mountains

Wild River Wilderness: Where Beauty is Pain

Wild River Wilderness: Where Beauty is Pain

21 miles is easy. Easy when you are hiking on perfectly compacted, rock-free, root-free trails of Yosemite, Glacier, or Olympic national parks. When it comes to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, 21 miles is a grueling marathon, an improbable, if not impossible ordeal even for seasoned hikers.

I took a bit of a hiatus from backpacking last summer so hiking the Wild River wilderness was my first backpacking trip since Glacier National Park two years ago.

The Wild River Wilderness is located at the northeast corner of the White Mountain National Forest, on the border between Maine and New Hampshire. It is very remote and rugged with but a few trails segmenting the wooded landscape. There are not a lot of campsites in the entire Wild River Basin, and only one on the Carter Range - Imp Campsite. 

Shredding the Gnar

Shredding the Gnar

Colorado doesn't need a ten paragraph blog post to explain the awesomeness of this place. So this time around, I won't bore you with the details. Not to say that there isn't much to talk about when it comes to my trip to Colorado a few weeks ago, but I figured this time, I'll let my photos do the talking. 

Enjoy. 

Katmai National Park: Bears, Scenery, but Mostly Bears.

Katmai National Park: Bears, Scenery, but Mostly Bears.

Alaska is known for the number of national parks and national forests and their size. For most people visiting the 49th state, Denali and Kenai Fjords national parks are at the forefront of the places to visit and are the most-visited national parks in the the northern part of the state. 

When Larisa and I were originally planning our trip to Alaska, we didn't even consider any other parks due to their remote locations, high cost, and low popularity. I started doing more research and talking with people who have been to Alaska, I've discovered that the true gem of a park is actually located several hundred miles southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula - Katmai National Park and Preserve. 

Katmai National Park, established only 35 years ago in 1980 to protect the area of extreme geological interest and the prime salmon and costal brown bear habitat is located 235 air miles from Anchorage and getting there isn't easy.

Denali National Park: Into the Wild

Denali National Park: Into the Wild

With an area larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, Denali offers enough space to cover the distance as far as the eye can see in all directions. Denali is the king of all the National Parks. We were slated to spend three days in the park - a tight schedule considering the sheer geographic area. 

Denali National Park and Preserve is located about four hours north of Anchorage. Having been warned about wildfires along the Parks Highway, we made sure to leave early on Monday morning to make it to Denali at a decent hour. Luckily, there wasn’t much traffic, nor wildfires on the way up, and we even got a glimpse of Mt. McKinley from a viewpoint just south of the park. We were hoping that we’d get a much closer view of the mountain from inside the park, but later we’d be grateful for having at least seen it on the way in.

2015 Ski Season Summary

2015 Ski Season Summary

Not many people can say that they've been skiing since they were three. I can. I'm extremely grateful to my parents for putting me on skis at such a young age. In my 22-year skiing career, I've skied in 6 different mountain ranges across Europe and North America and got to experience all of the possible types of skiing. 

Living in the northeast, I feel lucky to have so much great skiing terrain at my doorstep. My typical ski season these days looks something like this:

  • 6-9 days of skiing in the Northeast
  • 5-6 days of skiing in British Columbia
  • 3-4 days of skiing in Colorado

That spreads my skiing evenly between the somewhat more on-piste groomer skiing and tree skiing in the northeast, and the powder and open alpine skiing of the west. Haven't been to the Alps in a few years, but love skiing in Austria as well. 

I meant to write about my ski trips before the season ended, so I suppose this write-up is a bit delayed. Whistler's still open until June 7th, so it's still "in season". My two main ski trips this winter - a weekend in Colorado skiing Breckenridge, Vail, Keystone, and Beaver Creek and a week in Whistler.. 

Spring in Acadia National Park

Spring in Acadia National Park

Sweeping 360-degree views consisting of azure-blue water, islands, mountains and trees, rugged coastline, the ringing of the lighthouse in the fog, endless carriage roads and hiking trails - those are the things that define Acadia National Park. 

Acadia was the first National Park I've ever been to. As an 11-year old kid, I was mesmerized by the rugged coastline, the evergreen-covered mountains, and numerous, crystal-clear lakes of Mount Desert Island, and most importantly, the fall foliage. That was my first visit to Acadia in 2001. Since then, I've visited the island several times and this spring, while trying to figure out what adventure to go on for Memorial Day weekend, I've stumbled upon the last remaining campsite at Blackwoods campground in Acadia.  I asked Larisa if she wanted to go and given her love of Maine, she couldn't be more excited. 

So we packed up the car, loaded up the bikes on the roof, and headed up to Maine on early Saturday morning. 

Sunset Hike Series: Kicking Off

Sunset Hike Series: Kicking Off

There's something extraordinarily special about sunset and sunrise hikes - not only being one with nature and experiencing the scenic wonders of the world, but also celebrating the goodbyes and hellos that the sun gives to the landscape. 

I've done a few sunset and sunrise hikes in the past, and every time, I am more and more tempted to make it a more regular ordeal.

Last weekend my friend asked me if I was down to head to Mt. Monadnock, an hour west of where I live, and two hours west of where I work - after work. I'm no stranger to hiking at odd times of the day, so I said, why not.