Montana newbie looking for friends

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Unless you live in a super outdoorsy place like Colorado and sometimes even thenit can be hard to find your hiking and climbing tribe. This is especially true when you're new to the sport, new in town, or coming back after a long break.

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The good news is that hikers are a friendly bunch. No matter where you are, there are probably clubs and individuals who would love to get outside with you. You just need to find them. So today's post is all about finding new hiking friends. I'll show you where to go to find new people to play with. And many of these organizations can also teach you new skills like snow climbing or mountaineering. Hi guys, it's Sarah from Miss Adventure Pants with your weekly live chat. Today we're going to talk about one of the most common questions I get on the blog, and that's how to get started with hiking and mountain climbing.

Hiking for beginners can be kind of intimidating, Maybe you've moved to Colorado or Seattle for the first time and you see everyone around you doing all this crazy outdoors stuff. Or maybe you're someplace like Ohio or the South where it's not as popular, but you'd like to get into it. The good news is that no matter where you are, I really believe you can learn what you need to get started. When I talk about hiking for beginners, there are two things I like to emphasize.

Exactly which ones depends on where you are and what you're doing.

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Obviously, if you're going to climb a class 5 pitch with ropes, you need a lot of skills. But I also think you also need skills if you're just going out and hiking on trail with your friends. For example, here in Colorado, you need to know things like how to dress, so that if you get wet, you won't freeze and get hypothermia.

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By the way, did you know hypothermia is actually the one reason for fatalities in Colorado among outdoors people? If can happen even in the summer. You also need to know things like where to get a map, how to follow it so that you don't get lost, and how to get help if you do get lost. And you need to know how to avoid hazards — things like lightning, falling rocks, and avalanches. I think anyone who's into outdoor sports can attest that we make some of the best friends of our lives hiking, backpacking, and mountain climbing.

It's one of the few ways Montana newbie looking for friends that you can be together and people won't be on their phones or distracted by their social media. At least here in Colorado, we don't get a al up in the mountains, so everybody's completely offline. You really have to talk to each other like it's the s, and it really is great for your relationships.

There are people that I've been on backpacking trips with for a couple days that I've gotten just incredibly close to. Another great thing about community is you can take a bit more risk than you would by yourself. There's no reason you can't do easy hikes alone. But if you Montana newbie looking for friends to do something harder, if you want to step it up a notch, you're definitely going to want to find people to do that with.

So where do you find people, and where do you learn skills? Let me give you a couple of places you can look. Here in Colorado, we have Colorado Mountain Club. Up in the Pacific Northwest, they have The Mountaineers. My friend who moved here from California was really active in the Sierra Club which has chapters all over. And out east, the Appalachian Mountain Club is really big. Editing to add: Mazamas in Oregon. Most of these clubs have local chapters. They'll lead hikes where you can get together and meet other hikers. They also offer classes. In the past few years, I've gone from just being a regular trail hiker to being able to climb snow and some easy rock.

I went to Bolivia to climb a 21,foot mountain in I learned these skills in the Colorado Mountain Club. Another great thing about these clubs: you can get gear discounts. Because you're going to find when you start hiking that you want to buy more gear and clothing.

It's through a program called ExpertVoice that offers 40 to 70 percent off a lot of amazing brands. First, you have to pay dues. There are also a lot of rules if you go on a club hike, because the organization is responsible for you. You have to hike together and look out for one another. The leader makes decisions for the group, because they're ultimately liable. In some ways, that's great. These trip leaders usually have a lot of training and keep the group super safe.

But if you're a person who just likes to do your own thing, it can cramp your style a bit. If there's no club by you, or if you're looking for a bit more freedom, definitely check out Meetup. And then you can Meetup groups near you.

Meetup is very informal. Basically, the organizers will send out an invite to their members saying, "Hey, I'm leading a hike to Mount Falcon, and we're all gonna meet in this place to carpool. Here's what the hike is like. Come along, if you can! Another thing you can do is start your own Meetup. I have a friend who was living in Austin, and there weren't many outdoors clubs.

I think he teamed up with one other person to split the cost. First, they can be a bit willy-nilly. Once the guy I was carpooling with actually left me at the trailhead in the middle of a national forest. Also, remember that literally anyone can start a Meetup. The person doesn't necessarily know anything about hiking. For example, someone in Denver posted a trip to Mt.

Yalewhich is this huge mountain about three hours away. And they wanted to leave Denver at 8 a. Now here in Colorado we try to climb early and come down before noonbecause of lightning danger. So if you knew that, you'd see this invite and be like, "No way! It's great to go on Meetups. But make sure you know what you're doing and that you're not relying on the organizer. Another place to look for "hiking for beginners" classes and trips is your local outfitter. The REI here actually offers a ton of awesome classes. I had a couple mountaineering students who wanted to take rock rescue with Colorado Mountain Club.

However, the timing didn't work for them. So they said, "We're gonna go to REI and take it. I hope you live. But they actually had a wonderful experience. They learned from instructors from a a private mountain school who were AMGA certified, which is the gold standard for rock climbing instruction. And the class wasn't super expensive, which was nice. Another great thing our REI does: they have climbing wall nights.

They actually have some that are especially for women, which can be great if you want to meet other girls who climb. I know some people who have really enjoyed those. And it doesn't have to be a big box store like REI. Where I'm from in Ohio, The Backpacker's Shop and some of the smaller outfitters actually put on classes and trips.

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So definitely, those are great place to check out. National parks, state parks, and local park systems all do outdoor programming. Some teach skills and lead trips. A really great example: my mom came out here from Cleveland, and I took her snowshoeing for the first time in Rocky Mountain National Park. We got to Nymph Lakewhich is this tiny lake about a mile from the trail head, and it was like she had climbed Mount Everest. She told me, "This is great. I'm gonna snowshoe when I go back to Ohio. I don't know about that. But, you know, I was totally wrong.

She lives near Cuyahoga Valley National Parkand they actually offer snowshoeing classes and trips. They do the same for cross-country skiing. She found that; I never would have guessed. So yeah, parks are another great place to look. So if you want some really intensive, professional instruction, check with any guide services near you.

This is a great option if you really want to progress quickly at more technical stuff. You can a small class, or you can get one-on-one instruction with somebody who's very qualified.

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Here in Colorado, we have something called Colorado Mountain Schoolwhich offer tons of classes and trips led by professional guides. It's more on the expensive side, but the quality is top-notch. They offer everything from basic rock climbing to avalanche awareness to ice climbing. As you're meeting new hiking friends, start to gather them onto your own list or Facebook group.

I personally have an list through a free service called MailChimpand it works great. Then, when I want to do a hike or trip, I use MailChimp to send out an invite. For example, if I want to climb Angel of Shavano this weekend, I can always find at least two or three people who are excited to do that with me. It's been nice to make my own community and hike with people I like. My FREE 4-week training plan is a great way to get moving every day with beginner cardio and strength workouts! Perfect for new hikers and anyone returning from a break. Here at Miss Adventure Pants, we love helping people get started in hiking, backpacking, and mountain climbing.

In fact, our new Facebook Group is all about hiking for beginners! It's a great place to ask your questions about gear, food, finding great trails, and more. Originally published May 22, Last updated Oct.

Montana newbie looking for friends

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