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.» Full Story »
Swiss Adventure: Canyoning and Hiking and Swinging, Oh My!
Jungfrau Region, Interlaken, Switzerland
Posted by Cameron on 3 October 2012
Pre-Summit Adventure No. 1 – Four amazing days in and around Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland.
Day 1 – High ropes course with ziplines and other balancing elements high in the trees.
Day 2 – Canyoning where we followed a creek into a canyon and jumped off 35′ waterfalls, rappelled off higher ones and slid on the shallower descents.
Day 3 – An awesome 6 hour hike through the Bernese Oberland (highlands) to Grindelwald.
Day 4 – Canyon Swing: Attached to a rope 300 feet above a roaring river we jumped, we fell, we swung on the rope.
Awesome. Video.» Full Story »
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2012 Videos
Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Posted by Cameron on 22 January 2012
After putting some videos together at the Summer OR show in 2011 on a whim, Elevation Outdoors Magazine was able to pick up a sponsorship from Verde PR & Consulting to make them happen for the Winter Market OR show. A huge thanks to Verde and here are the videos, each posted by the end of the day each day of the show. Click “Full Story” below or the title above to view the videos.» Full Story »
GEAR: Portable Power – Solar Charging on the trail
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2011, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Posted by Cameron on 15 August 2011
Back in 1999, I traveled to Nepal to study mountain ecology in the Himalaya. Part of our trip was a 14-day trek in the Annapurna region. Digital cameras were far from popular then, but somehow I managed to get one loaned to me. Since this was the era before proprietary rechargeable batteries the camera took a whopping four AA’s. Not knowing how fast the camera would use up the batteries and not wanting to cary a bag of AA’s along with me, I looked into rechargeable batteries and a solar charger. Looking back at where the technology was then, I’m amazed that I found a solar charger that held 4 AA batteries. So, I brought 8 batteries – 4 for in the camera and 4 to get charged in the charger that I strapped on the top of my pack to absorb the sun while we were trekking. No shortage of sunshine and the system worked great.
For a number of reasons, one being that there haven’t been many electronic items that people would need to charge on the trail, the idea of harnessing solar power while on the go hasn’t come about until fairly recently. While at the 2011 Summer Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, it’s obvious that with all the little electronic gadgets made to go on our adventures with us (cameras, GPS, iPods, lights, etc.) saving weight on batteries (not to mention the waste) has driven a number of companies to invest in providing portable solar charging options. It should also be noted these devices are not recommended for use with something as large as a laptop, but exceptions and alternatives may exist. Here’s what I found:» Full Story »
Outdoor Retailer Show – Summer 2011
Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Posted by Cameron on 4 August 2011
The show started at Jordanelle Park where participants could try out many of the new paddleboards, kayaks and the various accessories that go along with them from sails to clothing to booties and more.
Next, we head to the Salt Palace convention center in downtown SLC where hundreds of outdoor brands have set up shop to display their goods. I’m tweeting about what I find as I go at @offyonder and below are the videos I’m producing for Elevation Outdoors magazine each day. I’ll also be doing a recap writup for Snowshoe Magazine.
Click on the title of the post, above, to check out the videos.» Full Story »
Maroon Bells Cycling Adventure
Maroon Bells, Roaring Fork Valley, Aspen, Colorado, United States
Posted by Cameron on 24 June 2011
If you’re into cycling, Aspen is the place to be. We were under the care of the Little Nell Adventure Center in Aspen and they outfitted our merry band of bicyclists with top of the line Orbea and Colnago carbon frame bikes which were nothing but a pleasure to ride. Pro rider Scott Kasin led us up the 10 mile 4-5% grade climb. Remember that Aspen, where we started already sits at 7,900 feet and we climbed nearly 1,600 feet to 9,500 feet. Just short of the top, I passed a guy and asked him how he was doing and his reply was “Just trying to keep up with Lance!” I chuckled and replied “Aren’t we all!” Thinking he was speaking in cycling generalities. But low and behold, I pulled up to Scott chatting with a group of cyclists in the shade, and one of them was wearing a black jersey with a yellow LIVESTRONG stripe across his chest.» Full Story »
Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska, United States
Posted by Cameron on 10 July 2010
After getting off the Kongakut, rest certainly was not an option! We’re in Alaska for crying out loud! So, after the 6 hour drive from Fairbanks to Anchorage, we unpacked the car, re-packed the car, loaded kayaks, dropped off rented bear barrels at REI and started the 4 hour drive to Homer.
With the summer solstice having just passed by only the overcast sky really made it seem dark, but we never needed flashlights, even while setting tents up in the rain about halfway to Homer. We must have pulled into the campground around 1am and slept until 9am.» Full Story »
Kongakut River, Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, Alaska, United States
Posted by Cameron on 22 June 2010
The seven of us were on the Kongakut River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – 8.9 million acres established 50 years ago. In 1980 Jimmy Carter and other enthusiasts expanded it to today’s 19-million acres. The controversy between whether or not to allow oil extraction operations here is no secret. The pro drilling argue getting off foreign oil dependencies and an economic gain for the local economy. The con argue a disruption of fragile eco systems and that the surveyed estimate of how much oil could be recovered was but a mere drop in the bucket of US thirst for oil.» Full Story »
Double checking when departing for a trip like Peru is key. I nearly walked out of the house without my Marmot rain jacket. That would have been a bummer up on the mountain. I’m sure I could have rented one, and since I’m renting plastic boots, crampons, an ice axe and a harness as it is, they may have thrown it in for free… maybe.
But as I was doing my final FINAL sweep, I noticed I hadn’t packed my toothbrush! Agk! So, I threw it along with some paste and floss and a small bottle of Dr. Brawners in my “Toothcase” that I got from my dentist. I then promptly set it down and probably left it behind.» Full Story »
Hills and Huts
Routeburn Track, Mount Aspiring NP, New Zealand
Posted by Cameron on 28 January 2006
The Routeburn Track on the South Island of New Zealand is designated as one of the “Great Walks” in New Zealand. That means beautiful terrain, awe-inspiring views and luxury (by camping and trekking standards) style accommodation. It also means it’s guaranteed to be expensive and crowded. Ah well. It’s ultimately worthwhile sharing earth’s beauty. And it’s certainly tolerable the way the New Zealand Department of Conservation manages the number of people that come up.
The Buckly Transport shuttle picked Derek and me up right outside our hostel the same morning we called and took us from Queenstown directly to the trailhead. Not 20 meters in we crossed a span bridge over some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen. Further up the stream, pools of sunlit water glowed bright blue against the pure white of bubbly, churning water flowing into them. The stark dark shadows of trees spilled in creating a frame with the sparkling rocks around the whole scene. This was a good start.
Once in the woods the wide, well-established trail made for easy walking and allowed us to gawk at the surrounding beauty rather than where we placed our feet. An endless carpet of ferns and small lush shrubs covered the forest floor, split only by the meandering white rocky path. Criss-cross patterns of sunlight and shadows floated down from the canopy above.» Full Story »