Recent Blog Posts
Bruce Hamlin – Staff Spotlight
Bruce Hamlin is a fun-spirited, adventure seeker who is about as loyal and honest as they come. He met Asa while climbing in Rifle and their ensuing talk became a spontaneous interview for the A-Lodge manager position. Bruce had never had a job interview while roped up… Turns out, he can crush both it and a route at the same time. In his free time, Bruce skis, hikes, and climbs… a lot. Bruce worked as a ski racer in Massachusetts. He went to Cornell for school and eventually moved out west to Vail, Colorado to work as a ski coach. He fell in love with climbing and made the move to Boulder because, “it offers all the things that I want to do, it’s easy to get to, and it’s incredibly high quality in terms of some of the best climbing in the world.” Lindsay, a co-worker at the A-Lodge, describes Bruce as “one of her most trusted belayers and someone always pushing me to challenge myself more”. Bruce says working at the A-Lodge gives him balance between work and amazing adventures. He loves that everyone at the A-Lodge is outdoorsy which makes it easier to find climbing partners. He[…]
Eldo! What can we say?! Eldorado Canyon is one of the premiere traditional climbing destinations in Colorado, if not the US. But its beauty can be enjoyed by all, not just rock climbers. If you haven’t been to our favorite state park then you should drop everything and head there right now. Eldorado Canyon draws climbers from all over the world to try their hand at some of the most famous routes in the US. The sandstone cliffs offer top tier climbing and positive holds, but the park also has excellent family-friendly hiking and biking trails and opportunities for picnicking and wildlife watching. If you’re interested in climbing culture, look for one of Boulder’s many talented rock climbers cruising up the infamous Bastille Crack. You may see A-Lodge Founder and Co-Owner, Asa Firestone, crushing one of his favorite climbs, The Naked Edge. If hiking or biking is more your style, then hit up Rattlesnake Gulch- you’ll be rewarded with excellent views of the Continental Divide and the Redgarden Wall. Follow your activity of choice with a dip in the Eldorado Springs pool, which opens Memorial Day. If you stick around for sunset, be sure to look for Northern pygmy owls[…]
Colorado is home to the world class 10th Mountain Division Hut system, which connects 34 huts over 350 miles of beautiful yet challenging terrain throughout the Rocky Mountains. These huts honor the men of the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army, who trained during World War II at Camp Hale in central Colorado. From the 10th Mountain Division Huts website, “Hut visitors share the special spirit of these individuals, especially their pursuit of excellence, self reliance, and love of the outdoors.” The huts usually need to be reserved a year in advance, but we have the inside scoop on a way to find last minute hookups! The website www.huts.org shows you information regarding each individual hut, including price and the facilities available. If you search for “User Forums” you can buy and sell existing reservations at the last minute. Trust us, these huts are so beautiful it is worth a little extra time and effort to find one as soon as possible! I recently stayed in the original 10th Mountain Division Hut outside of Leadville. It was a hard 5 miles in, but totally worth the struggle! My favorite part was making dinner in the spacious kitchen and flipping through[…]
Lindsay Purifoy – Staff Spotlight
When Kris and Asa were looking to hire their first employee at the Adventure Lodge, they couldn’t have picked someone more adventurous than Lindsay Purifoy. She climbs, skis, backpacks, fly-fishes, and trail runs. Bruce, one of the managers, says she participates in “general badassness.” Lindsay has been working here for a year and a half. When speaking with Lindsay, it becomes obvious that she just wants to try everything and see all the places she can. In her thirty some years she has traveled to almost 70 countries. She has climbed Denali (20,310′) in Alaska and Aconcagua (22,841′) in Argentina (the two highest points in North and South America). Lindsay also went to Everest base camp, and hopes to go back someday to complete that monstrous ascent. One of her life goals is to climb all seven summits. Just last year she took a two week climbing trip to Colombia, made an extended trip to Indian Creek in Utah, and climbed a volcano in Guatemala. She recently bought a kayak and is working on adding that activity to her ever growing list. She is currently in Cuba with her boyfriend, Tim, doing what she loves, adventuring! Before moving to Boulder, and[…]
Happy President’s Day!
Happy President’s Day! Nope, we are not going to even touch politics with this post… But to celebrate the holiday we recommend heading out to the Roosevelt National Forest, which is located right next to the A-Lodge and contains over 800,000 acres of wild and beautiful land. The Roosevelt National Forest was created in 1897 in order to protect the pristine mountains and grasslands along the Front Range in northern Colorado. It was originally part of the Medicine Bow Forest system, but renamed in 1910 for Teddy Roosevelt, an avid outdoorsman whose presidency resulted in conservation efforts throughout the West. The A-Lodge staff suggests snowshoeing in Brainard Lake Recreation Area, rock climbing in Boulder Canyon, hiking the Arapaho Pass Trail with microspikes, mountain biking at Betasso Preserve, or slacklining around Gross Reservoir. The weather couldn’t be better – sixty and sunny in February!! – so get out on a mountain bike, climb or hike in honor of Teddy Roosevelt before the snow returns!
You can still climb in CO in the winter!
Shelf Road is an amazing Colorado climbing destination in the winter and the summer! This wild spot in the middle of nowhere is only 3 ½ hours from Boulder. The Shelf Road climbing area is to the west of Colorado Springs in the shadow of Pike’s Peak. I took my last weekend off to spend a few days camping out down there. I won’t lie; it’s chilly at night… but super warm during the day. In the middle of winter you can be climbing shirtless by 10am, making Shelf Road the rare area to get a tan this time of the year. You’ll find fun routes and areas for every level of climber. Quality limestone and good friction make this a special place that to climb and get away from the noise of the city in the winter. It’s easy to make friends before leaving the camping site, which is only about a 15 minute trek from the climbing. You’ll meet almost everybody in front of the only toilet for the morning chore. Standing in line is the perfect time to find partners for new projects and old classics. Stop by the front desk at the A-Lodge for our favorite routes[…]
Sometimes getting away from your normal routine is just what the doctor ordered. Zach Borngraver and Meghan Altman, a badass local couple from Niwot who cofounded the Longmont nonprofit Chain Reaction, recently stayed with us at the A-Lodge in the attempt to enjoy a “staycation”. We spoke with them about the highlights of their experience. Here is what they had to say: 1. When did you stay at the A-Lodge and why did you choose to do a staycation? We stayed for a weekend in January, which is the perfect time to ski and snowshoe in the area. We chose to do a staycation because it saved us travel time, money, and the hassle of planning ahead. It also allowed us to spend more time with our dog because the A-Lodge is dog friendly! Our staycation allowed us to experience another part of the area we call home. 2. What rooms did you stay in? We stayed in the Jacuzzi Queen room and it was perfect. It was a unique experience and so relaxing! The room has a massive tub to soak and relax in after enjoying the Colorado outdoors. It also has a cozy little kitchen nook with several[…]
Not Psyched on Skiing? Try Snowshoeing!!
If you are looking for adventure, but don’t feel like skiing then head to the A-Lodge office and rent a pair of snowshoes for $15/day (and only $5/day to extend). The front desk staff is knowledgeable about trails nearby and can get you all set up. One of the easiest ways to hit the trails is by hitching a ride with our free shuttle to the Eldora Ski Resort. Eldora has plenty of trails ranging from easy to difficult, so it’s the perfect place for families with young children or expert hikers. One of our favorite family-friendly places to snowshoe is Brainard Lake Recreational Area, which is located on the Peak to Peak highway, between Nederland and Estes Park. Brainard Lake is beautiful and because there are no cars and few people, there is a good chance you’ll see moose and other wildlife! Follow this link for a great article about Brainard Lake with directions and further details. Lost Lake is also a wonderful snowshoeing excursion. It starts at the popular Hessie Trailhead, just a few miles outside of the town of Nederland, and only 45 minutes from the A-Lodge. What we love about Lost Lake is that its easy[…]
When people think of Boulder, they usually think of rock climbing, the flatirons and pearl street. I am here to let you know that you can also put skiing on that list! With the creation of the A-Lodge, our hostel beds and our ski shuttle, skiing has never been more accessible for those visiting Boulder! Eldora Mountain Resort is only 18 miles up the canyon from the A-Lodge, yet we are only 5 minutes from downtown Pearl Street’s world class restaurants and bars. We are stoked that winter is here and its time to head up for fresh powder turns at Eldora (only 25 minutes from A-Lodge). Already, Eldora has gotten some solid inches of fresh pow! This snowy weather is a welcome surprise to us here at the A-Lodge. Boulder usually doesn’t get such heavy storm systems until January, but hey-we certainly aren’t complaining-let the shredding begin!! Whether you want to get some great down hill runs in or want to head over to Eldora’s nicely groomed Nordic tracks for some cardio, both options are easily accessible from the parking lot… So bring both your skis! Personally, I go with my AT setup so I can hit the[…]
TUBING BOULDER STYLE!
During the dog days of Summer, the A-Lodge staff is stoked on tubing Boulder Creek. With temps reaching the 90-degree range, tubing is a great way to cool off from nearby canyon climbs and mountain bike rides. Boulder Canyon is beautiful, easily accessible and dog friendly. So, grab a tube, a cooler full of beer and don’t forget the sunscreen! Boulder Creek is located just across the street from the A-Lodge. A bike path parallels the creek east towards town, making it easy to hop in and out of the water at your leisure. If you choose to drive, there are numerous pull offs where you can park. You can start tubing just up river from Eben G. Fine park, but be careful tubing too much further upstream because steep, rocky, class V rapids exist and we don’t want to see you get hurt. We recommend you get your tubing in when its still super hot, before the summer afternoon thunderstorms roll in. The A-Lodge currently doesn’t sell tubes, but you can buy them for $20 at McGuckin Hardware on Arapahoe and Folsom St. We recommend the big tubes with the head support, rather than the smaller, tire tubes sold[…]