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Best of Both Adventures for Women
by Tara Becker & Dez Bartelt

On Saturday, March 28th I drove to Aspen in the heart of the Rocky Mountains to interview one very inspirational woman, Dez Bartelt. That weekend was absolutely breathtaking as Colorado recovered from one of itapostrophes typical spring storms. The mountains were a glow with freshly sprinkled snow. Perfect for a wonderful day of merriment on the slopes. Dez had come down off the mountain to meet with me at lunch.

Dez Bartelt is the founder of Best of Both Womenapostrophes Adventures and considered one of Americaapostrophes leading alpinists. She has spent more than 20 years conquering some of the worldapostrophes most challenging mountains and cliffs as a professional climber. She is skilled in a wide range of outdoor sports including white water rafting, sea kayaking, ice climbing, skiing and is trained in and teaches wilderness survival. Dez has worked and trained with rescue units all over the US, as well as fire departments and policy departments. She has worked with the department of BLM to developed environmental plans to help preserve our public lands. She worked and developed outdoor programs for the physically disabled. Another claim to fame is that she developed the worldapostrophes largest freestanding climbing wall which she co-designed and built in cooperation with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks.

Dezapostrophes mission has always been and will continue to be to explore, study, and preserve while enjoying the natural beauty of the outdoors. She has been carrying around 75 pound back packs for 20 years and when she decided to start Best of Both Womenapostrophes Adventures her goal was to show women you donapostrophet have to be extreme to take an adventure. You can have an adventure with out the heavy back pack. Dez has given up the 75 pound back pack for a much lighter one, and now after long days hiking or climbing she comes back to amazing spas and gourmet food. If you ask her, sheapostrophell tell you how pleased she is with the life she created for herself and for others. "Iapostropheve worked long and hard to live where I want to live, and have a job I am passionate about and I wanted to give all women the same opportunity."

Dez continues her adventure by traveling the globe over the next 7 months and will report to us about her travels including the hurdles women face. So, please join us over the nextfew monthsas Dez shines the light on our world. Her first stop was Aspen, which is where we met up. Please read on about her experience in Aspen...

...Dog sledding is an adventure that is sure to capture your heart like it has mine. Whether it is for the love of the amazing energetic nature of the beautiful dogs or the views of the breathtaking backcountry scenery, you will experience the thrill of a lifetime youapostrophell never forget!

Before I started this amazing journey, I was brought in to a quaint little lodge right on site to have a winter feast. It was like something right out of a movie. When they placed the menu in front of me, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I was giddy with anticipation. For those of you that know me from my writing, you know that food is a very big part of my travel life. As I perused the menu, I was overwhelmed with the choice of anything from wild boar with a fennel cream sauce to Colorado rack of lamb with the chef’s special hunter’s sauce. I went with Grilled Elk Loin with a morel mushroom demi sauce and ended with a Swedish cream. All I can say is wow!

So, let’s begin with a question- How many things have you done in your life that you know with absolute certainty that you will remember for the rest of your life? For me, the beautiful well-trained Alaskan racing huskies provided this adventure. These are no ordinary dogs - there is something amazing about the intensity and eagerness of a professionally trained racing husky. You will experience their awesome nature and leave with a new respect and understanding of these animals. I’m still amazed and would recommend it to both young and old.

If you grew up as I did reading Jack London’s Call of The Wild or White Fang, you may long to experience this life style long since lost to many. You may also have a love of dogs or an appreciation for working dogs doing what they were bred to do. Either way a visit to Krabloonik for a dog sledding experience was just what I was looking for.

When you are out in the wilderness with a team of sled dogs it’s almost as though you have been transported back in time. There is nothing like sliding along a cold snowy trail with the only sounds being that of the runners sliding over the snow and dogs breathing as they do what they love to do. Watching a team of dogs work together and the strength and speed they are capable of is simply amazing. My musher kept reminding me to look around and see the sights. I was so intent on the dogs I forgot I was surrounded by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

The closest I ever got to experiencing dog sledding was watching the Iditarod on TV which seemed to me to be an amazing feat. Luckily for me there are people like Dan, the owner of Krabloonik, who run businesses where you can actually take part in such an event. The best part is that you can have this experience without having to acquire and train six to eight dogs of your own! I must warn you that it can be addictive and after a visit to Krabloonik for a dogsled adventure you may just find yourself longing for your first Husky. Be very careful; talk to any musher and they will tell you that is how it all began for them. First it’s one and the next thing you know you somehow end up with a dozen. I may have to brake it slowly to my husband -hummmm do you think he will notice a few extra Husky’s in the house?
If you are planning a visit to Aspen/Snowmass, you have to consider adding a dogsled experience to your list of things to do. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget. For me it was truly one of the best days of my life. Give it a try -go sledding: dog sledding that is!

Please stay tuned for Dezapostrophe next adventure...