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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


Friends and the Outdoors

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The other day I went on a road trip with three of my good friends to climb at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. We woke up early in order to get the ten hour drive out of the way and still have time to climb that evening. It was an enjoyable trip with laughter, jokes, and lots of arguments over music. However, as always, the last hour dragged on. We just wanted to get there and climb, enough of this driving stuff.

Friends at Horseshoe Canyon RanchAfter a few dropped calls, a stop to catch some air (instead of throwing up), and a broken air conditioner, we finally made it. We checked in, picked a campsite, and grabbed our gear. It was climb time

We made our way to the crag, geared up, and started to climb. And that’s about as far as we got. I clipped the rope into the anchors of the second route and yelled “take!”. My belayer let me down the fastest I’ve ever been let down as the skies opened up. We scrambled to grab our gear and run to a nearby cave to take coverage from the “a little to close for comfort lightening.” After all of that driving, the climbing would have to wait till tomorrow. We ran back to our campsite, wet and a little disappointed.

Here’s the thing though. Even though we didn’t get to climb that night it was still one of my favorite nights of the trip. We just hung out under the pavilion near our campsite, cooked rice in a jet boil and pencil case (don’t ask), and made the best of our situation. Having outdoor friends like this is so important.

Outdoor adventure friends are the ones who understand your desire to be outside as much as you possibly can. They’re the ones who won’t question you when you drive six hours to ride the trails for only three. They’re the ones who will belay you over and over again so you can send your project, then you return the favor. They’re the ones who are always down to get a little dirty, the ones who won’t let you chicken out, the ones who live out of their cars or their suitcases, the ones who work three jobs just so they can save up for more gear for their next big trips. They’re the ones who are just like you.

Best Friends at the Grand CanyonAdventuring alone has its benefits. You can get out, think through things, learn about yourself, develop skills, and come away feeling very accomplished. But there’s just something about getting outside with your friends. Whether it’s a big trip or just an evening spent at the crag, you bond over your time outside. They cheer you on when you think you can’t reach that next hold. They push you to take that next step up the steep mountain switchback. They laugh as y’all tell stories of the day’s events around the campfire.

I’m thankful for these kinds of friends everyday. From the ones who took off with me on trips every weekend in college to the ones who would woke up at three in the morning to climb mountains on our one day off to the ones who hit the crag in the evenings with me now. They all help keep the passion and love of the outdoors alive. Thanks for being rad. Thanks for being chill. Thanks for being my outdoor adventure friends.

Written By: Lydia Huelskamp

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