Choose your own adventure at Wanderlust Aspen Snowmass

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times
A Wanderlust instructor leads a slacklining class on Thursday. Wanderlust Aspen/Snowmass is in Snowmass Village through Sunday.
Jeremy Wallace/Aspen Times |

During the first pose of my first class at Wanderlust in Snowmass, I started laughing out loud.

Normally that wouldn’t be considered appropriate for a yoga class, but this was no ordinary practice — not only were we outside, but we were floating above ice-cold water on paddleboards. What had I gotten myself into?

For the first few minutes, even my downward-facing dog was shaky as I adjusted to the feeling of the rocking beneath me. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this class was going to require me to have better form than I’d ever had before.

But I was up for the challenge. I might not have done a handstand Thursday, but I did manage a shoulder stand, a plow pose and a few minutes of dangling my feet in the water. Not only was stand-up paddleboard yoga a unique, new challenge, it was really fun.

The class, held in the pond at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola, was taught by Sarah Tiefenthaler, who owns a company specializing in the activity in California. Tiefenthaler travels to all of Wanderlust’s festivals, which in addition to Snowmass are in other resort areas such as Squaw Valley, California, and Oahu, Hawaii, as well as major cities such as Nashville, Tennessee, Miami and Washington, D.C.

The mission of the festivals is to help people find their “True North,” a phrase Wanderlust uses that encompasses someone’s passion and direction in life, said Kim Small, Wanderlust director of publicity.

“This is the kind of event where you really can choose your own adventure,” Small said. “Whatever your ‘True North’ is, you will find it here.”

It’s easy to see that, when you consider that stand-up paddleboard yoga is just one example of the diverse activities offered just at Wanderlust Aspen/Snowmass. There’s hula-hoop workouts, group hikes, rafting trips, a “Beauty Bar” and slacklining, as well as yoga classes with various focuses.

And those are just the physical activities. Vendors offer everything from clothing and jewelry to samples of juice drinks, and snack bars dot the Snowmass Mall and Base Village. Speakers add to the internal benefit that the festival provides. Small is most looking forward to a talk Saturday by Army Maj. Daniel Caffarel, who discovered meditation during a tour in Iraq.

In addition, Wanderlust hosts free concerts every evening on Fanny Hill that are open to the public. The festival headliner, Moby, performs on the Fourth of July — after his speakeasy talk, called “Science Nature and the Divine.”

And in honor of America’s independence, Wanderlust will host a barbecue before Moby’s performance.

Wanderlust is expecting about 2,500 individual ticket holders over the course of the festival, Small said. Day and weekend passes are still available online at