Hope Gately

New Slang for the Adventurous Smartass in You

Whether you’re at the skate park, in the mountains, or grabbing a beer in town, you’re sure to hear these new-but-catching-on words being dropped by 20- and 30-somethings alike. Whether using them makes you look cool or just plain idiotic is debatable, but hey, it never hurts to expand your vocab.

To biff is to “bite it”, “face plant”, or generally just fall in such a spectacularly epic way that your face, and ass, make contact with the earth.

For example,
“I totally biffed off that rail while I was riding.”

Coined just last year, this term is a spinoff of heterosexual and metrosexual, typically denoting a bearded, flannel wearing urban man, who may or may not possess any real wilderness skills but, nonetheless, sips microbrews, wears hiking boots downtown, and probably uses a significant amount of product in his face hair.

Love the lumbersexual or hate it, this look is here to stay as long as hipsters survive.

On Fleek
Think of “that’s so fetch” in Mean Girls. Now apply that to “on fleek”, except that “fleek” is totally happening. Used when referencing something that is perfect, awesome, or mindblowing; on fleek is popular in the music community and being used more and more in social media.

If you’re a part of the outdoor community, or perhaps just live in a more liberal area where Wholefoods make their home on every corner and Kombucha is a thing, you may have heard the term “granola.” This is typically used to refer to someone who is “earthy”, “ environmentally conscious, or just a dirty hippie. A slight dig, though not too mean to be used endearingly.

“Dude, did you see that chick with the hair legs? She’s so granola but I’d still bang her.”

(You would. Don’t lie.)

Sobo and Nobo
If you’re a city dweller, you’ll often hear hipsters and complete douche bags having conversations like this:
“I do say, Fredward, we should hop the Sobo train and hit up that new coffee shop on 104th. “

Sobo and Nobo are short for South Bound and North Bound. Furthermore, just because hipsters drop these terms, doesn’t mean they aren’t useful, particularly when biking, hiking, or skiing in the backcountry.

For example,
“Let’s drop over this cornice, bomb some trees and rendezvous in that glade. Just head Sobo, skier’s right.”

Chances are you haven’t heard this complete gem of a word. Defined as either a man or woman who needs some bushwhacking in their nether-regions, this term is glorious because it invokes the wild and untamed hairiness of a Sasquatch paired with, well, a person’s junk.

Ok, so unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2-plus years, you’ve probably heard or seen (assuming you can read) the word “stoked”. At its very core, the word essentially means, “excited”, “amped up”, and anticipatory (look it up) of something EPIC!

How to use it:
“I’m so stoked for the new Warren Miller Film, I could fart glitter.”


“Jenny was so stoked when Tyler asked her to be his Friend With Benefits.” (Because no one actually dates dudes named ‘Tyler’.)

How to Sculpt Your Beach Body on the Trails this Spring

Now we’re not just talking hiking trails here. We’re talking dirt running trails, concrete bike trails through town, crunchy ski trails (because backcountry is in full-swing for those who are good enough to get out there), and primitive mountain trails that promise to sculpt any flab you may have accumulated this winter into solid, tanned, granite.

Whether you’ve got some extra fluff from excessive winter hibernation or drinking your weight in shots, these ideas are sure to make you a lean mean bro machine. Grab your tunes and get ready to hit the trail.

Track Your Progress
There are literally a shit ton of ways to track your stats while exercising. Strava, Map My Run, and Trace Snow to mention a few. The beauty of these apps is they not only allow you to track you progress, but they also encourage a little friendly competition amongst you and other runners, bikers, or shredders. That being said, get a buddy to track progress with you. Monitor your miles, calories, elevation gain, and overall hours. Loser buys the beers.

Sexy Selfies
Unleash your inner narcissist and post that shit! Take a selfie pre-run (#runninglife), during the run (#ithoughttheysaidrum), and post run (#winning). The more glistening flesh you show, the better!

Elevation is Everything
Ever wonder why top athletes train at high altitudes? It’s quite simple. Running, biking, and hiking in higher altitudes with greater elevation gains forces the lungs to adapt to and function on less oxygen. Once the athlete returns to lower elevations, their lungs are flooded with significantly more oxygen than they’re used to turning them into Sea Level Superman.

That being said, choose workouts that are at a higher altitude and that give you more overall elevation gain.

Mix It Up
We all have our habits. Your job this spring is to make a habit of getting out of the comfort zone. Try a new trail or ski line every week. Make it longer, harder, and more epic than the week before. Dull routines are where progress goes to die, so get on The Google, and find something fresh.

Incentive Pants
You know those pants or shorts you look oh-so yummy in? Yeah, well your current muffin top ain’t gonna cut it. So take said article of clothing, hang it on the back of your bedroom door or in the bathroom and don’t stop pushing on the trails until your ass can fit into them effortlessly.

Healthy Eats
It’s easy to load up on Cliff Bars and Gatorade when you’re killing it outdoors. And, though these snacks have their uses, it’s far more beneficial to eat nutrient dense foods and drink a lot of water. Some trail-friendly nutrient dense foods include, salmon, blueberries, kale, almonds, and dark chocolate. Try taking smoked salmon, dried blueberries, dark chocolate covered almonds, or kale chips on your adventures. Worried about electrolytes? They are easily replaced with bananas, raisins, or (the most effing delicious fruit/veggie…whatever the hell they are…in the world) avocados.

You have the knowledge. Now get your ass up and hit the trails.

Summer Music, Art, and Beer Festivals for Picking Up Hotties and Being Awesome

There’s nothing better in the sweet, sweet summertime than being ridiculously lazy, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, listening to some live tunes, and meeting really, really good-looking people (#zoolanderreference). That being said, check out these killer summer (and extended summer a.k.a “fall) festivals. Let the partying, commence!

Great American Beer Festival
Held in the hipster capitol of the world, Denver, Co., the GABF allows for the perfect opportunity to get completely wasted, walk around hitting on members of the opposite sex, and gather free swag. Breweries from all over the US, including Austin, TX., Bend, OR., and San Diego, CA. attend to give Denverites and visitors a taste of their goods.

Rocky Grass
Set in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Planet Bluegrass plays host to several annual outdoor music events. But the toe-tappingest, skin-baringest, laid-backest of all just happens to be Rocky Grass. This three day event is a mecca for hippies, music enthusiasts, families, and singles from around the state and country. As you dance near the striking wooden stage and seek relief from the sun in the St. Vrain River, which flows through the property, you’ll notice that bare midriffs and tanned bodies abound. Not to mention, with marijuana now a legal in Colorado, you can purchase some for your own consumption. Just be sure to partake in the privacy of your own home or a friend’s home, as public use is currently illegal.

Burning Man
This weeklong festival in the Nevada desert is known for attracting freakishly cool oddballs, DJs, artists, and ravers. The costumes, though optional but awesome, are reason enough to attend, as most people are scantily clad wearing little more than glitter, sequins, body paint, and head gear. The temporary city, known as Black Rock, serves as an oasis for participants to express themselves in a variety of ways. The man goes up in flames this August.

Notorious for its celebrity sightings, fashion forward climate, and killer musical lineup, Coachella is as much a fashion show as it is a music festival that should totes be attended at least once in your 20s and 30s (Because this is when you’re body is in its prime and you can drink the most). Yet another festival held in the desert, half-naked hotties will be in attendance as far as the eye can see (#wardrobemalfunction).

Austin City Limits
Austin, Texas is a liberal hive known for its food, music, and culture. From blues to funk, and alternative country to jazz, this festival features a little bit of everything. Not to mention, sexy guys and gals wearing tight-fittin’ jeans and cowboy boots are certain to be in attendance. This year, over 130 artistis will be in attendance for all around the world. Of all of the festivals mentioned in our list, ACL is a once in a lifetime experience that shouldn’t be passed up.

How to Avoid VD Like the Plague

Whether you’re single, just generally disenchanted with all things romantic, or boycotting commercialized holidays, Valentine’s Day is the bane of your rather epic existence. As far as you’re concerned, those cutesie little candied hearts can go to hell and your couples friends, who insist on tweeting and Instagraming their make out pictures one week prior to the puke-worthy holiday can #goscrewthemselves.

Much like herpes, this holiday just won’t go away, so this year take matters into your own hands by planning one of the following Anti-VDay adventures.

Drinking…Drinking Always Makes Things Better

Though you may run into a few couples, at least they will be remotely cool if you plan a brewery tour this Valentine’s Day. Some states with a high concentration of fantastic microbreweries include, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Michigan. Whereas many restaurants cater to the lovey-dovey crowd on this particular day, breweries typically go about business as usual or, at most, pair their delicious libations with chocolate or some shit. Either way, you’ll probably be too drunk to care. Cheers!

Movie Night Where You Watch ANYTHING Besides Fifty Shades of Grey

Yep, by now you’ve seen the trailer, cringed at the Beyonce soundtrack, and most certainly have refused to read the book. Fifty Shades of Grey is everywhere this V-Day. But who’s opting for a movie night in with friends watching the Big Lebowski and drinking White Russians? Y-O-U. Because, let’s face it, there’s nothing sexier than The Dude and Julianna Moore’s boobs. BDSM be damned.

Go Skiing…And Body-Check All Couples (100 points each)

‘Tis the season for powder, black diamonds, and all things SNOW. This Valentine’s Day, spend your time practicing bumps and steeps in resort or, if you’re hella good, head to the backcountry and get away from people altogether. The mountains are calling and you must go, bro!

Winter Camping (The Sure-Fire Way to Avoid All Prissy Couples)

Lumbersexuals and hipsters need not apply. Winter camping is only for the hardcore outdoor enthusiasts who either REALLY love nature or really, really, really want to get away from all other human beings on Love Day. Friends are always nice, so bring a few. If you’re a dude, plan a Bros Before Hos camping adventure. If you’re a chick, plan an a Chicks, No Dicks camping trip. It might sound sexist but…um, who gives a shit?

Pick Up Single, Desperate People

If all else fails, Valentine’s Day is, at the very least, good for preying upon desperate, lonely people who are two drinks away from hooking up with you (or anything that moves). So grab some condoms, maybe some of those candied hearts for effect, and hit on the first single, tipsy person you come across. Worst case scenario: You end up with the clap. Best case scenario: You get to play Fifty Shades of Grey for reals.

6 Tips to Help You Enjoy Technology in the Outdoors (Without Pissing Everyone Off)

Hey, we all enjoy our music, selfies, and mobile apps but, for the love of Yanni, please enjoy responsibly.

Choose Good Beats, Bro
Last weekend, I was skiing at Copper Mountain in Colorado. Now, generally, if I can hear your music from across the slopes while I’m ripping turns and blissfully gazing at my mountains, I hate you. Plain and simple. However, one fortunate (and smart) boarder made the wise choice of bumping Michael Jackson from his wireless speaker all the way down the mountain. People were smiling, singing along, and not the least bit miffed that he brought his speakers to the slopes.

Moral of the Story: If you’re gonna share your music with everyone, you better pick something universal.

Don’t Be a Phone Apps Douche Bag
There are a ton of phone apps out there for measuring your performance. Elevation gain, speed, lift time, distance, and calories are just a few of the elements various exercise and outdoor sports apps can roughly calculate.

As such, I recently talked to a mountain biker who said he literally blew past, and almost ran over his friends, because he was trying to beat a specific time on Strava.

Yep, this guy is a moron. And so are you if you let things like times on phone apps determine your integrity in the outdoors.

To Thine Own Selfie Be True
Ok, I’m as guilty as the next person. I like selfies and, I’ll admit, my obsession is part narcissism and part wanting to actually share my adventures with my social media family. However, I know when to selfie (Yep, it’s pretty much a verb now) and when to abstain.

Some appropriate times for selfies include:

– The chair lift while skiing (Note: Chair-lifts are long. Take your selfie early on to avoid holding things up toward the top).

– An easy section of the trail when you aren’t blocking anyone else’s way

– Before you start your mountain bike ride. Yes, I have actually seen people attempt to take selfies while in the midst of riding. It DID NOT end well.

Some inappropriate places to take selfies include:

– While skiing or boarding down a slope

– While bombing a rock garden

– Anytime there are others behind you who have to slow down or change their path simply because you desperately need to Instagram that shit.

Know When to Press Pause

If you’re about to tackle something challenging, like a difficult tree run on the slopes, or some Class 4 scrambling up the side of a mountain, press pause.

I actually have a friend who regularly climbs with music and claims that it puts him in “The Zone.” That’s fair. But he’s also smart about it. He never listens to music when he’s trad climbing and he never messes with technology when he’s lead-climbing a new route on sport. He stays in the present moment because, in the end, isn’t that what the outdoors are all about? Being present, moving dynamically, and standing in awe of nature.

Don’t Go Above Your Pay-grade for Footage

This tip takes the #1 slot because it happens so often. With smart phones and adventure cameras at the ready, outdoor enthusiasts are trying to get footage of anything and everything that they do just to receive likes on Facebook and views on Youtube. To each is own, but tackling something well above your skill level just because you want some awesome footage of the either “sick” or disastrous outcome isn’t the way to go. You’ve got plenty of time to work up to that double black diamond or backcountry skiing expedition, bro. Focus on getting better and enjoying yourself because, in the end, “likes” and views are temporary but injuries and death are, well, not.




Tips and Tricks for Planning the Ultimate Ski Season

While it seems like summer just ended, the truth is we are already deep into autumn. That means winter isn’t far off , which means that it is time to plan out another season: ski season. Here are some tips for planning out your ski season itinerary.

Pad Your Pass
If you plan in purchasing a resort pass this year (and you should if you’re really wanting to up your skiing ability and get the most bang for your buck), you may also want to consider padding your pass with a few days at resorts that are outside your pass. Many resorts offer what are called “transferable 4 packs” that can be bought early-on in the season and will save you considerable cash off a daily lift ticket. You or anyone in your party can use these “packs” throughout the season, so they also make great gifts.

Avis and Beacons
If you’re planning on doing any side country or backcountry skiing, brushing up with an avalanche safety course or two couldn’t hurt. These courses are put on by a variety of outdoor institutions including the Colorado Mountain Club and SheJumps ( be sure to check for regional availability). Furthermore, REI often partners with a variety of outdoor centers to put on these classes each season. Not quite ready to invest in a pricey course but wanna get your feet wet? REI also hosts free Introduction to Avalanche Safety classes that you can sign up for online if you has an REI nearby.

Note: An introductory course is just the first step in preparing yourself to ski in the backcountry. A great deal of time, practice, and coaching from more experienced backcountry skiers is highly recommended.

If you’re already an experienced backcountry skier or boarder, now is the perfect time to check your gear by making sure your beacons are still working properly. Organize or attend a “beacon games” gathering where instructors and the public can participate in mock avalanche situations, learn to use or brush up on their beacon skills, and discuss various elements of avalanche safety.

Rally the Troops
As ski season revs up, make sure all of your friends are on board. Buy passes together, attend the annual Warren Miller film, and plan trips. Having a solid group of people to ski and snowboard with all season long will ensure that you have fun, stay safe, and push your boundaries.

Get the Gear and Maintain It
If you’re a season or two into your powder career, it may be time to upgrade on your gear. More importantly, no matter how many years you’ve been riding the mountain, maintaining your equipment is key. During the months of September and October, start going through your ski and boarding gear. Assess what is still working for you and where you’d like to invest some money.

Now is also the time for getting your bindings adjusted, skis and boards waxed, as well as Nikwaxing your slope apparel.

No Train, Lots of Pain
Like any dedicated outdoorsman or woman, you’ve probably been training for ski season throughout the summer months with a weekly routine of mountain biking, climbing, peak-bagging, and yoga. However, just because the snow is here doesn’t mean you can stop cross-training for the mountain. For you weekend warriors who plan on shredding, do yourself a favor and make sure you’re keeping your cardio and strength training in place during the week. Yoga is also an excellent way to build lean muscles, strengthen, and length tendons to prevent injury on the slopes. For more specifics on how to train for the snow, check out Bode Miller’s personal workout routine.

Focus on Quality, Not Just Quantity
You’ll often here bros brag about how many days they got last year or how many they plan on crushing this coming season. While consistency is key if you want to improve your skiing and snowboarding, make sure you’re setting more performance based goals for yourself rather than just striving to hit a certain number of days.

Some goals to set for yourself may include:

-the number of powder days you hope to ski or board (weather dependent, of course)

-how many different resorts you want to visit

-how many hours/runs you want to get in during a single day

-making a smooth transition from black diamonds to double blacks

-going on your first side country or back country trip

-organizing a hut trip

-saving and training for your first heli-skiing adventure

There are a multitude of ways to push yourself beyond a mere number. Just remember, the person pushing the hardest is the person who is having the most fun on the mountain while respecting it and all of its wonders.

How to Score a Date with a Skier-Chick

For most serious skiers, finding love of the slopes isn’t exactly at the top of their priorities list. What with the fresh pow, trying for rope drops, and just generally upping your game, you might not have time to stop and chat with that cute skier chick you noticed ripping it down the mountain. In fact, she was probably moving so fast and leaving you in her snow spray, that you might as well just give up and go do a couple of groomers. Right?


Believe it or not, plenty skier chicks are out on the mountain riding solo and are more than happy to give out their number to the right guy. The tips below, along with the general understanding that you shouldn’t be creepy, can help you snag a ski date with that cutie you’ve been admiring.

Lift Talk
The most obvious way to strike up a conversation is during the lift line or on the lift itself. Lift lines are often long and the lift ride can be even longer (depending on how many gapers fall off and slow the process), so you might as well make the most of your time by making casual, light-hearted chit-chat with the snow bunny or bunnies next to you. If you’re digging one of them and she’s digging you, invite her to ski. It’s just that simple. If she says no, don’t take it personally and ride on!

Helping Hand
Contrary to popular belief, most women won’t get offended if you help them. If you spot a lovely lady who is working on turns, took a fall, or lost her ski pole, lend a helping hand.

Conversely, if you see a badass chick doing some cool trick that you’d like to master, talk to her about it. She’ll probably be more than happy to give you a few pointers.

Hot Chocolate or Beer, Anyone?
Spot a cutie in the lodge and some flirtatious eye contact ensues? Buy her a hot chocolate or beer and have it sent over by one of your bros. She’ll either think it’s cute or dump it all over your bro. Hey, sometimes friends have to take one for the team.

Compliments. The Genuine Kind, Bro.
Women love compliments. However, they’re typically not interested in the shallow and generic “ You’re so pretty” clichés. If you meet a lady and ski with her, compliment her on what she does well. Maybe she carves like mad or is really graceful when turning through trees. If you make it about her skiing, rather than her looks, you’ll be less likely to get hot chocolate dumped on you later.

Ride Solo
There are plenty of ski girls out there riding the mountain solo and the singles line on lifts is a perfect way to meet them.

Note: Don’t be a desperate Creepy McCreeperson and follow chicks to the lift in hopes of scoring a ride with them. Just let things flow naturally. In the course of a single ski day, you’re sure to pair up with one or two cuties. Strike up a conversation and see where it goes from there.

Be Yourself, and Cut the Bro-Speak
Finally, and most importantly, just be yourself. Most skier girls have no desire to hear how much air you got on your last jump, how many days you’ve skied this season, or how many miles per hour you clocked on your last run. We wanna know about you and, if you’re gonna brag, then you can prove it on the slopes.

8 Tips to Take You From Intermediate to Expert Skier in One Season

Wanna get off those groomers and into the trees and pow? First you need some Bluetooth helmet speakers so you can be cool but really, here’s how.

Tailor Your Workouts
Whether you’re mountain biking to build your leg strength, doing yoga to improve flexibility and core strength, or running for cardiovascular endurance, you should be training for skiing when you’re not skiing. This will pay off in spades when you’re working on speed, attempting longer runs, and practicing bumps.

Quality AND Quantity
You may have heard of “Powder Snobs.” By definition, these individuals only get on the mountain for powder days and, while that’s all well and good for them, if you wanna take your skiing to the next level, being picky about conditions should be the furtherest thing from your mind. Certainly, you don’t wanna hurt yourself if conditions are icy and unsafe, but waiting for the perfect powder day is a waist of your valuable time. That being said, try for as many powder days as possible but ski on the “just average” days too. When you’re trying to improve, the general rule is that you should be eating, drinking, and breathing the mountain. End of story.

Ride with the Badasses
Simply put: Ride with people who are better than you. Skiers are generally very cool and kind people. Though they may not sacrifice a powder day to teach you new techniques, they might be willing to ride with you when conditions are simply “meh.”

The key here is to be patient. It can be really frustrating to ride with your double-black diamond, backcountry, skiing friends. You wanna do what they’re doing and you wanna do it NOW! But, as is the case with anything on the mountain, time and dedication will pay off.

Drop Some Cash
There’s no arguing with the fact that skiing is an investment. The passes, the gear, transportation, and lodging can drain pockets fast and many hardcore skiers have 2 or 3 seasonal jobs so they can have the flexibility and finances to do what they love. If you’re serious about improving your technique, dropping cash on more aggressive skis, buying a pass to ensure that you get to ski a variety of terrain and log a lot of time, and saving for some multi-day trips, is the reality of improving on your skiing. It’s not a sport that you master in 10 days on the groomers and it’s not a cheap sport, so be prepared to pay and reap the benefits.

Take a Lesson. No, Seriously.
For many people, once they get the basics down and start transitioning from blue to black runs, they get a bit complacent. It’s also at this point that a lot of bad skiing habits have, potentially, started to form. An excellent way to up your game and correct those bad habits early on is to take a class or, if you have the time, attend a ski clinic. Classes are typically small and last anywhere from 1-6 hours depending upon the price and form of instruction. Clinics, on the other hand, are multiple days and usually meet once or twice a week for several weeks. This is an excellent way to make friends, get instruction, and ride with people who are sure to push you.

Plan a Trip
Most expert skiers will tell you that one sure-fire way to see steady improvement is to ski for multiple days in a row. Sure, you’re quads are shot by the end of Day Three, but you gotta break ‘em down to build ‘em up. Try for at least a 3-4 day trip to your favorite resort with friends or family. Now, here’s the kicker: You need to maximize your slope-time every day. Which means you hit it hard every day that conditions allow. No relaxing days cruising down the easiest groomers you can find. Another way to efficiently use your trip time is to choose goals for each day. Perhaps Day One is all about focusing on tight, parallel turns and speed. Make Day Two about bumps, if that’s your thing. The point is to push yourself each day, learn something new, and improve.

Log Your Progress
With all of the apps out there allowing you to measure, log, and calculate every run and every foot of elevation gain, if you wanna get serious about your progress then keeping track of it is one sure-fire way to hold yourself accountable. Since the numbers don’t lie, downloading Trace Snow (formerly Alpine Replay), for example, can help you track your max speed, slope time, distance traveled, and vertical feet.

Like other performance aps, you can add and track your friends, so friendly competition is encouraged.

Want It Bad
In the end, a large portion of improving in any mountain sport boils down to shear drive and dedication. Do whatever you can to maintain the stoke all season, reward yourself when you meet goals, and remember that any day on the mountain is a good day.