trip report: Wind River Range – Ross Lakes, Bear Basin, Grasshopper Glacier, & Dinwoody Creek loop, September 2020

At one point on our eight day off trail backpacking trip into the Wind River Range, we set up our tent on a bluff overlooking a turquoise colored lake. No matter how often I’ve encountered them, they seem so surreal every time still. Across from us was the terminus of Connie Glacier spilling down into the lake. The funny thing was, we joked that probably the closest person from our five star camp this evening was at least 5 hour, 5 miles, or at least another valley away from us. We were roughly 1 to 2 days of tough and technical travel across talus & scree from the nearest trail, making those prospects not surprising at all. This was our experience in the northern portions of the Wind River Range, it beat us up and I still look forward to returning.

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This is part 1 of 2 of our trip out to Wyoming and Colorado. In this part, we cover our eight day off-trail backpacking trip in the Northern Wind River Range. Get ready folks, this is a long read or very much “magazine” style.

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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 video: Kootenay National Park – The Rockwall, August 2019

This is the companion preview videos to our trip report detailing our 3 day and 2 nights hike on The Rockwall in Kootenay National Park. The highlight of the hike were the granite walls of the Vermilion Range decorated with waterfalls and hanging glaciers.

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

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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

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!

trip report: Ausangate Circuit, August 2018

Making the decision to quit on a hike is one of the hardest things you may face on the trail. The last time I bailed on a backpacking trip was in the inhospitable landscape underneath the Peruvian mountain of Ausangate. I came down with a cold or sinus infection of some sort making it hard to breath without coughing heavily. The lack of ability for me to breath with the high attitudes that demanded me to breathe harder during the uphills forced me to recognize the fact that I couldn’t complete the circuit at that time.

When it comes to quitting, the biggest opponent was my own ego. Part of that ego preventing me from making the best decision for myself regarding quitting may be the desire to accomplish something for completeness sake. Perhaps the reason for such as desire is rooted in the fear of missing out, in that I know I didn’t miss anything if I complete it. In a sense, that completeness attitude may actually miss the real reason we head into nature, which is to experience nature. For me, hiking is about the means just as much or even greater than the ends. If it truly the experience and enjoyment of nature we are after, then there is no shame in quitting and returning to experience it when we are in a better situation.

Of course I was disappointed that I couldn’t compete the Ausangate Circuit. What helped was looking back at the experience we did have of climbing the grassy pass around Ausangate before navigating ourselves off the Ausangate Circuit to find our way to the Rainbow mountains off trail and realizing how great that was. It wasn’t the experience I was expecting, but it was amazing nonetheless. Secondly, I knew that I’d return someday and finish the hike for a brand new experience of the Ausangate Circuit. That day came two years later when I found a business class fare sale back to Peru.

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