We started this series of articles with the WHY - what motivations get us outside touring…
Many people ask my wife and I why we “became stewards” of the shop (I prefer not to say “purchased”). The quick answer is passion.
Passion for the outdoors, passion for gear, passion for adventure. And we love helping people and giving back to our community. An outdoor shop like Mountain Chalet is a catalyst for all that.
We searched all over the West – California to Colorado, New Mexico to Montana – over 12 shops in all. While many shops were cool, none of them spoke to us like Mountain Chalet. (Big thanks Kent and Dan for creating the best outdoor shop in the West!)
What is it about Mountain Chalet?
The store, the people, the location – absolutely. But, equally important, the city of Colorado Springs, Olympic City USA!
Right now Outside Magazine is having their annual bracket competition for the “Best Town”. Great places, like Bend, Jackson, and even Denver, are in the bracket. But none of them can hold a candle to the Springs. In fact, the Springs isn’t even on the list. I think if you ask any Chaletan or Springian, they are just fine with that.
We don’t boast or brag about our piece of outdoor paradise; we are much more reticent. You are certainly welcome to enjoy it with us. In fact, we want you to, but we’re not going to overly promote ourselves. It is not our style. We’re welcoming, neighborly, and super friendly, but we don’t brag. We just know we have the best outdoor town.
Many cities like Boulder and Denver like to call attention to themselves and the get most of the accolades, but they are not the Springs, not even close. We have our share of accolades, too, however mostly from other perspectives, like US News & World Report. We’re not without marketing; great work is being done by Colorado Springs Visitors Bureau, the Business Alliance, Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance, etc. But, it is just not the same.
We have Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks, and Cheyenne Canyon right in our backyard, literally. In less than an hour, Eleven Mile Canyon, South Platte area, and Shelf Road. Don’t forget about our secret stashes – you won’t find them in any guidebook, but if you are in the know, it’s pretty cool. We’re not trying to exclude – just the opposite. Sound counterintuitive? Let me explain. Part of the outdoor experience is what you feel inside – heart and mind – and that experience can be compromised by too many people. So we’ll happily share our favorite places with you but don’t expect to read about them in any guidebook or “best of” article.
On any given day, within minutes of downtown, you can rock climb, ice climb, backcountry ski, hike, trail run, mountain bike, road bike, or even fly fish. And if you are up early enough, you can do them all – in a single day!
Some of America’s best climbers, mountaineers, and skiers call or have called the Springs home. Colorado College has to be the best college in America for producing mountaineers (check out their latest alpine adventures at http://ccalpinejournal.org)
Come experience the Springs and stop in the shop for beta, stories, and a few laughs.
My vote for Best Town: Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs Rocks!
Oh BTW, Billings, MT won…