Eating in the mountains doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. With plenty of pre-cooked meat, some cheese, some tortilla shells or buns, some Waylon on the jukebox, and an arsenal of hot sauces – the possibilities are endless. There are a lot of hot sauce aficianados out there – so i’m not gonna bother trying to step on anyone’s toes. I’ve scratched the surface but still feel I’ve, personally, made some decent headway in the Rocky Mountains. If you prefer spice and taste to pain – you will probably get something out of this quick blog. If you like to sweat out your ass – you might want to look elsewhere.
First off, there is no such thing as too much hot sauce. Hot sauces should be taken as seriously as post-climb beers on every trip to the hills. Don’t be ashamed if you need to get a suitcase to carry around all your sauces and don’t be ashamed to apply a few drops to each individual tortilla chip you consume around the campfire. At the major markets alone – you can get in to a decent amount of trouble with the selection. Gilberto, Tapatio, Tobasco and Cholula, along with local favorites Horsetooth, Boulder and High Altitude all sell noteworthy sauces.
All of these hot sauces have their obvious pros with regards to spicing up your backcountry pantry. One of the most significant warnings is the morning after your feast. Depending on the level of heat, if its rough going down, its gonna be even rougher on the way out, especially in the hills. For example, when using Horsetooth “O Face”, a helpful suggestion would be to dig your cat hole the evening before and flag it. If you really want to be safe – sleep naked.
On the trail, it’s a weird phenomenon, but your intestines make some strange noises at high altitude. Scot Osbourne has said that he gauges his elevation based on the sounds coming out of his partners. Apparently they get pretty primal around 13k. If you saw someone dousing their brat in Harry’s Habanero the night before – be sure to remain in front of, or well behind them the next day on the trail.
The following are links some of the more famous hot sauce companies:
And some good places to shop for sauces around Colorado:
Mocha Angelos – Estes Park (hot sauce display)
Ed’s Cantina – Estes Park
Khristopher’s Culinaire – Ouray