Owner and Director of Stoke (dog dad, pirate joke teller, and dirtbag)
When Sean was a young boy, he had a paper route. His first purchase from his paper route money? A Swiss Champ knife. He was officially hooked on gear. That was 30 years ago and the knife is still getting used! After thousands of days in the field, testing gear in all kinds of climates, conditions, and activities he is ready to help you get into the best gear for your adventures!
When not obsessing about gear, Sean is a certified personal trainer and owner of Colorado Personal Fitness and Mountain Fitness School. He loves training clients to get into shape to enjoy all outdoor activities and adventures and loves getting them into the right gear so they can make the most of the experiences! If he’s not training his clients in the gym and in the mountains, Sean is consumed with research into the best gear technology and testing it on adventures. Sean is TRX-FORCE, NSCA-CPT, NPTI, NSNF, FMS1, AIARE Level 2 and a 100% certified gear enthusiast.
He also wrote the book on Splitboarding.
Dr. Of Stoke
Freelance writer, bicyclist, outdoor recreation enthusiast, social justice advocate, and mom to her furbaby, Utah the Adventure Dog.
A Colorado native, Kate considers the outdoors her mother ship. She brings her passion for bicycling, the environment, and issues of diversity to her writing. Her primary outdoor recreation activities are mountain biking, fat biking, snowshoeing, camping, peak bagging Colorado’s 14ers, road cycling, and Nordic skiing. After suffering two major knee injuries within four years, Kate hopes to return to alpine skiing next season.
Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Colorado State University and later an MSEd and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue University. In addition to her education, Kate’s background serving on the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and experience working for non-profits and bicycle sales well position her to bring depth and understanding to the complex changes currently taking place in the outdoor recreation industry.
We also heard she has a (slight) obsession for blue heelers.
Colorado Native and Seeker of Happiness
I am so fortunate to have been raised in Colorado and some of my favorite memories are camping with my Dad and family.
We would set up huge camping areas (tent camping with designated kitchen areas and community spaces) and camp for a full weekend. We rode dirt bikes and getting dirt under my nails was the best part.
Today I live in Denver with my best friend (aka Husband) and our two dogs (Chloe & Riley). I work as a professional downtown & retreat to the mountains as often as possible.
I am so lucky to continue to camp (side note: my gear is much lighter now compared to when I was a kid), hike, ride my bike on the Cherry Creek Trail, raft & snowshoe often.
My hubby is my adventure partner and our two pups tend to be our compass.
Follow my reviews for honest feedback on products you are curious on, have not seen a review on a piece of gear let me know and we will do our best to get our hands on it!
Rafael was born in France and grew up all over the world. He has always been active in the outdoors but didn’t actually begin to snowboard till he was 17. Now 24, he spends nearly every month chasing snow and adventure in both hemispheres. Rafael splits half of his time between Chile and the United States, where he just completed his degree in Environmental Sciences and Geography at the University of Colorado, where the rest of the year you can find him somewhere exploring in Asia, Europe and beyond.
His particular style of snowboarding is self-sufficient high and remote alpine expeditions, where there is 1 pain peak objection with a dozen or more ‘mini’ objections. The ride down is only a tenth of the fun that is had, the puzzle of logistics and suffering of access is the other side of fun.
Dave’s obsession (should we call it that? Yes, we should.) with gear began early with a stint at summer camp. Long trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Canada’s Quetico came with packing lists and packing lists got him thinking: the list says backpack, but which one?
Since then, he’s led trips back to the BWCA and Quetico and into Utah’s Escalante and Grand Staircase National Monument and guided mountain bike tours through the mountains around Colorado Springs. While acting as the head guide, he was also chief bike mechanic for the rental fleet. He’s AIARE Level 1 certified and has completed two Ironman triathlons.
Dave has used his gear all over the world. He’s skied the Swiss Alps, hiked the Great Wall, explored ancient cave strongholds in Turkey, and watched the sunset over Mt. Fuji.
What gear does Dave use?
Skiing– Custom Ski Logiks with Fritschi Vipec bindings and Scarpa Maestrale RS boots; Black Diamond Traverse poles with Carbon Probe lowers, Carbon Whippet; Ortovox S1 Beacon; Ortovox Lite PFA 240 Probe; Brooks-Range Backcountry Shovel; Arc’teryx Stinger bibs; Black Diamond First Light Hoody; Patagonia Merino Airbase.
Fishing– Tenkara USA Sato rod; Patagonia Rio Gallegos Zip Waders and Foot Tractor boots; Yamatoyo 3.5 level line; Rio Powerflex 5x tippet; Peak rotary vise for tying flies.
Camping– REI Flash 45 pack; Black Diamond HiLight or Megalight tents; Exped Synmat UL7 or Downmat UL7; Montbell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #1; Jetboil Sol Ti or homemade alcohol stove; Snowpeak 450 titanium mug.
Mountain Biking– Stooge Cycles frame and fork; Thomson Elite stem and seatpost; Light Bicycle Carbon 50mm rims laced on Chris King Hubs; Answer 20/20 carbon handlebar; Crank Brothers Eggbeaters; Shimano XT 1×11.
Commuter Biking– Van Dessel Whiskey Tango Foxtrot frame and fork; Gates Carbon Drive Centertrack – 46×28; Whiskey Parts Co. No.9 carbon wheels; Clement X’plor MSO tires; TRP Hylex disc brakes.
Trail Running– Pearl Izumi Trail N3 shoes, Patagonia Baggies.
Carrying Gear– Thule Aero Crossbars, Yakima Skybox 12, 1up USA Heavy Duty Bike rack.
Trevor is a self-described geek that grew up hiking 14ers and playing with computers. He serves as a web developer, photographer, videographer and occasional writer at Engearment.
Mountain Man, with a Van and Stoke
Hi, I’m Will, I’m currently living the van life in Colorado. I enjoy mountaineering, splitboarding, climbing, trail running and type 2 fun! I’m 28 years old and spend as much time outside as possible. I moved to Colorado in 2014 from Mississippi and grew up in the mid-south. I have been snowboarding since 2000 and the mountains have had my heart ever since. You can find me anywhere from riding Colorado’s high peaks to climbing desert towers, to climbing in the PNW!
It has been said that storytelling is the act of dreaming while we are awake and that our dreams render our reality. Dreaming is how we take in our external reality, weave it through our subconsciousness, and anchor it into our value systems. Dreams, stories, and films then become the fertile ground and birthplace of new ways of looking at the world.
As a filmmaker, my aim is to create films that have an emotional resonance and cathartic impact on our culture. I desire to create films that serve as inter-cultural bridges and lenses with which to see the world from a broader perspective. We live in a storm of stories. We communicate through them and learn from them. The image has never been more powerful, and as a storyteller, I want to plant new metaphors within the collective subconscious that bring us closer together in our diversity and our humanness. We are hardwired for stories. Great stories and films teach us how to live and are crucial to our survival. We would not have survived or evolved to where we are today without them.
Born in Silicon Valley California, Mike started Mtn bike riding and racing at the tender age of 14 in the mountains that surround the South Bay area. He hasn’t looked back since. After 4 honorable years in the United States Marine Corps, he spent a year on the east coast chasing fireflies while night riding to avoid the hot and humid days. In December of 1998 he was “going back to Cali” equipped with a 1992 Dodge truck, zero degrees sleeping bag, snowboard and a few grand in his pocket…… let’s just say he never made it!
After spending a considerable amount of time with a snowboard strapped to his back and snowshoes on his feet during those first two seasons, he picked up his first splitboard in spring of 2000 before a west coast road trip.
Mike considers the Gore Range his home range and spends countless hours ski mountaineering, backpacking, trail running, and attempting to call in any elk, bull or cow into his bow range. The last one seems to be elusive despite his efforts for the past 3 hunting seasons.
With splitboarding being his gateway method of travel to the enchanting winter wonderlands that Colorado has to offer, he was forced to learn telemark style turns for the efficiency of travel on his first splitboard in ski mode. That led to a natural curiosity of what telemark had to offer the backcountry traveler! The exact year he picked up his first telemark ski setup is a bit foggy, but confidently says he has been refining his tele turn for at least 15 years. While developing his ski skills, he always fell back on his snowboarding ability to tackle bigger lines such as the north face of
Mt. Democrat one of Colorado’s many 14,000 ft peaks. In 2012 he sold one of his splitboard setups as a way to force himself to not fall back on snowboarding and wait out the evolving market of gear offerings.
It is now 2019 his daughter Luna is 10 years old and has developed a proficient set of ski skills. Mike feels the time is ripe with gear offerings and the time is quickly approaching to start teaching his daughter the beauty and grace of the snowboard turn.
So the journey back full circle is here and he is back on splitboards using his telemark skills to help on his quest for multi-day adventures deep in the backcountry.
Mike also leads moderate trad routes and enjoys ice climbing when the snow is less than ideal. He has a passion for pushing his limits and enjoys finding his boundaries and figuring out how to overcome them. For example summer of 2018, he did a complete N-S single push effort of the Gore Range Trail that took him 19hours or so. He only attempted it one other time in 2003 and failed, So he feels that this is his biggest endurance accomplishment to date and says he has even bigger goals for the future!
Mike completed his first avalanche class with Silverton Avalanche School in 2001 and feels that is the primary reason along with some luck that he has survived his learning curve despite a handful of encounters with slides.
He completed his second avalanche class(AIARE level 1 Rec)in 2016 with Colorado Adventure Guides from Summit County Colorado.
He holds a CPR/First Aid cert and sees the need for ongoing snow science and medical training as his schedule and finances allow.
Alexandra Flower was born and bred in Denver, CO in the magnificent 80’s era. Top of the list activities in life include hanging out with Chris Flower, splitboarding, climbing and running restaurants (and probably in that order). Beliefs include being kind, sometimes polite and loving what you do.
Ten years on a splitboard and over a decade climbing doesn’t make me take myself too seriously. I just want to be out there enjoying the scenery.
Let it snow!
Wil was born in North Wales and steeped in its rich maritime, mountain and river folklore. In response to the request to “get a real job” he became first a teacher then professor of adventure education.
He then emigrated to where the sun shines for 300 days and snowfalls for 100 (Colorado). During more than 25 years as an outdoor educator, he worked Scottish winter seasons, taught canoeing, climbing, kayaking, and skiing throughout the States, Europe, and Australia. He also regenerated the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Outdoor Education program. His biggest adventure (by far) is fatherhood. It has also been the inspiration for his website www.wherethefruitis.com.
Things he likes to do include (middle) aging gracefully, and skiing (telemark) aggressively. He is happiest outdoors with a good view, good company, good weather/snow and the residue of self-powered adventure; sweat, a manic grin, and wild eyes.
Growing up snowboarding and hiking in the bitter cold winters and humid summers of northern Vermont, Eliza learned how to beat up gear and quickly became infatuated with new technologies. After moving to Colorado in 2015 to pursue a degree in recreation and outdoor education at Western Colorado University, her passion for the outdoors grew exponentially. Soon after, she picked up rock climbing, telemark skiing, backpacking, canyoneering, and is slowly learning to love rafting. Through these learning processes, Eliza began to understand the importance of the right gear and hopes to share her experiences and knowledge with others through Engearment.
Now working for Beacon Guidebooks as the ‘Wearer of Many Hats’ (yes, that is her official title), Eliza has learned the ins and outs of the outdoor industry. She has also worked on marketing teams, as a photographer, media coordinator, outdoor instructor and as a wrangler. She is especially excited to encourage other women in the outdoors and is an advocate for diversity and inclusion.
Mike is an aeronautical engineer, father, road and mountain biker and all around badass. Fun fact, he is also the 2nd place Red Bull World Champion for Paper Airplanes. Not making that up. Do NOT challenge him to a paper plane competition, unless you want to lose!
Mike builds rockets, sensors and all sorts of things that hurt our brain to think about. He is damn smart and good with his hands. We once built an impromptu rocket out of a beer can and fire. It was quite the party trick!
When Mike is not on dad duty or building things to go into space, he enjoys working on his 1940s Ford truck, named Atlas. We have enjoyed more camping adventures with Mike and his wife Brandi than we can count. If you get a chance to have a beer with Mike, ask him about the escaped donkey of Vail Pass.
Since moving to Colorado in 2014 he has become an avid splitboarder, mountain biker, climber, backpacker, and mountaineer.
When not working at his full-time job as a geologist Evan can usually be found exploring a new peak or pursuing his passion for adventure photography.
Erin Machan was California born and Alabama raised. When she isn’t talking shit about SEC college football (WAR EAGLE) she’s probably riding her mountain bike, talking about mountain bikes or teaching about mountain bikes. She learned how to ride a horse before she could walk and eventually became obsessed with competitive horse show jumping. When she wasn’t competing in show jumping, she was probably snowboarding, doing yoga or traveling the world looking for the next best horse.
Eventually, life changed as it always does and her Olympic dreams were behind her, so she was on the hunt for something new to be completely obsessed with, and that’s when she found bikes. It started with a used Trek on craigslist for $250 and soon escalated to a full-blown addiction. She’s since completed the Arizona Ironman, too many half Ironman’s to count, 3x 24-hour MTB races, 3x Leadville MTB finisher, and a handful of big races ahead including the Breck Epic! Erin is also the Co-Founder of Project Bike Love, an organization committed to empowering impoverished women and changing their lives with the gift of a bicycle.
She lives and breathes bikes, but when she’s not riding, she’s planning her next Rock or Ice Climbing adventure, learning how to Split Board and chasing adventure. You’ll most likely find her anywhere in Colorado, Moab, Red Rocks, Joshua Tree, Lake Tahoe, Pisgah National Forest, or recharging at her family’s Lake House near Auburn, AL. If you’re lucky enough to catch her, she’ll definitely talk your ear off about what gear she’s using. This girl is a gear junkie through and through. She’s spent over 6 years in the cycling industry and loves getting people stoked on the best gear the industry has to offer!
Marca Hagenstad is a snowboarder with an economics problem. She enjoys backcountry splitboarding but spends most of her time working to save snow through climate mitigation and helping companies reduce their environmental impacts.
Marca has determined the economic values of snow for the UN IPCC and for Protect Our Winters (POW). She founded Circle Economics in 2018 to facilitate the transition to a sustainable and circular economy. She helps companies measure their environmental, economic and social impacts in industries ranging from manufacturing to utilities.
Her training by the Sustainability Consortium, created to transform the consumer goods industry, enables her to advise clients on sustainable business strategy and responding to sustainability indices. She advises clients to go beyond compliance, turning data into insights to guide profitable business strategy.
Marca has a B.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.S. in Economics from Utah State University. She tests splitboards for Backcountry Magazine and teaches snow science with Winter Wildlands Alliance (WWA).
Michael loves to ski. No, seriously,Michael loves to ski. Let’s qualify this.
Growing up on the East Coast he found NYC and DJ culture. While working for a massive tech company during the day he played and mixed electronic music at night. Somewhere amid this excess, he found skiing. It was enough to inspire a transfer to Denver. And, after driving over Loveland Pass on his way to ski at Arapahoe Basin for the first time, he realized how good his decision was. He also took up yoga.
60lbs lighter and tons of fun later he recognized how skiing had started him on a journey. He gave up the corporate job, bought a truck and a multi-resort ski pass and took off. #trucklife is like #vanlife only smaller and more frugal. A winter touring the US, Canada, and AK was inspiring. But, he wanted to be home in Colorado, so he moved to Summit County and started working in Outdoor Retail.
Did you guess you can find him skiing in the winter? Backcountry or resort its all good. In the summer he is thinking of skiing, riding a mountain bike, or hiking in the mountains.
You can find out more about his trip skiing 22 resorts or some of his other adventures at www.othersidemtn.com or Instagram @michaelclemente
A transplant of the Midwest, Austen immigrated to the promised land of western Colorado in 2012 in search of good climbing, deep snow, quality rivers, and a college degree when his goofing off allowed. He learned pretty quick the difference quality gear can make on the outcome of a day (or days) in the mountains and began looking for the best gear to abuse.
In the summer Austen is an avid whitewater kayaker, bouncing his boat down the steep, rocky waterways of Colorado, trad climber in search of the route less traveled, and works as a federal river ranger along the Gunnison River. During the winter Austen spends his time telemarking around the backcountry of western Colorado and working as a ski patroller up on the continental divide.
Austen says, “A hundred days of skiing and paddling each per year and you’ll figure out what is wrong or right with your equipment, especially when your lively-hood depends on it.” Austen also has his American Avalanche Association Professional Level 1 avalanche certification, EMT-B, and ACA swift-water rescue cert, as well as a member of the Search and Rescue team in Gunnison County for 6 years.
Becky has been living the ski bum life in Summit County, CO for close to a decade. Originally from Chicago, she moved to Fort Collins in 2007 and graduated with a Biomedical Science degree from CSU in 2011. She decided to “take a year off” before grad school, moved to Breckenridge off a Craigslist ad, and never left.
Her main passion is skiing, closely rivaled by mountain biking. You can also find her rafting, climbing, and mountain running in the summertime.
Becky has her AIARE 2 and companion rescue certifications and has completed both EMT and technical ropes certification classes from CMC.
In her free time, she’s a volunteer guide for the 501(c)(3) organization High Country Veterans Adventures, a non-profit dedicated to bringing Veterans together in the mountains. When she’s not outside, she’s playing the violin in the Summit Community Orchestra. Life in the mountains is good, the stoke is high.
Nicole Doty grew up in Florida and shocked all her friends and family when she moved to Denver in 2014 and became “outdoorsy”! Nicole loves living in Denver and tries to balance her life as a Human Resources Professional working in downtown Denver with her love for being outdoors and spending time in the mountains. Favorite activities include camping, hiking, skiing, drinking wine, snowshoeing, and yoga! As a new mom, she is enjoying sharing her love for the outdoors with her son Archer. Every day is a balancing act, but when you have the right gear you feel ready for anything!
I am Clark Smitherman, a veteran, a photographer, and a business owner. I have spent 14 years in the Armed Forces Special Operations community, traveling across the globe multiple times, spending time in 27 countries on multiple continents.
Through my travels I fell in love with the ever-changing beauty of the landscape, not one ever like the one before, I learned the importance of a photo.
The goal of a photo is to freeze a moment in time that allows a viewer to use their imagination to create a story. My goal in life is to share my story and the stories of the people I meet around the world.
Kyle grew up in Iowa and after high school ditched the midwest to begin college at Western State Colorado University and start guiding in the summers.
Kyle says he spent his time at Western climbing, snowboarding, volunteering on the rescue team, and instructing for the outdoor program. He claims if he had spent any less time actually in class he certainly would not have graduated. Kyle’s time with the Western Mountain Rescue Team was extremely formative and revealed his passion for wilderness search and rescue (SAR). He made it his goal to make a career out of SAR. Kyle is well on his way to achieving his goal and currently works as a Ski Patroller in Colorado and a Climbing Ranger in the Pacific NorthWest.
Kyle’s certifications and training include WEMT-IV, Avalanche Pro 1, Single Pitch Instructor, AMGA Rock Guide Course, and a Rigging for Rescue Course. He will be taking the AIARE Instructor Training Course this February and hopes to teach avalanche education courses starting next winter.
When Kyle has free time he climbs and skis. He’s taken the hard way to the top of El Capitan and the steep way down peaks in Colorado and Washington.
Kyle’s jobs allow or force him (depending on the weather) to work 200 days a year outside. He’s constantly testing gear in all conditions and refining his setups to make work and play easier, faster, and more fun.
Despite his age, Cai Rickards has managed to spend upwards of a decade and a half exploring nature. The first time he slept through the night was in a tent during a thunderstorm. He started his exploits before he could talk. Skiing almost as soon as he could walk, climbing not long after, hiking trips became a weekly occurrence before he was 2, and he began canoeing, climbing, and kayaking before he was 3.
Alongside a heavy presence of outdoor activities in his life, Cai has spent his free time being a nerd. From a very young age, he began learning about different world histories and mythologies, in particular, the legends of Camelot and history surrounding pirates. Later on, those interests shifted to fandoms such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, with academics and music (particularly violin) becoming central to his life.
Currently, Cai attends an arts school, climbing on a regular basis, playing D&D, and dressing in a manner preppy enough to annoy his father on a regular basis. Despite being a teenager he still does leave his room to see the world, with ski adventures and backpacking trips being the major perpetrators. He lives at 5280 with his dog, Baggins, and his father, Wil, both of which have and continue to support and further his interests in the outdoors.
Cai Rickards and Baggins
Andrew is a trail runner, climber, paddler, snowboarder, marketer, and most importantly a dog dad. Andrew grew up in suburban Philadelphia and now lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
While he lives pretty far from the mountains, he puts a heavy focus on preparing for them and inspiring others to do the same. He first fell in love with the mountains on family trips to the White Mountains and the Adirondacks. He spent the majority of his early life competitively running and leisurely paddling, however after college he began focusing on learning to climb, snowboard, and backpack.
Over the past ten years since then, he has been fortunate enough to gain some amazing experiences exploring North America. Some of the most memorable thus far are alpine climbing in the Sierra, trail running in Alberta, learning to splitboard in NH, countless days hiking in the Catskills, or a plethora of mellow days paddling the Chesapeake Bay with friends.
When he can’t be in the mountains Andrew is often running or hiking with his favorite training partners, his two rescue dogs Calvin and Enzo. Andrew is also a self-proclaimed gear junkie and confessed that his gear loft is the most organized place in his home.
Katie wasn’t born into adventure but has lived her life trying to make it seem like she was. After moving to Colorado from the mountainous midwest in 2011, Katie quickly fell in love with the landscapes Colorado offered and the plethora of activities that allow you to explore them.
From snowboarding to camping, road biking to climbing, Katie has a hard time honing in on one outdoor activity because she loves them all. After quitting a corporate job and building out a van with her partner, Katie ditched city life to become an adventure photographer on the road.
After driving Canada to Mexico while learning to surf, spending months backcountry touring Japan’s legendary powder, and touring the U.S. west in her trusty van named Acorn, she has since found somewhat of a home base in Utah.
You can find her touring in the Wasatch, climbing in Indian Creek, biking the canyons of Salt Lake, or tending to her many succulents, always with a camera in hand. Check out her photographer at katiebotwin.com and her adventures at instagram.com/katietreks
Jace is a third-generation Coloradan, raised in the foothills of Evergreen. He fell in love with the outdoors at a young age, summiting his first 14er at 8 years old. He studied business at the University of Denver, where he was an All-American Rugby player.
He lives to play in the mountains with his wife, Taylor, and their super-mutt Samson. You can find them (usually together) playing on Colorado’s high peaks… Backpacking, mountaineering, snowboarding (split and solid), trail running, and mountain biking — these are a few of their favorite things.
He has an affinity for high-quality gear, but he’s not afraid to use it and is notorious for testing his equipment to its fullest potential.