UpaDowna is a Colorado 501(c)(3) who's mission is to provide access to outdoor adventures for all through events and programs that empower individuals, create healthier communities, and foster a respect for the environment.
UpaDowna started its life as a celebration of the classic adventurer's tradition of enjoying a cold beer after a great day outdoors, hence the name "Up a mountain, Down a beer" which is the backbone of many outdoor adventurer's post celebration of a job well done.
UpaDowna has now evolved to fill a need within the outdoor community to educate and promote adventure for all ages and abilities to include folks looking towards either an introduction to the outdoors or an advancement on presently held skills. UpaDowna's vision includes keeping true to its core by retaining a focus on our traditions but also by launching a Jr. Explorers club for children, expanding the outdoor gear and product review section as well as developing classes and adventures from day hikes to expeditions throughout Colorado. UpaDowna is here to break down the barriers to a fulfilling and exciting life of adventure.
As we have grown and come to more fully understand that in order to create actual appreciable change in both individuals and our environment we needed to expanded our mission from the focused 21+ age group to all ages and all walks of life. By understanding that the future of many youth's lives is greatly dependent on their self worth, self confidence and self image we see great value in our ability to expand our demographic to allow you, the adventurer, to own UpaDowna and make it yours. While we will always hold UpaDowna's founding mantra near and dear, we now have the freedom to choose our own adventure! As UpaDowna becomes your lifestyle, you can fill in the meaning to fit your personal story. This new spectrum allows so many folks the opportunity to create their own personal appreciation and understanding of UpaDowna. We like to say that now "Upa" refers to overcoming some obstacle or achieving some goal, and the "Downa" refers to coming back to your everyday life a stronger, wiser, and more aware individual.
This site serves as a means to bring people together in a celebration of like minded folks that have a need to cure their A.D.D. (Adventure Deficit Disorder). By encouraging you to get outdoors to stop listen breathe deep and become more aware of what it means to be alive. By reaching out through our community programs both educational and fun filled we will show you the path into the hills by providing instructional classes as well as hands on experiences covering backpacking, hiking, camping, cycling, climbing, bouldering, wilderness survival, skiing, snowboarding, and much, much more!
There are going to be deviations to the theme brought about by the adventures we take but all postings will be be based on enjoyment of the outdoors. Here is a place to come and learn about the great outdoors!
Steve Hitchcock aka Yeti Yeti got his name from his college days of running around in the woods unencumbered and completely at home exploring the vast wild mountains, rolling around in the pine needles, climbing trees, and foraging for food. He is an all around outdoor adventurer, enjoying everything from mountain and road biking, climbing and bouldering, orienteering, skiing, surfing, backpacking, trail running and exploring. Yeti is proud to make his home in the Colorado Mountains with his wife and son.
With no borders that can hold him, he has explored the US from Alaska to Florida and most places in between as well as far away places such as Europe, Asia, and Central America. Yeti's love of the outdoors and extensive training both military and civilian as well as vast experience in the backcountry has allowed him to guide backcountry trips as well as teach at the college level as an Adventure Guide in such subjects as Desert Field Studies, Environmental Issues and Ethics, Land Navigation, Nordic Skiing, Winter Wilderness Survival, Wilderness Survival, Mountain Biking, and the Leave No Trace principles. And how could we ever forget to mention his unwavering devotion to ice cold India Pale Ales!
Robert Mitchell aka Bunny. Bunny got his name because he is big and cuddly and has been known to show up at winter wilderness survival classes dressed like a cute little snow bunny you'd expect to see at the ski slope as well as his frequent and somewhat odd encounters with rabbits. He has frequently been called “The Motivator” of UpaDowna. The wheels never stop turning as he continuously stays busy searching for new ideas, posts, and great beers, along with networking, trip planning, event planning, gear testing. He tirelessly dials in the details on all new UpaDowna merchandise. His travels include several different countries, states, and mountain ranges, but he calls Colorado home. He resides in Colorado Springs, but is more frequently found with his dog Coheed in the vast wilderness areas of the Rocky Mountains.
A one time student of Yeti, Bunny specializes in survival skills and is comfortable in any environment. His activities include, but are not limited to: strength training and fitness, nutrition, backpacking, snowshoeing, fly fishing, mountaineering, canyoneering, and snowboarding. This big Bunny is the one you want to make good with. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder, if he can't get you back on your feet he'll be the one carrying you out! When it comes to the outdoors, Bunny loves sharing knowledge with newcomers and introducing them to the wild. His most prideful accomplishments are helping out of shape, or disabled achieve their goals. He has a real heart for underdogs and has never left a group-mate to fend for themselves.
Randi Hitchcock aka MtnMama MtnMama is a writer, photographer, wife, mother and has been an elementary physical education teacher for 8 years. She also has experience with sales and retail at a local running shoe store, bike shop and has coached volleyball for 6 years. Her favorite activities still include volleyball which she has played since she was 12, her newly found love of trail running, mountain biking on her 29er and bouldering. She intends to introduce her son to all things outdoors so that he can enjoy it as much as she has (with a little volleyball on the side!). MtnMama truly believes that fate has a way of bringing kindred spirits and like-minded folk together so that they might make the world a better place!
Drew Mackrell grew up exploring the hills, canyons and rivers of the Appalachian Mountains and is working on transforming that passion for adventure and the outdoors into a career as a professional mountain and backpacking guide. Drew has hiked many thousands of miles through the Appalachian Mountains and last eight years in the Colorado back country. Drew has also spent several months in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington on countless rainy overnight trips bushwhacking through the thick forest in hopes of finding Sasquatch. Drew satisfies his quest to help others enhance their knowledge of the outdoors by providing knowledge including outdoor survival, backpacking and mountaineering skills.You can find Drew in the backcountry wandering aimlessly between alpine rock climbing, cycling, backpacking, skiing, ice climbing and trail running. If not check one of the local pubs and you might find him there enjoying some delicious local craft brews.
John Ferris aka Juice Box is undeniably the mastermind behind this site. His strong graphic design background coupled with his love of all things outdoors have allowed this site to be what it is today. When not plugging away on the computer Juice Box loves to get out into the wilds and explore every chance he gets. Juice Box is another all around outdoor enthusiast that rips up the backcountry on his snowboard, and loves great hikes, especially when they lead to hidden water holes or epic cliff dives. Juice Box is also quite the photographer and may be the only man out there to give Yeti a run for his money when it comes to his love of cold microbrews.
For questions please email us at Steve@upadowna.org.