A Story For Tomorrow – A Patagonia Adventure

This is a beautiful video that follows a man and his girlfriend on their five-week adventure through Chile & Patagonia. It’s narrated, so that gives it a little something extra. A lot of time is spent hiking and backpacking through the wilderness – you can tell the couple truly enjoys each other’s company.

Crater Lake, Oregon

This is a stunning photo of Crater Lake, Oregon that can be seen in National Geographic Magazine. You may wonder why someone would travel to an area with zero light pollution to look up at the stars, only to strap on his headlamp. Well, the thought is that the light shining from his head symbolizes the light he is seeing on the other stars. So imagine someone on a distant star is laying down looking up at the sky and the light they see is actually coming from this guy.

Crater Lake Oregon

Scott Williamson Pacific Crest Trail Record

Last week, Scott Williamson of Truckee, California, set a new speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail. Williamson completed the 2,627-mile Pacific Crest Trail hike in a speed-record time of 64 days, 11 hours and 19 minutes. This is not the first time Williamson set a record on the PCT. Back in 2007 and 2009 he set speed records, but was with a hiker partner during the trek. This time he was solo.

“The main factor was being solo, and the other factor was going southbound,” said Williamson, 39, a tree climber and trimmer from Truckee who has become a cult figure in the long-distance hiking world. “But being solo made this undertaking much more challenging.”

One of the amazing side notes of this record was that Williamson completed the hike unsupported. He didn’t have friends and family waiting along the trail to resupply him.

“He did this totally unsupported, walking into and out of supply towns to re-supply, adding 20 or more miles to his route,” Metzger said. “He’s a true backpacker. He’s my hero.”

Reel Rock Tour 2011

Thanks to The Adventure Blog for reminding me that the Reel Rock Tour starts this week – Thursday to be exact. The Reel Rock Tour is a film tour featuring the newest/best climbing films out there, including Origins: Obe and Ashima, Race for The Nose and Project Dawn Wall.

Check out the trailer:

The Reel Rock Tour will be on the road all over North America, so be sure to check out their clanedar to find out when they’re at a locaiton near you.

Polar Bear Wakes Up At Construction Site

This video of a polar bear was recently captured in northern Alaska at a construction site. An Italian oil drilling company set up a research rig. In the video you can see a momma bear and her cub walking around the construction site after 6 months of hibernation. They don’t seem to mind too much, but you can imagine what it would have been like to go to sleep in a frozen snowfield only to wake up next to an oil rig.

The Love Letter with Fitz and Becca Cahall

Fitz and Becca Cahall (with the help of Bryan Smith — what project isn’t this guy involved in these days?) hit a homerun with The Love Letter, just released this morning. The Love Letter chronicles Fitz and Becca’s 300+ mile trek through the Sierras. They put life in the city on hold and escape to a place to put their minds at ease.

Check it out:

Notice all those phone calls and e-mails bothering Fitz at the beginning of the film? Part of me thinks we might have contributed to that madness haha. We started our partnership with Fitz and The Dirtbag Diaries right around the same time he was planning his trip to the Sierras. I think some of those calls in the beginning might have been from me!

Like all their other projects, this film really got me thinking. The phone call at the end by “conformity” was a great touch. What am I doing to be unique? How can we break away from social norms? Could my wife and I write a similar love letter to each other? Could I go off to the Sierras for 6 weeks?

Human Planet Review

Last night, I watched the premier of Human Planet on Discovery Channel. It’s very similar to the Planet Earth and Life series they aired over the last year or so, except this time they focus on how people live in far off places. It was truly spectacular – both the stories told and the cinematography.

From last night’s episode, two stories stood out to me:

1. The Mongolian hunters
2. The Tibetan father taking his kids to school

The Mongolians capture baby eagles just after they hatch and then train them to be hunters. I’ve seen a falconer before at sporting events and stuff but never imagined using that bird as a weapon for hunting small game. The Mongolians can be seen riding their horses through the snow and up mountains — all with a giant eagle perched on their arms. They get to a high vantage point on a mountain top and then take the shield off the eagles eyes (they do this so the birds don’t freak out while traveling on the horses). The eagle immediately spots a fox and takes off for the kill.

The Tibet family has to take a 6-day, 60 mile trek through the frozen Zanskar Valley of the Himalayans – just to get to school! They walked on think, cracking ice and faced sub-zero temps during night time. The father successfully gets his kids to school, where they will stay for 6 months at a time. Then he returns home following the same trek, this time alone.

The show really helps put things into perspective and made me realize how much I take for granted. I’m sitting there watching this show in bed on my big High Def. TV while eating popcorn at the same time a 10 year old kid from Etheopia is throwing rocks at a band of monkeys trying to eat his wheat crops. The world is a big place with billions of humans, yet we are all so different in so many ways.

Eastern Cougar Declared Extinct

Federal researchers officially declared the eastern cougar extinct yesterday. The “ghost cat” was thought to have been extinct since the 1930s, but was placed on the endangered species list in the 1970s because of the numerous sightings. The eastern cougar was given the nickname “ghost cat” because no one ever recorded a sighting of one. People claim to have seen them, but there’s just no evidence.

Some locals to the backcountry of the eastern United States still believe they exist. From Yahoo:

Ray Sedorchuk, 45, an avid hunter and outdoorsman, said he got an excellent look at a cougar last June in rural Bradford County, in northern Pennsylvania. He was in his truck when a reddish-brown animal with a long tail crossed the road. He said he jammed on the brakes, and the cougar stopped in its tracks.

“I could see the body, the tail and the head, the entire animal, perfectly. It’s not a bobcat, it’s not a housecat, it’s a cougar,” he said. “It’s a sleek animal. It ran low to the ground and stealth-like. It moved with elegance.”

Sedorchuk, a freelance writer who spends copious amounts of time in the woods, said he’d always been skeptical of the eastern cougar’s existence, even as two of his friends insisted to him that they had seen them in the wild.

And now?

“I believe that they’re here, without even thinking twice about it,” he said. “I believe there aren’t that many, but there are enough where they can get together and breed.”

The loss of cougars over the decades has resulted in the massive population explosion of white-tailed deer. The Eastern Cougar Foundation is trying to get the Federal Government to reintroduce cougars to the eastern United States.

What do you think about the eastern cougar being declared extinct? Do you think there’s a chance we could still have an extremely small population living, undetected?

eastern cougar