trip report: Jasper National Park – Skyline, August 2019

As foreshadowed by our hike the previous day up Bald Hill, we were in for more weather. Sometimes we get nice bluebird days, sometimes we get low clouds and gusting winds over the alpine ridge. It’s all part of the adventure on the Skyline trail.

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This is the eight entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series covering our eighth hike. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip video: Mount Robson Provincial Park – Berg Lake & Snowbird Pass, August 2019

This is the companion videos to our trip report detailing a 3 day and 2 night backpacking trip in Mount Robson Provincial Park. This was an in and out hike with a basecamp at Berg Lake Campgrounds. Weather ended up shortening our hike by a day, but we saw powerful waterfalls, teal lake, rushing rivers, and gigantic glaciers that took up our entire field of view.

You can find the detailed report of our hike linked in the index below.

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trip report: Mount Robson Provincial Park – Berg Lake & Snowbird Pass, August 2019

From an aesthetic standpoint, what makes a mountain spectacular? What makes it impressive? This is one of those questions that provides for some interesting discussion around the campfire and of course is subjective based on who you ask. For me, it’s typically not the mountain itself that makes it memorable, but the context you find them. Snow dusting, glaciers, expansive forests, teal lakes, turquoise rivers, thundering waterfalls, and big ice that contrasts the mountains providing for the perfect scenery. These features were everywhere we looked on our walk through the trails under Mount Robson (Texqakallt name: Yexyexéscen or striped rock), the highest point in the Canadian Rockies sitting at 12972 ft or 3954 m (wikipedia).

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This is the fifth entry and fourth hike of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip video: Mount Assiniboine, August 2019

This is the companion videos to our trip report detailing our 3 day and 2 night backpacking hike to Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park. The highlights of the hike were hanging out along Lake Magog underneath Mt. Assiniboine and a perfect morning hike down from Wonder Pass to perfectly still Marvel Lake.

You can find the detailed report of our hike linked in the index below.

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trip report: Mount Assiniboine, August 2019

Mt. Assiniboine is the highest peak in the Southern Continental Range of the Canadian Rockies sitting at 11870 feet (3618 m). Its pointy pyramidal shape reminds many of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, giving it the nickname of the “Matterhorn of the Rockies.” While our previous hike of the Iceline was about the experience as a whole, this hike was the opposite. Mt. Assiniboine is well worth the end to the many miles of mediocre trails.

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This is the fourth entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Kootenay National Park – The Rockwall, August 2019

Our first hike of our trip into the Canadian Rockies was The Rockwall in Kootenay National Park. If granite rock faces are your thing, you will have all you can handle on this hike and more.

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This is the second entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Patagonia – Ruta 40 & driving the Carretera Austral, January 2019

My current struggle in life is the constant feel of needing to optimize my time. It’s the feeling that I need to be productive whenever possible, but I don’t think I am actually any more than before in the overall scheme of things. Maybe I started to feel this way because of the combination of how easy I can waste a day and just the never ending to do lists. Whatever the reason, it makes it very difficult to relax as anything nonproductive comes with a feel of regret in the end. This specific struggle carries over into the realm of traveling as well when it comes to unplanned and free form travel. It is hard not to feel the need to do something at every minute. But at the same time, unplanned free form travel is the cure as you don’t have anywhere to be but to relax and immerse yourself in the beauty out there. There is no place better for me to relearn that than the remote regions in Chile on the Carretera Austral.

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carefree zone

In the spirit of free form travel, the hikes and activities we throughout the rest of our trip wasn’t really in any organizable order. This is due to a few travel restrictions and situational parameters that are explained in the post. So this part of the trip report will cover our decisions as we went, the specific route that we took, and our driving experiences on the Carretera Austral. Subsequent sections will delve into the different hikes and major activities that I will mention in this overview of our trip.

We pick up this trip report the day after our Huemul Circuit hike (see part 2 of this series). This is part 3 of my Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below. Read More

trip report: Patagonia – getting in & Huemul Circuit return, January 2019

On my first solo extended out of the country trip, I found myself at a pub in Bruge drinking with the a bunch of new friends I didn’t know the day before. A quote that stuck with me from that night was that you travel not to experience everything, but to find all the great things about a place to return to. In the travel atmosphere that is suggestive of the bucket list and country counting attitude, I am all for the counter viewpoint of also returning to a place that once put you in a state of awe. The Huemul Circuit is currently my favorite hike in the world, so a return trip to Patagonia meant I’d head back there.

As I start to write this, I am not sure how this report will go. This is the first time I’m writing up the exact same hike on this page and it didn’t deviate much from my first trip. Secondly, my SD card crapped out during this trip leading me to lose a good portion of my data unbeknown to be until I started going through the pictures post trip. To that end, I’m approaching this write up of the Huemul Circuit as a complement to the my first report with the insight that the trail has gotten much more popular.

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This is part 2 of my Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below. Read More

trip report: Patagonia – planning & research, January 2019

Two of my favorite hikes in the world at the moment is in Patagonia, the O-Circuit of Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile and the Huemul Circuit of Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. I would return to either places in a heartbeat, as our two previous week long trips out there during our spring breaks left us wanting for more. But these two hikes are just a small portion of the vast region of Patagonia with plenty that I’d looked forward to exploring in the future. So when I saw a USD$400 roundtrip flight from the United States to São Paulo, Brazil in business class, that future was much closer than I originally thought. Not to take away from what we had experienced in Brazil, but it was no question we’d be heading back to Patagonia.

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This is part 1 of my Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below. Read More

virginia hikes: Grayson Highlands loop, July 27 2019

My friends, Chris and Tori, had long talked about heading out to Grayson Highlands State Park to camp out and doing some bouldering. While my lackluster climbing skills and commitment to get better at climbing would steer me away from their bouldering activities, I said I would join them camping. One of my favorite hikes in Virginia is located in Grayson Highlands and I looked forward returning since my last trip out there was five years ago. I would go for a hike while they climbed. A sunny, but abnormally cool summer weekend at the end July finally motivated them to do the trip, so I couldn’t say no.

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New lab member Natalie also joined us at the last minute, she had also been looking to hike in Grayson Highlands as well since arriving in Virginia.

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trip video: Ausangate Circuit, August 2018

I started to play around capturing some video footage in our recent trips. As such, I also added an video index page to this website and started a Youtube Channel, where I’ll upload my videos.

My first attempt of a video is now available of our August 2018 Ausangate Circuit backpacking trip to go with our Ausangate Circuit trip report.

Being my first attempt I have plenty to learn about what works and what doesn’t work in terms of video. I’d welcome any suggestions as well. If you like these, please subscribe to my Youtube Channel to let me know, thanks!