COLORADO AMBASSADORS

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HEATHER BLAKEMAN

WESTERN SLOPE AMBASSADOR

Favorite Adventures: Heather's absolute favorite adventure is trail/ultra running, primarily in the mountains. Heather also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and anything active and outdoors. 

Why she Always Choose Adventures:

It was just a short time ago that Heather was overweight/obsese and struggled to be active. With a strong desire to be able to go on a backpacking trip, Heather decided to get healthy, get strong, and start adventuring. Just a backpack trip and half marathon later, Heather's passion for running distance and love for the mountains grew strong. Heather loves the opportunity to explore places that can only be found and seen by foot. High alpine lakes, peaks, single track trails are where peace is found. Knowing that she has had to work for every experience, Heather has learned that explorations and adventures should be sought and chosen, but never taken for granted.

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JAMIE BRYAN

Favorite Adventures:
Jamie loves skiing, mountain biking, boating, camping, and hiking! This summer (2022) he's excited to begin doing some bike packing trips, for the first time!

Why He Always Chooses Adventures:
Jamie always calls mountain biking and skiing his “happy place”.

Since he was a kid his favorite activities were anything involving being physically active. He grew up on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore, where exploring the creeks and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay, as well as hunting and fishing, was a way of life. He also started skiing in the Poconos of Pennsylvania when he was 5 years old. It wasn’t long before he experienced the “Call of the mountains”. He moved to CO in November 2010, and instantly felt at home. To this
day, he's still just as much in awe of the mountains and beauty here, as when he first arrived.

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DAVID CAWDREY 
 

Favorite Adventures: David enjoys hiking (and more recently challenging 14ers), camping, archery, skiing and in general finding new experiences!

 

Why He Always Chooses Adventures: January 5th 2020 David was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Having to revaluate his health choices David went on to lose over 180 pounds and repair his metabolic health. David recently challenged his first successful 14er (Bierstadt) and is now looking forward to an extremely active ski season! He regularly hosts Archery events and is looking forward to participating in the ACA mountaineering activities. No matter where you are in life there is always opportunity to choose adventures!

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PHILIP COX 
SENIOR AMBASSADOR 

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking, Mountaineering, Off-roading

Why he Always Choose Adventures:

Exploring through the wilderness is his therapy, gym, and church. Completing a challenging hike sets his soul on fire. At 28 Phil completed all 58 of the Colorado 14ers in 3 seasons, and 3 of the 4 great traverses. Every weekend he’s out on a new trail. He also hosts homeless drives every winter using his social media influence to gather hundreds in donations to help the less fortunate. So it’s not just about adventuring for him, it’s about helping out the community more importantly.

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HANNAH FULTON

 

Favorite adventures: Hiking, camping, SUPboarding and indoor TR climbing. She loves new adventures and will try anything once! 

 

Why she always chooses adventures: 

Getting outside and choosing adventures is basically what keeps her sane. There is nothing that makes her feel better mentally and physically  than a nice, long hike. She has battled depression and anxiety her entire life. Since she moved to Colorado 4 years ago and started spending time outside regularly, her mental health is the best it's ever been. She has also met so many great people, some of which have become great friends, through outdoor activities. 

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GABBY GALE
ReWild Your Child Ambassador 
Wilderness First Aid Certified

 

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! 

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JAKE HARTMAN

Certifications: NREMT

 

Favorite adventures: Mountaineering, Canyoneering, backpacking. Pretty much whatever adventure

 

Why he always chooses adventures: 

Despite living in colorado his whole life, Jake hasn't really seen much of Colorado out side of the confines of the city, and spent most of his time either working or at home. Until 2020 he was re-introduced to Colorado when his Girlfriend invited him to thru-hike the Colorado Trail, and what a marvelous introduction it was! Ever since Jake has always chosen adventure for; fun, health, both physical and mental, definitely for the "gram" and he has been doing his very best trying to drag his friends out of bed early to catch those early summit sunrises all year round. Although being relatively new to the "adventure life", it has had a huge impact on his perspective on life and it's unique challenges, which may be overwhelming and seem impossible at times, can be overcome, one step at a time. 

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LYNNE JUSTICE 

Favorite Adventures:

Exploring Colorado with family and friends, camping, photographing wildlife. Lynne loves visiting new places and learning about their history plus what each town has to offer.


Why She Always Chooses Adventures: 
Lynne grew up camping in Northern California with her family and when she moved to Colorado, she
went camping and fishing with her neighbors. She actually spent her honeymoon in the mountains
on opening fishing day. Lynne has passed her love of traveling and enjoying the beauty of nature to her family and encourages her friends also.

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KELLY MAHA
 

Favorite adventures: Being outside. 14ers, Hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, her newly found passion in climbing, sitting on exposed ledges for prolonged periods of time, being outside…… 

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures: Kelly found out who she was and what she was capable of in the mountains. She moved to Colorado after a 12 year career in the Marine Corps and decided to face new challenges in the mountains.  She acquired a lot of personal growth, developed lifelong friendships, strengthened her ability to work as a team, and discover the meaning of truly being present in the moment. She is currently on her quest to finish the Colorado 14ers with only seven left to go! Kelly loves to use the quote “go where you feel most alive,” and for her, that is outside. 

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DONI MARSELIES
ACA EVENT PHOTOGRAPHER
ACA Ambassador II - Wilderness First Aid Certified - Solo Colorado 

Favorite Adventures:

Backpacking in the spring and winter and photography hunting.

 

Why He Always Chooses Adventures:

Marsel loves the outdoors. He often enjoys nature by going on solo backpacking trips. Since he would go out and about by himself, he likes to make sure that he knows everything there is to know about his surroundings. He likes looking at his immediate landscape that sometimes includes trees, rocks  and random shrubs with a hope that he can catch a glimpse of any type of wildlife; so he can capture it with his camera. Lately he's been writing about his hikes, and hope someday he can make a living writing about his experiences in the outdoors. 

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MEGAN MASON
ReWild Your Child Ambassador

Favorite adventures:

Hiking 14ers, scrambling, subpar skiing, leisurely hiking with her 2 kids

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures 

When Megan moved to Colorado at the end of 2019 she knew very little about mountaineering but had always loved setting lofty goals and crushing them. She quickly took an interest in 14ers and has currently completed 19 with hopes to finish them all in 2024. The rest of the year you can find her hiking with her kids or at The Incline (her preferred training ground). Hiking has become her form of therapy and provides her the release needed from the hectic weeks of being a working mom. She wants to show women that mountaineering adventures don’t have to stop just because you’re a mom! She is looking forward to running the Rewild Your Child program. 

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JENNY ROACH
LEAD AMBASSADOR
Wilderness First Aid Certified - Solo Colorado 

Favorite Adventures:

Jenny's favorite adventures include hiking the big rocks and exploring the trails sharing her love of the mountains with her grandson. She hiked her first 14er in 2019 and caught the bug. Jenny hopes to see the top of them all. She loves all the winter things best. 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

For sanity. For grounding. For connection. Jenny will be the first to tell you of the magic in the sparkling snow just before the sun crests the horizon; the tranquility of the rushing, half frozen mountain steam as it timelessly passes by; the utmost importance of passing on the knowledge of conservation, love and care for our planet. 

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ELISE ROBINSON
 

Favorite Adventures:
Elise loves hiking, camping, paddleboarding and rock climbing. Elise is excited for new adventures such as ice climbing, kayaking, and exploring new things she never was exposed to before.

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:
Elise did not go on her first hike until she was 28 years old. Now she is hooked, but not just hiking, anything outdoors. Everything Colorado has to offer. Growing up in Florida, Elise did not go outside much and stayed indoors always thinking that there is something missing in her life. One day she found herself with her car packed to the brim and a 2,000mile move to CO and was home. Nothing can compare to the true beauty of nature. The last 2 years have been hard while she went through some medical issues but is ready to get back out there! A sloth type adventurer! She is so excited to help others to embrace this world.

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AWK STANLEY
 

Your Favorite Adventures:

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

 

Why she Always Choose 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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LAUREN STROBEL 
 

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking, camping, kayaking, fishing, really anything in the water!

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Lauren grew up in a family of outdoorsman, in the beautiful state of Minnesota. Her favorite pastime is going fishing with her dad every year at midnight on fishing opener in Minnesota. It’s something she has done since she was a small child and will continue to do as long as she is able. 

Lauren developed a love for hiking on one of her many trips to Colorado and it helped fuel her decision to finally move there. She has struggled with anxiety in several forms for much of her adult life, but nature has been a natural remedy. It calms her, even in the most intense situations, and brings out the extrovert that is hiding inside of her introverted shell. 

She loves to push herself to try new adventures and reach new limits! Being a member of Always Choose Adventures has given new meaning and energy to her every day life and she can’t wait to share it with others! 

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LEAH WHITELAW

Favorite Adventures:

Canyoneering, hiking, rock climbing, sky diving, camping, and SUP-ing

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Leah considers her life to be a spontaneous adventure! She prefers to spend more time outdoors than in, usually accompanied by her dog. Leah is a retiredish circus performer now working in the beer industry. She values helping people discover joy, empowerment, and inner peace through outdoor recreation. Leah’s latest passion is slot canyons and hope to be spending more time between rock walls soon!