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Mt. Antero

Featured Article

A Remarkable Experience Awaits

Finding Adventure with Chris Goering

Article by Desiree Gustafson

Photography by Chat Coats & Chris Goering

Originally published in Windsor City Lifestyle

Adventure, by definition, is an unusual and exciting or daring experience or activity. Seeking adventure can broaden our horizons; and help us push past fear to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Adventure comes in all shapes and sizes and is unique to everyone. For Chris Goering, being outdoors and exploring is a passion that offers him discovery, introspection, and growth. Having hiked just over 20 of Colorado’s 14,000ft peaks (14ers), Chris knows that getting out of his comfort zone helps him learn and see things through a different lens. Born in Kansas, his parents moved here when Chris was just 3 years old. Growing up Chris had bold and adventuresome parents that imprinted that same spirit into him. His mother was an archeologist and traveled all over the world from Russia to Siberia, Japan, and New Zealand. She has been to almost 38 different countries, living in native areas with host families, and meeting people from all over the world. “My mom didn’t have as many mountain adventures, but she was embracing Russian culture and seeing so many amazing parts of the world. She instilled that sense of wonder and a quest for seeking more in me. She was always so well put together and dressed just right but you would get into her car and there were dusty boots and a hat. When you look at the value of parents, they both influenced me heavily to not conform to anyone else’s expectation, to be adventurous, to try new things, to experiment, and you might find something that you are good at and that you love. I took a lot of cues from my parents for my entire life, just both amazing humans” he stated.

Chris’ love for the outdoors started back in the 1970s with cub scouts and then grew after that, in boy scouts. He attributes this love to the active pack leaders and parents that strived to make sure every boy in the organization had a great time and learned skills that would be transferable in life. “It was so important to have really committed parents of every scout to be active in the outside adventures or the planning and organization of them. So that is what really started my love for the outdoors and adventure” shared Chris. His dad had a bigger influence on his outdoor experiences from a young age; being involved in his scouting years and encouraging him to always keep exploring and asking questions. During these years, his dad built the foundation which would carry him into his adventurous future.

The 14ers really started for Chris around 2017, when he found that he really enjoyed exploring more than he did just another bike ride or organized sport. It was a shift for him that offered a sense of peace without the scheduling or flat tires and traffic. Working his job as a Medical Claims Examiner is also where Chris met his hiking buddy. “I walked by his desk, and he has this huge map of RMNP in his cubical and I knew then we would be great friends.” This friendship fueled Chris’ drive to hike, having someone close to his age with a similar upbringing helped ignite his motivation to do more. They communicate at work and plan things daily, from a spur-of-the-moment hike the next day to organizing as far out as August. Overnight camping has become part of their routine for longer hikes that are further away. Driving out the night before and reaching their destination makes the next day easier. Helping them be well rested, with a good feel for the mountain, and ready to begin their journey. 

For Chris, every mountain has a different story, vibe, and experience. He likes to take time to reflect on his adventures, processing what’s happened in the last month or the last year and take stock in what he has learned and what he wants to implement going forward. “It is always about more for me. What I gain from it emotionally is so important, that I can bring that perspective back into my regular life and approach my job or a conflict differently than maybe the last Friday when I left. It is very much like reading a good book for some people. It is an exercise in humility and deeper thinking. I think you must have such high respect for the mountain, because the mountain is almost like a spiritual presence. Some people find it in church or with their faith or family and the mountain is almost a living entity and she will decide the outcome. I enjoy being able to climb a big mountain with respect and knowing I am worthy of the summit when I reach it” shares Chris.

His favorite mountain however is Longs Peak, which he has hiked several times, including his birthday and at night on the 4th of July in the moonlight! “That mountain is right there, every day staring at us, and I can look up and say, “I have been to the top of that mountain, I’ve taken a nap on top of that mountain, I have drank a beer on top of that mountain.” This spirit of adventure and connection is something he pushes with his daughters as well; to go outside of their comfort zone, to try new things, and live a life that is all their own. Every one of his climbs has been important to him, it has never been a goal to summit all of them, but what he gains from each 14er is so much more than just the hike. He is given a renewed vision of himself and perspective of life. Chris has paved his own path, creating new chapters in his book, and letting his experiences become wonderful stories. His hope is to inspire you to find your own adventure and your own mountain to explore.

  • Castle Peak
  • A Mountain Goat Atop Quandary Peak
  • Chasm Lake Looking Up to Longs Peak
  • The View of Longs Peak From The Boulder Field
  • Looking Down From Castle Peak
  • Looking Back On the Ascent to Castle Peak
  • Coming Down From Redcloud Peak
  • Castle Peak
  • Approaching The Summit of Castle Peak
  • Hiking the Loch Trail on New Year's Day
  • Summit of Redcloud Peak
  • Mt. Antero
  • Mt. Antero
  • Longs Peak
  • The Keyhole on Longs Peak
  • Summit of La Plata Peak