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Mountaineering Month

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Mountaineering Month

Include the whole family in this skills-based month-long event focused on mountaineering skills and inclusion in the outdoors. Learn about how to survive in the mountains, how to ice climb, tie on ice skates, and go sledding. Each activity will be carefully limited in size, safely distanced and will focus on family-friendly mountaineering skills. Join us for our two keynote speakers, virtually or a distanced in-person session, as they talk about ways to be more inclusive in the outdoors. Chelsea Murphy, an outdoor enthusiast, will talk about what it means to be a Black mother with passion for adventuring in the outdoors. Len Necefer, a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, will discuss the history of Indigenous peoples and their ongoing relationship with the environment.

Book your cabin or lodge room online or call us at 888-613-9622.

All activities will be operated in a safe and healthy manner in alignment with our public health ordinances from county and state officials. For more information about YMCA of the Rockies practices and procedures for maintaining clean and safe facilities, please visit our website.

Recently named “Best Family Resort in America” by USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards, YMCA of the Rockies is located on 800+ acres with three sides bordering Rocky Mountain National Park, providing the perfect landscape for outdoor enthusiasts and their families (and dogs) to explore mountaineering. Whether it’s your first time out, or your family has camped in national parks many times, this special event has excursions for every level.

Special Guests:

Chelsea Murphy
Chelsea Murphy is a Jill of all trades: a hiker, backpacker, amateur activist, writer, community organizer and mother of two adventurous girls. She spends her time promoting diversity in adventure and combating racism in the outdoors. Her mission is to be a representation for Black mothers and children to get outside and break down barriers placed on them by societal biases and stereotypes. She loves to get outdoors in every season celebrating new and adventurous activities. She believes that all humans should have equal access to nature and the great outdoors and wants to help normalize conversations around why that is not currently the case. Watch Chelsea’s recorded virtual keynote.

Len Necefer
Len Necefer is a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona and will discuss the history of indigenous people and their ongoing relationship with the environment. In addition, he is the founder & CEO of Colorado-based outdoor apparel company NativesOutdoors. In his spare time, Len is an avid outdoor adventurer using rock and ice climbing, high altitude and ski mountaineering, and bikepacking to convey stories focused on environmental activism and indigenous history. These adventures are documented through his writing and photography, which has been featured in the Alpinist, Outside Magazine, Patagonia’s the Cleanest Line, and various film festivals. Watch Len’s recorded virtual keynote.

Mountaineering Month Highlights: 
Mountaineering Month features educational sessions on winter survival tips and mountaineering skills, guided snowshoe hikes & winter ecology explorations in RMNP, a mountaineering-themed crafts, ice climbing demonstrations, and much more! Regular YMCA of the Rockies programs will be running throughout the month, providing a great opportunity to check out the Craft and Design Center, rent some ice skates(weather depending), or participate in a family program.

Most Mountaineering Month activities are free for guests staying in YMCA of the Rockies lodge rooms or cabins. Booking & advanced registration is required for weekend activities. Day passes for guests staying off-grounds are also available for $25 per person, per day.

Guests can participate in the month-long celebration for as low as $89 per night for a lodge room or $109 per night for a two-bedroom cabin. Book your cabin or lodge room online or call us at 888-613-9622.

February Schedule:

Download printable schedule and register for sessions 

Guided Snowshoe Hikes –Every Saturday
Join our hikemasters for limited-capacity guided snowshoe hikes into Rocky Mountain National Park and along YMCA of the Rockies trails.

Ice Climbing Demonstration – Saturday, February 13
Join YMCA employee and former Alaskan glacier guide, Joe Pullen, for a hands-on session and demonstration to learn about ice climbing, building ice anchors, and examining the equipment ice climbers use. This is an easy-to-access session and geared towards all ages of the family!

Winter Photography Class – February 6th and 13th
Register for this fun and informative winter photography class to learn the basics of capturing the beauty of the Rocky Mountain during the winter months.

Winter Survival Class – Every Saturday and Sunday
This family-friendly session provides the basics of how to survive if you find yourself alone in the outdoors during winter.

Archelogy Walk – Every Saturday
Ever wonder who lived here before we did? We will travel back in time to when a glacial river flowed through the Estes Park valley and indigenous peoples used rock shelters and animal hides for protection and warmth. This mile long hike will take you to an excavated rock shelter on property and provides an opportunity to explore prehistoric life in the region. This activity is suitable and geared towards both children and adults.

Winter Orienteering – February 13 
This activity will start with a lesson on how to use a map and compass. Then we will practice your skills in this fun orienteering class! All ages welcome, however this class will be most engaging for adults and children 9+.

Hike with Guest Speaker Chelsea Murphy – February 14
Register for this special guided hike with activist, outdoor mom and special Mountaineering Month guest speaker Chelsea Murphy. She will lead a limited-capacity guided hike into Rocky Mountain National Park.

Guest Speakers – February 13th and 14th, 7 PM
Chelsea Murphy on February 13th and Len Necefer on the 14th will talk about Diversity in the Outdoors. Presentations will be limited to 10 people and broadcasted virtually.

  • February 13th, 7 p.m., Chelsea Murphy (@she_colorsnature). Register for Chelsea’s virtual keynote:
    • Chelsea is a lover of all things outdoors! She loves to hike, boulder, trail run, snowboard and just be in nature. She has two girls that she enjoys taking outdoors everyday, rain or shine for at least 30 minutes a day! She will be presenting about her experience in the outdoors in Washington State and how she encourages a more inclusive outdoor community. Chelsea has an infographic with 8 great tips on the basics that could lead our community to a more inclusive and equitable space. She believes that the outdoors is a “white space” predominantly occupied by white Americans, she is on a mission to change that and re-create what it means to be “outdoorsy”.
  • February 14th, 7 p.m.,  Len Necefer, Register for Len’s virtual keynote presentation:
    • Len Necefer is a professor of American IndianStudies and CEO of Colorado-based outdoorapparel company Natives Outdoors. Len is an avidoutdoor adventurer, using rock and ice climbing,high altitude and ski mountaineering, andbikepacking to tell stories of environmentalactivism and Indigenous history.

Bird is the Word Winter Garland – Every Saturday 
Join us to make a bird feeder garland that you can take home to treat the birds at your home.

Rocky Mountain Authors – Every Saturday 
Hear excerpts from famous Mountaineering books read by the YMCA Librarian. Limited in-person attendance. A virtual broadcast option will also be available.

Special Mountaineering Month Activities Available All Month-Long! 

Self-Guided History Tour of Black Mountaineers
In celebration of Black History Month, take a self-guided tour of the history of Black mountaineers, winter athletes and leaders in the outdoors. Located in the Boone Family Mountain Center.

Explore a Snow Cave
Watch YMCA employee and former Alaskan glacier guide, Joe Pullen’s virtual video about building a snow cave for winter camping.  Then, venture out to his actual snow cave at the YMCA of the Rockies to explore and play in the snow cave!

Ice Skating
Rent ice skates for free and take a twirl on a frozen Dorsey Lake.

Snow conditions depending, enjoy sledding at the YMCA sledding hill located near the entrance of the YMCA.

Rent a Free Outdoor Ed Kit
Stop by the Sweet Memorial Program Building and rent a fun and free Outdoor Education Kit to do a self-guided ecology class with your family.

Craft Activities at Craft and Design Center
Check out the crafts for purchase at the Mootz Family Craft & Design Center that have a unique mountaineering theme.

Snowflake Hunters
Pick up a magnifying glass from the Sweet Memorial Program Building and go on a snowflake hunt! Draw a picture of your snowflake and turn it in to be displayed in Sweet Memorial.

Frozen Suncatcher Kit
Pick up a kit from the Sweet Memorial Program Building and take it back to your cabin or lodge room to make a frozen suncatcher.

Snow Paint
Pick up a snow paint bottle from the Sweet Memorial Program Building and take it outside to make artwork in the snow.

(schedule subject to change)


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