest Part 2: The great debate with polar explorer Eric Larsen and adventure TV host JJ Yosh

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This is a lively one!

Recording live at the Gociety Adventure Fest 2016 in Denver,  we talk with two adventurers with very different approaches to outdoor exploration. Strap in for a lively debate toward the end of this episode as JJ and Eric discuss ancient pyramids that may or may not be hidden in South America.

JJ Yosh is an adventure TV host who has travelled the world chronicling his adventures with Discovery Channel among others. He takes us behind the scenes to let us know what life is like for an adventure TV host and about his movie 10 years in the making.

Eric is a Polar adventurer, expedition guide, dog musher and educator who spent the past 15 years traveling in some of the most remote and wild places left on earth. He’s one of the few people to have skied both the North and South Poles. In 2010 he became the first person in history to reach the world’s three ‘poles’ in one year: the North and South Poles and Mount Everest.  

Eric discusses how long, boring, cold expeditions became his thing, to the point where he skied the North Pole, South Pole and Mount Everest in a calendar year. And the impact of being a dad on his adventure lifestyle.

And they both join in on a lively debate about ancient pyramids that may or may not be buried under the South Pole.

Links

Eric’s book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LW6C1GG/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Eric’s website: http://www.ericlarsenexplore.com/

Cool article Eric wrote about being a dad of young ones on a dangerous Himilayan adventure: Dad Life

Eric discusses his book, “On Thin Ice”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZyL7DuSAPI

JJ’s website: http://www.jjyosh.com/

JJ’s film, “Ancient Tomorrow”: http://www.ancienttomorrow.com/

JJ’s videos: http://www.jjyosh.com/host-reel/

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Adventure BFFs: #KitchenSesh with Anton Krupicka and Joe Grant

#kitchensesh with two ot the most recognizable U.S. ultra runners out there, with countless media articles written both about them and by them, and even a couple of films documenting their outdoor exploration. They are also best friends living in Boulder, Colorado. We sit down with Anton Krupicka and Joe Grant to find out what it’s like to thrust oneself in the social media spotlight in the name of pursuing outdoor adventure full-time.  Listen in as we talk about:

  • 2017 race plans (and rumors?)
  • What they are really like, outside of the media spotlight
  • Joe staring at a cat
  • Anton’s open-door policy for the media (*excludes closet doors)
  • Skimo racing
  • Tennis

Here’s some background info/reading/watching:

Anton will be at the Lakewood, Colo., Runner’s Roost Thursday, Feb. 2.

Anton’s new blog on La Sportive’s site.

Outside TV video of Anton’s home.

Dispatch is doing this because we love the outdoors.  Will you please  like our page or follow us on twitter @dispatch_hq?

Joe Grant talks with us about his self-propelled adventure over Colorado’s 50+ tallest peaks on our October show.

Video of Anton’s successful FKT record of Long Peak Triathlon: 

Photo credit: Jarrod Wheaton

Photo credit: Joe Grant (meta!)

Joel Gratz makes it snow in Colorado!

In this episode, we check in with Joel Gratz, founder of OpenSnow.com to talk ski season snow totals (late but wow!) and to hear about his three-week powder-hounding road trip across the rockies from Colorado to Canada. We get an insider’s tour of ski resorts off the beaten path (including Utah’s Powder Mountain) and do the math to figure out if heli-skiing is worth it. Give Joel a shout at joel@opensnow.com and find out if he really does answer every email. Insider hint: he’s a sucker for weather jokes.

Links:

Joel’s weather site Open Snow (also available as app)

Helicopter guide: Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH)

Colorado climber/author/dirtbagger Brendan Leonard’s website, Semi-Rad.com

Powder MountainLost TrailWhitefishRevel Stoke Mountain ResortSki BanffSki Louise

About Joel:

Joel Gratz is a snow-obsessed meteorologist based on Boulder, Colorado, who founded a company to help skiers, like him, to find the best powder. OpenSnow DOT com has local forecasters that cover the Rockies, California and lots of other places across the U.S.

Gociety Adventure Fest kick-off: CEO Anna Thielke with partners Big City Mountaineering and Zeal Optics

To kick off our day of recording at the first ever Gociety Adventure Fest 2016 in Denver we talk with key event organizers and partners about how the event came about and learn a little about the overall goals of the event and each organization’s unique approach to encouraging people to get outdoors.
Guests include a number of movers and shakers; Gociety co-founder and CEO Anna Thielke,  Big City Mountaineers Program Director Elizabeth Williams and Mike Lewis, director of brand activation and digital strategy for ZEAL Optics (who graciously kept us cool and comfortable in the “ZEAL Explorer” Airstream during the festival). A big thanks to all of them for their involvement and hospitality in what was an amazingly action packed day for Dispatch Radio.

Pro climber Paul Robinson finds Uncharted Lines, premiering at Boulder Theater

Show notes

Professional rock climber (boulderer to be exact) and Boulder resident Paul Robinson joins us to discuss the world premiere of his new film, Uncharted Lines, which debuts at the Boulder Theater on Wednesday, Jan.  25. Host Scott Jones offers up a few events happening in Colorado over the next week, including a special Denver edition of Mappy Hour and a talk by local backcountry explorer and author Fritz Sperry.

Links

Watch a trailer of Uncharted Lines

Read more about Paul on his website or climbing resume or this interview with him about his Boulder, Colorado, roots. Here’s a cool article Outside Magazine did on one of Paul’s first-ascents.

Events previewed

Wednesday, January 25

Boulder: Premiere of climbing movie “Uncharted Lines” at the Boulder Theater. Every climbing reward comes at the cost of a potential risk, but when you are a climbing pioneer, driven by the unknown and unexpected, you are willing to risk whatever it takes for the chance to find the perfect first ascent. This untouched line is the ultimate prize for professional climbers Paul Robinson, Jimmy Webb, Daniel Woods and Chris Sharma – four of the best climbers in the world who have each dedicated their lives to the sport of rock climbing. Told through five separate stories, Paul Robinson is the common thread that links each story together as he travels from Russia, to the southeastern United States, to Spain, to Zimbabwe, and finally back home to the Rocky Mountains, interacting with these three athletes along the way.

Denver: Mappy Hour at Denver Beer Co. – Matt Doyle (@FATMAP) will be hosting a roundtable about digital tools to use in the snow. From phone apps to watches to beacons and more! What inspires you to plan outdoor adventures? Which types of technology do you use while skiing? Which apps are the most popular? What kind of technology do you hope to see in the future?

Friday, Jan. 27

Nederland: Fritz Sperry Making Turns in Colorado’s Front Range The Movie. Join Fritz as he presents a movie about finishing his most recent guidebook “MakingTurns in Colorado’s Front Range Volume 2: North of I-70”. He also touches on avalanche awareness and safety issues along with some of his mistakes. There will be a raffle to benefit CAIC, followed by music from Nederland local and movie contributor Familydog Stringband. Tickets are $10 at the door and benefit CAIC and include a raffle ticket and beer from Upslope.

Fritz is touring Colorado with lots of upcoming events. Check out his website for details: MakingTurns.com

Todd Straka talks about the annual Boulder Running Journal

Todd Straka, creator of BoulderRunning.com, joins us to discuss the latest edition of the Boulder Running Journal, a collection of more than 200 pages of photos and essays depicting annual highlights from the Boulder running scene.
Todd is an accomplished and dedicated runner himself and has competed in road events for the past 25 years including with the Runners Roost Racing Team. He manages to squeeze in workouts between his job as a website designer and raising two children, working towards the goal of bettering his time in the Mile, his personal epic challenge.

Join Todd and several featured athletes for a book signing and XC preview panel on Jan 31 at Fleet Fleet Boulder at 6pm.

Boulder Running Journal: boulderrunning.com/journal/

Todd’s website provides frequent coverage of local running news and events: boulderrunning.com

Scott Carney, author of What Doesn’t Kill Us

Listen in to a chilling interview with Scott Carney, author of What Doesn’t Kill Us.  Scott’s book traces our evolutionary journey back to a time when survival depended on how well we adapted to the environment around us. Our ancestors crossed the Alps in animal skins and colonized the New World in loin cloths. They evaded predators and built civilizations with just their raw brainpower and inner grit. But things have changed and now comfort is king. Today we live in the thrall of constant climate control and exercise only when our office schedules permit. The technologies that we use to make us comfortable are so all encompassing that they sever the biological link to a changing environment. Now we hate the cold and the heat. We suffer from autoimmune diseases. And many of us are chronically overweight. Most of us don’t even realize that natural variation–sweating and shivering–is actually good for us.

Dispatch #8: Pre-stoke (for ski season)! with Henrik Lampert, Kim Beekman, Joel Gratz, Joe Howdyshell and Jon Kedrowski

Let’s get stoked for snow!  Listen in as we chat with some badass snow enthusiasts about what to look forward to this year.  We talk gear tips, training tips, uphill skiing, skimo racing, backcountry adventures, and of course weather predictions.

Joel Gratz – meteorologist who tells us where to find the pow over at opensnow.com

Jon Kedrowski “Dr. Ski” – author, ski mountaineer, and geographer.  Check out his book about camping on top of all of Colorado’s 14ers.

Joe Howdyshell – all-around badass who helps people achieve their fitness goals at Summit Endurance Academy

Henrik Førland Lampert – editor of FREESKIER Magazine

Kimberly Beekman – editor of Skiing Magazine

Thanks to Neptune Mountaineering for having us!

Dispatch #7: Women Run The World with Nicole DeBoom, Silke Koester, Ilene Bloom, Jenn Coker, and Melissa Hoskins

img_6015Listen in as we talk with founder and CEO of Skirt Sports, Nicole DeBoom, at her monthly women’s get together at her flagship store in Boulder.

Hosts Laurie Nakauchi and Kelly McConnell talk with runners Silke Koester, Ilene Bloom, Jenn Coker and Melissa Hoskins about how their running communities keep them motivated and inspired, while sharing some of their personal experiences and perspectives.  Tune in for some bonus pro tips, like why “poison remover” is required gear at an ultramarathon in Japan, and how to beet world records.

#SkirtSports  #REALwomenmove



Rocky Mountain Runners
 (RMR)
Colorado Columbines
Front Range Cross Country (FRXC)
Ultra Dirt Divas

Dispatch #6: Self-Propelled Adventure w/ Joe Grant, Erik Sanders, Christopher Harrington & Ilene Bloom

Joe Grant

For this week’s live show we talk with a group of impressive go-getters from the Front Range:

We recorded LIVE with a nice crowd from the patio of Mountain Toad Brewing in Golden with four inspiring mountain adventurers who all share a love of suffering in nature.

Joe Grant talks to us about his recent self-supported peak-bagging of all 57 14ers. He talks about his 100-mile “rest day” bike ride, his lowest point on the trails (on a paved road of all things) and how he keeps his motivation in some very difficult elements.

Erik Sanders discusses his Labor Day weekend Nolan’s 14 attempt and breaks some news regarding an exciting adventure race he’s got coming up.

Christopher Harrington talks about the group of trail-blazers he founded, FRXC – Front Range Cross Country, and lays out an ambitious plan that is now officially Joe Grant-approved.

Our “every-woman” Ilene Bloom tells us how she got mixed into the crazy world of ultra-running and what she’s got her eyes set on next.

The 25 Most Adventurous (and mostly white) Men of the Past 25 Years 

A celebration of the mountaineers, watermen, arctic explorers, activists, and artists who redefine the limits of what’s humanly possible.

The list:

Conrad Anker

Mike Horn

Eric Larsen

Alex Honnold

Jeremy Jones

Erik Weihenmayer

Colin Angus

Mike Libecki

Cory Richards

Doug Tompkins (1943–2015)

Werner Herzog

Siddartha Gurung

Shane McConkey (1969–2009)

Laird Hamilton

Sebastian Copeland

Dean Potter (1972–2015)

J. Michael Fay

Felix Baumgartner

Alex Lowe (1958–1999)

Jared Diamond

Tim Hetherington (1970–2011)

Ben Stookesberry

Richard Branson

Jimmy Chin

 

Source: The 25 Most Adventurous Men of the Past 25 Years | Men’s Journal

Megan Finnesy, Trail Running for a Cause 

Megan Finnesy, race director of the Dirty 30 in Golden, Colorado, aligns altruism and altitude by raising money for a nonprofit

by Holly Graubins, Trail Runner Magazine

Race director Megan Finnesy, 47, of Durango, Colorado, is equal parts benevolent and bodacious. She spent three long years working toward an event permit for an ultra trail race in the rugged San Juan Mountains. Through her perseverance, she finally received the permit for the Double Dirty 30 in Silverton, Colorado, held last September. While working through copious race details with forest rangers, she also dreamed of raising money for her favorite non-profit organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Southwest Colorado.

Her leap to race directing was premeditated. “I wanted to be an event coordinator, but couldn’t find a job because I didn’t have any experience,” she recalls. But her love of mountainous singletrack and knack for juggling miniscule details guided her.

Now, she’s the director of the popular Dirty 30 (50K and 12-miler) in Golden, Colorado, currently in its eighth year. The Dirty 30 is known for long, steep climbs, fast descents and rocky scrambles, and features special awards (“Bloodiest Finisher”) and live music at the finish line.

“I love this race. The course is brutal, but it’s also gorgeous and super well marked,” says Boulder athlete Sarah Black, a 2015 finisher. “[Megan] is wonderfully organized and that is reflected in the event, with its great support, and wonderful volunteers.”

Finnesy attributes much of her life path to her college friend Dale Garland, the long-time race director of the legendary Hardrock 100-Mile Endurance Run. Back in 2008, Finnesy managed Hardrock’s Cunningham aid station, and has since paced runners, captained other aid stations and once even donned a coconut bikini top and floral lei at the Chapman aid station to boost the morale of spaghetti-legged runners.

“Dale has been my main mentor as a race director,” says Finnesy. “I admire and respect him, as managing Hardrock is epic.”

“When I first got into this run-organizing thing, I relied on Merilee O’Neal [the former RD at Leadville] to mentor me,” says Garland. “So I look at it as paying it forward when Megan asks for advice or help. Now, Megan is one of the most energetic and conscientious young RDs we have in our sport.”

Boulder-born and raised, Finnesy had a soulful connection to nature from a young age, climbing 13,916-foot Mount Meeker at age 12. In the ensuing years, her diverse outdoor interests included running for hours in the Colorado mountains. In 2008 she tackled Colorado’s multi-day, point-to-point Trans Rockies Race, which ignited her ultrarunning passion. Trim and muscular with blonde hair styled into a tidy ponytail, she has blue eyes that twinkle behind dainty eyeglasses, giving her a scholarly yet athletic look.

It’s not just miles and race logistics that Finnesy pursues. “Giving back to our communities is essential,” she says. She once mentored a young girl from BBBS, and fondly remembers taking her “little” up Engineer Mountain, “a very technical trail most adults won’t tackle.”

Double Dirty 30 runners are asked to either do trail work on the course or fund raise for BBBS. In this year’s inaugural race, 33 runners raised a combined $13,000 for the organization. Says Anita Carpenter, the executive director of BBBS, “All of the funds raised have gone directly into one-to-one mentoring. BBBS is serving a new elementary school this year and that’s thanks to Megan’s runners.”

Source: Megan Finnesy, Trail Running for a Cause | Trail Runner Magazine

Give And Take – Joe Grant confronts tragedy on Longs Peak

A mix of emotions swirl inside of me. It is strange to think of how I was out enjoying my day, while in the exact same context a tragedy was simultaneously unfolding.

by Joe Grant, Special to irunfar.com

A couple of days prior to the March Equinox, I set off from the Longs Peak trailhead around mid-morning, hoping to summit the mountain before the official end of winter. The weather is exceptionally mild for the season, and other than the calendar stating it as such, you would have a hard time believing it is still winter.

Jogging up through the woods, the snow is mushy, making it hard to find a good rhythm. Every so often I punch through the packed surface up to my knees, leaning heavily on my poles so as to not fall over. I roll up my tights, and am down to a t-shirt under my windbreaker, yet still sweating profusely.

 

Source: Give And Take

Ski Mountaineering Has Its Ups and Downs – WSJ

Kaitlyn Archambault’s ski mountaineering gear includes lightweight La Sportiva RSR carbon skis with low-tech ATK bindings; adjustable poles; lightweight Dynafit pack; helmet; lightweight Dynafit PDG boot, that buckle into ‘walk’ or ‘ski’ mode; buffs; warm hat; a lightweight layer to wear while skinning uphill; gloves for skinning; goggles; skins; water bottle; down mittens; ski strap; headband. PHOTO: TRENT BONA FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

by Jen Murphy, The Wall Street Journal 

Skiing up a mountain might seem … counterintuitive. But people always on the lookout for a new fitness challenge may want to skip the ski lift and earn their downhill run by “skinning” uphill first.

Kaitlyn Archambault was introduced to ski mountaineering, also known as “skimo,” when she moved to Crested Butte, Colo., last year. It involves skiing both downhill and uphill. Skiers attach a pair of fabric strips called skins to the bottoms of their skis for traction on the trip up.

“People talked about going skinning like they were going to spin class,” says Ms. Archambault, a 32-year-old paralegal at Huckstep Law, LLC. “It’s a very foreign concept if you don’t live in a mountain town.”

Ms. Archambault is a longtime downhill skier, and after attending a ski-mountaineering camp, she decided to train for the Gore-Tex Grand Traverse. The ski-mountaineering race takes place March 25 and 26, starting at midnight in Crested Butte. The 40-mile traverse with 7,800 feet of vertical gain reaches its finish in Aspen. It requires at least 10 hours of uphill and downhill motion and is done in teams of two. “My boyfriend bravely signed on with me,” she says.

Ms. Archambault used to be a runner but suffered iliotibial (IT) band pain after she ran a marathon in 2011. “Ski mountaineering gives me the same cardio rush as running, but it’s lower impact,” she says. Being in the back country—on unpatrolled, ungroomed terrain—surrounded by nature, away from the crowds, is what appeals to her most.

“It’s very meditative to be outside in the fresh air taking in unbelievable views,” she says. Recently, she says, she and her boyfriend, Zach Guy, director of the Crested Butte Avalanche Center, were out for eight hours. “It’s the best thing in the world to be in the wilderness, powering yourself across the mountain.”

Ms. Archambault says major components of ski mountaineering are learning the basics of back country avalanche safety, as well as how to layer and fuel properly. The transition from uphill to downhill takes practice. “Some people can just kick a foot up, rip the skin off the bottom of their skis and then be zooming downhill,” she says. “When I need to put my skins on or off, I use it as a chance to catch my breath.”

Training has given her extra incentive to get in a workout during the winter months, Ms. Archambault says. “When you leave work at 5 and it’s dark out, all you want to do is go home. But once I get up on the mountain under the stars with my headlamp, I completely decompress. It’s a great way to end the day.”

The Workout
Ms. Archambault skins two to three evenings during the week. After work, she usually heads to Crested Butte Mountain Resort and aims to go uphill for 45 to 60 minutes before skiing down. “The slopes are groomed and safe,” she says. “I go up with a headlamp. It’s cold, but once you get moving it’s invigorating.” On weekends she goes for longer back country tours, anywhere from four to eight hours, with Mr. Guy.

Ms. Archambault on the downhill portion of a workout. When she does training intervals on the uphill, she says, ‘it’s like hell for me, like an hour-long, redlining, anaerobic nightmare. But I go into a different mind-set and push myself harder.’ PHOTO: TRENT BONA FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Some days she brings her dog and skins up a trail through the woods on Snodgrass Mountain. On many Tuesday nights, she meets a group of women who do an uphill interval workout on skis. “It’s like hell for me, like an hour-long, redlining, anaerobic nightmare,” Ms. Archambault says. “But I go into a different mind-set and push myself harder.”

Two mornings a week she rides 45 minutes on a bike trainer, and once a week she pops in a yoga DVD. “I’m not good at stretching, but my body feels the difference and thanks me when I do yoga,” she says.

Gear & Cost
Ms. Archambault says ski mountaineering isn’t a cheap sport to get into. Alpine touring skis can range from $600 to $1,300 and tech bindings cost between $300 and $800. She uses Lightweight La Sportiva RSR carbon skis with low-tech ATK Bindings. She looks for deals on a gear-swap Facebook page. Skins range from $100 to $250, and poles from $75 to $200. She says superlight race Alpine touring boots can cost up to $2,000, but you can find them on Craigslist for $400.

“If I was paying $200 a month for a gym membership, it would probably cost more in the long run,” she says. “This is, for the most part, a one-time investment on the main gear.”

She wears a Lululemon Swiftly Tech long-sleeve base layer, which retails for $68. “I generally pooh-pooh spending a lot of money on a shirt, but staying warm is worth the extra cost,” she says. On top of that she wears a Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody, which costs $149. Her Aether Apparel ski pants retail for $375, and her shell, $695. She usually wears two buffs, one around her neck and another as a headband/ear cover.

The Diet
Ms. Archambault tries to make scrambled eggs for breakfast but often runs out the door with peanut butter on toast. She packs a salad topped with cottage cheese, apples, pears and feta or goat cheese for lunch, and keeps nuts at her desk for snacking. She always has piece of dark chocolate in the afternoon. Dinner is salmon with couscous and broccoli, or a curry over quinoa. Her boyfriend, races mountain bikes in the summer. “He has an incentive to eat well, and that rubs off on me,” she says. Her ski pack is full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Honey Stinger energy chews, trail mix with extra M&Ms, a thermos of tea and another with soup. “After a long day out on the mountain, all I crave is a good beer,” she says.

The Playlist
“When I skin at night, I love the silence and solitude,” she says. If she skins during the day, or rides the bike trainer, the songs that get her going include “Next Episode” by Dr. Dre, “Dancing on My Own” by Robyn and “Dangerous” by the Ying Yang Twins. “If one of those three songs comes on I get a second wind,” she says.

Write to Jen Murphy at workout@wsj.com

Source: Ski Mountaineering Has Its Ups and Downs – WSJ

The changing face of camping: record numbers of minorities hit the trails – MarketWatch

“nonwhite campers now comprise 26% of all campers — more than double when it was first measured in 2012”

by Kari Paul, MarketWatch

Teshale Nuer, a 25-year-old Afro-Latinx behavioral therapist based in New York City, recently headed into the great outdoors for the first time, joining a group of predominantly white friends in tents in Maryland. For Nuer, who was initially resistant to joining, it was one of the most foreign experiences in recent memory.

“Growing up as a person of color, camping just never seemed like an option,” Nuer said. “There was a lot of etiquette I didn’t know about. I grew up in the suburbs where people did go camping, but not people who looked like me.”

Camping has been traditionally associated with white Americans — national parks were once segregated and even recently advocates of outdoor leisure activities have asked why America’s national parks are so white. Nuer said there are a number of underlying implications for nonwhite Americans regarding outdoor activities, including the U.S. legacy of racial violence leaving campers uncomfortable around police and state park rangers.

But the activity is increasingly becoming an attractive form of vacation for campers like Nuer, according to a new study from the large national private campground system Kampgrounds of America. It found nonwhite campers now comprise 26% of all campers — more than double when it was first measured in 2012.

The biggest driver of this growth is millennials, said Toby O’Rourke, chief operating officer at KOA, which obviously has a vested interest in people going camping. The age group comprises just 31% of the adult population, yet accounts for 38% of campers — and it’s more diverse: Six in 10 nonwhite campers are millennials compared with 4 in 10 white campers.

“Nature has a PR problem.”
Rue Mapp, founder of OutdoorAfro
“I was surprised by the high enthusiasm for camping in the teenage group,” O’Rourke said. “We are definitely seeing more and more young people coming in. It’s changing the face of camping. It used to be an older, more Caucasian activity and we are seeing it skew younger and a lot more diversity.”

Rue Mapp is the chief executive officer and founder of OutdoorAfro, a nonprofit that “celebrates and inspires African-American connections to nature.” It started as a blog in 2009 and has since grown into a national network in which 20,000 people participate in camping trips and other events across 30 states. She said millennials are seeing the effects of major efforts to show better representation of nonwhite campers in their communities, on social media and in advertising.

“Nature has a PR problem,” she said. “We have not done a good job of letting people know they will be welcome. There is no padlock on any trail, there is no padlock on any campground — but if you don’t know about it, you won’t go. Social media has played a huge role in changing that.”

Source: The changing face of camping: record numbers of minorities hit the trails – MarketWatch

Epic Days and Late Nights with Jeremy Tofte, Founder of Jackson Hole’s Melvin Brewing 

“All I ever wanted to do was grow a beard, brew beer, and have fun. Maybe that’s why I live in a van.” -Jeremy Tofte, co-founder of Jackson Hole’s Melvin Brewing

by Hudson Lindenberger, Men’s Journal

Two decades ago Tofte arrived in Jackson Hole with a few bucks in his pocket and the goal to spend the winter snowboarding the famous slopes surrounding the town. To survive he bounced from job to job before opening his own Thai restaurant in 2000. The fact that he really did not know much about cooking Thai food did not stop him; he bought a few cookbooks and taught himself.

Six years later, he sold the restaurant. It was a success but he had grown tired of fighting the local government over his attempts to open a nano-brewery in the back of his restaurant. “I was sick of not being able to get good beer in town. We had to drive to Colorado to restock the fridge,” says Tofte.

With the proceeds from his sale, he took to the road spending the next two years chasing surf and summer in New Zealand, Australia, and Indonesia. When the new owners of his restaurant failed, leaving the business shuttered, the landlord called him and asked him if he would want to come back to reopen it.

Determined to open his brewery this time, he went over the town of Jackson Hole’s head — he got federal and state approval before applying. When he reopened Thai Me Up as a brewery and restaurant in 2009, he had a tiny 20-gallon system installed.

“The craft beer movement was slower arriving to Jackson, most of the locals thought we were nuts,” says Tofte. “But I did not care, I knew our brews were good.” Three years later, in their first Great American Beer Festival, they won three medals, then another three years later in 2015 they were named the best Small Brewer in the country at the GABF. Investors offered money and they started to plan on opening a larger brewery. Their Melvin IPA and 2×4 Double IPA are recognized as some of the top beers in the country.

But right as things were getting good, Tofte decided it was time for a change. “The real estate market in Jackson sucks. It’s so damn expensive,” says Tofte. “So I decided to stop renting and move into a bus.” As the face of an expanding Melvin Brewing, his constant presence on the road helped to seal the deal for him.

His first mobile home was a converted ski patrol bus. It was good, but also a pain to drive around, and guzzled gas. In February of 2016, he moved into his newest home, a converted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van. The 4×4 van is part adventure platform, part office, part base camp, and pure party.

There are surfboards on the roof rack next to an array of solar panels, and the Thule lockbox holds his snowboards. Under the raised bed inside are his three bikes — mountain, road, and city — and the rack on the rear holds his KTM motorcycle for commuting into town. Inside he has a full kitchen, flat screen TV, PlayStation, thumping sound system, and enough beer to be the most popular guy at the campground.

“I wake up and make some breakfast, log on using a jet pack, knock out some work before heading out for some fun,” says Tofte. “We only sell our beer in places where you can either mountain bike, surf, or snowboard, so I am never far from another adventure.”

For almost thirty months straight he has been continuously cycling between Wyoming, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest. He says he would not change a thing; he loves being on the road. “Every single day I meet new people and have new experiences. Why change that?” says Tofte. “We are all going to die one day, that’s a fact. We should have fun, be nice, and live our adventures.”

Melvin beer will soon be arriving in California, with plans to head east sometime soon.

Source: Epic Days and Late Nights with Jeremy Tofte, Founder of Jackson Hole’s Melvin Brewing – Men’s Journal