California: Center of the Outdoor Universe

I am packing for the first ever meetup of outdoor activity bloggers. Not surprisingly, it is in California.

During my lifetime most of the great outdoor innovations began in California. The first mountain bikes were built there, for example.

Yet when the Get Outdoors blog called California “the center of the outdoor universe”, there was dissent. Even I chimed in claiming that Queenstown, New Zealand was a better outdoors base than anywhere in California.

But, on balance, I agree with Get Outdoors. California is awesome.

Unparalleled Breadth of Outdoor Activities

Ecosystem & Geographic Diversity

National Parks & Wilderness Areas

Environmental Stewardship

Outdoor Visionaries

Center of the Outdoor Universe – Outdoor Blog

But since the California grizzly on the state flag has long been extinct, I feel a new image is needed.


Sylwia Bukowicka – Dhaulagiri Expedition 2006

Is this a spokesmodel for an ice axe manufacturer?


HiMountain Dhaulagiri Expedition 2006 – Now it’s Sylwia Bukowicka Time

No, it’s 28-year-old Polish climber Sylwia Bukowicka.

She’s headed for Dhaulagiri (8167m) this Fall.

She has already summitted two eightthousanders: Cho Oyu and Gasherbrum II.

And Ama Dablam, Alpamayo, and Khan Tengri.

And in August she summitted Korzeniewska Peak (7105m) with a sprained ankle.

What have you done lately?

video & photos – climbing Crowsnest

UPDATE – added photos from the climb to Flickr

Scott Whiteside organized 6 hikers to scramble his favourite mountain in the Crowsnest Pass. We needed no climbing gear but be warned there are a few tricky spots on this mountain.

We took our time spending almost 8hrs on the adventure. All returned unscathed — except for 1 thumb squashed by a falling rock. Rock fall is the biggest danger when scrambling the rotten Rockies.

For evidence that we actually reached the summit, click PLAY on the video below or watch the clip on YouTube.

Chilkoot Trail, Alaska

Every man has a dream.

For one of our contributors, Kelly Mock from Whitehorse, it was to carry a “Bubba” (mini keg of beer) over the Golden Staircase to Happy Camp.

Arriving on the solstice, he bought a round for the house.

I hiked the Chilkoot with Kelly in the late 1990s and, at that time, I thought it was impossible to carry more booze (photo).

I stand corrected.

The Chilkoot is without doubt one of the very best hikes in the world. The trip to Skagway is half the fun.

Details on Chilkoot

the Golden Staircase – photo Kelly Mock