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

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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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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Old Lift Line
Old Hidden Valley Ski Area, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, United States

HiddenValleyThumbHitting up the old Hidden Valley Ski area in Rocky Mountain National Park just outside of Estes Park, Colorado for some fresh tracks. Also, testing Eddie Bauer’s new Propellant jacket with Polartec’s new Alpha insulation which worked great. Click through to the full story for the video.

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Into The Sandstone
The Black Hole of White Canyon, Canyonlands, Utah, United States

I love spontaneous trips.

Doug, my editor at Elevation Outdoors Magazine, stopped by to borrow my LifeProof iPhone case because he was going canyoning in Utah for the next few days. He showed me some photos of where they were going: The Black Hole of White Canyon. My eyes opened wide. My jaw dropped. “That looks awesome.” I said.

“Do you want to come?”

And so, the next morning Doug and I were heading west to Utah.

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The mORning Show – 2012 ORSM
Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Ever wanting to try something new, I joined a team of friends to put together a consumer facing webcast at the Outdoor Retailer Show this summer. The result was a video for nearly each day of the Outdoor Retailer show where we interviewed movers and shakers in the outdoor business and checked out some of the latest gear yet to hit the shelves.

The team included Doug Schnitzpahn as the host, Mike Geraci as producer and yours truly as video editor and gear guy. Huge thanks to our sponsor, Columbia Sportswear, making the whole thing possible. Hopefully we’ll be back at Winter OR for another round. We streamed the videos live via Ustream each morning and archived them on YouTube. Click “Full Story” below to see the videos.

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Post Fire Kayaking – Soot Water
Poudre River, Colorado, United States

Kayak and outdoor enthusiast Christoper Wiegend and I hit the Poudre River in a tandem Jackson Kayak. After the big fire of July 2012 a big rain storm hit. Hopes were the water would be running high and fast but it’s the lowest Chris has ever run. The video below was filmed on an iPhone 4 in a LifeProof case and a helmet mounted GoPro camera. Click below for video.

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Slot Canyons
Coyote Gulch, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah, United States

Hidden in the southeast corner of Utah down the long Hole-in-the-Rock road lies a series of canyons – tributaries to the Escalante River. Thirteen miles down Coyote Gulch takes you through a series of environmental shifts. Starting on the dry, hot and barren plateau, the trail quickly descends into a dry wash. Trees start to appear providing some nice shade and suddenly the ground is wet and water starts flowing. Sandstone cliffs begin to tower above you, shafts of sunlight stream past the rim and the riparian zone bursts into lush foliage. Tents are optional as camp can be made under the sandstone overhangs carved out by centuries of passing water. But there is little need for concern with regular sunny days and scant rainfall. Though flash floods are possible so keep an eye on the upstream weather. Click “Full Story” for more photos.

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Backcountry Ski Hut
Opus Hut, San Juan Mountains, Ophir, Colorado, United States

As a last push to find some measure of winter (defined by me as including skiable snow, not just being cold out), Jordan and I pushed out to the new Opus Hut tucked in the southern end of the San Juan Mountains. We had invited a number of other folks, but by the virtue that we scheduled our trip mid week, most of the working world wasn’t able to comply. So Jordan and I set out on this trip on our own. This was her first ski hut trip (though, she did get herself up to Gray Knob a few years ago) and she said it pushed her a bit more than she would have liked.

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