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Life and Work with Nick LaToof

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick LaToof.

Hi Nick, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in Northeast Texas. I was an athlete in high school, playing football, baseball, golf, and tennis. I was fortunate enough to get a college scholarship for football and played four years at the Division 2 level. The hard work and dedication it took to be a successful student-athlete has certainly carried over into my adult life.

I’ve managed to live in nine states and have visited over 35 of them. I discovered my love for the west when I decided to just pack up my truck and drive out to California. It was a big risk but I was up for the adventure and the challenges it would bring. I think when you take a leap of faith like that, it forces you to look within yourself and dig up the desires of your heart.

Far too often, we find ourselves in our own comfort zones and we have ourselves convinced that we are happy. Upon deeper review, sometimes we realize that we have just convinced ourselves that we are happy. I think humans are the happiest when we strive toward something.

For most of my life, I’ve striven to find what I truly love doing. Through trial and error, many different jobs, and living in many different places, I’ve been able to discover what I enjoy doing and where I enjoy being.

I spend over 250 days a year outside either chasing fish on the water or climbing the high peaks of North America. My life revolves around what each day gives me. From weather to location, each day can look different and provides me with more than enough challenges that force me to stay sharp and further improve my skills.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Growing up in Texas, I had no idea what the West was about. It took me a few years to get a good grasp on the things I’m doing now. My snowboarding and fishing skills didn’t appear overnight. So, I’ve figured out what I needed to do to get better and put a lot of time and energy into doing so.

It was tough when I moved out West with all my stuff in my truck and no real direction. I had faith in myself that no matter what came up, I’d be able to “figure it out.” I slept in my truck for many months to keep expenses low. Learning how to urban camp in Southern California was not easy at all. Several nights I got woken up by police telling me I couldn’t park there overnight. However, it taught me a lot about living in a vehicle and camping and these days, I have my truck camping dialed in. Western Colorado is a much more friendly place for those who choose to camp more than they stay in a house. And while I have good places to go to get quality sleep, I still prefer to sleep outside as much as possible. From tents on glaciers to on the sand beaches of the Gunnison Gorge, I sleep well at night after a hard day’s work in the great outdoors.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
In the summer, I work as a fly-fishing guide on the Western Slope of Colorado. I guide on the Gunnison River (including the Gunnison Gorge), Colorado River, San Miguel, and Dolores Rivers, along with some local lakes, reservoirs, and a private ranch.

During the cold months, you can find me in the high peaks of the Tetons. I’m currently working on finishing my AMGA Ski Guide course so I can guide adventurous souls into the backcountry in search of world-class ski lines.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
I’ve learned that life is all about “figuring it out.” I believe people want for the perfect time in their lives to do something. There is no perfect time and you’ll never be fully ready for something new and different. You will learn a lot about yourself when you step outside your comfort zone and pursue something you truly desire. Mistakes made along the way turn into valuable lessons and I’ve never not looked back on something and regretted trying it out.

I don’t anybody could’ve guessed how my life would look like right now, including me. But, I’m in a great place and have enjoyed the journey to where I stand today. It hasn’t been without speed bumps and difficulties but my perseverance and determination has paid off, as it usually does. I’ve learned that it’s never too late to go after something new and, in doing so, you may find yourself in a much better place.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Yellow Tent Nomads, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides

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