Women are fantastic creatures that have long been known as the softer sex. Since taking my stab at the mountain man some have asked about the mountain woman and her needs. After all, if a man in these parts is lucky enough to survive the odds of getting the girl, he should know how to hold on to her too.
The mountain woman can be found along a continuum. I realize in hindsight, of course, the mountain man too can fit along a continuum, but I digress.
I do not consider myself a full-blown mountain woman. I am a convert, like a born again, only my jubilant realizations came in the form of a tired happy grin from a weekend of outdoor fun. I’d consider myself a 6.5 or 7 on the mountain woman continuum scale of 1-10. This is, of course, by Aspen standards. By the standards of any Manhattanite, I’ve already let my eyebrows go and would be considered a full blown mountain woman because I hike Smuggler and have camped more than once, and actually like it.
It was while I was skiing by myself the other day that I thought, “I must really like it here.” For years there seemed to be a part of me that didn’t want to give in and call the mountains home. I’m proud to say that I held out on wearing clogs for 10 whole years. It’s kind of remarkable since I actually worked at La Cocina at one point. Though I recently caved and bought a pair. That rocker support is pretty sweet.
Some of you may think, “Who is this mountain woman and what are the qualifications?” At the risk of sounding like Jeff Foxworthy, if you’re wondering if you’ve entered the mountain woman continuum ask yourself the following questions:
Have I recently worn snowflake tights with a skirt and Sorrels out dancing? Have I gone on an outdoor adventure i.e. hut trip, camping or river trip for a bachelorette party? Am I faster than many men, especially visitors, on my skis or bike? Have I entered a wood splitting contest? Do I consider wool the only acceptable base layer? If you answered yes to any of these then you might be a mountain woman.
I remember when I was still a mountain woman in training and I had one pair of long underwear, two pair of ski socks and the ski pants I wore were a hand-me-down from some mountain betty before me. Times have changed. I can actually lend clothes and gear to a visiting female friend. That reeks of mountain woman.
I don’t want to confuse men here. Mountain women are great fun, but don’t dismiss the fact that you are dating a woman. We still enjoy a good chat while we skin up the hill or bike up the mountain. And we won’t stop accessorizing because we’re outdoors either.
If you can wrap your head around the fact that we must go to Denver or any city, from time to time, it improves the chances of us running back to the hills for a life of wood chopping and granola making. If you planned the city get away for us, we might just faint.
A mountain gal will hike Highland Bowl or Ajax seven months pregnant because she can — you go girl! She will also need a yoga pass, because while the mountain man is busy looking for the hamster wheel she needs some peace and quiet.
As a converted mountain gal I believe that function and fashion should hold hands at the very least. Buying her heels with lug soles would mighty thoughtful. I still see the value in the Pitkin County Dry Goods sale even though I now have three duct tape rings on my ski gloves.
Women can multi-task with the best of them so we can be mountain gal and highly functioning professional, friend, wife and mother all in the same day. We can be good bridges for the newly converted mountain gal and her mountain man counterpart. Biking with Sasha and Lisa who rock equals a fun ride. Biking the Lollipop Trail with the mountain man equals ass-clenching intimidation.
You must feed her culinary delights, watch Project Runway with her on occasion, give her the opportunity to dress up every now and again and remember that no matter how much wood she’s capable of chopping, she still has a side of her that is a rare and precious flower that deserves your love and attention. She is not unlike an orchid, which if over-watered might take a nosedive, or if under watered, take a nosedive. Your challenge, should you choose to accept, will be to find the perfect balance and enjoy a lifetime of awe-inspiring companionship. Disclaimer: The so-called perfect balance may change from time to time.
Beth is flying back from France in time to pack up her mountain girl threads and head to the Grand. Suggest your favorite Grand Canyon hikes at firstname.lastname@example.org