This past weekend saw Adventure Magazine, Outside Mag, team up with the fine folks at Aspen/Snowmass and Eddie Bauer to hold the first annual “Outside in Aspen” weekend. A weekend chock full of parties, outdoor clinics, legendary athletes, product giveaways and an athlete symposium, Freeskier was fortunate enough to attend some of the festivities in the scenic mountain town.
Rolling into town Friday, June 11, Outside Magazine had taken over the Sky Hotel, right at the base of Ajax Mountain. Once the formalities of checking in were past, everyone headed upstairs to mingle, get a little loose, dance and check out the charity raffle being held by the Leave No Trace Foundation. Pro skiers Chris Davenport, Chris Tatsuno and Kasha Rigby could be spotted chatting up industry and guests alike. A mixture of raffled gear, free beer and wine and a decent DJ, Outside in Aspen was off to the races with a first successful evening.
Tired yet eager eyes gathered at the Aspen Mountain Gondola where Outside had set up it’s HQ for the weekend, which was dubbed Base Camp. The central hub of activity and information, Outside had gear displayed and vendors ready to take you on whichever action packed morning activity you’d like. And being true outdoor enthusiasts, the people at Outside had setup up more actives than you could shake a stick at: Hiking, rock Climbing, trail running, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, road biking, fly fishing, rafting, kayaking… you get the idea. We were fortunate enough to sign up for a hike towards the scenic Maroon Bells and Crater Lake with Chris Davenport, Kasha Rigby, a couple editors at Outside Magazine and the CEO of Eddie Bauer.
Unfortunately, the weather in CO had taken a turn for the worse this weekend and afternoon activities were mostly cancelled due to the rain (except rafting, kayaking and the sort). Most people enjoyed the hospitality at the Base Camp, the Sky Hotel and watched the USA-ENG World Cup Game and got ready for the next item on the itinerary.
Moving venues, Outside turned it out at the historic Hotel Jerome on Main Street in Aspen. More raffles, more gear, more wine and more fun was had. But that was just a primer as the entirety of the party moved on after the cocktail hour to the Belly Up and watched the notorious Super Diamond perform. For those that don’t know, Super Diamond is a hyper-realistic Neil Diamond cover band, playing all his hits from years past.
As Sunday hit, even more tired eyes and weary bodies gathered at the Base Camp to engage in yet another activity. Again, had the good fortune to go fly fishing on the famous Frying Pan river with the Publisher of Women’s Outdoor Adventure Magazine and Geoff Mueller of The Drake Magazine, and Taylor Creek Fly Fishing as our guides.
And once morning activities concluded, the Base Camp was the spot to be in the afternoon. An athlete panel made of legendary outside adventure athletes were on hand to answer questions. The panelists were:
Chris Davenport – World class big mtn. skier and ski mountaineer
Jesse Coombs – Pioneering kayak adventurist
Tyler Hamilton – Tour De France competing caliber cyclist
Melissa Arnot – Summit-er of Mt. Everest â€” 3 times.
Jake Norton – Mt. Everest summit-er and mountaineer
What could top off the unique opportunity to pick these athletes’ brains? Why not more free gear raffled off in the name of Leave No Trace. While a lot of raffle-goers walked away from the tent stoked, everyone left Outside in Aspen elated. A beautiful weekend, great people, incredible athletes and large parties, all in the name of the outdoors. Pretty good.