Snowman Trek Time

by Beth Whitman (September 16th, 2014)

Group at Tigers NestIt’s been a long time in the making (more than a year), but it’s finally time for the Snowman Trek.

If you’re just now dropping in, the Snowman Trek is a 25-day, 220-mile trek across the Himalayas in Bhutan. We’ll be as high as 18,200 feet and will be hiking over about 11 passes, many of them higher than 16,000 feet.

For the past year, I’ve been working out by doing P90X and, more recently, hiking. Some of that hiking has included high altitude treks in places such as Mauna Kea (14,000 feet) on Hawaii Island, Mt. Batur (4,000 feet) on Bali, Santa Fe Baldy (12,600 feet) and South Arapaho Peak (11,900 feet) in Colorado.

Beth getting ready for Snowman Trek

We’re expecting rain so we’re all outfitted with umbrellas.

Expedia and XShot are sponsoring this adventure. Those folks have made it possible for me to bring along a videographer to document the journey and to also continue our support of RENEW Bhutan, an organization that helps women of domestic violence throughout the country.

We arrived a few days early in Bhutan to get some hikes in, but now it’s show time. Today we leave.

I’ll be offline for the next 25 days.

Snowman Trek Video Shoot

This is our first video shoot of the trek.

I depart today with both trepidation and excitement. I can’t wait to get started, but have to admit to being a bit nervous about what lies ahead.

Whatever that may be, I can’t wait to share it with you when I return to the online world sometime in mid- to late-October.

Til then,

Be Bold,



The Curtis Hotel in Denver

by Beth Whitman (September 16th, 2014)

On our recent visit to Denver, we stayed at The Curtis hotel in downtown Denver (as I mentioned in my post about us hiking).

It was my first stay at The Curtis and I loved it because of how unique the hotel is. Every floor is themed and every room is decorated based on the theme of that floor.

I thought it would be fun to share with you some photos of those rooms…

Denver The Curtis Ghostbusters Room

We were on the 13th (scary movies) floor in the Ghostbusters room. It’s hard to tell from this photo but the darker green squares on the floor were actually filled with a gooey substance so that when you stepped on it, the gel would move around. The room had Ghostbuster-like memorabilia including a book on ghosts. And did you notice the curtains?

When I return to The Curtis, I’m definitely going to request a room on the music floor. Here you’ll find the KISS room…

Denver The Curtis KISS Room

The Spice Girls room…

Denver The Curtis Spice Girls Room

The Jimmy Buffet room…

Denver The Curtis Jimmy Buffett Room

I suspect the Jimmy Buffet room is particularly appropriate now that Colorado has loosened its laws on marijuana. ;-)

In addition to the unique rooms, The Curtis has a festive lobby, with retro styling that features olde time sweets available for sale and games like Boggle for anyone to play.

The Curtis Lobby

The Curtis is located in an excellent location downtown and is within walking distance to the 16th Street Mall as well restaurants and coffee shops. We even walked to the Botanic Gardens (about three miles away) from here.

The Curtis is definitely worth a visit next time you’re in Denver.

Be Bold,


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Denver-area Hiking

by Beth Whitman (September 5th, 2014)

Mountains in ColoradoAs part of our training for the Snowman Trek, Jon and I took a very short trip (two nights) to Denver to get in some last-minute high-altitude hiking. It was a good thing we did because we learned a thing or two that we hadn’t quite figured out during our warm summer hikes.

Though we had already done some high altitude hikes–14,000 foot Mauna Kea in Hawaii and 12,600 foot Santa Fe Baldy in New Mexico–this was the first time we were really in cold weather. It was 38 degrees when we set out at about 7 A.M.

I have to admit that I was a bit unprepared for that low temp. While I packed my hiking boots and poles (forcing me to check a bag), I didn’t have gloves. Whoops. I ended up wearing an extra pair of Smartwool socks (snicker) on my hands that Jon happened to have with him. Good thing, ’cause that really saved the tips of my fingers that were starting to get cold within the first few minutes of hiking.

I also realized just how cold it will be getting for us at 18,000 feet in Bhutan. I therefore added a couple more Merino wool layers to my wish list and made a mental note that on the trek I would need to carry my North Face jacket, Icebreaker balaclava and Gordini heavy gloves in my daybag in case I encounter such cold along the way (which I will).

Beth Whitman Colorado

Such a view, eh?

By the time we reached this peak (about 11,900 feet), the wind was blowing super hard–about 20 – 30 miles an hour. I was actually having a difficult time staying upright without my poles.

But it was a great view.

Beth and Jon Hiking Colorado

When we finished our day hike, temps were closer to the low 60s and I was much happier. :-)

If you go
For great hotel rates, try booking your hotel through Trivago.

We stayed at The Curtis in downtown Denver. Though this is a Doubetree by Hilton hotel, it’s no ordinary cookie-cutter accommodation. Every floor has a different theme and every room is decorated to suit the floor’s theme. We were on the 13th floor, the scary movie floor, and we were in the Ghostbuster room which was complete with icky, gooey, green stuff embedded in the floor and books on how to catch a ghost.

We only had a couple of days there. One was spent sightseeing for a story I’m writing for the Expedia Viewfinder blog. The second day we spent hiking. If you’re planning a trip to Denver (5,280 feet) for some hiking, my recommendation would be to spend at least a couple of days in the city to acclimate before setting out for the higher mountains.

Be Bold,


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