Explorer Spotlight: Amy Kesic

Name: Amy Kesic | Age: 38 | Location: Evergreen, Colorado

What’s your day job? I’m a stay-at-home mom! I hike during the weekday and “work” nights and weekends.

What are your favorite things to do outside? Hike, snowshoe, run, ski, photography. One thing I can’t do outside is sit still.

What first drew you to the outdoors? When I was ten years old, my family vacationed in Colorado. We visited places like Estes Park and Vail, and I remember thinking, “I’m going to live here when I grow up.” I came to live in Colorado after college, and for the first time I felt like I was home.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? Evergreen is surrounded by open space parks, so there’s never a lack of trails to explore. One of my favorites that I recommend to my friends is Panorama Point in Corwina Park. It has a great view of Mount Evans.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home? In winter, my North Face Chilkat boots boots keep my feet warm and dry. In summer, my Salomon Fellraisers grip the trail like no other shoe.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? It happened just a short while ago: descending Quandary Peak in January, I accidentally got off-trail and waded through waist-deep snow for 1.3 miles, suffering from terrible fatigue. It’s the first—and hopefully only—time I felt like I might not get off the mountain under my own power! If it weren’t for the help of a stranger, I likely would have been forced to call Alpine Rescue. (Check out the full story on Amy's blog).

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you? My favorite hiking buddy is my teenage daughter, Amber. She’s bold and fearless, and likes a good challenge! I also spend a lot of quality time on the trails with my cute little mutt, Scruffy.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel? My ultimate dream vacation would be Norway. Summer or winter, that place is gorgeous. Two weeks would not be enough. Here in the US, Glacier and Yosemite National Parks are at the top of my list.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now? In February, I’ll be going to Hanging Lake to see it in its frozen state. In summer, I’d like to summit Torreys Peak from the west face via Grizzly Peak.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it! This is the Indian Peaks Wilderness (see above), a snowshoe trek that stretched me physically and was a spiritual experience of pure beauty. The hike to Lake Isabelle is over 5 miles each way in the winter, the longest snowshoe trek I’ve done yet. It was a perfectly cloudless day, making the sky the deepest blue I’d ever seen, and the snow was luminous in the morning sun. It was like walking through a sapphire and diamond world. I’ll never forget emerging from the woods at Long Lake (on the way to Lake Isabelle) and gasping at the sight of it.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto? The best views are the ones you have to work for.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.