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“OWA is a great experience in a beautiful part of Colorado. All the counselors are really helpful, fun, and flexible. They help you safely step outside of your comfort zone and personalize your experience. I became close with other campers and built good relationships”- Sage, age 14
Austin, TX

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Experiences of a first time 14er climber!

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First time trying to glissade

First time trying to glissade

At the age of 49, I decided to climb a mountain. Making the decision to climb a mountain for the first time was out of the ordinary for me. I had never done this before and was not real sure what to expect. I knew I needed a great deal of guidance and support, so I selected a well-respected guide organization to help me tackle this “thing” I was about to do. I did some research on line and decided to select OWA, Outpost Wilderness Adventures. They seemed to be experts at climbing and thought they might work out well for me.
Finding someone who you think knows what they are doing and if you feel like you can relate, was important to me. After all, I felt like I was literally putting my life in their hands. The entire OWA team seemed dedicated and most importantly they take climbing seriously and keeping safety as priority one. Having someone teach you the proper technique and safety requirements added a great deal to my enjoyment on this adventure. I highly recommend this group whether you are a first timer or an experienced mountaineer. OWA is a terrific group of people that were very interested in showing me the “ropes” and ensuring I had a blast climbing my first mountain. What an experience, I shall never forget it.

Resting after climbing first 14er with OWA climbing guides

Resting after climbing first 14er with OWA climbing guides

Preparing for my first 14K, I was told that you cannot over train. Unfortunately, I did not heed that recommendation. Being a bit older, over 40, I started my training about four months prior to the ascent. What I did not realize was how much effort it took; not only the seven mile hike to base camp, but the altitude had an effect on my performance. Knowing what I know now, you really have to take your training seriously and listen to the guides that tell you how to get prepared. I was using Outpost Wilderness Adventures, (OWA) guides for the first time. They told me how to train and I did probably 50% of what they instructed me to do. My recommendation, listen to the pros. It would have made my journey much more enjoyable and I probably would not have been such a pain in the butt during the ascent. The OWA folks did not complain about me, but I knew I was not prepared. We made it, but the whole thing could have been much more enjoyable. Thank you for your patience OWA. BTW, Train your butt off!

Dehydration is a scary situation to be in. I found this out on my first climb. I had no idea how much water I was going to need during the climb and the down climb. Of course I used what water I brought with me. With that experience, I have learned to recognize the symptoms of dehydration. The symptoms can be several. To start, a very dry mouth, headache, cramps, dizziness and my favorite, urine that is way darker in color than normal. This is serious and can cause you to lose balance and more importantly make poor decisions during your climb.
Thank goodness for the well prepared OWA guides I was with. They had plenty of iodine tabs to help purify the water could find. The taste sucks, but when you need a drink, it was pretty good. I was exhausted and dehydrated on my last climb and being new to the sport, I did not recognize the symptoms at first. My guide was watching after me and told me what to do. After a brief rest and borrowing some water, which I should not have had to do, I began to feel better and we finished up with no more drama. Thank you OWA for watching out for me.