Colbert: In search of new adventures |

Colbert: In search of new adventures

Steamboat Springs resident Penelope Freedman, a friend of The Aspen Times sports editor Austin Colbert, takes a moment of reflection Saturday while hiking to Crater Lake near the Maroon Bells, outside of Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

Adventures are the foundation for why many of us live in Colorado. For so many living the mountain lifestyle, adventures are as primal as eating and sleeping — they are the reason we get excited about the snow and provide fuel for us to try and discover our limits.

Going on an adventure means something different to each of us. If you want the official Merriam-Webster definition, an adventure is “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks,” or more simply, “an exciting or remarkable experience.”

I moved to Colorado from the Midwest a little over a year ago searching for exactly that. I wanted remarkable experiences. I wanted to learn to take risks, something my calculated and introverted personality makes difficult.

Per my job as sports editor for The Aspen Times, I spend countless hours writing about people who go on great adventures. I write about people who go out of their way to try and push themselves over the edge — to find another part of their soul they maybe didn’t know existed.

I love being able to share these stories with my readers. But, there are times when it feels like I am viewing the world exclusively through my pen and paper, isolated like Rapunzel in her tower. It’s a great view, but there is a loneliness that comes with only being able to see the world, and not actually touch it.

On Saturday, I joined two friends from Steamboat Springs — Penelope Freedman, a gifted runner who finished third among women last December in the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship in Hawaii, and one of her strength coaches, Charlie Chase — on a short hike to Crater Lake near the Maroon Bells outside of Aspen. In two and a half months of living here, it was my first time visiting the Bells, a sad example of how few adventures I have really been on.

Maybe it was the fresh air or the inspiring snowy stripes on the side of the majestic mountains, but I knew I needed to have many more adventures, and I want them to be the sort of experiences that change how one views the world.

Through this desire to experience life firsthand, the idea of creating a weekly adventure series was born. I’m currently calling it “Austin’s Aspen Adventures,” although I’m certainly going to change that awful title before its official debut this winter.

The gist of this series will be to provide me an avenue not only to have adventures but also to find that inner part of my being few people, including myself, have seen. The risk taker. The outgoing adrenaline junkie. The powder hound.

Of course, nobody wants to go on adventures alone. This is where you come in. Want to take me ice climbing? Sounds difficult, but let’s do it. How about showing me the ropes in the Highland Bowl? I’ve heard it’s the place to be on powder days.

And when we get back from our adventure, I’ll write about it, because at the end of the day that’s my avenue for reflection. Adventures are largely about the moment, but I feel it’s just as important to stop and look back on them, to learn from them, to share them. They should be difficult and should push you outside of your comfort zone.

And when that happens, great stories are found. I hope to write many more great stories about people having great adventures, but I’m also hoping to live a few of them firsthand, for once.

Have any ideas for an adventure I should have? Email me. Want to join me on one? Let’s talk.

I’ll return in November with the official debut of “Austin’s Aspen Adventures.” I promise I’ll come up with a much cooler title before then.

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