hike to Rakaposhi Base Camp, Pakistan

One of our best hikes in Asia.

Here’s a fantastic vista you can reach by day hike. Free. And independently.

Rakaposhi is a mountain in the Karakoram range about 100 km (62 mi) north of the capital city Gilgit.

At 7,788 m (25,551 ft) it’s the 27th highest in the world.

There are views of Rakaposhi from the Karakoram Highway.

You need to get to Minapin and stay over one night before setting out early the next day.

related – Jacob’s independent trip report

Helly’s LifaLoft jacket – my review

Kraig Becker sent me an early prototype of a Helly Hansen LifaLoft jacket for my 2019 trip to Patagonia. I wore it non-stop for a couple of months cycling and hiking in wet, windy and sometimes cold weather.

LIFALOFT™ is not down. It’s arguably lighter and warmer.

The idea is to trap a maximum amount of air in a small space. And due to the hydrophobic properties of LIFA®, LIFALOFT™ has an inherent water repellency that should keep you warm, even when wet.

It worked for me as advertised.

Glacier Vinciguerra, Ushuaia, Argentina

Cerro Guanaco trail, Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina under a rain shell

The best test came when I got caught in a surprise downpour while hiking without my shell. I was worried.

But next morning the LifaLoft looked and felt 100% perfect.

UPDATE:  I bought two more LifaLoft jackest – in different colours and sizes.  I often wear two rather than a heavier down jacket.  

I machine washed and dried one jacket.  It come out looking like new. 

Kraig sent me this to replace my FAILED Columbia OutDry down jacket. It was useless after 7 months.

The Helly Hansen is far superior. The Colombia failed — I think — because it couldn’t handle being frequently compressed into a stuff sack. The HH LifaLoft seems much more durable.

In Patagonia Helly Hansen is the go-to brand for serious sailers and outdoors-people. Developed in Norway, HH is tested under the worst weather conditions.

For future hikes in moderate weather where weight is a big consideration, I’ll be carrying the LifaLoft and just a waterproof ultra-light Frogg Toggs shell.

My new Jetboil Stash

I’m won over. I’ll take the Jetboil Stash over any of my other hiking stoves for any adventure where weight is a consideration.

What I like:

  • weight 7.1 oz (without fuel)
  • size ~ compact nesting design
  • pot can quickly and easily be removed from the flame (in case of boiler)
  • 100gm fuel canister snaps into the lid

Considerations:

  • no auto-igniter
  • you might need to carry an additional bowl for mixing your dinner with the boiling water
  • 2.5 minute boil time seems a bit long for that volume of water

Details.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Stein Valley Divide hike, B.C.

Stein Valley is one of the best hikes in North America.

It’s high on my personal list of hikes to do … SOON. 

Wild and remote, the “route” is about 90km and has a total elevation change of at least 4300m. High elevation is about 2150m.

It’s tough. You probably want to schedule 7 days. Perhaps 9 days to enjoy some side tripping. Carry ALL your food.

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

Without question you should purchase the only guidebook. And perhaps maps, as well.

2nd edition 2013

purchase at MEC

Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa

Watch the great David Breashears documentary from 2002.

Guide Jacob Kyungai is excellent. Everyone on the team interesting. Including supermodel Heidi Albertsen. But for me the highlight were the two kids on the 45 mile hike: Hansi Mmari and Nicole Wineland-Thomson,

Dreaming of climbing Kilimanjaro is childlike. Full of wonder.

This short documentary is 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Highly recommended for all.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

You might be able to watch the entire documentary on YouTube.

related – Mark Horrell’s review

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