The Fjällräven Classic USA 2016


20160819_120238-ANIMATIONThe First Annual Fjällräven Classic has officially made its way to the US and I am beyond thankful to have been invited out to be a part of this incredible event! Three glorious days and two nights under the glistening stars backpacking through the remote wilderness of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Over 100 people from all over the US came out to this event and trekked 20+ miles in the back country of the Colorado Rocky Mountains in the 71,000 acres of State Forest State Park. This was my first time ever visiting Colorado and I had quite the epic adventure that will last me a lifetime!

The original Fjällräven Classic takes place in Sweden and features a 110km trek through the gorgeous mountains of the Swedish Lapland with over 2000 people in attendance from around 30 different countries! The event has become so successful that it was time for the Fjällräven Classic to finally make its way to the US. The opportunity to spend quality time in nature with fellow outdoor enthusiasts was an offer I couldn’t refuse!

FJLRVN_CO_CourseMap_Overview_1Pictured above is a map of our hike. We started at around 9,000 feet in elevation and went up around 12,000 feet. Living at sea level, I was a little worried about getting elevation sickness so I made sure to hydrate that week.

I took a direct flight from DC to Denver Thursday night and stayed in an Airbnb. One of the meet up locations was at a light rail station in Denver on Friday morning. I caught the bus at around 6 am and then we were off to start our adventure. Due to bathroom breaks and roadwork, the bus ride took significantly longer than everyone expected and we finally arrived at the trail head around 5 hours later. The drive did not seem as long to me as I was kept busy gazing outside in awe of the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains and enjoying the scenic, twisty mountain roads.  When we arrived we were welcomed with friendly, smiling faces and spoiled with Fjällräven goodies at the check in. There was even a local chef who made us breakfast! (which I so desperately needed).

After stuffing and repacking my bag a few times, I was invited to start with the first group at noon. I did not know anyone prior to this trip. Just the week before I was browsing through the FjällrävenUSA instagram and there was a post asking who was attending the classic. I noticed another adventurous girl like myself who commented saying she was going and I reached out to her. It was nice being able to connect with another female blogger like myself and I couldn’t believe how much we had in common! You can find more about her here at BeachBodAbroad.com

I met up with her at the starting line and after the official gun shot start we were off.

20160819_121906-ANIMATIONThe beginning of our journey started out on an easy dirt road. The starting times were staggered to help space people out.

Funny story, a few of us ended up going a few miles down the wrong path! Thankfully someone came by and picked us up in a truck to take us back in the right direction. It was quite the start of our adventure!

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Our first stream crossing had us trek over this nifty little bridge and gave us the opportunity to try out our GRAYL filtered water bottles.

20160819_164716-ANIMATIONAs we continued to gain in elevation the sun started to fade and the cool mountain air and clouds started to seep in. There were many times I had to stop to put on and take off my jacket. The weather in the Rockies kept constantly fluctuating and I experienced everything from sun, rain, and hail all within just a few hours!

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The nice blue skies we had at the start had long since vanished. We brought our rain coats out and put our pack covers on to protect our gear from the rain.

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The crisp forest just after some rain.

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As we started nearing the top to our first campsite, I stopped for a moment to admire the endless beauty of the Rocky Mountains in the distance. Where I am from in Virginia, the mountains are no where near as high as the Rockies so I made sure to enjoy every last second of it!

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Our first camp site was located at the base of Ruby Jewel Lake. The field was vast and had plenty of space to pitch our tents.

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I enjoyed walking around and exploring the area.

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I could not believe how close we were to the clouds as they were floating down into the valley. This was probably the highest I have ever been at this elevation and the views took my breathe away.

20160819_181839-ANIMATIONIt was very chilly out and I decided to head back to set up my tent.

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Just before sunset.

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The sun making its way behind the mountain near my campsite.

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The next morning we arose to clear blue skies.

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Day 2 made for an absolutely beautiful day for hiking! Thanks for the photo BeachBod Abroad!

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Trekking through the back country with BeachBod Abroad!

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One of our checkpoint locations before arriving to our next camping spot. Trust me when I say Fjällräven beyond spoiled us at these check points! Fjällräven had everything from Swedish fish, jerky, trail mix, hot potato soup, pancakes, cliff bars, beer, whiskey shots and even Lingonberry Juice! I was very well fed on this trip and was amazed with how well Fjällräven pampered us! Nothing like being spoiled while hiking!

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I took a little break here to fill up my GRAYL bottle for some refreshing mountain water.

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We had a bit of a trek up, but the views did not disappoint.

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After a few miles of uphill trekking we finally made it to the top!

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Adventures with Ashley and  BeachBod Abroad! Special thanks to this girl for all the blogging insight and dreams to inspire women!

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Kelly Lake!

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All smiles at the top! Good times with good people! =]

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The view from the top was absolutely breathtaking! I felt as if I was on top of the world and it felt even better knowing that I had arrived with my own two feet. There was even a big patch of snow!

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At the base of Kelly Lake.

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We even had a few fly fishers in the group.

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My first time ever eating trout! Mhmm .. It was delicious!

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Admiring the views at Kelly Lake.

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I had the pleasure of meeting some amazing photographers along the way. I felt honored to have been surrounded by like-minded people and it really reassured me that I was on the right path of following my dreams.

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The gorgeous Alpenglow at Kelly Lake.

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Alpenglow as seen through my GoPro.

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It was a perfect night for long exposure photography. Not only did I get to see the Milky Way, but I even saw a shooting star!

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Keeping warm by the campfire.

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Enjoying mountain house meals. I couldn’t believe how delicious freeze dried meals could be! Biscuits and gravy for breakfast sure did hit the spot!

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Soaking up the sunrise over the Rockies.

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Our third and final day as we started to descend in elevation.

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Photo credit: JJYosh.com

Nothing like getting lost in nature in the magical Aspen Grove forest!

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Our last day was a fairly easy 8 mile downhill hike and yet another gorgeous day for hiking.

When I arrived at the finish I received a finishers patch and medal. Local Chef Kyle prepared a heavenly feast for us to include trout, pork, beef, veggies and even peach cobbler for dessert! I was too busy stuffing my face to take a picture, I do apologize!  We were treated with ice cold beer and wine along with live music and good people. The finishers party was a nice treat and made for the perfect cherry on top of our adventurous weekend. I did not want this moment to end and was absolutely dreading being back at the office that Tuesday morning.

Another epic adventure in the books. Thank you Fjällräven for the wonderful opportunity and experience of a lifetime. I can’t wait to see what next year’s event has in store for us!

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Until next time Colorado!

 

 

 

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4 Responses to “The Fjällräven Classic USA 2016

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  • Looks like a fantastic trip! I knew about the Fjallraven Classic, but I had no idea they were doing a Fjallraven Classic USA! Jealous 🙂 I’ll have to keep an eye out for this next year!

    • It was quite the epic adventure!! It was the first one they did in the US and they definitely plan to do another one!! I hope to be out there for it and hope to see you there!! 8)

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