An Adventurers Guide for Driving to Alaska

August 4, 2019
What I thought all of Alaska looked like (Wrangell-St Elias NP)

My recent trip to Alaska had a lot going on. I worked as a digital nomad for three weeks and took three weeks off, established a new mountaineering route, hiked, kayaked, climbed and played around with drone videography. More than any of that I started getting a good taste of Alaska and understanding how to travel around it and what each region has to offer.

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Establishing the New “Hole in the Goat” Mountaineering Route in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias

July 28, 2019

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is America’s largest park, “it is the same size as Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Switzerland combined.” Additionally, it contains 60% by volume of all of Alaska’s glacial ice. It is a place with barely any roads or trails, and therefore often requires bush planes to access the backcountry. The pinnacle of our true Alaska experience, Sadie ‘Alpine Babe’ Skiles and I established a new mountaineering-backpacking route even the locals were interested to hear about.

The “Hole in the Goat” loop travels half on the ‘The Goat Trail’ before crossing a pass to gain the “Hole in the Wall” glacier and is followed by five miles of crevassed glacier, five miles of rock glacier and one knee-high river crossing before returning to the start at Skolai Airstrip. It took us four days to accomplish this route with 8-10 hour, seven mile days. The route is 25 miles and 7,000 ft elevation gain as the raven flies, but we aren’t ravens so probably more like 30 miles and 9,000 ft. It hosted caribou, siamese looking Hoary Marmots, a cute red backed Ermine, dozens of mountain goats, a pair of blonde curious brown bears, fifty unique geodes and views of puffy white 15,000 ft peaks. Speaking with a very interested 20 year bush pilot veteran of the park and the owner of a guide service, people have thought about this loop but never attempted to pierce ‘The Fin’ rock wall separating the Upper Goat Route and Skolai Basin.

For Technical Description see Summit Post and AllTrails Map.

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Multi-Sport Alaskan Volcano Island Adventure

July 15, 2019
Volcanic coast off the shore of a snack-break island while kayaking

While in the previous capital of Russian-America (Sitka, AK), we took two full days to kayak 14 miles through pristine SE Alaskan islands, backpack 14 miles (3000 ft) up the Mt. Edgecombe volcano and explore the new minted (10-15,000 years old) volcanic shore with rock still frozen in pillowing lava flow.

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Goats and Glaciers on Cairn Peak

July 11, 2019
Hiking Blackerby Ridge Route Trail out to Cairn Peak

On my first day off in Juneau, I told Sadie I wanted to climb a mountain in a long day. Unfortunately with Sadie’s broken thumb still healing we would be unable to heli-climb one of the esthetic Mendenhall Towers out past the famous Mendenhall Glacier. Our objective would have been the amazing 1000 ft, 5.8 Solva Buttress route up the fifth tower of the Mendenhall Towers Massif, but we’ll have to save that for another day. Instead we focused on a long hike up with views of glaciers high above Juneau towards Cairn Peak.  (Drone footage)

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Exploring Ice Caves in Juneau, Alaska

July 7, 2019

“Brice, what is one thing you would want to do in Alaska?” Me: “Crawl in an ice cave”. Now this wasn’t an ‘ice tunnel’ but it was pretty great adventure out at Mendenhall Glacier.

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Journey to the Edge of the World – Saudi Arabia

March 31, 2019
The Edge of the World

No good Backcountry Nomad trip is complete without an expedition into nature. Exiting the sprawling, status-hungry, car-obsessed city of Riyadh, I set my sights on visiting “The Edge of the World”. I was not expecting 1000 ft desert massifs shooting out of the ground in a flat region of Saudi Arabia.

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0 to 1: Being One of the First Tourists to Saudi Arabia

March 18, 2019
My Brother and I soaking in Saudi Hospitality

I spent eight days in “Barricade City”, a.k.a. Riyadh, a.k.a. “Oasis”, a.k.a. the capital city (and birthplace) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). In March 2019 Saudi was on the cusp of progressive transition via the “2030 Challenge”. My visit was on a government Visa as a Design / UX Mentor through the 500 Startups accelerator for MENA (Middle East and North Africa). The Country was not perfect, there wasn’t an abundance of things to do, but I really surprised myself how much I enjoyed my time here.

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Offsetting Adventure: How to Pay the Climate Cost of Travel

September 11, 2018

Low-Efficiency Transport 😉

I live my life in nature, with the environment, so I’m especially invested in conservation, keeping things wild and #protectpublicland. I bicycle everywhere, eat mostly vegetarian, don’t fly that much and only rely on a car to go to the mountains so I have felt particularly good minimizing my climate impacts. However, driving tens of thousands of miles and flying tens of thousands more over the last year made me start to worry I had unbalanced this equation. People who earn more, produce more carbon and by taking a sabbatical with so many flights, I definitely felt like I was #livingThatLife. What to do?

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Do You Know the True Cost of #vanlife #nomadtravels #sabatical ?

March 24, 2018

Interactive map of my last 270 days of travel.

Going full time traveling to visit all the national parks, live simply, seek wilderness and travel the world has been sold as the ideal dream and fully living life in many a social media account. I too was allured towards these ideas and ten months ago decided to try it out. I had a clear idea of all the amazing things I would do and see but in retrospect less of an idea about the true costs. Both financial and personal. Let me give you all the details…

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7 Things to Know Before Traveling to India

January 28, 2018

Image: On camel safari in Jaisalmer

Tired, frustrated and probably confused are how you will feel many times in India. Either from interacting with the complex culture formed uniquely and richly over thousands of years or from some modernity struggling to integrate within that context. Of course you will feel happy, delighted, surprised, welcomed, curious and a plethora of other positive emotions too which is why India is sooooo worth traveling.

I spent six weeks in India over winter in late 2018 and early 2018. Over which I visited Rajasthan, the Kashmir Valley, hill stations such as Amritsar and Dharmashala, Agra and the two big cities of Mumbai and Delhi. This is like 5% of the main attractions of an area so large and rich as India so this information might not work everywhere but most of it will. In an effort to ease frustrations and set expectations I want to share several of these essential learnings.

(To get a more cultural insight into my experience read this)

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