It was an honor to have High Point Church from Austin back on trail with us. They came five years ago and the only person on the trip who was also on this trip was Mike, the youth minister. They brought such a large group that the trip was split into 2 groups, with each group climbing different sides of Mt. Elbert, the highest point in Colorado. Although both sides came short of the highest summit, they were high enough to get a spectacular view. With a pack and paddle trip, the group also participates in rafting along with the regular activities.  It was a great week!

Check out the video!  High Point

Waterview 6-day Trip

Posted by: wetrek in Uncategorized No Comments »

Waterview has been a long time supporter of our program. The youth minister, Kelly, just participated in his 12th trek. Their commitment to our ministry is much appreciated.

Check out the video.Waterview

For the first time ever Jersey Village came up for the trek experience. The week held many surprises about what climbing a mountain entails. I think they would all say they had a great trip. We hope to see them back in CO in the future!

Check out the week! Jersey Village

Webb Chapel is one of the groups who has been coming with W.E. for many years. They are out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area and always know how to have a good time.

It is important to note that the adult sponsor, Kevin just participated in his 20th trek! He is the father of seven boys and has brought all of them out here. We are honored by his dedication to our ministry.

It is also with great remorse that we missed the presence of Hai, the youth minister for Webb Chapel. His smile and laughter was missed in Colorado this year. W.E. understands the difficult time he is going through and continually keeps him in their thoughts and prayers.

Check out the video of this week!

Webb Chapel

Wilderness Expeditions was honored to have Greenwood Park Church from Bowling Green Kentucky. Bowling Green is a small city most famously known for being the place where Corvettes are made. After spending a week with these people it was also evident that they have huge hearts. Words cannot express the week so check out this video to get a taste of the adventure.

Greenwood Park

Check out our Growth!

Posted by: wetrek in Uncategorized No Comments »

We are pleased to tell everyone that we are making some major improvements around base camp. The renovations are currently underway and should be finished hopefully by the end of the summer. The renovations are taking place in the middle portion of the property which includes: building a new pavilion, two new sheds, a gazebo over the water, room for the rock climbing wall, and more spaces for tents. This is an extensive project requiring 3 dump trucks and over 375 loads of dirt which raised the area 4 to 6 feet in areas.

The loads of dirt have restored an area that over time was washed away by the river. By restoring this it has made it possible to have a bigger area for the rock climbing wall and give campers a better place to camp the first night. In the next few weeks, a semi truck worth of sod will be planted throughout the entire area.

The two new sheds will give new and better places to hand out gear when groups arrive. These sheds are used for guides work out of when a group arrives/leaves. It will consolidate all the sheds to one area and make the first and last days more efficient.

The gazebo over the water replaces a small pier that went out over the large pond. It can be seen from the top property and makes the whole area look great. The pictures really explain the difference.

Finally, the pavilion is an idea years in the making and will encapsulate the whole area. It is going to be a log pavilion with a metal roof. It will be able to hold several hundred people at one time during the summer and winter months. The walls will remain unfinished for awhile, but will eventually be closed in with walls that can open or close depending on the conditions. In the near future, concrete will be laid and the roof will begin assembly. Keep checking the blog for updates on our renovation progress!

Every year beginner groups as well as experienced groups run into the same common setbacks. In order for you as the coordinator to look like a professional and for a much smoother trip, read this advice in order to make your trip the best it can be.

Get everyone in the best shape possible- It sounds like common sense to get in shape for climbing a mountain, but most people neglect to do it. Impress upon your group, that in fact you are climbing a real mountain! The best way I have heard it put is that the trip is “neither easy nor impossible.” Make a workout list for participants and have scheduled work out times. Finally, use your best judgment on if a participant is mentally and physically capable of climbing a mountain. For most people, the trip will push them mentally and physically and in turn build them up spiritually. In extreme cases, there are people who are physically or, in many cases, mentally incapable of completing the trip.

Don’t drive through the night after the final day- Even though you come off the mountain around noon, the final day is filled with vital activities for wrapping up the week. If you plan to try to get out that night, it will only rush and ruin the day if not the trip. There are affordable places to stay at base camp and in Salida. If you really want to get down the road, travel to nearby cities such as Pueblo, Colorado Springs, or Trinidad. It will make the next day shorter and safer than traveling trough the night.

Make sure all the medical forms are compiled, signed, and completed- Check, double check, and triple check that you have every medical form and that every box is initialed and signed. Without this completed form a participant will not go on trail!

Also, many times a friend who happens to be a doctor will sign all of the medical forms. Make sure that your group gets the advice they need. There is a reason why a doctor’s signature is required. The number one way to keep your group safe is to make sure everyone is capable of completing a rigorous trip.

Get all the items on the gear list- Bring warm clothes. I cannot stress it enough—bring warm clothes and rain gear!! You are climbing a mountain and yes it is summer and many weeks are mild, but you never know when the bad weather will come. On many occasions the weather goes from 90 degrees to 30 degrees and snowing and back in the same day. Advise your group to have many layers to take with them up the mountain. Also note that it is essential that everyone has something that is waterproof to keep the rain out. Do not bring emergency ponchos, they do not hold up.

Have a positive laid back attitude- As a group coordinator, normally all of the responsibility of a trip is on you. The great part about our trips is that after you get the group here everything else is taken care of. For most group coordinators this is an easy transition, but a rare few have a hard time letting go. The guides are well trained and if you ever have any concerns don’t hesitate to pull them away from the group and ask them a question.

Don’t be afraid to tip your guides- After a week out on trail with our staff, most people are blown away by how much energy they put into your group. After such a week people often ask, “is it ok to tip my staff?” The answer of course is yes! Tips are always appreciated but never expected. Though rarely achieved by our guides, the industry standard is 10% of the cost of your entire trip for all of your guides combined. Many of these staff members make major financial sacrifices to serve you. Tips range from Wal-Mart gift cards, gear, cash, or even a framed picture to remember the group by. After the effort a staff member puts into your trip it feels good for the guides to be affirmed by their group.

To all our group coordinators, we want to thank you for putting a trip together. Without you it would not be possible for your group to experience such a trip! Hopefully these simple tips will make for a hassle free trip for yourself and your group.

Mens College Ski Trip

Posted by: wetrek in Uncategorized 1 Comment »

This spring break for the third straight year the Men of Gamma Sigma Phi, a Christian fraternity from Abilene Christian University, brought their ski trip through White Diamond Ski Tours.  It was a week of laughter and fast paced fun.  Whenever a large group of college guys get together things are bound to be entertaining.

The trip had people skiing everything from bunny hills and snowboard lessons to steep black diamonds and terrain parks. Each day began with a warm home-cooked meal then a quick trip up to the mountain for a fast-paced day of laughter and carefree skiing.  After skiing, the first thing college guys think about is food and then on to a shower.  Everyday after dinner was a devotional time to process the day and give thanks for what had happened.  Nights were spent watching Buzzer Beater March Madness games and soaking in the Mount Princeton Hot Springs.  The weather was perfect despite one day of white out conditions; however, the 12 inches of new snow it gave the group the next day made it worth it.

Epic memories were made in the pow of Colorado.  Heroes and zeros were created in the terrain park, friends competed and ragged on each other down the slopes, and many dreams of being in the X-games were shattered by wrecks and bruises.  To get a true feel for the week watch the video.

GSP Ski Video

Snowshoeing

Posted by: wetrek in Uncategorized 2 Comments »

Imagine going for a walk in Suburbia, dogs are barking, noise from the passing ambulance, and the hard pavement beneath your feet. After my recent snowshoe trip with Wilderness Expeditions I was happy to get away from all of that. Snowshoeing is a great way to mix up an average ski trip. After the second or third day your muscles are getting sore and you are ready to relax and slow down the pace.

There are three different day trips to choose from: a beginner, intermediate, and advanced trip. We did the intermediate trip which is also the same path as the beginner. The only difference is that the intermediate trip goes farther.

The location of the trail blew me away. Most of the time when I go on a winter trip I see the mountains as I am driving up to or speeding down the mountain. Rarely do I take the time to slow down and enjoy the beauty of nature. Now of course the main fear snowshoeing is that you will be freezing cold, but if you wear your ski clothes and boots, which I forgot, then you will be plenty warm. The trail in nested in a small valley between two ridges. This is great because it blocks the wind and the only noise you can hear are the voices of the other people in your group.
Seeing nature in this beautiful state is amazing. We sat on some logs and ate lunch and enjoyed each others company. The feeling of the snow packing below your feet is fun and unique experience. To see a blanket of white in the middle of the forest is a unique experience the average Colorado tourist does not get. I would highly recommend booking a snowshoe trip. Get out there and experience it yourself!

Fishing is often referred to as the quintessential past-time.  It is the ultimate in male relaxation.  The phrase often said, “Just you and the line.”  There is no doubt that a fishing trip is a great time to just get away, but when is a fishing trip more than just a fishing trip? The answer: when you bring your son along.  Yes, it may mean less personal fishing time and more time teaching how to tie knots; however it may also mean memories that you and your son will never forget.

One such trip of fathers and sons left a lasting memory in my mind.  The fathers and sons seemed to have great lasting bonds; they had fun with each other and really seemed to enjoy each others company.  As the week went by, it transformed from a fun time in the outdoors into an intense bonding experience.  The group fished during the day and sat around the campfire at night.  Those times around the campfire proved to be powerful in bringing bonds together.

One father explained to me the importance of the trip to him.  He told me how he and his wife had a son early when their marriage was rocky.  He admitted that he made many mistakes raising his first son  that have had long lasting consequences, but he was passionate about not making those mistakes with his younger son.  “That is why we are out here,” he said.  Another father was on the trip not to strengthen his relationship with his son, but instead to create a relationship with his stepson.   His stepson had struggled through relationships with his father and had recently come out of rehab.  Their relationship was fragile, but the energy and passion the stepfather showed to his stepson was moving.  It quickly became clear that he loved his stepson, not because he loved his wife.  He loved his stepson because Christ loved his stepson.

Throughout history, relationships with a father, whether positive or negative, have an instrumental impact on the development of a boy to a man.  Current history tells the fragile story of Barrack Obama’s relationship with his father and ancient history tells us the story of Abraham and Isaac.  Father/son relationships provide a universal truth of our relationship with heavenly father.  Come explore these endless connections with us at Wilderness Expeditions.  We would be honored to have you.