COLORADO AMBASSADORS

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MIKE BACOVCIN

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking, snowshoeing, backpacking! 

Why He Always Choose Adventures:

Since he was a little kid he's always enjoyed being outdoors and camping. While he was in college his roommate got him in backpacking and canoeing. They would disappear into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and canoe the Big Two Hearted river. Being outside and pushing himself has always calmed him down. There is something about hiking in the woods and seeing amazing views makes him feel alive. When he was only 19 his appendix ruptured and he almost died, after that he decided to live life to the fullest. To see and experience all the things that he can and to share it with the people he loves.

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JULIA BECKLEY

Favorite Adventures:

Julia loves adaptive adventures of all kinds and being a part of community is where she thrives! Julia’s service dog Mowlgi joins her on lots of adventures and has visited 4 different states in the year that they have been together! Julia is always looking for her next adventure. 2019 is not even close to over with two more half marathons in two different states, plenty of snow activities to come and memories with friends to make!

Why She Always Choose Adventures:

At age 11 Julia was diagnosed with idiopathic anaphylaxis that resulted in an eventual diagnosis of Mast Cell Activation Disorder and a permanent tracheostomy for airway support. At age 17 Julia was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder, Hypophosphatasia, and has broken over 38 bones!

JESSICA GAGNON 

Favorite Adventures:

Climbing Colorado's 13ers and 14ers.  She loves the challenge of planning navigation routes up non-trailed 13ers, and immersing herself in the wilderness.  She also enjoys backpacking, bouldering, trail running, and herping (looking for snakes). 

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures: Trying new things and actively engaging in new experiences are some of her core values. She loves tapping into her five senses in order to experience living as fully as possible.  She has climbed over 100 of Colorado's 13ers, and is currently at 48 14ers - still, every summit is unique, and there's always new things to see and experience.  Born and raised in Vermont, she learned from an early age about how important it is to get outside and live an active life while we're here. 

GABBY GALE

DIRECTOR OF GRANTS & MEDIA 

Favorite Adventures:

Running, Peak Bagging, Hiking, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Mountain Biking and Ice/Rock Climbing. 

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures: 

Being in nature is where she finds herself and re-centers. After committing to recovery from an eating disorder and alcoholism in 2015, she made the bold decision to sign up for an expedition to climb Cotopaxi & Chimborazo. The training process kept her outside, focused on learning the needed mountaineering skills, and true to health. Since then, she is half way through summitting the Colorado 14ers, has ran 5 ultra marathons, and continues to get people outside to try things they never believed they could do! 

SCOTT GARCIA

DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking Alpine lakes, climbing 14ers, cooking, taking scenic pictures, telling jokes, traveling new places, discovering breweries, meeting new people and being an inspiration to the Autism community and all who love the outdoors.

 

Why He Always Chooses Adventures: 

It helps him get through life and it's challenges. He has lost both of his parents and has mild autism. He has a huge passion for being outside, enjoy nature and taking amazing scenic pictures of mountains. He has the dream and the large goal of completing all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners. When he completes this feat he will dedicate his CO 14er finisher medallion to his late parents, family, and friends that have guided and supported him when he needed it. He says, "It's an honor to meet all the amazing people in ACA, it's inspired me to become a great hiker and man." He also says, “After my 20 hour Blanca Peak mishap in May 2018, ACA stepped in and helped educated me to camp and have hiking partners for my next hikes.” He also stated “My biggest accomplishment was the day I successfully climbed and summited one of the toughest 14ers in Colorado, Capitol Peak. I wouldn’t have done it without ACA.” He's very proud to be an inspiration to a lot of people and he's very excited to inspire more people to get outside and reach their adventurous goals.

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ALY JOBSON

TRAIL TIMEOUTS - ACA SPRUCES UP COLORADO 

Favorite Adventures:

Rock Climbing, Hiking, Camping, Anything out in nature!

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures: 

After moving to Colorado in 2015 to pursue a more outdoor-focused lifestyle, she has summited 10 14ers, completed multiple backpacking trips, climbed many rock climbing routes, and more...all things she couldn't do in her home state. Choosing adventures, taking risks, pushing past self-doubt and fear is where people grow the most. Aly lives a life of constant self-discovery, and adventuring is just what she does. 

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JAMES KERSEY

Favorite Adventures:

Mountaineering, Class 3/4 scrambling, Backpacking, Snowshoeing

 

Why He Always Chooses Adventures: 

James's first mountain experience came the summer after college when, on a bit of a whim, he and college friends set their sights on Mt. Shasta in California. Armed with not much experience and facing very icy conditions on the Hotlum-Bolam Glacier, they only made it to ~12,000ft before turning around - but he was hooked. Since then (and after some much needed training), James has climbed mountains in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Wyoming. He feels most at home and a sense of peace high up in the mountains and calls Rocky Mountain National Park his home away from home. He's now looking to share these experiences and adventures with others!

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ZACH KINZLER

ACA MOUNTAINEERING TEAM

 

Favorite Adventures:

Winter backpacking and mountaineering

 

Why He Always Chooses Adventures: 

Adrenaline, pushing his body, and the feeling of succeeding. He also choose adventures because he  thinks more often than not you fail to achieve what you wanted to accomplish. The humbling experience is good for the soul. It lights up your mind on how to become better and succeed at your next attempt.

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JARED MOYA

ACA MOUNTAINEERING TEAM

 

Favorite Adventures:

His favorite adventures encompass anything that involves long, vertical days including rock, ice, and alpine climbing, and also sliding down whatever he climbed up with a pair of skis. Other favorites include long walks through Aspen groves, and casting a fishing line through a few feet of ice in the winter.

 

Why He Always Chooses Adventures:

Jared was fortunate enough to grow up in a household with the quintessential "trad dad" on call. He learned to develop an affinity for the outdoors as a kid, which magnified into a love for the high mountains and being knee-deep in snow as a teenager. In his first year of college, he bought a pair of alpine boots with his graduation money, and has managed to make the best use possible out of them. He believes in the healing spirit of the alpine, and the beauty of feeling vulnerable in places that make you feel smaller than yourself, a feeling that can only be attained by choosing adventure!

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TERESA CURTIS NUNEZ

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking, ultrarunning, camping, snowshoeing, and paddle boarding. 

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Teresa loves new experiences and enjoys living life outdoors. She believes that taking on adventures helps her stay healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. She loves meeting new friends and enjoys sharing experiences with new adventurists. 

Setting goals and working towards them is what makes great adventures greater! Her goals for new adventures include increasing mileage in running and cycling, running the Grand Canyon rim to rim, climbing more 14ers, backpacking the Colorado Trail, and more watersports!

JENNIFER OLIVAS 

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking, trail running, paddle boarding, cross country skiing, and road-tripping through the mountains.

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Growing up in Colorado, Jennifer has always had a love for nature and the outdoors, but she didn't find her adventuring legs until she was in her early 30's.  Now she adventures for her physical and mental health and to experience the kinds of places nature has to offer that make her feel the most alive. 

RYAN PARISI

Favorite Adventures:

Snowboarding, Scuba, Hiking, Slalom Skiing, Wakeboarding, Wakesurfing, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, Bouldering, Camping, Jeeping, Travelling, Fishing... LIFE! 

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Ryan finds every walk of Life an adventure. She believes adventures are what allow people to live life to the fullest-not just float through it- float?... river float! Who's in?! Ryan wants to see it, try it, do it all!

KAYLA PATACCA 

Favorite Adventures:

She enjoys hiking with friends and family and spending any time outdoors that she can with her two dogs, Riley and Ella. She loves trying things at least once and is always interested in a new adventure! Her most favorite adventure has been climbing Mount Elbert with her brother Zach. A close second would be climbing Mount Audubon in the freezing cold and pouring down rain with her brother, husband, and best friends from college!

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Life is short and you can’t spend all of your time behind a desk or waiting for a thrill in life! When she moved to Colorado two years ago she felt lost and stuck in the same position she had been for the last 4 years. After having explored and adventured around Colorado Springs, she fell in love and found her home. No matter the adventure, big or small, she is ready for a new challenge!

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KRISTY ROGGEMAN

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking is probably her number one, then camping. She is attending school to become an outdoor professional and her first back packing trips are with her class. Backpacking will most likely become her favorite because it combines her 2 favorite things in to one.

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Because choosing adventures is what she wants to do for a living. She has been hiking for the last 8 years and been getting more extreme over the last 4-5 years. Hiking and camping and being in nature keeps her happy and healthy. She also loves to take pictures of her adventures and would like to get better at using a “real” camera.

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STEPHANIE SOLORZANO

COUCH TO TRAIL

Favorite Adventures:

They are all so memorable! She loves camping, hiking, kayaking, SUPing, and off-roading but if she had to choose just one, it would be stargazing at Bishop Castle. Her husband took her to San Isabel before they were married, almost 25 years ago, and she fell in love. After they got married and had their kids they started taking them there too. Two years ago they were blessed to be able to purchase a cabin there. That area is beautiful, but the castle is MAGIC! When she is there she feels like she's in a fairy tale and anything is possible. Stargazing at the castle was so much fun. Being there with ACA was like being there with family. The live music, the friends the atmosphere it was beyond words. This is what adventuring is all about.

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Being outside makes her happy. Life is bogged down with stress and drama. When she is outside she feels peaceful, hopeful and whole. Now that she has had a taste of this contentment, she wants more! She wants to do all the adventures and she is so thankful she found this wonderful community to do adventures with. The second part of my why is that she never went on adventures. She was overweight, out of shape and isolated. She always felt like that was for other people, not her. She did a health program in January 2017 and she lost 60lbs. With my new health, she discovered that adventures are for her! She loves the challenge of hiking and meeting new people. 

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AWK STANLEY

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking, camping, kayaking, fishing, snowshoeing, and traveling. And food! Food is an adventure too right?? 

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Nature and the outdoors is where she finds her therapy and peace. Having never visited Colorado at all, Awk decided to move to Colorado 3 years ago after a slump in her mental health. If the saying is true about the mountains calling, it called and Awk answered. It was probably the best decision she could have made and she doesn’t regret it one bit! The positive impact that nature and the endless outdoor possibilities have really helped her find her inner peace. She always choose adventures because life is full of amazing adventures and she wants to share it with as many people as possible! 

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ZOE TRAN DO

Favorite Adventures:

Zoe has had too many adventures to name and she hopes to continue to have many more to come. A good adventure to her is when she is challenging herself to push her comfort zone, mentally and physically, and doing it with good friends makes it even better. No matter if it's scaling a Mountain or navigating an island with a watercraft, Zoe jumps at any chance to explore and play in the outdoors

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Zoe wants to find a community of adventurers that share her passion for outdoor sports and exploration. She had never regret saying yes to an adventure. Knowing how much adventuring has helped her fight stress from a modern-day lifestyle, she wants to help others push their own comfort zone and find beauty in uncharted territory. Climb, Hike, Travel, Swim, Paddle, and all in between, you can't go wrong when you Always Choose Adventures.

JACKIE WILSON

Favorite Adventures:

Backpacking Machu Picchu, a bike and barge trip in the Netherlands, backcountry hut trips, backpacking Havasupai (Obviously! She's done it 12 times!), the Grand Canyon rim to rim, the Grand Tetons, and Yosemite National Park. As well as hiking, snowshoeing, and backpacking almost anywhere in Colorado! She loves to travel and experience the great outdoors with workout vacations being her favorite. She loves hiking by herself and with her dogs (her best adventure buddies!) and hiking with others. It was an amazing adventure fostering dogs also for a Rescue; She was able to help save lives and help these dogs experience love and find people who truly care about them.

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

She loves experiencing new places, meeting new people, and sharing these experiences with others. Every new adventure is exciting and every new experience, even if it's on the same trail. She always find peace in the mountains. When life can get so crazy busy, a hike in the mountains, especially if there's a waterfall or stream involved, brings calm to her world and fills her soul.

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