BBC Natural World – Himalaya

Kraig Becker:

…The video below is a full episode of that series which happens to be focused on one of my favorite places – the Himalaya. If you have 49 minutes to spare, you’ll get a great look at those mountains and the people that live there, with some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll find anywhere. So sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy the show. It is one of the greatest on Earth.

Adventure Blog

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I’m doing some research for a planned trip to the BIG mountains.

How to talk to your daughter about her body

This blog post by Sarah is going NUTS online. Already 700+ comments as I post.

… step one: don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.

Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”

“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”

read more …


Ausangate Circuit, Peru

One of our top 10 hikes in the world is the Ausangate Circuit in Peru.

Best timing for 2013 is before or after Saturday May 25th to Tuesday May 28th. That’s the famous Quyllur Rit’i festival celebrated nearby.

Best book that flight right now. 🙂

13EXPLORER1_SPAN-articleLarge-v2It’s also called the Snow Star Festival.

We did both Ausangate and the festival in 2005.

You circumambulate the highest peak in southern Peru, sacred Ausangate 6372m (20,905ft).

Four high passes between 4757m – 5165m.

70km (43.5mi) plus sidetrips, most hikers tent 4-5 nights. Hotsprings at start and finish of the trek.


Check our recently updated information page on Ausangate.

Edward Abbey – “I Loved it…I Loved it All”

Ned Judge:

An eight minute film essay that I co-produced and directed with Ed Abbey in 1985. …

We met in Moab and went out to Arches National Park to shoot some practice sessions with a home video camera. We would review them at the motel in the evening. After a day or two, Ed was feeling pretty comfortable on camera so we scheduled the shoot. We were all happy with the way it went.

But then we ran head-on into network reality. Roger Mudd, the show’s host, was extremely negative about putting an “eco-terrorist” on the show. … So this Abbey essay was put on the shelf and never aired.

Abbey died 3 years later in March 1989.

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989) was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views. His best-known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by radical environmental groups, and the non-fiction work Desert Solitaire. Writer Larry McMurtry referred to Abbey as the “Thoreau of the American West“. …

The story of his death and burial is … very Abbey.

Those two books are MUST READS for any serious outdoorsperson.

(via Rocky who calls Edward Abbey the Hunter Thompson of the environment)

The Way – Randall St. Germain

The Way of St. James … (Spanish: El Camino de Santiago) … is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried. …

… existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem, and a pilgrimage route on which a plenary indulgence could be earned …

.. many pilgrims continue from Santiago de Compostela to the Atlantic coast of Galicia, to finish their journeys at Spain’s westernmost point, Cape Finisterre. …

pilgrim’s hostels with beds in dormitories dot the common routes, providing overnight accommodation …

Staying at hostels usually cost between five and ten euros per night per bed in a dormitory, although a few hostels … operate on voluntary donations. Pilgrims are usually limited to one night’s accommodation and are expected to leave by eight in the morning to continue their pilgrimage. …

Canadian Randall St. Germain did the 500mi (800km) French Way averaging 26mi (40km) a day.

Camino de Santiago in 20 Days: My Way on the Way of St. James is essential reading for anyone foolish enough to fancy the French Way.

Randall is not a professional writer. Unlike more poetic pilgrimage reports, Randall details the awful weather, dog bites, exhaustion, bed bugs, … 😦

It’s unvarnished.


Never to be included on the final list of Pulitzer Prize nominees, or in Oprah’s Book Club, Camino de Santiago in 20 Days is not your granddaddy’s Camino book, either.

I wanted to maintain the integrity of my Camino from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela. My writing had to be honest and based on events which actually happened. I know some of it may be dry, but I wanted to keep my journey intact and not make up anything, including dialogue. Believe me, if I made sh*t up, this book would be far more entertaining.

Randall carried a tent the entire Way — and never slept in it. Yet he hates the hostels. Hates smokers, snorers and farters. … In fact he’s not all that fond of people.

Randall’s foot problems alone are enough to turn away most pilgrims. Not to mention the lack of toilets.

Still interested? …

Check his website – Camino My Way

Or friend him on Facebook. As you might have guessed, Randall went back to the Camino …

Me? … I’m still leaning towards mountain biking The Way. Inspired and informed by Randall, I’ll be tenting it every night.

Mine was a review copy. Thanks Randall!

The Way – the film

The Way is a 2010 American drama film. It is a collaboration between Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez to honour the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) and promote the traditional pilgrimage. …


Thomas Avery is an American ophthalmologist who goes to France following the death of his adult son, killed in the Pyrenees during a storm while walking the Camino …

Tom’s purpose is initially to retrieve his son’s body. However, in a combination of grief and homage to his son, Tom decides to walk the ancient spiritual trail where his son died. …

He reluctantly falls in with three other pilgrims …. Joost is an overweight man from Amsterdam who says he is walking the route to lose weight … Sarah … is fleeing an abusive husband, who says she is walking the pilgrimage to quit smoking. Jack is an Irish travel writer who when younger had desires to be great author like Yeats or Joyce but never wrote the novel he dreamed of. …

The film has been well received. It has garnered a “Certified Fresh” rating of 82% on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes …

The consensus description is: “It may be a little too deliberately paced for more impatient viewers, but The Way is a worthy effort from writer/director Emilio Estevez, balancing heartfelt emotion with clear-eyed drama that resists cheap sentiment.”

It is pretty good. I’m still leaning towards mountain biking The Way, however, rather than walking it.

I joined in order to FINALLY watch this film. 🙂

Summit Stones: pay it forward

I just got another batch of Summit Stones from DSD.

The philosopher blogger at Summit Stones collects special stones while out on the trail. Paints them. And then returns them to the wilderness accompanied by a tiny booklet of poems & prose inspired by the outdoors.

… Sometimes another hiker passes by and collects the souvenir.



DSD links to a number of sites promoting good causes. I’d like to pass that list on to you, too.

"Giving Back & Passing Forward"