This site encompasses a wide range of interests - from photography to multi-day river trips. What ties it all together is the outdoors. Throughout the years I've had a lot of fantastic experiences in the backcountry, and I want to share that stoke & knowledge through photography and useful articles. Enjoy!
Not all warranties are created equal. For example, a scratched lens apparently voids Smith’s warranty, but exceptions can be made. I’m reaching out to the outdoors community to share some stories of your experiences with companies that boast lifetime warranties. How was the customer service? Did they completely back their product? Any weird caveats? A lot factors go into the purchase process, and the warranty is definitely up there for me. Go to the bottom of the post to either post your experience in the comments or email them & I’ll add it to this page. My goal is to create a little repository of unbiased feedback on lifetime warranty policies. Enjoy, and I hope you contribute!
I wasn't interested in just the times. The difference in paddling the 277 miles of the Grand Canyon in 36 vs 37 hours could make or break the record, but the pain involved is huge either way. I interviewed Harrison shortly after his attempt in January 2015, and the transcripts slowly went into the archives as I couldn't find a way to accurately depict them through writing. In light of the recent record-breaking events on the Grand I figured I'd post the audio transcript here and let you form your own mental images of the pain & determination it takes to even complete a speed attempt.
Shoulders are by far the most injury prone joint in whitewater kayaking, and we all know someone who has "tweaked" it, or worse, while on the river. Recurring subluxations (partial dislocation) or full dislocations can lead to a torn labrum and the need for surgery. It's not an easy process, but eventually stabilizes the joint and reduces the risk of developing arthritis. I want to find out whether there is a significant difference in injury rates between people that use bent shaft paddles vs straight shaft paddles. Take the survey and help me find out!
I always choose to carry a satellite communicator on any big expedition, and it’s just as much for the peace of mind of my family as it is for my safety. Being gone for a month at a time in the backcountry can take a toll on parents or friends back home, wondering if everything is all right. Getting a little nightly message saying you’re fine does wonders to quell those fears. And of course, these devices could save your life if you’re severely hurt or stranded in the wilderness and need a rescue.
It's fast, challenging, and a rite of passage. It's the Green River in Western North Carolina. Every year crowds gather on the first Saturday each November to watch 150+ whitewater kayakers, each spaced 1 minute apart, lay it all out on a challenging set of rapids on the Green River Narrows. Navigating these rapids slowly is difficult, let alone charging through them while lactic.
This year I put on just before the racers and took out at Gorilla, the crux drop, to snap some photos. I wanted a different perspective from the classic downstream view of the pad, and decided to play around with angles on the river right side of the Monkey. Having a full view of racers coming over Flying Squirrel, through the Notch, over the pad, and through Speed Trap was special. The overhead view seemed to flatten Gorilla a bit, but some shots turned out pretty well!
At 4,863 feet, Spruce Knob holds the title of West Virginia’s highest mountain as well as the highest point in the Alleghenies. It’s name popped up while looking for a quality weekend backpacking trip in the Virginia area, and it certainly stood out among other routes in the region. Not only is there a beautiful creek to camp along, but two high school friends and I lucked out with the beautiful fall colors in early October. Just off the trail are the remains of a Piper PA-23 crash from 1973, which adds a little sobering history to the hike as well.
The full loop is around 16 miles long, passing along the alpine ridge, through beautiful meadows, and then dropping down into Seneca Creek. Just off of one of the trail junctions is the 30-foot Upper Seneca Creek Falls. There’s a lot packed into this hike and it goes quickly. Be prepared for a little mud though as some seeping springs keep the trails saturated.
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In May 2014 two recent Colorado College grads and I had the opportunity to take a 12-day inflatable kayak trip down the Tatshenshini, with the assistance of a school Ritt Kellogg grant. This river trip, starting at Dalton Post in the Yukon, and ending at Dry Bay, AK winds through an immensely beautiful landscape.
The Tatshenshini starts as a small stream, and the river reaches nearly a mile wide when it flows past the confluence with the Alsek River. Downstream of the confluence glaciers surround the river , icebergs choke a crucial lake crossing, and bald eagles fly high in the sky scanning for prey. Canoe & Kayak published a couple articles on the experience.
The James River Rundown race is happening again this year, and if you enjoy the James River and human-powered watercraft I highly suggest you sign up. This year I believe they have the classic 100 miler as well as new additions of mellower 40 mile and 20 mile races. From the results last year we saw that it’s certainly possible to paddle the full 100 miles in under 18 hours, so you can still race and sleep in your own bed that night. In the past couple weeks I’ve gotten a couple emails about advice for the race, and figured I’d write a few things down that I learned from my experience last year. My experience comes from paddling a solo kayak in the race, but I’m sure some of these points will apply to canoeists as well.
Last winter I had the opportunity to paddle down the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, alone. For 27 days and 280 miles the Grand Canyon was my world. I reveled in the solitude, played in the rapids, and was continually awed by the magnificent nature surrounding me. The resulting article and video featured by Canoe and Kayak turned out to be one of their most popular stories this year, and I finally decided to sit down and write down some tips for putting a solo trip together. This article will focus mainly on wintertime solos, as those permits are the easiest to snag. Of course most all this information will apply to kayakers looking to prepare for a self-support trip down the Grand Canyon, even if you aren’t doing it alone.
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