Google Sherpa-Cam on Everest?

Daniel on the CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog:

… The next development for Google Street View will involve getting off the trike and moving onto mountain trails, which will require leg power alone. For this Google … developing the Sherpa-cam. Prototypes are currently being trialled in the Lake District and in the Nepalese Himalayas. …

Here’s some Photoshop speculation on what that might look like.

read more – Street View on Mountains with Google Sherpa-Cam

… It’s only a matter of time.

Google has updated their Street View website, by the way.

check out

Scott announced the cool new site –

Featuring over 150,000 peaks from around the globe. Find peaks by browsing lists, maps, and photos.

Use peakery to envision your next peak objective with photos, trip reports, stats, and maps. Then get out there and bag it.

peakery is the place to log your summits. Add trip details, triumphant summit photos, and get summit badges.

Check it out –

trekking Dientes, Patagonia

Ace and Patricia hiked the most southerly established major trail in South America, part of the Circuito Dientes de Navarino.

I read their trip report with interest. I’d once traveled to Punta Arenas intending to do Dientes, but ran out of time to arrange the tricky transportation to the Puerto William, Chile, on Isla Navarino. That’s the jumping off point for Dientes.

Ace and Patricia ended up taking the Zenit’s 15 passenger boat from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Puerto Williams. And later found a flight back on a 3-seater plane.

Extreme weather in this most extreme part of the world makes all manner of transportation a gamble.

Was it worth it for Patricia?


… We reached the dip between the peaks and were rewarded with breathtaking views of the spiky Dientes and across Isla Navarino to sets of islands beyond. It was a clear day and we saw the islands of Cape Horn. It was definitely the highlight of the trip. …

Painted stones & cairns mark the trail. Unfortunately many of those were covered by snow.

Everyone has navigation challenges on Dientes, this adventure more than most. Their goal on day 2 was to cross Paso de los Dientes. The guidebook said to “stay high”. … They stayed too high, eventually having to backtrack when the risk of a mini-avalanche got too great.

If you’ve ever dreamed of hiking the teeth of south South America, download Patricia’s Trip Journal. (PDF)

Check our Dientes information page.

Triple Crown of Waterton, Akamina

by site editor Rick McCharles

Day 2 of my last ditch attempt to complete the Triple Crown of hikes in Waterton National Park.

(If you missed it, click back to Day 1.)

I’d have to complete Akamina Ridge first, then go back to finish Alderson-Carthew:

Akamina Ridge is a round trip hike of about 20km and the maximum elevation is 8600ft. A lollypop loop trail.

Your journey starts at the Akamina Pass trailhead about 1km from Cameron Lake along the Akamina Parkway. The trail starts out on a gentle slope. About 2km in you enter Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park, shortly after this point and once you have taken the necessary pictures at the “Welcome to BC” sign …

Akamina Ridge hike, Waterton

… you will have the options to go to either Forum Lake or Wall Lake to continue your hike. The Ridge is accessible from both but the difficulty upwards vary. This is where the trail really begins. The choice varies from the constant but relatively steady uphill trail to and from Forum Lake or the gentle long trail to Wall lake and then the sudden steep rise all the way up to the trail. …

To save time I tented on the trail.

Akamina Ridge hike, Waterton

Like most other hikers, I chose to climb up the Forum Lake trail to access the ridge, descending to Wall Lake. That’s safer I was advised at the Park information centre.

Here’s Forum.

Akamina Ridge hike, Waterton

The ridge was signed. No problem.

… until I got to the final scree approach. The trail was covered with wind swept snow. I literally had no idea how to get on top of the ridge, having never done this hike before.


Instead I made a frantic scramble back down the mountain to Wall Lake, thinking I would reverse direction, if possible.

That turned out to be a mistake. Time consuming and somewhat dangerous.

I was quite relieved to get to the bottom without injury.

Akamina Ridge hike, Waterton

And I’d run out of time.

I dropped a Summit Stone at this cairne, far side of the lake.

Akamina Ridge hike, Waterton

And turned back.

My Triple Crown attempt for 2010 was over.

Akamina Ridge hike, Waterton

Too bad.

Next year.

11 outdoor iPhone apps

… Tune in to bird songs by training yourself with this free app. Select your region to see the birds that are commonly heard there. You can sort the birds by name, how commonly they are seen, or their song style and listen to each bird’s unique tweets. The app also provides a picture of each bird to make spotting nearby tweeters easier.

Mashable – 12 iPhone Apps For Exploring the Great Outdoors

review – National Geographic Trails Software

She likes.

In the Sierra Nevada the Hiking Lady compared USGS topo with Tom Harrison maps and the new National Geographic Trails Software.

… On the trail, I found I much preferred the National Geographic and Tom Harrison maps to the USGS maps. They are well labeled and trail distances are clearly marked. The National Geographic map definitely proved to the best.

Here’s why. After we set up camp near Garnet Lake, the next day we decided to take a look around and head to Thousand Island Lake. Using just the USGS and Tom Harrison maps, we plotted a route up to the saddle to take a look at Thousand Island Lake. However, as you can see in the maps below, the National Geographic map has the additional detail that shows that there is a trail from Garnet Lake to Thousand Island Lake! …

USGS - Garnet Lake Topo

USGS – Garnet Lake Topo

Tom Harrison Map, Garnet Lake

Tom Harrison Map – nice shaded relief, but no trail!

National Geographic Map - the only one that includes the trail!

National Geographic Map – the only one that includes the trail!

Additionally, the shading on the map gave me a good perspective on elevation, so I didn’t need to spend so much time counting contour lines!

I am quite impressed with the software program. The cost is $49.95 for the entire Sierra Nevada range (10 map regions), so it is definitely more cost effective than buying each map individually.

Bottom line: The National Geographic Trails Software impressed me, and I will be purchasing it for other region where I hike.

read the review

NEW New Zealand hiking site

New Zealand Track Profiles (NZTP)

Outdoor route planning made easy

New Zealand Track Profiles (NZTP) provides a comprehensive solution to route planning for the New Zealand outdoors:
Elevation profiles for ALL walking tracks in New Zealand

High resolution 3D topography covering the WHOLE of New Zealand with all the essential details and features normally found only in printed maps. Each map sheet has equivalent area coverage as the corresponding commercial paper map.

Comprehensive track statistics which describe the characteristics of each track and its level of difficulty.

Navigation aids in the form of GPS and Google Earth files, for each track in the map sheet.

Each map sheet is available as a set of two ZIP files which can be downloaded independently.

Some of the 12,000 tracks are free. The rest cost a maximum of $2. … Cheap.

I’m thinking of returning to New Zealand for hiking next year. It’s our #1 hiking destination in the world.

Google Earth: Hiker’s Edition

That’s what Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch is calling it.

… Google Earth released a new edition of its desktop app which hikers, runners and cyclists are going to love. They call it Google Earth 5.2. I call it the Hiker’s Edition.

One of the new features allows you to recreate the path of a hike or bike ride by ingesting geo-data from one of your GPS devices. The visualizations show you the speed, elevation, and other stats from your hike, which you can see as an animation inside Google Earth. …

read more on TechCrunch

This video features an example of the new track feature in Google Earth 5.2, showing a bike route to work. Download the latest version of Google Earth

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

win a SPOT GPS Satellite Messenger, easy

Joe Mueller wants to give you a free SPOT GPS Satellite Messenger along with one year of service.

product details on Amazon – SPOT Personal Tracker

It’s a contest … but I can’t think of an easier contest.

All you need to do is make a comment on his blog stating why you would want one:

GPS for Today – Win A SPOT GPS Satellite Messenger

… Be sure to make a comment inferior to my own. I want to win this device!

tweet, facebook from anywhere on Earth

Here’s a system I would use. Posting my geolocation along with text trip report updates.

Details on Gadling:

… allow adventurers to more effectively communicate from locations that are not covered by cell service.

The new device pairs one of DeLorme’s GPS units with SPOT’s next generation Satellite Communicator, to send custom message from the backcountry. The Earthmate wil have all the regular features you’d expect from a GPS, including base maps, in this case covering the entire world, navigation, electronic compass, and so on. But it will also wirelessly pair with the Communicator, allowing the user to type text messages and send them to friends and family back home via satellite. …

It’s designed so you can call for help from anywhere, should an emergency develop.

… it also lets the user to share tracking information and custom messages that can easily be interfaced with Twitter, Facebook,, and SPOT’s own …

Pricing not available until the Earthmate PN-60w is made available later this Spring.

If you are interested, click through to the article – New device will let you text, twitter from remote places

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