The second annual Family Winter Mountaineering and Backcountry Weekend at the YMCA of the Rockies will be held March 3-5 and features presentations on winter survival tips and mountaineering skills, family snowshoe hikes, children’s story times, kids yoga, hot chocolate warm ups and an activity hall with fun for the whole family.
A keynote address will be given on Saturday evening by The Courvreux family from “Climbing Party of Four,” aclimbingpartyoffour.com. Chloe and Brendan Courvruex will be speaking about their adventurous life with two children — climbing, skiing and traveling in their 1990 VW Vanagon that was recycled, restored and rebuilt into a modernized functionally reliable Westfalia Syncro Vanagon ready to take on the road, and ready to take on many adventures!
We asked Chloe Courvruex a few questions about what the outdoor means to their family and why they make getting into nature with their family a priority!
YMCA: “Why is it important to find ways to get outside as a family?”
Chloe: “Brendan and I share a passion for climbing hard together, so we’ve always stuck to that. We want our kids to be part of this, so they develop the habits to go with our lifestyle, and enjoy the benefits like we do. We always bring our kids along, and we’ve had some pretty funny comments from climbers and hikers. Invest in good gear, and keep a close eye on your kids. Our kids get tons of high fives on the trails, climbs and ski slopes! Kids are born curious and playful, and we want to feed these healthy behaviors, not kill that spirit.
We believe kids belong playing in the mud, wind, snow, dirt, and rocks! We get outside for them, but we also get outside for us. Playing outside keeps us happy as adults, and sometimes we push thru the barriers with our kids, because we need to get our outdoor adventure fix!
Today’s modern society tends to pull people away from the outdoors. We feel like despite the extra efforts it will undoubtedly require, living a life full of outdoor adventures with our children is worth every drop of sweat, every missed hour of sleep, or every unfinished climbing project! Good ethics, environmentalism, physical limits, acceptance, self-confidence and so much more can all start naturally by playing outside for little people.
We definitely have our “questionable parenting” moments, but we’re in it together, and when we read that a norm for children is to watch 2-4 hours of television a day, we figure that even if our day wasn’t the most successful outside moment, we are doing good with the values we hold dear, and not sticking our kids in front of a screen.”
“YMCA: What are some of your favorite outdoor activities with your kiddos?”
Chloe: “We are climbers and climbing is undeniably at the top of our list of outdoor activities with our boys. Climbing outside easily gets paired with swimming in the river, camping, or building a campfire, so we love these too! Before kids, we ran lots of miles on trails. With our boys, this translated into hiking a trail, running with a stroller, or running while our kids bike! We also ski. So with our kids, we climb, we ski, we run, we hike, we swim, we camp, they bike!
Truly though, our two boys have lived this outdoor life their entire existence, and they love to do all sorts of things outside… Go fishing, swing on a rope, cut some firewood, build some boats with bark and leaves, you name it, if it sounds remotely close to a fun deal outside, they are in, and we love to do all these things with them.
We wonder if they are ever going to outgrow their love for throwing rocks in the river!”
The YMCA of the Rockies is proud to partner with the Estes Park Mountain Shop and Kent Mountain Adventure Center to provide quality programming for this fun and informative weekend. All listed activities, with the exception of select excursions are free for guests staying in lodge rooms or cabins. Make your reservations today by calling 888-613-9622 or make your online reservation here. For guests staying in off-grounds accommodations and members of the Estes Park community are welcome to purchase day passes for $20/person ages 13 and up to participate in the weekend events.