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Explorer Spotlight: Grant Whitty

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Name: Grant Whitty | Age: 19 | Location: Fort Collins, CO.

What’s your day job? 

I am a full-time student at Colorado State University studying Journalism and Media Communication.

What are your favorite things to do outside?

Skiing is by far my favorite thing to do outside. Since I can only ski in the winter, I often spend my summer days backpacking, hiking, and camping.

What first drew you to the outdoors?

Growing up, my family and I always spent our vacation time skiing and hiking out here in Colorado. I fell in love with the mountains at a young age, and I was determined to move to Colorado after high school to live the outdoor lifestyle I always dreamed of.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?

Since I grew up in Iowa, there was not a whole lot to do, as one could imagine. Luckily, Wildcat Den State Park was only a short drive from home, and it soon became our go-to spot. My friends and I often spent our weekends camping there, exploring the unique rock formations and hiking trails within the park. As far as snagging a beer, I am only 19, so sipping a cold Maine Root Rootbeer and sitting around the fire is good enough for me.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?

I cannot leave my place without snagging my camera. I have yet to forget my camera, I don’t know what I would do without it.

What’s your favorite trail snack?

Patagonia Provisions’ Bison Jerky

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?

Ironically, I made a playlist for just that. It’s called Get Sendy; I primarily listen to this when I ski, but it is often played on the road to get hyped for the upcoming day or trip.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest? 

I went heli-skiing in the backcountry of the Coast Range Mountains near Pemberton, British Columbia in the Spring of 2015. I witnessed my first avalanche. It was by-far the scariest thing I have ever seen in my life. If we would have dropped into that line just minutes before, we would have been in the slide. Luckily no one was directly involved in the slide, but just being there, and watching it happen in front of me gave me a new a whole new perspective and respect for the mountains.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?

I can’t pick one person. It’s a tie between my two good buddies, Zach Nichols and Jacob Schmelzer. They were the only other people my age who actually had a true love for the outdoors back in Iowa. I have so many great memories with those guys. Though they stayed in Iowa for school, we still try to meet up and do something rad whenever we can…I bet they will move out here sooner or later.  // Some of my biggest inspirations are Chris Burkard, KC Deane, Nic Alegre, and Jake Dyson—all photographers.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?

In no certain order, I really want to travel to: Nunavut, Greenland, Iceland, Patagonia, and the Himalayas.

What's on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?

I have really been itching to explore more of Colorado. I’ve lived in Colorado for a little over a year, and there is still so much of this state I have yet to explore.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!

This is a photo of the Astrovan when Zach, Jacob, and I all road-tripped to the Teton and Yellowstone area. That was my first time to the Tetons; the trip and the mountains changed my life. A lot of good memories were made on that nine-day trip.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?

“Send It”

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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