So, I moved to Colorado a few years back, which is always such a weird thought because as much as I’ve spent my life in the mountains snowboarding, hiking and what not, I really have no sort of back country mountainy skills to speak of. I mean I can walk uphill and downhill and do all the athletic sort of back country stuff but when it comes to setting up tents and cooking carefully weighed and contemplated meals over an open flame I have no such experience. I mean yes, I did the backyard style camp out with my brother and the neighborhood kids where they’d tell scary stories and I’d go back inside to sleep safely with my baba but there was no real camping in my youth.
Part of me feels a sort of shame associated with my lack of ground sleeping, it’s almost un-American to never have pitched a tent and roasted a weenie in the wilds; according to guide books and girl scout manuals camping is part of America’s love affair with the wilderness and the open road not to mention America’s love affair with s’mores and other nifty space-age toxic campsite inventions. But it’s not that simple, camping is supposed to be a get away where you shed all your belongs and rough it but doing that requires a lot of shit. It’s not just walk into the woods and be with nature, it’s walk into the woods with everything you are planning on eating, drinking, wearing and sleeping in for the next X amount of days and walk back out with a bag of your own excrement. So it’s the opposite of simple living, there’s all this planning and packing and thinking about which miniature light weight spork you’re gonna need and how much of this and that, which is definitely the turn-off point for me, not to mention I don’t own one piece of technical camping gear. Which might explain my lack of backpacking experience and why when someone with all the gear asks you to go camping you jump at the opportunity to rough it with their thousand dollar light weight tent village.
Two years ago a few of my girlfriends invited me on a overnight up to Capitol which was breath taking and adventurous and was all it was cracked up to be, neck kinks and all. And last week, I went on my second hike-in-sleep-on-the-ground-worry-about-bears backpacking trip up to Snowmass Lake with two guy friends. Having only had two backpacking experiences my theory might need a little work but I have this theory that when guys and girls go out in the back country they spend the whole time talking about the opposite sex. Maybe it’s not that crazy but I my first outing we spent a solid day and a half rehashing ghosts of boyfriends past…pathetic I know but on this last expedition about halfway through our journey we ran into two women looking for a camping spot and for the duration of the trip, another solid 24hrs, I got to hear two dudes ponder the lives of these women and fantasize out loud about finding them at their next destination and engaging in a back woods love affair. I thought the whole idea of wilderness-ing was to get away from it all not to head into the woods and create imaginary drama or rehash old wounds. To be fair this could all be my fault, maybe I just beg people to open up about their woes and wants in relationships and love, who knows, but next trip I want mixed company just to see how my theory holds up and to see what sort of romantic drama will ensue.
Aside from the male/female distractions I totally recommend a jaunt up to Snowmass Lake, it came highly recommended and holds up to all it’s praise as a majestic high alpine lake that is serene and calming; it’s a pretty mellow 8mile hike complete with beaver dam crossing. The following day on a last minute roe sham bow we decided to head up and over Buckskin Pass into the Maroon Bells area which is now my favorite hike around Aspen. Buckskin Pass places you atop the perfect perch to view your favorite 14ers, Pyramid, North and South Maroon from a new vantages along with Capitol, Daly, Snowmass Peak and Snowmass Lake plus you feel like you’re in the rocky mountain version of The Sound Of Music complete with rolling hills and mountain goats.
Me and my boys Perkins and Hooper atop Buckskin Pass
So yeah, get your backpack on before winter is upon us and if you plan on doing a one way hike leave a car at each end, hitch hiking with two dudes and a pit bull doesn’t make the end of a 20 mile hike anymore fun……did I mention I still hate walking downhill?Obligatory boys and their fire photo….happy camping.