As Mappy Hour chapters began to bloom around the country this spring, we knew we had to bring our leaders together to share ideas and experiences. The perfect opportunity came about when Fjallraven announced their first ever U.S. Classic, modeled after their long running Swedish Trek. Ten leaders from Mappy Hour chapters including NYC, DC, Austin and Denver (coming soon!) joined together for a three day, 28 mile trek through Colorado’s gorgeous State Forest. Along the way we met hailstorms, winter temperatures, and even a lost dog but prevailed with all 10 finishing the trek with smiling faces and only a few blisters.
Hailing from five different states, the team met up at the start line of the Inaugural Fjallraven Classic. Our resident cartographer Jeremy Goldsmith brought us all maps for us to use along the trail.
We headed out in three waves, as over 130 people joined the trek, Fjallraven spaced out the start times to give us some space. With backpacks on and orange flags attached to the top to show we were part of the group, we couldn’t wait to explore the scenery of the Colorado Rockies.
Though it started out sunny and merry, dark clouds soon flew in with the foreboding news of not only rain but hail. This, coupled with a fairly decent ascent of 1,200 feet from our 10,000 foot start, made our first afternoon quite the challenge.
After 7.5 miles, we reached our destination, a grassy field below Jewel Lake where we set up camp and settled in for the night. Luckily, we had a few professional photographers camping with us as they were able to capture the beauty of the setting sun and night skies.
Day 2 welcomed us with sunshine and warmer temperatures as the group ate breakfast together, enjoyed the sunshine, and then set out to conquer the day.
The first part of the day was challenging with a continued ascent for 5 miles to Kelly Lake.
The pinnacle of the trip was Kelly Lake a gorgeous alpine lake that welcomed us for lunch and swimming before our 2 mile descent to camp.
Day three was a breeze with consistent downhill for 6 miles until we reached the finish line and closing party where delicious food and live music awaited us.
We finished the trip with a group meeting, discussing ideas for future Summits and our monthly Mappy Hours. Refreshed and reinvigorated we were ready to return to our city lives with energy and inspiration to share.