Aspen is rightly renowned for its outdoor lifestyle. From backpacking to biking and river sports to rock climbing, the backcountry surrounding our resort town creates the perfect playground for those seeking adventure — or just a slice of solitude.
When it comes to outfitting you for these experiences — whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned explorer — The Ute Mountaineer is the place to go for advice, apparel, gear and much more.
Founded in 1977 by Aspen local Bob Wade (and now co-owned with his daughter, Maile), this brick-and-mortar store — situated downtown on the corner of Galena and Hyman — has stood the test of time.
“We realize that success does not come in a vacuum, regardless of how hard we work. The partnership with our customers and our community creates our success. So we believe in giving back to the community who has supported us,” says marketing manager Joel Nunez-Smith, noting the Ute’s involvement in charities that support youth, the environment and athletics and that are “run by people who run their non-profits with a passion.”
But passion alone doesn’t equal success. The Ute’s success also lies in its uniqueness.
“We are an independent single store. We are not buying the same product for 20 different stores,” Nunez-Smith says. “This means we buy the products we want to use in the mountains around Aspen and all over the world. We think this allows us to offer our customers the coolest, most functional clothing and equipment available."
In fact, the team behind The Ute Mountaineer store and website care about more than just selling a product — they care about their customers and the community.
“Our ability to provide good customer service and a product that accommodates your needs is very important to us and is what drives us,” Nunez-Smith says, noting the store specializes in
alpine touring skiing, cross country skiing and technical/casual apparel in winter and hiking, running, climbing and technical/casual apparel in summer. “We want our customers to leave the Ute feeling inspired to spend time outdoors.
“Hopefully that inspiration will grow into an appreciation of our outdoor spaces and a desire to protect them.”