How to Kill Your Sheep

In this installment, we take a departure from our near-vegetarian diet when we buy and butcher a sheep in a ghost town called Martoli.

Healthy Harvest

Four days earlier…

Day 30

A new day, a new month, and a new valley: we were refreshed. We redistributed gear and spent most of the morning debriefing our previous days. There was an enormous sense of accomplishment for most of the students, this being easily the most intense trek of our lives. Many expressed how they had a newfound motivation and were excited to use it post-trip. We had pushed ourselves past what we thought … Read the rest

Life on the Kafni Glacier

Day 26

The previous day had melted the fresh snowfall so we left Camp 2 as dry as we found it. Sunrise on Nanda Devi was spectacular and it was sad to leave her valley.

Nanda Devi Last Sunrise

I roped in to the day’s first team, “Team Chai,” consisting of Brian, Bharat, me, and Kuttss. We had heavier packs, maybe 60 lbs., and a quicker pace, trying to cover more ground while the snow was still frozen. We took a quick sunscreen break when the sun was visible and hooked back into the pros to hustle up the Col by 10 am.

I … Read the rest

Night and Day on Kafni Col

Day 24

We had one full rest day at Camp 2 but it wouldn’t be full of rest. We had spent extra time at Zero Point and Camp 1 for health reasons, so it was nice to pick up the pace. Our morning’s lesson: ice climbing. This wasn’t vertical top roping like I’d done before but a more probable scenario for glacier ice, steep, but not vertical. We kicked in our toes, piercing the wall with a clink. Our hands providing balance but no traction.

Ice Climbing

The crampons were surprisingly reliable, a good thing because the 30-foot slide would have meant … Read the rest

Chimborazo Challenge

Hey everyone!

Get ready for a FUNdraiser!

Himalaya MED

We’re taking a break from your regular scheduled programming to talk about an upcoming adventure. While trekking in the Himalayas with the National Outdoor Leadership School (see recent posts) Brian and I spent some time in the presence of the local holy man Baba Ji. This Man of the Mountains is a community organizer of sorts for the surrounding valleys, employing teachers in villages that would otherwise not have access to education. He was a great host and teacher to us and we are hoping to raise money help his … Read the rest

Altitude Troubles in the Shadow of Nanda Devi

Day 14

We woke at 5:15 in the morning for our last breakfast as a cook group. It was another clear morning and we began a hike.  This time we avoided the Pindari moraine altogether and moved up the sweeping right side of the valley, now visible, where there was no trail. This proved a much quicker route and soon we had reached the steep path up the cliffside.

Changuch by Day

Everyone decided to continue this time and soon we were at the open meadow where we took a picture in front of the glacier to commemorate our cook group.

Posers

At this … Read the rest

Man of the Mountains

Day 10

The day began with a rapid ascent over a well-maintained trail. We had our usual clear morning, so we made good time rising to 10,500 ft. in three hours of hiking. This was the last guesthouse on the trail in a place called Phurkiya. The most eventful part of the trail was encountering a herd of over 200 sheep who passed nervously by going above us and below us on the thin path. By now we were above most trees, only short trees and bushes dotted the fields of tall flowers and thistles.

View from Diwali

View from Diwali.

Sheep … Read the rest

Everything is Poop

The following is a tale of adventure. One of boys becoming men, men becoming boys, and motivation lost and found. I have tried to capture the peaks and valleys of my 42-day mountaineering experience as best I can through stories and pictures. I want to show not only the most memorable moments, but day to day of life in the wilderness. This is the result.

Notebook

Why do we seek to climb mountains? It seems as though that is a questions asked by many a climber and hiker. A good question to be sure, the monotony of trudging along for hours … Read the rest

The Best and Worst of 8 Months in Asia

I need closure OK?

My journey has long since ended but the memory of it has not. As I sit back and reminisce I also think of the many questions that people ask. “What was your favorite country?” “What was the most memorable experience?” Hard to answer the superlatives sometimes but still worth thinking about.

I had spent almost 8 months, or 235 days, in Asia. I traveled by land when possible, moving when visa concerns forced me along.

Route in Asia

While I tried to be thorough when I could, there were definitely things that I missed everywhere. I think that a … Read the rest

End of an Era

Where was I?

Showing an epic display of story continuity, I continued my journey through South America as if I had never left (which I hadn’t).

We were ready to hit the town hard in Valparaiso, so we started off it off right — with fedoras!

Fedoras!

Sonja was, of course, ecstatic about her Chilean cultural experience being augmented by shirtless bros.

DSC00733

We toured the harbor of Valparaiso by boat. The hills come right up to the harbor and are covered by wonderfully colored houses, creating a mosaic across the crescent of the bay. It had a good mix of beauty … Read the rest

Around the World in Two Days

An early morning had me saying my final goodbye to Asia. Time for some old-fashioned, big time travel. A flight out of Hong Kong brought me to a quick layover in Tokyo. No time to leave the airport, just time to kick it. Next was a big flight nonstop to Dallas, Texas. Welcome to America!

I was able to leave the airport terminal and briefly stand at the departures drop off. That fresh American air! It was amazing to be back even though I wasn’t really back. I passed through customs, completing my trip from a customs standpoint … Read the rest