Summer in the Mountains: Get Wet!

What happens to all that snow when the sun starts to melt it? It continues to provide no end of fun in the form of mountain rivers and streams. Rafting, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing – they all find the perfect venue in the Colorado mountains in the summer time.

Alpine Quest Sports operates outside of Vail and Glenwood Springs offering tons of opportunity to take advantage of all that melted snow. Their kayak school offers a dizzying number of classes ranging from Swiftwater Rescue to a two or three day class on the Colorado River so you can master your kayaking techniques. They also offer a roll class every Wednesday to help you get your upside down technique mastered.

Children and teens can get in on the fun, too, with four-day camps geared toward teaching their specific age group to kayak. Why not put your kids in the class for the first part of your vacation while you take your own, and then go out on the river together with a little experience under your belts?

If you want to try something a little different, then you could try Alpine’s Stand Up Paddleboarding classes. Learn to stand-up paddleboard on calm lake waters, and gradually move your way up to class II whitewater. Impressive and fun!

Summer on mountain rivers will leave you leave you just as in love with melted snow as with the powdered stuff. What’s your favorite mountain river activity?

 

Summer in the Mountains: Geocaching

Gorgeous scenery, crisp mountain air and a treasure hunt. Can you think of a better way to spend a summer day? That’s exactly what a day of Geocaching in the mountains is like.

Geocaching is basically a high tech treasure hunt. Participants use a mobile app and the GPS function on their phones to track down treasures, or “caches”, around the globe. These caches can be found in beautiful, unusual and remote places, or perhaps right around the corner from your house. When you find a cache, you sign a log book to let future treasure-hunters know who’s been there before, select a treasure from the cache, and leave something in its place for future hunters. Here’s a video demonstrating how it works:

This is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, perfect your navigation skills and just have fun in the mountains.

The Geocaching website has a map which notes the location of all the caches worldwide. It’s no surprise that the Colorado mountains are a popular spot for Geocaching. In fact, within 50 miles of Breckenridge you can find 3,463 caches. There are 7,304 caches located within 50 miles of Winter Park, three dozen of which are at the Winter Park resort itself. That’s a lot of treasure!

Winter Park has decided to help new treasure-hunters orient to the game by providing an Introduction to Geocaching class every Wednesday morning from June 26 through August 28. This is a great way to figure out how the game works before heading off to a remote corner of the mountains. And heck, Winter Park is so beautiful, you may decide to just stay there and find all three dozen of the caches!

Here are a few Geocaching tips to make your adventure a great experience.

  • Be sure your phone or GPS is charged. šŸ™‚
  • Bring a snack and water.
  • Wear sunscreen!
  • Bring a pen to sign the log book.
  • Bring a handful of little trinkets to contribute to the caches and add a little bit of your personality to the game.

Have fun! If you try Geocaching this summer, please share your experience and photos with Ski Daddy on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear about it!

Summer in the Mountains: Alpine Slides

If you are the kind of person who would become an Olympic bobsledder if you had it to do all over again, then alpine sliding is the mountain activity for you.

Vail's Forest Flyer is one of Colorado's thrilling alpine slides
Vail’s Forest Flyer, photo courtesy of Vail Resorts

And if you can leave the bobsledding, but don’t mind a little speed and a lot of spectacular scenery, then alpine sliding is for you, too.

After a beautiful ski-lift ride up the mountain, you climb into your slide and wind your way back down.

Winter Park offers Colorado’s longest alpine slide, at 3,000 feet long with a 610 foot vertical drop. This slide will take you around six minutes, but you can control your speed if it gets a little to hairy for ya.

Breckenridge offers a few slides to choose from in their Summer Fun Park, each at 2600 feet long. And if you find yourself still wanting more after racing down the alpine slides, try Breckenridge’s elevated roller coasterĀ  that hurls you through the forest as you speed down its 2500 foot track.

Vail has recently added their own version of the alpine slide, the elevated Forest Flyer, pictured above, that barrels downhill, following the natural contours of the mountain, taking the best advantage of the speed and the scenery.

At Durango Mountain Resort, you can slide down the mountain with a friend onĀ Durango’s two side-by-side tracks. Make it a race or slow down and chat about the amazing scenery.

If you are in the Steamboat Springs area to enjoy the summer mountain air, then head on over to the Howler. The Chairlift will take you to the top of historic Howelson Hill, where you will grab a sled and board the 2400 foot slide. Proceeds from the Howler benefit the athletes of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Who’s up for a little speed this summer?

Summer in the Mountains: Mountain-Biking

It’s time to acknowledge the end of an amazing ski season. More than 200 Ski Daddy groups hit the trails in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah this season and I’m telling you they tore it up! Besides skiing and boarding, there was plenty of time spent on tubing hills, in spas, and enjoying some serious resort food. Thank you to everyone who let Ski Daddy plan your trip – it was a blast working for you!

But, there is no time to mourn the passing of another ski season, because the fun continues in the mountains all summer long. There is pretty much unlimited adventure to be had in the mountains during the off season, and we’re going to make sure you get the heads up on all of it.

Mountain Biking
Photo courtesy of Vail Resorts

First up, mountain-biking. If the biggest hills around you peak at about 225 feet, mountain-biking in Colorado is a little different than you’ve probably experienced near home.

For those who have working quads, you can choose one of the many trails that you climb yourself. However, if just thinking about climbing more than a single flight of stairs leaves you googling the nearest oxygen bar, you may want to try mountain biking at a Colorado resort.

Vail, for example, let’s its gondola do the work of climbing for you and your bike. And because you are a special flower, the staff will load your bike for you. From there it’s all gravity, folks. Quads are optional.

So what do you think? Is it time to start planning your summer trip to the mountains?

The Craziest Ski Runs You Don’t Want to Miss, But Really Should

 

If you are used to some nice blue cruisers, or even some solid groomed black terrain, the idea of dropping off the side of the cliff with the fleeting hope that you’ll land upright seems like the kind of thing reserved for those crazy back country types. But did you know that there are plenty of theĀ craziest ski runsĀ in bounds at some of your favorite ski resorts?

There are.

I’ve been waiting for ski season to wrap up so as not to tempt you to go try something crazy after you read this. Because at Ski Daddy we love you and want you to stay in one piece. So read this now and forget about it by next ski season and keep to the more reasonable terrain.

First off, check out the Rambo at Crested Butte, the steepest manmade run in North America. This slope, while a short 300 meters, is nothing to take lightly. The 55 degree incline can make that 300 meter descent the longest 3 seconds of your life if you don’t watch out.

Al’s Run in Taos is equally disturbing but in an entirely different way. It goes on for an exhausting 1800 mogul-filled meters.Ā  And since falling multiple and times climbing uphill to retrieve your gear isn’t humiliating enough, Taos was kind enough to place the No. 1 chairlift along its course.

Check out Travel and Leisure Magazine’s entertaining slide show on the World’s Scariest Ski Slopes, and dream the dream, man.

What’s the scariest slope you’ve ever tried?