New Yorkers are known to be adventurous by nature. From the experimental cuisine created by some of the world’s most innovative chefs to groundbreaking artistic endeavors, New Yorkers always are trying something new and exciting. As such, they will thoroughly enjoy Adventure Untamed.
When Discover Outdoors — an adventures-based travel company — closed its doors in April, 2020, guide Jana Paremoud wanted to keep the northeast side of the business running. She asked the people with whom she was working if they would be interested in continuing with a new company.
“I was initially hoping that someone or something would come along and provide a solution for the company to continue,” she says. “But then I realized, all the pieces that I cared so much about – the community of guides, the outdoor adventures, the people that want to experience these trips with us – they were all still there. And if I wanted for our work to continue, the answer was not waiting for something to happen. The answer was to make it happen. Of course, it could only work if the people that I worked with were still on board. They are the ones that created the unforgettable experiences and community that drew me in to begin with. I let the team know that I was planning to start a new business to run northeast day and multi-day outdoors trips, departing from New York City. I was met with overwhelming, heart-warming support and encouragement. If the team was on board, it was time to get to work.” Thus, Adventure Untamed was born.
“We weren’t operational for four months, until August 15,” says Paremoud, a Wilderness First Responder and New York State Licensed Guide. “When the numbers dropped in New York City and we were ready to open, we had to very carefully think through safety.” Being that the world was in the grips of a health crisis the likes of which had never been seen before, starting a new travel company presented some unique challenges, to say the least. She and her staff have implemented a myriad of measures designed to ensure the safety and wellness of participants and guides. These include having earlier start times to avoid trail overcrowding, avoiding overcrowded trailheads and having alternative itineraries in case the planned route is too crowded to navigate safely, andreducing the van occupancy to ten people, including guides, with the middle seat in each row remaining empty.
Adventure Untamed is very much geared towards New Yorkers and people in the surrounding areas. They feature day trips to a variety of outdoor places – everywhere from the Delaware Water Gap to the Catskill Mountains (in 2021 they are doing all 35 Catskill high peaks), Adirondack Mountains, and beyond. “Our goal is not just to get people from point A to point B but to really focus on skills and engaging people with the outdoors, everything from hard skills to the history of the land,” Paremoud states. “During the winter, for example, we teach clients the use of traction devices, layering and temperature regulations. Our goal is for any person – no matter their level – to leave our trip more knowledgeable about the outdoors and better equipped to tackle their next trip.”
Adventure Untamed is a community partner of Leave No Trace, and guides always ask their clients to think about how their presence in outdoors affects the space and to leave the trails better than they found them. “I am currently working on getting funding for a project we plan to do jointly with the New York – New Jersey Trail Conference,” she adds. “The current environment has left trails overcrowded, and in some cases overflowing with garbage. Our goal is to run free trips for people, in exchange for them volunteering their time to clean up the trails. The second part of that project is to set up LNT-trained guides at the most crowded trailheads in the area to educate people about LNT.”
While guides are currently curating a lot of day trips, they are also doing regional multi-days, like climbing a summit attempt on Mt. Washington in the winter, always with safety in mind. “We are planning national and global trips next year,” she says. “Our team has a lot of really talented guides with knowledge on everything from technical skills to history to flora and fauna, and it’s my goal for them to share that knowledge with New Yorkers and people beyond our area. In addition to hiking trips, we have a number of other multi-sport trips we are going to be doing in the spring and summer, like kayaking, rafting and biking.”
Adventure Untamed places emphasis on teaching outdoor skills, so that participants can progress in their outdoor journey. Paremoud explains, “Our trip difficulty levels cover the spectrum, and we have something for everyone, from someone completely new to the outdoors to an experienced outdoors person looking for a challenge.”
You can learn more about Paremoud’s story and starting Adventure Untamed in her talk with the Tough Girl Podcast.
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