President’s Day Weekend Family Fun at YMCA of the Rockies
posted by: Guest Blogger
The upcoming President’s Day weekend is a perfect time to visit YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. Bordering Rocky Mountain National Park, YMCA of the Rockies offers guests a vacation rental experience in the mountains with hotel-style lodge rooms and multi-bedroom cabins, but with perks such as ongoing activities on-site and three meals a day served buffet-style in a dining hall, all for an affordable price.
This President’s Day weekend, February 15-18, YMCA of the Rockies will host the 4th Annual Mountaineering Weekend, featuring family snowshoe hikes, winter orienteering lessons, search and rescue dogs, family-friendly yoga classes, ice anchor demonstrations, and the chance to explore a snow cave. There will be activities and excursions for all ages and every level, in addition to the ongoing activities at YMCA of the Rockies such as making tie-dyes or mosaics in the craft & design center, ice skating on the natural pond on the property, roller skating, or indoor rock climbing on the new 25-foot wall.
Also, Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj, a leading scientist and explorer, will take guests on a journey to high altitudes in a presentation on Saturday evening, where she will share her adventures in the Himalaya of Nepal and Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, exploring how these fragile environments are being impacted by a changing climate. On Sunday evening, Ricardo Peña, a National Geographic explorer, will speak about one of the greatest survival stories of all time, The Andes Survivors, and the discovery he made in 2005 that led him to meet all the survivors. He will also talk about his expeditions to the highest peaks on each continent including Everest, Denali, Kilimanjaro, and climbing Colorado’s 100 highest peaks.
With so many activities available, and ample room to explore the great outdoors, no one will notice that most cabins do not have televisions. Instead, families will enjoy playing board games and doing puzzles at the lodge, or sitting together on the beautiful cabin porches overlooking the Rocky Mountains.
MOUNTAINEERING WEEKEND SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES
*All activities are optional and included in lodging fees.*
Friday, February 15
7:00 PM Indoor Rock Climbing Kickoff
Saturday, February 16
8:00 AM Yoga morning flow class for all levels
9:30 AM Check out a real ice wall! Join YMCA employee and former Alaskan glacier guide, Joe Pullen, for a hands-on session learning about ice climbing.
10:30 AM Learn how to build, set, and maintain your very own snow cave!
1:00 PM Meet a search and rescue dog! Jayne Zmijewski and her certified search and rescue dog will demonstrate skills and talk about their experiences on rescue missions in the Rocky Mountains.
2:15 PM Debbie Francis of Larimer County Search and Rescue shares safety tips for mountain exploring, the hidden dangers of the backcountry, and how to recognize and avoid them.
3:30 PM Glacier Creek Hike – A perfect 2-mile hike for families led by skilled hikemasters on YMCA property along the beautiful Glacier Creek.
7:00 PM Keynote: Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj
Sunday, February 17
7:30 AM Boot Camp – a high intensity interval training workout available for all fitness levels.
9:30 AM BROOMBALL & ICE SKATING: Broomball is a fun ice sport similar to hockey! Skates are not allowed during play, please wear winter boots. If Broomball isn’t your thing, grab ice skates from Sweet Memorial, meet us down at Dorsey Pond, and enjoy ice skating instead!
11:00 AM Practice your fire building skills, and then see if you can boil water from the solid snow around you.
1:00 PM Compass challenge course – including a winter navigation lesson on how to use a map and compass.
3:30 PM Rocky Mountain National Park Bus Tour – enjoy a scenic drive through the park with great photo ops and lakes to take a short stroll. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, elk, and moose!
7:00 PM Keynote: Ricardo Peña
Monday, February 18
8:00 AM Emerald Lake Snowshoe Hike – Join YMCA of the Rockies Hikemasters on an enjoyable, introductory snowshoe hike to Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. This guided three mile hike will take you past the beautiful Nymph and Dream Lakes to the stunning lake in Tyndall Gorge.