Rob Paulsen’s Lessons on Living a More Adventurous Life Outside
“It’s all about exploration,” says carpenter and snowmaker Rob Paulsen from Leadville, CO, the best integrated metropolis within the U.S. There he works 9 months a yr—typically 80 hours every week—so he can afford taking the opposite three months off to journey. Between shifts or throughout his restricted free time, Paulsen, who rocks a mullet and a lacking entrance tooth, goes out within the wild each likelihood he will get.
Paulsen says his nomad way of life goes again to his youth, the place he grew up in a army household, and it was frequent for him to maneuver round. He spent the primary decade of his life in San Diego; from there he moved to Japan for 2 years, and for the subsequent 10 years he lived in upstate New York. His profession has taken him to Hood River, Oregon and Leadville.
Working to get to the outside
November is the beginning of snowmaking season, which signifies that on weekends he prepares the native slopes for opening day at Breckenridge Ski Resort, the place he’ll work all night time. He’ll then head to his carpenter day job at Downstream Development. He’s additionally beginning his personal building enterprise. Stacking work is just non permanent—snowmaking season solely lasts two months—however the additional coin he makes goes far on the subject of adventuring within the wild.
“I work for a corporation that places a excessive worth on way of life, so they’re cool with me taking a month off or taking 5 days off for a kayaking expedition. I take a pay minimize for it, however it’s price it so I can do the issues I worth.”
Residing the out of doors way of life
And the adventures stack up, with pictures displaying him charging Class V rapids in his creekboat, head planted firmly ahead as he drops into waterfalls. Others present a full grin wrapping round his 26-year-old face, shirtless with a chilly brew in hand, his mullet poking out in all instructions. To Paulsen, it’s not sufficient to recreate within the sports activities he loves; it’s all about residing and respiratory the approach to life.
“Mullets are a factor in whitewater kayaking, an figuring out mark. It’s a kind of fringe sports activities the place everyone seems to be a bit on the market. It’s what climbing was 30 years in the past,” he says, referring to the hippies that introduced medicine and the rock & roll way of life to Yosemite throughout the Seventies free climbing revolution. Again then, hardcore climbers wore white painters’ pants, paisley shirts, and headbands, and it wasn’t unusual for them to take LSD (as seen in Valley Uprising). Paulsen says that the identical counterculture journey athlete vibe is alive right this moment in journey kayaking, and that’s his draw to the game.
Title: Rob Paulsen
Title: Skilled Enjoyable Hog, Expedition Kayaker, Backcountry Skier
Location: Leadville, Colorado, elevation 10,152 ft
How did you knock your tooth out?
I knocked it out throughout a solo mountain bike trip outdoors St. George, Utah. My face was all bloodied. I used to be on my option to assembly up with pals in Vegas to climb. I crashed earlier than assembly them on the airport.
Bought stitches, however the physician couldn’t save the tooth, and we nonetheless ended up going climbing. I climbed lengthy routes whereas on ache meds. I had a blast for the remainder of the week, even with my tooth lacking. Once I knocked my tooth off two years in the past, I’ve rocked the Joe Filth look ever since.
What’s your ultimate expedition kayak journey?
I do issues like three-day Class V-plus river kayaking journeys in grizzly bear territory, the place you’re removed from assist if you happen to do one thing mistaken.
Any suggestions for readers on residing a extra fulfilled out of doors way of life?
In case you’re making an attempt to stay a extra fulfilled out of doors way of life, you want to concentrate on that. In case you stay in a giant metropolis and work in a high-stress job, possibly consider the place you reside. It doesn’t price so much to stay this way of life; you want to concentrate on getting there.
My precedence was wanting to do this, and I adopted that. I additionally realized that you can do building anyplace. That’s why I dropped out of school after three semesters and began working building to get a gentle paycheck. After one yr of labor, I took my first three-month climbing and kayaking journey.
I consider that in order for you one thing dangerous sufficient, you’ll determine a option to make it occur. There may be at all times a option to obtain your targets; it’s by no means too late for a profession change; it’s simply laborious work.
How do you fill your days?
Once I get off at 3 p.m., I fill it—will depend on the season and why I love Colorado—I get enthusiastic about kayak season, mountain bike season, after which ski season. Now we have a Monday night time kayaking group within the summers the place we’ve got kayaking beer slaloms. Catch an eddy, drink a beer; that’s the way it works.
I rise up earlier than work and go on a ski tour as a result of the mountains are proper outdoors the place I stay.
How do you make it work?
I’m a carpenter, I body, do end work, and I do tile. No matter it’s, I attempt to be good at it. You may at all times do extra to higher your self. To select up new expertise, I watch movies of execs in each work and kayaking and climbing.
I lived in my truck year-round for 4 years, from mid-2016 to mid-2020. This season I bought a spot in Leadville to structure building plans and begin my very own enterprise. However I nonetheless take my truck out on the weekends and sleep within the again. It’s at all times able to go.
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