2015 Adventure Planner


Got an urge to fly. It’s not just a dream. Skydiving, wing suit flying and BASE jumping can be easier than you think.

Ramp Up

Always wanted to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, but too chicken to give it a try? The folks at Mile-Hi Skydiving in Longmont (mile-hi-skydiving.com) make it pretty easy to take to the air. The tandem experience costs $199 and gets you strapped to someone who knows what they are doing for your first jump at 12,500 feet. From there, you can move on to become a licensed skydiver throughout the Accelerated Freefall Program and even move on to wing suits and mid-air yoga if you choose.

Take It Higher

Rather leap off a cliff than out of an airplane? Moab BASE Adventures (moabbaseadventures.com), which is the only company with a permit for cliff jumping in Moab, offers up a First Cliff Course that will send you out off the red rock with a view of the Colorado River. It requires a skydiving B license, 50 base jumps not solely from the Perrine, a year in the sport, and a reference if your FJC was not with Moab Base Adventures.

Go Big

Want to truly experience the joy of human flight? Learning to pilot a wing suit is a very achievable experience. The only prerequisite at most schools is 200 prior sky dives. We are not saying this is not a dangerous pastime, however, but it’s not out of reach if you so dare. The website Wingsuitfly.com can help you learn more.


What better way to see the world than from the saddle? Join a BIKE TOUR!

Ramp Up

There are numerous road and mountain bike tours you can take in Colorado, but if you are going to go with an outfitter, there may be none better than the tour from Telluride to Moab. From the San Juans to the Red Rock desert, it takes in 35-50 miles a day and big climbs, including 3,000 feet up John Brown Canyon. Oh, the descents rock, too. Western Spirit (westernspirit.com) provides first-class support and guides.

Take It Higher

Why not take on the whole state? Ride the Rockies (ridetherockies.com) is the best way to take in all of Colorado. This year, the annual ride covers 465–473 (depending on if you take a gravel road option over Kebler Pass) stunning miles from Grand Junction to Westcliffe in seven days. Oh and you will rack up 40,537 vertical feet (41,875 with the dirty option). This year’s ride is all filled up but dream for next year or, better yet, sign up for Pedal the Plains (pedaltheplains.com) in September to roll over Colorado’s big open country on a three-day, 174-mile tour.

Go Big

Want to push yourself alongside one of the greatest bike racers to ever live? Sign up for the Mighty Dolomiti tour with the legendary Andy Hampsten, the only American to ever win the Giro d’Italia, and his Cinghiale tours (cinghiale.com). The trip runs from August 9 through September 7, 2015, and it covers 400 miles with 40,000-plus feet of elevation gain in Italy’s Dolomites. Be up for the challenge.


NO outdoor sport has a longer history and dishes out more of a thrill.

Ramp Up

Always had the itch to stick to a rock wall? The folks at the Colorado Mountain School (coloradomountainschool.com) are here to get you climbing in the gym, out on the crags, up frozen waterfalls or even way out on high peaks. They are here to get you climbing in the gym, out on the crags, up frozen waterfalls or even way out on high peaks.

Take It Higher

If you regularly read Elevation Outdoors and the Master of None blog on ElevationOutdoors.com, you know our contributing editor and AMGA/IFMGA guide Rob Coppolillo. So why not get out on the peaks with him? His guiding company Vetta Mountain Guides (vettamountainguides.com), which he founded along with fellow guide Mike Arnold, will get you out rock climbing, mountaineering and ski mountaineering everywhere from our backyard here in Colorado to the Alps.

Go Big

Well, we featured a story on how to train for Everest in this issue so we may as well tell you how you can make that dream come true. First, yes, we know there has been a ton of controversy over climbing the highest spot on Earth. And it may not be for everyone (or you may find another 8,000-meter peak more to your ethic). But if you do have your sites set on Chomolungma, go with guides who respect the mountain. Peter Whittaker co-owner of RMI Expeditions (rmiguides.com) is the nephew of the first American to summit the mighty highpoint and hires guides we certainly trust like Dave Hahn, who has summited more than any other American.


Flight or fight? No way. Just run long distances because it feels good.

Ramp Up

There are few better, or tougher, places to trail run that the stunning San Juan mountains in the southwest corner of Colorado. After all this is where the Hardrock 100 tests the hardcore elite. But you can start with supported, guided trips led by Highline Running Adventures (highlinerunning.com), who offer trips that include week-long climbs and dips between Telluride and Ouray.

Take It Higher

The big tick on every serious adventure runner’s bucket list leaves you with one big belt buckle. The Leadville Trail 100 (leadvilleraceseries.com) is the stuff of legend and while it is a race for the elite, many runners enter simply as a personal challenge.

Perhaps the best way for newbies (and even vets) to approach the race is by joining the LT 100 Training Camp from June 16–29. It will get you acclimatized and ready for the big day.

Go Big

The run that could truly change your path? The Ultra Caballo Blanco (ultracb.com), started by the legendary Micha True and plunging 50 miles in Mexico’s Copper Canyon where you run with the Raramuri who have lived here for centuries. You can certainly do it. Hey, Will Harlan, editor of our sister publication Blue Ridge Outdoors has won it.


GET ROLLING ON A RIVER, whether you are sitting in a raft or standing up.

Ramp Up

Stand-up paddle boarding is becoming more popular than kayaking on Colorado Rivers. You will understand why when you navigate fast water. And the folks at Aspen Kayak and SUP Academy (aspenkayakacademy.com) can teach you how to handle either watercraft. They also put on instructor clinics so that you can teach how to walk on water.

Take It Higher

One river trip stands out above all others in the Rockies. The Middle Fork of the Salmon takes in everything from class III-IV rapids to long soaks in primitive hot springs as it plunges 3,000 feet over 100 miles in the wilderness of the Gem State. If you have already made that journey, or just want something a little different, head through the heart of Idaho’s desert on a trip down the raucous Jarbidge-Bruneau Canyons. Wilderness River Outfitters (wildernessriver.com) runs both trips.

Go Big

Few rivers go bigger than Africa’s mighty Zambezi, which can run as high as 300,000 cfs and mellows out at around 20,000 cfs. The fun ride starts at the base of Victoria Falls and then rips through class V water in deep gorges. Hold on. Stay safe with the guides at OARS (oars.com).


Big, long treks bring  you far out into the world. Take YOUR TIME AND TAKE IT ALL IN.

Ramp Up

You really don’t have to head too far from home here in Colorado if you want to experience a long walk in the high mountains. Rocky Mountain National Park is a backpacking paradise, with everything from easy strolls in for the family to long, exposed ridge traverses. The Wildland Trekking Company (wildlandtrekking.com) will get you started.

Take It Higher

When we say trek, you think Himalaya, right? The truth is you don’t have to go that far. Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, high in the Andes, is closer and easier to manage. The four-day Santa Cruz trek puts you in the midst of this range that consists of one of the biggest concentrations of high peaks on the planet, including 22,205-foot Huascarán, the highest mountain in Peru If you are not comfortable finding a guide when you get there, we recommend that you sign up for a trip here with Pyramid Expeditions, based in Huaraz. If you want to simply head out on the famed Inca Trail and visit the ruins of Machu Picchu, turn to our story about that adventure (with three high school boys).

Go Big

India’s Chadar Trek can only be done in the winter. That’s because it follows the frozen Zanskar River upstream to reach isolated villages. As you navigate the sometimes treacherous ice you sleep in caves and meet local merchants who have been making this trip for generations. Go with Himalayan Outfitter (himalayanoutfitter.com). •

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