Guest Post by 2017 Climb Against the Odds climber, Amy
It was the middle of June, and I found myself surrounded by snow. My body fought for oxygen as I propelled myself, one crunchy footstep at a time, toward the 14,179 foot peak. Summiting Mt. Shasta was not only a physical achievement, but something that just five years ago would have been totally impossible for me.
Jordan may be known for Petra, but within an hour of the country’s capital of Amman sits many fantastic archeological sites stretching back thousands of years. A few desert castles to the east, a massive Roman settlement to the north and even an ancient citadel and Roman theatre in the city center.
Each destination worthy of a couple hours walk with plentiful guides and historical description placards in both Arabic and English (the second official language). Better even with the great deal from the Jordan Pass which provides access to all these sites, waives the traveler’s visa fee and includes entrance to Petra. Let me take you on a tour.
Living on the road. Spending every day pursuing outdoor activities. Possibly without a job, definitely with little income and a life cornerstoned on little responsibilities. This is the idealic description of the nomad lifestyle that many millennials are dreaming of these days whether it be in a car, van or bus.
The reality of Nomadic Life is that it comes with its own set of tradeoffs and challenges to enable such freedom to explore the outdoors. I have just wrapped up five months into that experience and can vouch that all that novelty has and idealism wears away rather quickly. I truly appreciate not having to worry about cramming in all my fun into a weekend or a short trip.
I know this sounds crazy, but I’ve been a serious athlete since I was 5. A gymnast from a family of gymnasts, I was practicing 6 days a week for 5 hours a day at the peak of my ten-year practice. Gymnastics was everything: a lifestyle, friendships, self-worth and more. I didn’t know how to live without it, but then the unthinkable happened… I got injured and had to quit the very thing that encompassed my entire life. That experience taught me more about who I really was and how to keep moving my life forward.
A soft sun rises over a gentle ocean, silhouetting several large puffy clouds. The light is diffused by a light haze of Sahara blown sand as I wake up in the sail bag of a 50 ft catamaran. My eyes focus on the open blue sky above me which cradled endless galaxies just five hours ago when I went to sleep. I am rocked gently by shallow ocean waves in the 70 degree weather which will soon warm to a consistent 85 degrees when the sun intensifies and quickly launches from the horizon to mid-sky.
It’s happened to us all where a weekend plan is foiled by weather or our favorite area opens up for a perfect weather weekend in shoulder season… That is, if we were paying attention close enough to notice. Instead of checking weather reports for each of these areas, just use your current location to find what areas around you are in prime time as well as the rock climbing routes there.
“What food should I take into the backcountry?” is a frequent question among novice backpackers. Us frequent backcountry travelers often get into a funk of the same foods that work for us, but still run into specific cases where we reconsider what we are optimizing for: weight, volume, tastiness, comfort, preparation time or price. In this post I’m going to crunch some data to better understand which foods are best for certain situations and offer my own advice from over 100 days in the backcountry.
The Yakima Skyrise is the first car top tent from Yakima. After owning one for a couple months, I have slept in this car top tent now for 20+ nights in desert campsites, county campgrounds, snowy forest roads and even a library parking lot. For the most part I love it, but there are several things I wasn’t a huge fan of. As far as I can google this is the only real in depth review of the tent that isn’t just blog advertising. This is what you’ll want to know.
Every day when I have some free time I load up mountain project and skim its slideshow for fun climbs. Or I read some cached article about some mountaineer summit and then explore the mountain range to find its treasures. I’ve found a rock climb that ends with a crawl through a tunnel behind a waterfall, a summit requiring climbing a wild knife-edge ridge like Matthess Crest topped with snow Gargoyles deep in the BC and I’ve gazed into amazing dihedrals with dreams of routes on Devil’s Tower. …and thats it. I dream of the future because in the present I’m injured.
I just got back from the largest electronic music festival in North America, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas which starts at sunset and ends at sunrise. I’ve been to smaller shows, regional Insomniac events like Beyond Wonderland and also large festivals like Burning Man (which isn’t really a music festival, but EDM is a big part). It was an expensive trip, but ultimately really worth it and a fantastic experience in terms of atmosphere, culture, stages and artists.