Off Yonder – Adventure Travel Stories - Seeing the world for what it is

About Cameron

Cameron L. Martindell is a freelance adventure and expedition writer and photographer who is always “Off Yonder: Seeing the world for what it is.” In addition to writing his own popular blog, he has written for Snowshoeing Magazine,, UK Travel Mag, Trekker Magazine and others. He has been to all seven continents and lived on five of them, including a four-month stint at the South Pole. Cameron has more than 15 years of mountain search and rescue experience, is an Eagle Scout, has been an Australian bush firefighter, competes in sailing regattas, plans national and international youth programs, guides Oregon rafting trips and Australian bush backpacking trips, the list goes on . . . really.

Fickle Mountains
Whitetail Peak, Beartooth Range, Red Lodge, Montana, United States

Not ten minutes into the trail and suddenly we were forced to retreat into our rain coats. Then, to further impede our progress, lightning flash and thunder strikes right over our heads pushed us to find some shelter amongst the sparse clumps of standing trees. In 2008, the human ignited Cascade fire ripped through here burning over 10,000 acres. Charred bits still peak through the foliage that has since grown back and we have plenty of time to ponder the lightning over our head and the fire it can cause as we wait for the storm to pass. Sixty percent of the fires in the Beartooths are caused by lightning strike.

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No Bears in BC
Bella Coola, Canada

While I spent most of my teen years in the Pacific Northwest, my only real foray into British Columbia was up to Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler a few times. This time, I got to go a little further north. About half way between Washington State and Alaska lies the beautiful Bella Coola Valley. It’s at the end of a 70-mile fjord and the mountains continue to climb from there.

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A Blast on the Beach

I’m not much of a beach person. Sure, I beach bummed it a bit in San Diego before moving to Colorado, but I was never passionate about the beach. But Bermuda was different. Instead of just lounging around we had a lot of fun exploring the island in some creative and fun ways.

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First Tour of 2015
Guinn/Arestua Hut, Roosevelt National Forest, Eldora, Colorado, United States

This was a great day trip out to Guinn Hut. We got a few turns in on our way down to Yankee Doodle Lake then skied out. The snow was amazing and the company was a fun bunch of folks organized by Dave.
Here’s hoping I’m establishing an obtainable new years resolution by trying to get images and video posted more quickly after getting back from a trip.

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Santa Ski
Crested Butte, Colorado, United States

From my latest assignment with Elevation Outdoors Magazine:

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GoPro Mtn Games 2014
Vail, Colorado, United States

I’ve been having a bunch of fun making Instagram videos of late. I would say “quick” Instagram videos, but I don’t always turn them around as fast as I’d like. After the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail I had a bunch of footage after competing in three different events. We started the day paddling down Gore Creek. I managed to get a video of that published shortly after the weekend, but not the videos of the Bad Ass Dash obstacle course or the XC Mountain Bike race. Finally, those are done and if you didn’t catch them on Instagram, I’ve compiled the three into a YouTube video here:

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On The Steep
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, United States

I’m far from being an expert skier, despite skiing expert runs at ski areas. I’m at that point in my skiing where it takes a lot of time on the snow to see much in the way of improvement. Fortunately, I got to see, rather, experience, the fruits of my efforts over the past few years since moving to Colorado. While I was still the weakest skier in the group of outdoor and primarily ski journalists on this trip to Jackson Hole I was able to keep up and even enjoy myself.

The trip was organized and sponsored by Marmot with some help with Polartec. Marmot was using Polartec’s new breathable insulation technology called Alpha. The idea is to be able to be working hard in the winter and dump the excess heat your body creates to avoid overheating and sweating which can be a problem once your body starts to cool off. On the other hand, as you do cool you want your layers to be right to keep you warm enough. Usually this involves stripping and adding layers as you change your activity on the mountain. I’ve been using an Eddy Bauer jacket with Polartec Alpha most of this season and it has been great. The Marmot kit did really well though it could have been colder out to optimize the feature of the technology.

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Feeling Chile
Magallanes, Los Lagos & Aysen, Chile

Chile is a land of many adventures from mountain biking to wine tours, from skiing to white water rafting, from hot springs to mountaineering. I joined a group of seasoned adventurers to explore the three southern most regions of Chile: Los Lagos, Aysen & Magallanes. Each of them host varying stages of tourism development, adrenaline rush, cultural interactions to cater to the interest of any traveler or explorer.

One of the most interesting lessons I learned about was where the name Patagonia came from. Magellen created the term for the indigenous inhabitants of the southern reaches of South America because they were larger in stature that his crew, indeed, than Europeans at the time. How does Patagonia, or rather Patagon as Magellan documented it, relate to large people? Well, like many such words the etymology is fuzzy, but one story refers to Magellan and his crew first seeing the footprints of these people (believed to have been the Tehuelches people). This may be a stretch, but Pata is phonetically close to “pede” from the Latin for foot (as in “pedestrian” or “pedal”) and “-gon” makes me think of giant or another word that refers to something large with a “-gon” ending, dragon. Anyway, Click through to the full story for more photos and the videos I produced from the adventure.

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Around here… it’s Rainier!
Mt. Rainier, Washington, United States

It was awesome to get back to the Great Pacific Northwest to climb Mt. Rainier again. This is my third summit of Rainier and it was a beautiful day on the top. My previous climbs have been as a private climber so this was my first time going with a guide outfit like RMI Expeditions. Since we had some first time climbers with us, our first day was Mountaineering School. We hiked up to a snowfield and practiced self arrest, walking in crampons and other mountaineering skills. The next day we hiked all our gear up to Camp Muir at 10,000 ft. After lying down for a stint from 6pm to 11pm we geared up and made a push for the summit.

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Canyon of Lodore
Gates of Lodore, Green River, Colorado, United States

It’s been too long since I’ve run a river in a nice oar raft. I met up with this crew in the classic way of joining the trip via an invite from a friend here in Boulder. Then the friend in Boulder couldn’t make it. Undaunted, I stuck with the trip and ended up running a boat for one of the families. This crew came from Utah, Arizona and Colorado and they were a great bunch as most rafters are. Rafting is essentially car camping on the river. Granted there are a few more logistical and gear hurdles to overcome but for the most part the route finding is pretty easy.

The Green River is where John Westly Powell started his journey which resulted in the first running of the Grand Canyon in 1869. He ran this very stretch of water and had his first major disaster when the campfire got out of control due to the crazy winds that are known to blow along rivers. One of his boats caught fire along with the provisions stored in it. We made it through alright and had a blast doing it.

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