While I was attending a Travel Massive meetup at TBEX 2012 in Keystone, Colorado, I found an opportunity. The people from mountainreservations.com were talking up their Mountain Ambassadors program for writers/bloggers who live near world-class mountain destinations.
That weekend in Keystone, I was one of very few people who chose to camp in order to attend the travel blogger conference. The idea was to save money, but I also to share a fun outdoor experience in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Gazing at the stars, I realized that I take these mountains for granted. I made it a goal to spend more time in my great Colorado backyard and decided to join Mountain Ambassadors to help me meet that goal.
Here are a few more reasons why I think Mountain Ambassadors is a good fit for me:
1) Love for mountains
Growing up in Denver, the mountains have always been right there, decorating the sunset and revealing which way is west. I have childhood memories of summer trips to Evergreen where my dad grew up, Winter Park, Crested Butte, and the Great Sand Dunes. I spent my college summers working at a camp called Rocky Mountain Village near Idaho Springs, Colorado.
When I began traveling abroad, I would always seek mountain adventure. During my semester in Puebla, Mexico I joined the university’s alpine club and summited volcanoes like La Malinche. In the highlands of Guatemala, I reached the top of volcano Santa Maria. In the outdoor adventure club in Mallorca, Spain, I made it to the highest (reachable) point on the island – Massanella in the Serra Tramuntana mountain range. In my most recent trip to South America, I reached 15,000 feet of altitude near Cochabamba, Bolivia and did some awesome Andean trekking in Southern Bolivia and in the lakes region of Northern Patagonia.
2) Winter fun within reach
Despite my Denver upbringing and all my summer mountain adventures, I’m a newcomer to winter mountain sports. I didn’t learn to ski until college, and I’d still describe myself as ‘advanced beginner.’ I was trained on sledding and ice skating as a kid, and I’ve taken up softer winter sports like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, but the full investment in downhill winter sports has always been a little out of reach.
Now that I’ve moved back to Denver for the foreseeable future, I decided that this is the winter to change that. With the free season pass perk from Mountain Ambassadors, I can finally get out to the mountains often enough to make some progress. I’ve already found a handful of other amateur skiers to join me on blue runs and maybe some blacks if we’re feeling ambitious. Wish us luck …
3) Creative Challenge
With a nine-to-five office job, I have less time for creative travel writing than I did before. My portfolio isn’t growing as fast, and my blog has been getting a little neglected lately. This new gig as a Mountain Ambassador will help me stick with it and hold me to at least two posts a month. I’ll be doing one mountain travel-related post here on my own blog, and one for mountainreservations.com or vacationroost.com. It’s a thrill to be selected for this program and I look forward to diving in!