Month: January 2021

Winter K2 Update : Waiting on Weather, Also on Manaslu + Manaslu Teams in Camp 1. Will Nirmal Purja Join Them ?

Winter K2 Update : Waiting on Weather, Also on Manaslu. – from Alan Arnette's detailed blog
Manaslu Teams in Camp 1. Will Nirmal Purja Join Them ? – from Explorersweb.com
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https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2021/01/27/winter-k2-update-waiting-on-weather-also-on-manaslu/ — Alan Arnette — Winter K2 Update : Waiting on Weather, Also on Manaslu.

https://explorersweb.com/2021/01/27/manaslu-teams-in-camp-1-will-nirmal-purja-join-them/ — Manaslu Teams in Camp 1 . Will Nirmal Purja Join Them ?

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Winter K2 Update : Waiting on Weather, Also on Manaslu. – from Alan Arnette's detailed blog

Manaslu Teams in Camp 1. Will Nirmal Purja Join Them ? – from Explorersweb.com

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https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2021/01/27/winter-k2-update-waiting-on-weather-also-on-manaslu/ — Alan Arnette — Winter K2 Update : Waiting on Weather, Also on Manaslu.

https://explorersweb.com/2021/01/27/manaslu-teams-in-camp-1-will-nirmal-purja-join-them/ — Manaslu Teams in Camp 1 . Will Nirmal Purja Join Them ?

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Why Ultralight Trail Running of the 4000 Footers in Winter is a Bad Idea

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By now, most people have heard about the two individuals who were rescued on Mount Lafayette. If you haven't, read about it HERE. In brief, two trail runners ended up losing the Greenleaf Trail as they descended Mount Lafayette. One of them allegedly lost their trail running shoes in the process and ended up barefoot. As an objective party, I have no idea what kind of shoes they wore or what they brought with them, but judging from the fact that snowshoes were not mentioned in the article, I am going to assume they did not use them. But based on many, many hours of personal experience in these mountains, I can tell you that ultralight trail running the 4000 footers is a very, very bad idea.

First, let me preface with this: trail running in winter can be done safely in the mountains. I won't lie either. I don't carry a sleeping bag and pad with me on winter hikes/runs. But I do..

Buy my new novel Take to the Unscathed Road now!Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
By now, most people have heard about the two individuals who were rescued on Mount Lafayette. If you haven't, read about it HERE. In brief, two trail runners ended up losing the Greenleaf Trail as they descended Mount Lafayette. One of them allegedly lost their trail running shoes in the process and ended up barefoot. As an objective party, I have no idea what kind of shoes they wore or what they brought with them, but judging from the fact that snowshoes were not mentioned in the article, I am going to assume they did not use them. But based on many, many hours of personal experience in these mountains, I can tell you that ultralight trail running the 4000 footers is a very, very bad idea.

First, let me preface with this: trail running in winter can be done safely in the mountains. I won't lie either. I don't carry a sleeping bag and pad with me on winter hikes/runs. But I do have an emergency bivy with me at all times, lighting, and traction based on what I know the conditions will be like. Evidently the "trail runners" on the Franconia Ridge Loop didn't think to bring snowshoes just in case there were drifts, and this could have been fatal had they not been rescued in the nick of time.
Can you do these peaks in winter with trail runners? Sure. But they have to be waterproof at a minimum, and insulated unless you're crazy. Especially on a day with near zero temps with wind chills below zero. They do make these kinds of shoes, but they are not cheap because they cater to a very specific type of athlete, and not many people are trail running big mountains in the dead of winter.
Which leads me to my point. Ultralight trail running the 4000 footers is a silly idea. To me, unless you have the bare minimum of three layers (combo of down, fleece, waterproof layer), an extra pair of socks, multiple pairs of gloves, multiple hats or balaclavas, insulated and waterproof footwear, appropriate traction, and a water resistant pant layer, and enough food and water to last a night, you're putting yourself and rescuers at risk.
Winter rescues don't always have happy endings, and even when they do, the rescued often have lifelong consequences such as frostbite and nerve damage at best, amputation at worst. So if you're going to trail run in winter in the White Mountains, don't be brazen.

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Greater Hart-Sheldon: Sagebrush Stronghold

2020 may have turned our worlds upside down, but all that screen time for my once field-based job turned into an opportunity to go back to my roots in multi-media production.

I spent about half the year developing this awesome new researched-based story map for the Oregon Natural Desert Association with my passionate and super smart colleague Jeremy Austin.

This project helped me connect my graphic design and multi-media interests that started at Bradley University (yes, photoshop existed in 1995!), continued in grad school at Goldsmiths College (my dissertation revolved around taking the museum out of the museum…and I think this definitely qualifies as a virtual exhibit), and has now found a greater purpose in advocating for protection of our home…planet earth.

Take a few minutes and soak in the Greater Hart-Sheldon: Sagebrush Stronghold!

2020 may have turned our worlds upside down, but all that screen time for my once field-based job turned into an opportunity to go back to my roots in multi-media production.

I spent about half the year developing this awesome new researched-based story map for the Oregon Natural Desert Association with my passionate and super smart colleague Jeremy Austin.

This project helped me connect my graphic design and multi-media interests that started at Bradley University (yes, photoshop existed in 1995!), continued in grad school at Goldsmiths College (my dissertation revolved around taking the museum out of the museum…and I think this definitely qualifies as a virtual exhibit), and has now found a greater purpose in advocating for protection of our home…planet earth.

Take a few minutes and soak in the Greater Hart-Sheldon: Sagebrush Stronghold!

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Winter Wonderland

It is not very often that we get snow around this part of the country (Hampshire/West Sussex), so when we do get it I am going to shout about it. Sunday morning, I woke up to heavily falling snow and a good 50-75mm already on the ground. Time for a change of plan and reroute … Continue reading Winter Wonderland

It is not very often that we get snow around this part of the country (Hampshire/West Sussex), so when we do get it I am going to shout about it. Sunday morning, I woke up to heavily falling snow and a good 50-75mm already on the ground. Time for a change of plan and reroute …

Continue reading Winter Wonderland

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Bald Mountain via Bald Mountain Trail (Oquossoc, Maine)

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Lauren and I wanted to get a quick hike in after a long drive up to the Rangeley region. Bald Mountain seemed like the obvious choice, as one of the shortest hikes in the area.

There was only one car parked at the Bald Mountain trailhead off Carry Road. But we soon realized why. There is a shorter trailhead that cuts off almost half the mileage. For us, it didn't matter so much, but we saw quite a few people heading down on our way up once we reached the junction with the other trail.

The first part of the trail was basically flat, but as soon as we got to the junction, it started to head up quickly.

And it got icy, quickly too.

We didn't put on our spikes until we got to the summit and headed down, but they would have been helpful. The trail is undoubtedly snow covered now though.

The views were good, but not the best atop the firetower. If it wasn't so cloudy, I'm ..

Buy my new novel Take to the Unscathed Road now!Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Lauren and I wanted to get a quick hike in after a long drive up to the Rangeley region. Bald Mountain seemed like the obvious choice, as one of the shortest hikes in the area.

There was only one car parked at the Bald Mountain trailhead off Carry Road. But we soon realized why. There is a shorter trailhead that cuts off almost half the mileage. For us, it didn't matter so much, but we saw quite a few people heading down on our way up once we reached the junction with the other trail.




The first part of the trail was basically flat, but as soon as we got to the junction, it started to head up quickly.

And it got icy, quickly too.

We didn't put on our spikes until we got to the summit and headed down, but they would have been helpful. The trail is undoubtedly snow covered now though.


The views were good, but not the best atop the firetower. If it wasn't so cloudy, I'm sure we would have had a different experience! But that's the beauty of the mountains.


Total Time: 2 hrs 3Total Distance: ~4 milesTotal Elevation Gain: ~1135 vertical gain

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return to the ridge

I skied angrily up the road toward the Wenatchee Guard Station. I had been hoping for a miracle in the form of better snow than the last time I had been there, but alas, the snow was even worse. A hard crust churned up by snowmobiles, it was difficult to navigate while skiing with a backpack.
This time we had a pulk with us, though. I gleefully jettisoned my sleeping bag and most of the food. Pulks rule, I thought, though I was secretly glad I wasn't the one pulling it. Near the cabin, we had to negotiate a big snowdrift and a steep climb. How do people pull these for miles? I don't know, but I was happy to be only responsible for my old skis; it was one step forward and one step back as I inched toward the cabin.
But what was happening? I eyed my skis with horror. One was delaminating. I hovered on the verge of a meltdown, but I had the foresight to pack snowshoes, so all wasn't lost. This wasn't how I thought this trip would go, but bad snow and equipment failure..

I skied angrily up the road toward the Wenatchee Guard Station. I had been hoping for a miracle in the form of better snow than the last time I had been there, but alas, the snow was even worse. A hard crust churned up by snowmobiles, it was difficult to navigate while skiing with a backpack.
This time we had a pulk with us, though. I gleefully jettisoned my sleeping bag and most of the food. Pulks rule, I thought, though I was secretly glad I wasn't the one pulling it. Near the cabin, we had to negotiate a big snowdrift and a steep climb. How do people pull these for miles? I don't know, but I was happy to be only responsible for my old skis; it was one step forward and one step back as I inched toward the cabin.
But what was happening? I eyed my skis with horror. One was delaminating. I hovered on the verge of a meltdown, but I had the foresight to pack snowshoes, so all wasn't lost. This wasn't how I thought this trip would go, but bad snow and equipment failure were out of my control. Plus, I had brought Oreos. Oreos make everything better.
We traversed the ridge nearly to the campground, opting to turn back to explore the woods near the cabin in the afternoon. To our surprise we found an old barn. I thought about the glory days of the Forest Service, when crews were living at all of these guard stations. I lived the tail end of those days. Feral creatures, bound only to management by a radio that never really worked, we were free to roam the wilderness with our trail clearing tools. We were trusted to complete our work without paperwork, endless safety meetings, or helicopter supervision. It was a better time then. People were nicer without a keyboard to hide behind.
That night the wind rose to a howl. A golden sun slowly set. The Seven Devils looked almost close enough to walk to. Once again I made the same vow: next summer, I'm hiking there.
The next day I would have to snowshoe out, attaching the skis to the sled. Two snowmobiles lay abandoned on the route, victims of breakdowns. Trees lay scattered, victims of the wind. This is a harsh place, but so beautiful.

I vowed not to come back until the snow was better, but it is hard to resist the lure of a close-by getaway. This is still within striking distance of where I live to feel like I am not violating the stay at home order, but far enough that it seems like actually doing something. I recalled the early days of the pandemic when none of us drove anywhere, when everyone just walked in their neighborhood. We were so innocent then.
I decided to come back in summer, when I can hike the trails down into the canyon. It'll be different then, I hope, but the cabin will still be the same. It's been here since the 1930s. I like that kind of permanence. And maybe these are the good old days, but we don't really know it.

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Wy’east (Mt Hood) – Fric- Amos – Oregon Cascades – T/R + K2: Sadparas, Snorri on the Move

Wy'east (Mt Hood) Fric-Amos – Oregon Cascades – Trip Report with pictures – Cascade Climbers
K2: Sadparas, Snori on the Move – from Explorersweb.com website
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https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/103847-tr-wyeast-mt-hood-fric-amos-01232021/ — Wy'east (Mt Hood) Fric-Amos – Oregon Cascades — Trip Report with Pictures.

https://explorersweb.com/2021/01/23/k2-sadparas-snorri-on-the-move/ — K2: Sadparas, Snorri on the Move.

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Wy'east (Mt Hood) Fric-Amos – Oregon Cascades – Trip Report with pictures – Cascade Climbers

K2: Sadparas, Snori on the Move – from Explorersweb.com website

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https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/103847-tr-wyeast-mt-hood-fric-amos-01232021/ — Wy'east (Mt Hood) Fric-Amos – Oregon Cascades — Trip Report with Pictures.




https://explorersweb.com/2021/01/23/k2-sadparas-snorri-on-the-move/ — K2: Sadparas, Snorri on the Move.


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The Blues Beckon

The first written press about the Blue Mountains Trail came out! Check out this great article in the Baker City Herald:

Four Hikers Complete The New, 566-Mile Blue Mountains Trail

The Blues Beckon

By JAYSON JACOBY Baker City Herald

Renee Patrick started her epic walk through the Blue Mountains in the sweaty heat of July, and she finished it amid the nostril-freezing chill of an alpine autumn.
Along the 566 miles of hiking in between, Patrick was at turns challenged, enlightened and even awed by the eclectic landscapes of Northeast Oregon.

She also made history.

And now, a few months after she finished her trek, Patrick is helping to promote the Blue Mountains Trail, a route she and other proponents hope will join the ranks of America’s other long-distance wilderness paths.

“It’s fun to be at the beginning of an effort like this that people are excited about,” Patrick said in a Jan. 14 phone interview. “It’s exciting for the eastern half of the state to have more recreational opp..

The first written press about the Blue Mountains Trail came out! Check out this great article in the Baker City Herald:

Four Hikers Complete The New, 566-Mile Blue Mountains Trail

The Blues Beckon

  • By JAYSON JACOBY Baker City Herald

Renee Patrick started her epic walk through the Blue Mountains in the sweaty heat of July, and she finished it amid the nostril-freezing chill of an alpine autumn.
Along the 566 miles of hiking in between, Patrick was at turns challenged, enlightened and even awed by the eclectic landscapes of Northeast Oregon.

She also made history.

And now, a few months after she finished her trek, Patrick is helping to promote the Blue Mountains Trail, a route she and other proponents hope will join the ranks of America’s other long-distance wilderness paths.

“It’s fun to be at the beginning of an effort like this that people are excited about,” Patrick said in a Jan. 14 phone interview. “It’s exciting for the eastern half of the state to have more recreational opportunities. Northeast Oregon is not well-known, even by a lot of Oregonians.”

Read the rest here.

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K2 : More Summit Attemps Begin + Tamara Lunger Continues K2 Winter Expedition + k2 Updates : New Summit Push

K2 : More Summit Attemps Begin – from Explorersweb.com website
Tamara Lunger Continues K2 Winter Expedition – from Planet Mountain.com
Winter K2 Updates : New Summit Push, Ropes on K2 – from Alan Arnette on his detailed blog
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https://explorersweb.com/2021/01/23/k2-more-summit-attempts-begin/ — K2 : More Summit Attemps Begin.

https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/tamara-lunger-continues-k2-winter-expedition.html — Tamara Lunger continues K2 Winter Expedition.

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K2 : More Summit Attemps Begin – from Explorersweb.com website

Tamara Lunger Continues K2 Winter Expedition – from Planet Mountain.com

Winter K2 Updates : New Summit Push, Ropes on K2 – from Alan Arnette on his detailed blog

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https://explorersweb.com/2021/01/23/k2-more-summit-attempts-begin/ — K2 : More Summit Attemps Begin.


https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/tamara-lunger-continues-k2-winter-expedition.html — Tamara Lunger continues K2 Winter Expedition.



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K2 : More Summit Attemps Begin + Tamara Lunger Continues K2 Winter Expedition

K2 : More Summit Attemps Begin – from Explorersweb.com website
Tamara Lunger Continues K2 Winter Expedition – from Planet Mountain.com
———————————————————————————————————-
https://explorersweb.com/2021/01/23/k2-more-summit-attempts-begin/ — K2 : More Summit Attemps Begin.

https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/tamara-lunger-continues-k2-winter-expedition.html — Tamara Lunger continues K2 Winter Expedition.

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K2 : More Summit Attemps Begin – from Explorersweb.com website

Tamara Lunger Continues K2 Winter Expedition – from Planet Mountain.com

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https://explorersweb.com/2021/01/23/k2-more-summit-attempts-begin/ — K2 : More Summit Attemps Begin.


https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/tamara-lunger-continues-k2-winter-expedition.html — Tamara Lunger continues K2 Winter Expedition.

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