Glacier School

Aug
02

Previous post.

December 29, 2013

Glaciers are a special beast. Formed from snow piling up over many years, compacted by the weight of that snow and slowly drifting across and shaping the terrain, glaciers have a special beauty that hides many of the dangers contained within. Safely navigating and climbing glaciers requires special gear, knowledge and practice, something I hoped to gain on this trip.

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Acclimation

Aug
02

Previous post.

December 24, 2013

After our day in Quito, we started acclimating in earnest. First we climbed a small "hill" near Quito, Guagua Pichincha (Baby Pichincha) taking us to about 4800 meters (~15,750 feet) before returning back to Hacienda Rumiloma. The next day was a little more relaxing, with a bit of time in the Otovalo market before a shorter hike around a lake at the base of a mountain in the Reserva Ecologica Cotacachi-Cayapas and a night in Hacienda Pinsaqui.

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Quito

Aug
02

This post has been a long time coming. It's taken a while to keep living life while also finding the time to share--I hope you enjoy these photos!

December 21, 2013

This trip started with a few meetings: first Fernando, the one who would drive me from the airport to the Hacienda Rumiloma where I will spend several nights. Then Alex, who will be joining me in all the mountaineering parts of this trip. Also Alejo, our mountaineering guide (there will be a lot of Alex's this trip--deal), and many other nice people (too many to list them all without boring you to death).

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Mammoth Adventures

Jun
22

Ever get a taste of something and hunger for more? Happens to me a lot.

One case of this was a caving tour I went on as a child, the Trog Tour at Mammoth Cave National Park. While I've been in plenty of caves since then, I always wanted to come back and try the adult version at Mammoth--the Wild Cave Tour, taking you into places in this wondrous cave system that most of the public never gets to see. Sadly, this tour is very popular and has been sold out every time I've tried to go in the past.

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Fortune Favors the Bold

Mar
31

So one of my friends throws a quite fun birthday party for themselves every year up in Thunder Bay. Last year I ended up missing this party because of another trip and so, this year, I went out of my way to find out details first. As usual, the party lived up to its reputation and so you won't see any pictures here.

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Meaningful Meetings

Mar
09

So this weekend I was in New York City again. I could easily talk about the wonderful food, the beautiful sights, the amazing random street performances (like those in the videos below) or any number of other things. But those aren't what made this weekend special. This weekend I was able to simultaneously meet up with three of my best friends from university, two of whom I hadn't even seen for almost ten years (although the internet has helped keep in touch). The fact that we were in one of my favorite cities taking advantage of the opportunities available was simply a bonus.

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Mount Washington

Feb
28

Originally having planned to go skiing this weekend, that plan fell through due to lack of commitment from anyone else. Luckily, similar lack of commitment freed up space on a trip with the Alpine Club of Canada to Mount Washington, New Hampshire (USA) and they were happy to let me join them.

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Pushing Through

Feb
23

Ever have one of those weekends where all your plans go wrong? Multiple plane flights delayed? Ferry to even reach the airport violently buffeted by winds and unable to dock for almost an hour (luckily we've already mentioned the plane delays)? Large snow dump followed by frigid temperatures and high winds cancelling your original plans? Friends, having expected you to be busy, already having other plans? Chest deep snow once you do actually get out? All of the above and more in one weekend?

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Refreshing Disappointment

Dec
08

I've been stalling for weeks about writing this post, because I was keen to track the progress of Andrew's latest excursion, the one where he shells out about $20,000 to walk up a hill. I mean, it's a real nice hill, sure, but it would have to be. And OK, he didn't just walk up a hill. He also went to someone's 65th birthday party. Which is great; I'd invite him to mine, no question, if he hadn't promised to be dead by then.

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Silver Linings

Oct
28

As they say, all clouds have a silver lining. On my way back from Tanzania, my flight out of Amsterdam was delayed due to very high winds over Europe. Even once we were able to take off, the flight time was increased due to flying at reduced altitude into the wind. Sounds horrible, right?

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