Join Big Agnes staffer, Allison, on a Big Agnes Company Camp Out:
How do you make a mid-week backpacking trip memorable without too much effort and still make it to your desk by noon the nextday? Is there an easy way? We could hike to the top of a mountain, set up camp in the dark, enjoy the fruits of our labor- “earn our… sleep?” Or- we could take public transportation and gondolas to reach our destination in a fraction of the time. Urban-backpacking! This was our idea: go straight from work to the top of a mountain, barely break a sweat, and have plenty of time to watch the sunset. Big Agnes and its sister companies, Honey Stinger and BAP!, maintain the idea that if we’re going to sell the gear, talk about the gear, and advertise the gear, we have to use the gear, test the gear, and love the gear – hence the many company sanctioned outings throughout the year. And as employees, we embrace this culture whole-heartedly.
Main goal: Keep the trip simple. We’d walk from BAP! In downtown Steamboat with our packs on and pick up a few delicious sandwiches from a local deli then hop aboard the free bus en route to the ski area. This was shaping up to be basically effortless. After a lovely 15 minute ride around our beautiful town we arrive at the bottom of our destination: Mount Werner. Armed with our season passes, packs and 1 dog named “Guy” we made our way onto the gondola…no animals were harmed in the frantic 30 seconds of coaxing Guy onto the gondola as the doors were closing. Good boy Guy…good boy! Less than ten minutes later, we reach Thunderhead, the top of the gondola and where our actual effort has to kick in.
We hike/walk/stroll a grueling 30 – 40 minutes (uphill and in the warm afternoon sun, mind you) until we happen upon a deck to sit on…complete with tables and chairs thus making this backpacking experience that much more posh. With our destination reached, packs off, music on and beverages in hand – we take in the fruits of our labor. Sweet views and great company…
Morning comes with a handful of elk cruising through camp…all mammals were on their best behavior; again, good boy Guy. The gondola wasn’t open yet so in an attempt to be rugged we began our descent on foot. Two moose were spotted below us on one of the runs.
We wound our way back down to gondola square, famished from our descent we grabbed some bagel sandwiches and coffee then proceeded onwards to the bus stop. Time to go to work. Public transportation and some liberties taken in regards to the definition of “backpacking” made this possible. Here at Big Agnes we try to mix it up. Sometimes that means taking the very familiar and looking at it differently. How lucky we are to live in a place that fosters an active attitude and where accessibility to beautiful terrain is within walking distance…or a 15 minute bus ride.
– Get out there and sleep in the dirt!