After a grueling 36-hour series of flights, we have finally made it to the impressively chaotic city of Kathmandu, Nepal!
During our approach into Kathmandu we were treated with a fantastic view of Mt. Everest and the Himalaya range smothered in what looked like a fresh coating of snow. We soon discovered that it was fresh snow indeed — and lots of it. On Tuesday a cyclone from India hit the mountains and dumped several meters of snow. Tragically, at least 27 lives of trekkers and climbers were lost during the blizzard, mainly in the Annapurna area. [News story here].
This stunning and saddening news has us wondering about our upcoming trekking plans; we will speak with those in the know to see how all this snow will affect the possibilities. But I just wanted to let you all know that we are safe, and will play it safe while we are in the mountains. Our hearts go out to those who were lost in the mountains, and their friends and families.
Tomorrow we fly around the world to Kathmandu, Nepal to spend two months trekking in the Himalaya – the world’s tallest and grandest mountains! We plan on hiking in the Khumbu/Everest region during the first month, staying in teahouses in the small villages along the way. (No, we won’t be climbing Everest). Our plans are open for the second month, so we’ll just play it by ear. I am so excited for this trip I can hardly cope!
Although I will mostly be unplugged during our adventures in the mountains, I am still accepting print orders through my gallery website. Prints ordered in October, November, and December will be delivered according this print delivery schedule. The deadline for ordering prints for Christmas gifts is November 21. I will respond to image licensing requests and other inquiries as quickly as I am able to.
This afternoon I spontaneously decided to attempt an evening hike of Mt. Sneffels. I suppose I was overly optimistic about the weather forecast because when I arrived in Yankee Boy Basin the ominous dark clouds had me scared to get out of my truck, much less hike a peak! So I sat in my truck for a few hours, enjoying the sound of the rain and the flash bangs of lightning and thunder.
Right before sunset the storm relaxed and some sunlight beamed through the clouds, illuminating the landscape with an eerie warm glow. It would have been a stunning scene to see from the summit, though probably not worth dodging lightning bolts for!
There are few things in life finer than soaking in natural hot springs, especially when those hot springs are situated at treeline in an alpine basin surrounded by high peaks and valley vistas! Such is the case at Conundrum Hot Springs, a remote but popular wild hot springs in the Elk Mountains between the towns of Aspen and Crested Butte in Colorado. Continue reading →
The lazy melancholy atmosphere of autumn has arrived in the high country… the tundra is golden brown, the air has a crisp edge, and the marmots have either burrowed into their holes or retreated to lower elevations. Yesterday we went out for a quick overnighter at Columbine Lake, in the San Juans of Colorado, to savor some time up high before the winter snows cover the tundra for another nine months.
After a wet rainy week stuck inside the house, by Thursday I’d had enough and decided to get out and hike up Handies Peak, a fourteener here in the San Juans which I haven’t hiked before. Despite the cold wind and nasty looking clouds, I continued up the peak, encouraged by the occasional glimpse of blue sky. Sure enough, as I approached the summit the clouds started clearing off a bit, so I sat up there for a few hours bundled up in my down clothes and waited for sunset – which never really did much, but anyways it wasn’t a bad place to hang out for a while!
On a side note, earlier this summer in July, Adam Campbell, a runner in the infamous Hardrock 100 endurance race, was nearly struck by lightning high on Handies. He and his pacer were both knocked off their feet, but otherwise uninjured, and he continued on to finish third place!
The Wind River Range forms 110 miles of the Continental Divide in central Wyoming. Notable for its plethora of alpine lakes, its soaring granite walls, and some of the largest glaciers in the US Rockies, the Winds are a supremely majestic mountain range and a paradise for backpackers, climbers, and fishermen.
It’s been eight years since my last backpack treks in the Winds, and I’ve been excited to get back ever since. Last week Claudia and I went up there and did an eight-day, ~55 mile backpack trek through the southern portion of the range.