Ultimate mountain woman hangs 10
Amanda Spilman describes herself as a real mountain woman. She hikes, bikes,
snowboards, downhill and Nordic skis, camps, gathers firewood and along with
her 7-year-old daughter, Leila, is a rock-climbing enthusiast.
“My daughter is part of the rock climbing team at the rec center, and she’s
spent a lot of time on the wall,” Spilman said. “I’m hoping this year we
will be able to get her on real rock, but on something easy.”
Spilman learned all of her outdoor skills growing up in the High Country. She is a native of Fairplay and has spent all but six of her 31
years living in the Rocky Mountains.
“I’ve left the mountains a few times to sow some wild oats,” she said, “but
the mountains call you back.”
During her time living in and out of the High Country, this self described
zany, artistic free spirit has held many different jobs. She was a personal
assistant in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a phlebotomist – a person who draws blood
and does blood work in a lab – in California, and a medical assistant in
Summit County. She currently is working as an assistant floral designer for
Creative Flowers in Breckenridge, as well as performing massage therapy on
Spilman said she took a plant science class and even tried to find a job at
an orchid farm in California before she started work as a florist.
“I’ve always loved flowers, and I like being in a business where everyone
that comes in is giving someone a gift,” she said. “Everyday you are doing
something different or learning something new, and I like that part of the
business the best.”
Spilman, however, considers massage therapy a calling.
“I went to school for massage therapy in California,” she said. “I had a
friend who was taking a class, and they needed an extra body. That’s how I
got involved. I’ve been working at it for nine years, but I still get most
of my business through word of mouth.”
Along with all her other interests, Spilman also enjoys semi-frequent trips
to Mexico to surf, a sport she tried while living in Florida and practiced
on the California beaches.
“I started surfing when I was 19,” she said. “When I lived in California I
surfed just about everyday, and now I think I’m pretty good. I’m pretty
confident. With Mexico so close and cheap to get to it’s easy to go surfing
whenever you want.”
Even with her love of surfing and the beach, Spilman said she plans on
staying in Summit County.
“My partner, Lane Wyatt, and I are buying a house, so we’re planning on
staying for a while,” she said. “I love looking at the view of the
mountains. I love the fresh air, and I like that there are hardly any bugs.
That’s why I stay.”
Living in Summit County, however, comes with difficulties as well.
“I dislike the fact that living here you build good friendships with people
only to see your friends move away,” she said. “It’s the transient nature of
the community that bothers me the most.”
Even though this jack-of-all-trades resident is planning on staying in
Summit County, it doesn’t mean she’s ready to completely settle down. Her
future goals include attending nursing school and staging a photography show
with her father, local photographer Alden Spilman.
“Photography has always been a hobby of mine,” she said. “I’m definitely a
people photographer more than a nature photographer, and someday I would
like to have a father/daughter show with my dad.”
Her other goal, she said with a laugh, is to become a massage therapist to
“I’m working on it,” she said. “I already have one client who would
The best thing about her life, Spilman said, out of all the things she’s
done in the past and all her plans for the future, is her daughter.
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