Day 1 – Washington DC

On my first post from the road it seems poetic and fitting that I should be writing this from the Korol residence. I met Wilson and Muriel Korol on a bus on our way to Chile a year ago. What started out as a brief conversation on a bus, has turned into a friendship that has had a great impact on me. They have been extremely instrumental in my decision and preparations in embarking on extended travel. They provided an example of intelligent successful people that made a conscious choice to travel the world. They helped in answering my many questions on anything from health insurance, visas, prevalence of wifi, and financial management from the road. At every turn they provided nothing but positivity and encouragement in my process. It helped take a lot of the fear out of this decision. I think it’s a good omen that I am…

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Winter Camping Lessons, Rocky Mountain National Park

On a winter camping trip to the Rockies I learned a bunch of lessons. Lesson #1 Digging out the footprint for your tent is time consuming and extremely exhausting after a long hike. The snow was over a foot deep and very dry which made packing it and staking the tent very difficult. Lesson #2 In sub freezing temperatures sleep with a hard shell water bottle not a soft one. In an effort to stay light I used a collapsible Nalgene canteen which I use in the summer. It performed just fine until I rolled over it inside my sleeping bag. I was drenched and the temperature hit -3 F that night. It sucked… Lesson #3 In subzero temperatures sleep with your fuel canister. Although I had the Jetboil isobutane/propane mix it failed to produce a consistent flame because of the cold. It sputtered frequently making cooking breakfast and melting…

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Don’t drop the water

A golden rule in any hiking endeavor is don’t drop gear, especially your water bottle. My cousin Daniel had the misfortune of having to descend to get his water bottle. Luckily it stopped on a rock and he did not have to forfeit his bottle to Echo Lake. Some hiking bags do not secure bottles as well as others. I’ve had more than one bottle slip out on me while squeezing between vegetation or doing some scrambling. A poor mans solution is to use a shoe lace or chord around the loop of a bottle to prevent this from happening. If your bottle does not have a built in loop, the neck right below the cap is another viable option. I’ve also see climbers use a runner to secure their bottle.      

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Hiking Mt. Evans

On this hike up to to Mt. Evans I had a real live action figure to accompany me, my cousin Daniel. The plan was the following: Day 1 – Park our rental car and start out at Echo Lake (elevation 10,750). We would then take the Chicago Lakes Trail and camp at the lower Chicago lake.  Day 2 – Push to Summit lake which is a steep ascent (12,830ft/3911m) and camp there. Day 3 – Summit Mt. Evans (14,265 ft/4,348 m) and walk our way back down to the car. ———————————————————————————————————————— Day 1 was tough but enjoyable. Shortness of breath was felt, heart rates were very elevated, and headaches were felt. For those interested in the full symptoms of  altitude sickness you can get a great overview from the national library of medicine. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000133.htm Day 2 – After a rough night of very little sleep, the cough started and the headaches were pounding.…

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Overheating on Mt. Washington

On a trip to Mt Washington I listened to the suggested gear list and over dressed for the occasion. Mt. Washington is known for it’s strong winds, and extreme weather patterns. In fact it is the site of the highest wind speed ever observed by man. However, that day was an unseasonably warm day in mid April. Despite me removing various layers and opening all my vents, I overheated. The base layer I was wearing was a mid weight wool layer, something not intended to be worn in such weather. The culmination was the pyrotechnic explosion below.   Early Warning Signs of Overheating    There I blow! A special thanks to Sing for being smart and quick enough to capture this beautiful moment.   For those interested in information on overheating can be found below. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000056.htm

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