Let that question sink in for a moment. If you consider every advertisement you’ve ever seen for skiing, hiking, climbing and camping, you might think that’s the case.
… White athletes hold the spotlight in advertising, while the diversity that exists and continues to grow in outdoor spaces isn’t represented in the images we produce and promote. The truth is that we haven’t represented the diversity of Canadians or of our 5 million members.
We’ve let our members down.
We can’t move forward until we acknowledge our past. Historically, the models we’ve used in our catalogues and campaigns and on mec.ca have been predominantly white. And this imagery has perpetuated the vastly incorrect notion that people of colour in Canada don’t ski, hike, climb or camp.
This letter is about recognizing the role we’ve played in underrepresenting people of colour in the outdoors, and committing to change. It’s not OK.
As CEO of MEC, I promise that moving forward, we will make sure we’re inspiring and representing the diverse community that already exists in the outdoors.
This initiative isn’t about patting ourselves on the back. It’s also not about me, another straight white male with a voice in the outdoor industry. This is a conscious decision to change, and to challenge our industry partners to do the same. We know we’ve been part of the problem, and we’re committed to learning from our mistakes and changing the way we represent the outdoor community.
Outside is for everyone. It’s time we acted like it.
Check their new Diversity page. I’m proud to be a member and loyal customer of MEC.
Utah will lose half a billion dollars from the five planned shows — the three annual shows and the industry’s smaller “grass-roots” show for new innovations that were scheduled right before two of the annual shows. That will hit hotel owners, restaurants and other sectors of the service industry hard.
It also loses any shot of landing the Interbike trade show, the largest cycling show in North America, that had been aggressively courted by Salt Lake City and would have brought with it an economic impact of about $22 million a year in direct spending by attendees. Its contract with Las Vegas expires in 2018, but organizers now say they have zero interest in coming to Utah, again because of its hostile public lands policies. …
The consensus was not good: bad roads, snow into July, forest fire recovery sections, hunters. It will not go on our list of the best hikes in North America.
The most popular hike in Gila Wilderness is the Catwalk – “… a one-mile trail suspended above a rushing stream in a gorge only a few feet wide.”
It had been rebuilt over a period of 2 years costing over $4.4 million dollars. And opened again in 2016.
I’d been advised by a Ranger that only the catwalk part of the trail was open. Hikers often continue on to #207. I would have wild camped if it had been open.
Sadly, that Ranger was wrong. It was all closed due to flooding.
Still, the Catwalk does look very cool.
The 1.1-mile Catwalk National Recreation Trail winds through the canyon’s steep, pink walls of volcanic rock, following the path of a pipeline built in the early 1890s to provide water and electricity for the mining town of Graham. …
The company this week threatened to pull out of Salt Lake City’s biannual Outdoor Retailer Show, a trade show that brings in 45,000 visitors spending more than $40 million each year. …
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (R) vowed to sue the White House last month after Obama set aside 1.35 million acres, including sacred tribal lands, to become Bears Ears National Monument. The Navajo Nation and conservationists alike hailed the designation as a victory. But Reyes, later joined by the state’s Republican governor and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., denounced the move …
Canada’sMountain Equipment Co-op has offered the best shopping for hikers for decades. I’d argue it’s still the best hiking shop in the world.
But anyone in one of their stores in 2015 would concur it’s not as good as it once was. The staff is much younger and less experienced in the wild than in the past. Prices are higher. There’s too high a percentage of yuppie, urban crap on the shelves.
Outdoor gear for city folks who have no intention of going to any mountains. Click through to Canadian Business magazine for a history of the change through to 2013.
A cable car will open September 2015 or sooner, degrading the hiking experience. The Sapa area is great, but trek elsewhere in the region. This summit will soon be flooded with suitcase tourists. 😦
Below is our old information page, no longer being updated.
Update (this is an exception 🙂) from patriciaoprea March 2017:
I paid about 60 USD the night before (I’m so last minute) for a tour from Sa Pa
It was 2 days,1 night.
The good thing about this? We arrived at the summit at 7:00 in the morning.
The cable car is built, but NOBODY is there at that hour, because it hasn’t opened yet!
I loved this hike, go for it 🙂
AT A GLANCE
3,143 meters (10,312ft), it’s the highest in Indochina
Northwest region of Vietnam, near the Chinese border
9km southwest of Sapa (Sa Pa), a gorgeous hill station developed by the French
1-3 days hiking
pine forests, bamboo thickets and jungle
best months October through April. Some say April and May are best as it’s warmer. And the flowers are in bloom.
avoid the wet season from June to September, with heaviest rainfall occurring in July and August
record for scaling Fansipan is one hour and thirty-five minutes, in case you want to better that time. 🙂
Panoramic views of the mountain ranges of northwest Vietnam, if you get any views at all. The summit is famously shrouded in cloud.:-(
Why We Like This Hike
about 2,024 floral varieties and 327 fauna species (sadly many of the larger animals have been hunted out)
no ropes or technical climbing skills are needed
plaque at the peak placed February 2007
colourful minority ethnic people, especially on market days
ridge walk sections were our favourite
malarial mosquitoes can be a danger some months of the year
bring warm clothes. Temperatures below freezing are frequent.
snow is possible
climb is rough, wet, muddy and cold. Some bring rubber boots.
gloves with good grips recommended for ladders and rock scramble
scramble ladders and tree roots
you may be clutching bamboo at points
we’ve seen warnings about poisonous snakes, leeches, rodents, perhaps exaggerated
dogs are a worry, both in Sapa and on the trail. Even if you don’t carry a trekking pole, you might want to carry a stick
Sapa is a tourist trap. Touts are a pest.
Guided trips are no longer asinexpensive as they once were. Seems the government got stricter with guide requirements.
We paid $95 for a one day, up-and-down for 1 person October 2014.
A two day trek costs $180 for 1 person October 2014. You can negotiate on price with some agencies.
Shop around. The official government tourist information office quoted $120 for the $95 tour. Assume the difference is commission.
There are a number of options, including a 1 day guided up-and-down.
It’s possible to do independently. But we wouldn’t recommend it unless you are familiar with the route.
There are three routes to the mountain. One is from Tram Ton, the others from the villages of Sin Chai and Cat Cat.
The first route is a more gradual climb because it has been selected for tourists. The trip can be made in a day.
The route from Sin Chai is shorter but more adventurous, requiring climbers to sometimes use ropes or other special facilities for climbing.
The route from Cat Cat is the longest, but mixes some challenging climbs with great scenery. After one day of climbing, there’s a break at 2,200m above sea level. Climbers can have a meal cooked by a Mong porter and camp, followed by a second camp at 2,700m before reaching the peak on the third day.
Most climbers chose a tour from Sa Pa at a cost of about VND1.5 million excluding train fare from Ha Noi, and tours should be booked a month in advance.
many hikers arrive by overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, then bus from Lao Cai to Sapa. Those tickets sell out during high season, especially during holidays, as Sapa is super popular with Vietnamese.
even better, some feel, is the night sleep bus direct from Hanoi
we stayed at the Sapa Unique Hotel for about $35 / night. It gets rave reviews.