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Trip Report: Post-Work Microadventures

Loveland Basin, Colorado

Story by Stio February 3rd, 2017

As humans, we all have basic needs that must be met in order to survive from day to day. Beyond these needs, we begin to develop and dream up additional requirements that we crave in order to feel soul satisfaction.

When the days grow shorter during the winter months, the motivation to get outside and play after the work day begins to wane; that is, until your adventurous spirit’s needs come knocking on the door. So answer you must.

For me, taking microadventures is a surefire way of fulfilling my weekly dose of adventure. With some additional motivation, a bit of creativity when planning, and a hefty serving or two of coffee, anything is possible.

Where are you heading?

Who’s along for the trek?

What’s in the pack?

His pack:

Her pack:


Keeping us warm on the climb:

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7:45 PM

Better late than never, we departed Golden a little after our loosely scheduled departure. After stopping in Idaho Springs for dinner and a beer at Tommyknocker Brewery, we left happy and full around 9PM.

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10:00 PM

Throwing our skis down on the freshly groomed corduroy, we stepped into our bindings with a defined snap and the ratcheting of ladders. Uphill we went to stoke the flames and warm our bodies; the summit called to us.

Walking in solitude, we got into the rhythm of our tour with shortened breaths and heightened heart rates. Listening to the clicks of our riser bars with each stride, we watched snow cats in the distance push snow up and down the mountain like giant Tonka trucks in a proportionately sized sand box.

The full moon and swiftly moving clouds provided alternating glimpses of lightness and darkness to the slope we were ascending. Hiking up a mountain with skis on your feet is tough, but for a few turns without another soul in sight and the serenity of a moonlit snowy landscape, it’s always worth the cost of admission.

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11:30PM

Breaching treeline just beneath the east side of the Continental Divide, we reached the top and sipped some piping hot cider from the thermos in Donna’s pack. Ripping our climbing skins off and changing over to descend mode, we pointed our skis and splitboard downhill and enjoyed soft wind drifted snow and packed powder turns by headlamp.

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12:00 AM

Arriving back at the truck just before the midnight bell tolled, we were exhausted from the long day of work and play, but felt completely happy. We fired up the engine and pulled off our gear, sipping some of the remaining cider from the thermos. Our bed at home was calling us to grab a few precious remaining hours of rest; the workday ahead was not far off.

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8:00 AM - the next day

Rolling into work right on schedule, I immediately brewed a French press of coffee and retreated to my desk to eat a breakfast burrito made in anticipation of my abbreviated morning ritual. Waking up my computer from it’s full night of rest, I started chipping away at my morning’s agenda, already feeling accomplished from the past fifteen hours. With coffee in hand, recalling the evening’s details quickly reminds me that this is what work night adventures are all about.

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Footnote: Photos and words by Eric Hockman