Archive for April, 2010
Express your opposition to HidroAysen’s proposal to dam the Baker and Pascua – two pristine rivers deep in the heart of Patagonia, Chile.
Make a difference by taking just a few minutes to write a letter to ENEL – the giant Italian electric utility company that owns a controlling interest in the European partner for HidroAysén.
This letter, written by a leader in the fight – Patagonia Sin Represas – argues that these dams will not benefit the development of Chile and will, in fact, impede progress, harm nature and negatively impact the people who live in these areas. The letter asks the president of Enel to step back from the project and urges him to seek other energy options for chile, including those based in developing renewable resources.
Please join the fight to keep these rivers running freely!
Questions? Email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Ben Clark
The world is full of intrepid explorers. Each day, each village we meet travelers from all over, they are on their way from one adventure to another. That is what makes expeditions to the Nepali Himalayas so inviting. It is a melting pot of culture and mountain inspired endeavors.
Some trek, some climb, there are all ages and abilities… We are the only ones with skis. It’s funny how a resounding sigh of agreement and perhaps a bit of hindsight washes over each persons sun affected face who we share this fact with. Hidden in the creases of age we all identify with having fun.
We were once alpinists tired of fighting our way downhill and being overwhelmed by storms sieging the steep slopes and faces we had already climbed. Now, we work with the elements — it is silly to constantly challenge what you can’t control. This expedition, to climb and ski 23,390′ Baruntse is especially satisfying with that philosophy in mind.
Thirsty for adventure? Maybe looking for some inspiration? Well, you’re in luck — 5 Point Film Festival starts tomorrow, April 29, and runs through May 2 in Carbondale, Colorado.
On the edge between desire and fear, between the known and unknown, is a place deep inside us all where the spirit is transformed — pushed beyond its limit by our deliberate commitment to usher in something new and original. In this soulful place we are catalyzed to learn, expand and engender newfound understanding to inspire others on their journeys. It is this spirit, this thirst for adventure that the 5Point Film Festival celebrates and shares with the community and filmmakers that gather for its annual Festival in Carbondale.
The program includes docs and animation about mountain biking, surfing, climbing, and other outdoor adventure sports–even rumba in Cuba and a yoga face-off. Screenings will include Chris Malloy‘s 180 Degrees South, the kayaking doc Dream Result, and the doc on Roz Savage, Rowing the Atlantic. Go to 5pointfilm.org for details.
by Mark Jobman
Standing on top of a summit in Nepal, kayaking down the Gold River in Canada, climbing one of the hundreds of lines on Devils Tower, or just planning a weekend get away in your own back yard; a big part of the adventure is the planning process. The logistics of making sure you have the perfect route planned, the proper gear, the bivy locations, and the most important — someone along to help make the trip memorable. After all it’s not about the destination it’s about the shared experiences.
For most of us, we are wanna be dirt-baggers, weekend warriors, and evening indoor craggers. We have families, and careers that drive our Monday through Fridays. Thus the planning process becomes even more important to us. It helps us maintain our dreams of the mountains, steep trad lines, and quick waters. The fun is spending countless hours over maps, reading through guidebooks, emailing friends, and dreaming of the epics to come. It seems to make the adventure begin sooner and last longer.
Yes, I will be the first to admit that some of the best adventures are those that we can place up on the “lets just wing it” shelf. These adventures pose epics that create engraved memories and some remarkable campfire stories. Planning alone can’t take the epics out of adventure. Even on the most planned adventure something has to go wrong once a day. We just have to deal with it and move on to enjoy the moment.
This next week I head out to the Pacific Northwest to climb Mt. Rainier with a few buddies. A trip that we have been planning now for the past 6 months. It all started with a quick email, or phone call… “Hey you in?” From that point forward the adventure begins, dreams form and the excitement builds.
- Albert Dickman photo www.kaleidoscopeidaho.com
by Jeff Cole
Most people never see sage grouse. They are elusive, endangered and you have to get up at ungodly hours to see them. The 23 groggy observers I led from a dim Boise, Idaho parking lot at 4:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning would testify that it’s mostly timing that keeps the sage grouse a relative secret.
Early enough that even the sun was hitting its snooze button, our caravan crept and finally rested on a dusty road cut through a sea of sagebrush in remote Owyhee County. It’s a country so isolated and inaccessible that directions to its treasured landscapes exist only by word of mouth, not in guidebooks or on the internet. As recently as 1981 notorious criminal Claude Dallas ranged freely on thousands of acres before his capture for murdering two Fish & Game wardens not 20 miles from our position.
A group comprising two professional photographers, a videographer from Idaho Public Television, Idaho Fish and Game biologist Michelle Commons-Kemner, and several eager observers, sneaked out of our packed carpool into the freezing darkness. Parked near one of their mating arenas—known as a lek—we were careful not to slam any car doors, and stood in the last minutes of night waiting to see grouse. We could hear the bird’s bizarre call and the occasional scratching of feet and scuttle of wings. The cold slowly penetrated my down coat, gloves and hat. Breath steam and darkness thwarted my vision as I squinted and tried to imagine that some of the dark blobs of sagebrush were actually rare upland birds.
I’ve been doing little work-outs here and there but this last Sunday was my inaugural training hike for the Mt. Shasta climb. With little backpacking experience and after a long winter, I am slowly working my way to being ready to ascend 5000 feet to Shasta’s 14,179 summit.
Three weeks ago I was given the opportunity by Osprey to be part of this year’s Breast Cancer Fund “Climb Against The Odds” expedition. Osprey is a long time supporter of this amazing program and this is the first year they’ve put an Osprey team member on the climb. Being one of the newest Osprey employees, it seemed like a great way to be involved. After saying yes to the chance to be a part of this, reality struck and I started to process what getting ready for a climb like this means. There’s the fundraising aspect and then there’s getting in shape but more importantly, I needed to learn more about what this climb was really for. I needed to learn about breast cancer.
In the United States, a woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is an alarming 1 in 8, and no more than 1 in 10 women with breast cancer has a genetic history of the disease. A growing body of scientific evidence points to toxic chemicals and radiation as factors contributing to the high rates of breast cancer.
Three months al fin del mundo in Puerto Natales, Chile I was waiting on a climbing permit to go and attempt a new route in the Torres del Paine National Park with some good amigos. We festered a bit in town, checking emails, drinking coffee, itching to get in to the valleys we planned to climb in. One of those emails I checked was an invite for an Osprey backpack photo shoot that would take place in the mountains outside of my home in southwest Montana.
Seemed like a good enough job: climb ice and ski in the backcountry with some like-minded folks. It was hard thinking about Montana when I had Chile and Argentina on the mind. What if I decided I wanted to stay? I thought… Then I replied in the affirmative — committing myself to a weekend of “work” that would start the day after I got home from my travels. I was a bit leery at first, but things went well, I Iiked everyone I worked with and now I am happy to be a part of the Osprey Envoy Team.
by Ben Clark
Deep in the Himalayan foothills lies a tiny strip of asphalt carved into a steep hillside. This airstrip is the shortest I’ve ever seen and the longest possible for landing in the most popular valley in Nepal, the Khumbu. Abruptly it drops into a valley on it’s downhill side — immediately commanding the respect for a margin of error that makes traveling in the world’s highest mountains exhilarating from start to finish. I expect nothing less!
This is day one of Ski the Himalayas Baruntse 2010. Jon Miller and I are here to complete our project on 23,390′ Baruntse, an undertaking we began last year. This year we will climb and ski the Southeast Ridge. No one has ever skied this rare and majestic terrain. It is the second part of a route we explored last year as a three-man team with our partner Josh Butson.
This year, our approach will lead us through the Khumbu valley, home of Mount Everest, and into the reaches of the Hunku valley. We will traverse sections of Nepal that hold decades of mountaineering history and promising opportunies for future generations within the canyon walls and alpine summits.
As we wind our way through jagged granite sweeps, engage with the local culture and learn about this valley, we will share text dispatches and photos of the experience we are documenting in video. This is for our upcoming film and podcast series, please feel free to subscribe to our dispatches and communicate with us as we open up this experience and spend another season grateful for our time in the high Himalayas.
Climbers can, as a rule, break rules. We expand our youth, our shoulder stamina, and, most commonly, our seasons. How many people do you know who go crack climbing in shorts in January? Ice climbing in puff jackets in June? Sport climbing in bikinis February? Hyper-mobility and air travel lends itself to this, but so does the split personality of any excessive outdoorsy person.
I’m one of the worst offenders. To make it more interesting (read: personally challenging), I try to be prepared for any activity at any time. This works. Or it does until you have back surgery.
Two weeks ago, I packed up my rental apartment in North Conway, NH. I lovingly placed my monopoint crampons next to my leashless tools. I stuffed my ice climbing packs with every extra down/synthetic/wool/fleece layer I had. I took my boots and filled them with screws, and then nestled them into duffles. In the beginning, I held up each piece of gear as if honoring it before mashing it into a temporary resting place. I mourned that I would not use it for more than a half dozen months. And then I got a shooting pain down my right leg, stood up with the help of the wall and a chair, limped to my bed, and laid down.
If you are anywhere near Minnesota’s Twin Cities this weekend and are an avid outdoor enthusiast, you need to swing by Midwest Mountaineering at 309 Cedar Ave. South in Minneapolis to check out all that is happening at the 50th Adventure Expo. Voted Best of Minnesota and Outdoor Retailer of the Year by Backpacker Magazine, Midwest Mountaineering pulls out all the stops for the three day Adventure Expo extravaganza with seminars, presentations, films and sales galore with tons of stock to meet your every spring and summer outdoor need. The festivities are far too numerous to list here and you would be best served visiting http://www.midwestmtn.com for all of the sordid details. Believe me; it is worth the visit, both virtually to the website and in person at the brick and mortar shop.
One of the greatest things about the entire expo is that experts from Osprey Packs will be on hand to fit you and provide any technical info you need. And did I mention that Osprey Aether and Ariel technical backpacks are all $50 off for the expo?! Incredible savings the likes of which you won’t see again in 2010 on these gender specific and super versatile Osprey technical backpacks with a fully updated design new for the spring of 2010. You can preview all of the Osprey Aether and Ariel models by visiting www.ospreypacks.com, or just swing by the shop from 9-6:30 on Saturday, or from 11-5 on Sunday.
It is surely going to rain this weekend so I can think of no better thing to do than visiting Osprey at Midwest Mountaineering’s Spring Adventure Expo for both the killer deals and the killer entertainment.
See you here!