Mountain Standard has a lot of awesome field agents, including some pretty badass couples. They're not your typical roses and chocolate kind of couples.
Since we got such good answers from last year's post: we asked two Mountain Standard Field Agent couples what their ideal Valentine's Day would look like and had them individually respond (that means they sat down and wrote their responses separately believe it or not!). Looks like they're pretty much on the same page and it doesn't involve overpriced flowers or oversized teddy bears (maybe some real bears though.)
Meet Anna & Devin
Anna and Devin are one of our favorite adventure couples based out of Buena Vista, CO. They do everything from skiing, rafting, slacklining, hiking. You name it, they've tried it.
In my perfect world, this would be a great Valentine’s Day…
Both of us wake up later than normal, but not too late. Next, we’d prepare and enjoy a quick breakfast at the house, complete with eggs, bacon and cinnamon rolls.
After breakfast, Devin and I would head outside to find blue skies, fresh snow, and SUN! We’d set out for some backcountry skiing, beginning with a skin up at the local trailhead. Our uphill journey would involve some picture taking (of course) and end with some solid downhill turns, all while having really fun conversation. On our second lap, Devin and I would stop at the top to munch on some chocolates and sip on a spicy chai straight from the Hydroflask we packed.
Following some awesome skiing, we would head back towards town, but first, a stop at the local hot springs to relax by the river would be more than ideal. We’d hang out there for a while, but not for too long – sitting still for extended periods of time can get boring.
From the hot springs, we would end up on Main Street. Devin and I would each grab another spicy chai from the BV Roastery, accompanied by some chocolate chip cookies. After that, we’d grab our old jeep parked a block away and drive it out to Four-Mile – an off-road area near our town.
The two of us would drive around for a while to find the perfect place to build a fire and cook dinner outside. While eating we’d watch the sunset and the stars rise (taking more pictures of course) before heading back home to snuggle up for a movie in bed.
My ideal Valentine's day can be summed up in 2 words.
February is an awesome time of year in this little piece of Colorado that my wife and I call home. It is still very much winter, but warmer temps and memories of January's frigid mornings start to get my mind thinking of summer activities.
I think any ideal day starts with waking up when my body tells me to. Add to that the fact that I get to roll over and see my amazingly beautiful wife still sleeping. I don’t see how a morning could start better. We would make breakfast together. She always makes better food than I do, but it’s more fun with both of us in the kitchen.
After stuffing our faces with breakfast, we would leave to go skiing, choosing between our favorite places on Independence Pass or Cottonwood Pass. We’d find a spot with soft snow and ski a few laps. After that we would head down the valley for some more activities.
In the heat of the afternoon, Anna and I would climb a few of our favorite routes near Buena Vista. With any more climbs, shaky legs would take over, making climbing difficult.
While the sun is still out, both of us would go for a quick slackline session in a park. This time is used best to stretch sore muscles and loosen up.
Lastly, Anna and I would drive our jeep to an amazing vista for a romantic sunset dinner together. When the sun’s last light disappears and the stars come out, we’d try our luck at capturing some time lapses of the beautiful winter night sky. Anna is very practiced and talented with this sort of photography and I enjoy watching her process and learning from it. We always have fun trying to be creative, and it’s more fun when we do it together.
Meet Sara & Patrick
When we thought of doing this Adventure post for the second year in a row, we immediately contacted Sara & Patrick after watching their amazing and out of the ordinary wedding ceremony.
Photo by: Cheyne Lempe
Patrick's alarm would go off at 6am and I'd hear him chugging water from the Nalgene as I settle into my sleeping bag more. Then I'd hear him grind his coffee beans outside, probably a few farts, then the hiss of the Italian espresso. I'd doze off again - this is routine, actually. He wakes up at least 30 minutes before I do. He'll unzip the tent and wake me with Earl Grey in the JetBoil, a splash of almond milk. I'll cuddle with it for the warmth and probably fall asleep again. Eventually I would get up, as this is Valentine's Day and I can't get away with being too lazy in the morning.
Breakfast would be banana and protein pancakes, one of our favorite specialties on a cold morning. I'd drizzle honey on mine and he'd use the syrup and too much butter. We'd be camped somewhere with large cliffs of granite or limestone surrounding us. We'd scope out a long, casual multi-pitch, sing songs and laugh as we geared up and Patrick would likely shake his butt around.
On the climb, we'd swing leads and picnic on a ledge with our go-to climbing lunch: tuna, crackers, and hopefully a ripe avocado and some sharp cheddar cheese. With the sky clear and gentle, the day warm enough for a thin long sleeve, we would bask in our time together and maybe share a few kisses...only a few *wink. I would joke about how shy he was asking for my number on V-Day two years ago at the climbing gym, basically the day it all started for us.
By the end of the afternoon we would have tired ourselves of the steep descent and my knees would probably be aching, but then we'd relax in our camp chairs and I'd toss my legs onto Patrick's lap and cutely ask for a massage. He'd shake his head at me and grin from ear to ear, then dig in with his rough hands, making me cringe at every knot.
Dinner would be vegetables and lean protein, then we'd treat ourselves to dark chocolate, hard ciders, and a clear night sky. In a lot of ways, this day is like any other day, except we'd probably just make-out more!
My unconventional Valentine's Day would begin early with our eyes opening to an alpine valley bright from the moon just before the dawn. With a good morning kiss I'd jump from bed to prepare our coffee and tea in time to welcome the sunrise over a meadow of rare violet and crimson, early blooming, wild flowers. Beyond the meadow, house-sized boulders would guard the base of a thousand-foot white granite tower offering a climber all they could ever want.
Heart shaped protein banana pancakes would fill our bellies before setting off up the trail for a day of pulling, pressing, wedging, locking and jamming. Welcomed by perfect temps and a splitter blue bird sky, Sara and I would find our flow to the top of each pitch. By early afternoon we'd summit and enjoy our simple lunch of wheat thins, sharp cheese, tuna, and avocado while bonding in our love for one another and the epic climb we just sent. After a quick rap and descent back to camp we'd enjoy a few hard ciders with dinner and settle in to watch the sunset. Then beneath the stars we'd plan for our tomorrow and dream up more adventures for our wanderlust lifestyle.
Happy Valentine's Day compadres!
Follow our friends on Instagram:
Anna Toll - @acwong
Devin Toll - @dtoll12
Sara Aranda - @heysarawrr