Thursday, November 29, 2012


Mokowanis Lake privy in GNP.

Toilet in the Bugaboos on the Pigeon-Howser Col. Photo by Amanda Shale Shpeley.

Outhouse at 14,000' on Denali.  Photo by Brad Marshall.

As we venture further out and higher up stumbling upon unique toilets, privies, outhouses, etc. with outstanding views can be quite memorable.  What's your favorite wilderness water closet?  Here is a delightful photo album of high peak potties from around the world.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Sanborn Canoe Co, better known for their canoe paddles, just released their very own bucksaw. The J.A. Fällman Bucksaw is a lovely looking 24" packable saw that comes with it's own canvas roll-up.  If you buy the painted version you will probably need to pick a matching axe from Best Made...just sayin'.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Here is some footage of a Boy Scout canoe trip in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in the late 1950's.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Photo by duckandcover

On Friday, September 21st, President Obama added Chimney Rock to the list of National Monuments by utilizing the Antiquities Act. Chimney Rock National Monument is comprised of 4,726 acres and is located in southwestern Colorado in the San Juan National Forest. This area is extremely important to modern Pueblo Indians because their ancestors inhabited this land 1,000 years ago.  Some deduce that the Ancestral Pueblos peoples built their "great house" in order to get a front row seat for the major lunar standstill.  From the great room (built in 1076) the twin pillars of Chimney Rock frame a narrow piece of sky; every 18.6 years the full moon rises perfectly between the spires and is only visible from this vantage point.  Watch this video about the lunar standstill at Chimney Rock.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


When Were You Young? is a short film by Trevor Ware about exploring our beautiful country on his 1974 Honda CB550K for 3 years.  If this doesn't make you want to hit the road, I don't know what will.  Trevor also has an (inactive) blog but it's still a nice read.  Lastly, earlier this month Trevor was tragically hit on his motorcycle by a drunk driver and is now in a coma.  Friends and family started a hospital fund if you feel so inclined.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Photo by Lynn

The Glacier Gorge Traverse (Rocky Mountain National Park) is an epic loop hitting 11 peaks and 12,000' of climbing packed into 20 miles.  The Continental Divide runs to the west and south of the basin and the Long's Peak massif to the east.  The gorge is decorated with enormous slabs of granite, canyons, waterfalls and tarns.  Anton Krupicka recently completed the traverse and wrote a fantastic trip report on his running times blog.  In fact Tony put up a new FKT (fastest known time) for this route.  Truly inspiring.  I hope to head out that way sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Check out this short film by Joel Wolpert featuring ultrarunner Mike Foote. Mike lives in a yurt out in Missoula, MT. His property butts up against the Rattlesnake Wilderness which provides ample trails for training. Mike grew up in Ohio but found his place in the mountains. He works at the Runners Edge in Missoula and coaches for the Hellgate High School Cross Country Team.

Monday, August 13, 2012


If you don't have to stand up, sit down.
If you don't have to sit down, lie down.
If you don't have to be awake, sleep.

I cannot recall where I heard this saying but a similar version can be found in Murphy's Laws of Combat:  "Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can sleep."

Monday, July 2, 2012


The History Channel has a series out called Mountain Men, which I just learned about (better late than never). The show documents the lives of 3 men - Eustace Conway, Tom Oar and Marty Meierotto.  You might recognize a name or two from making your rounds on the outdoor blog circuit.  Make sure you stream the current full-episode at the History Channel.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Crater Lake National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

Death Valley National Park

Denali National Park

Photos courtesy of NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center and the Landsat satellite.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


During the past century cougars were primarily restricted to the west of the Rockies. In the early 19th century state sponsored bounties were enacted to protect livestock (and supposedly humans) which led to these amazing animals' extermination in the east and Midwest. Things started looking better for big cats in the 60's and 70's, when one-by-one, bounties were lifted and states made cougars a managed game species. (Check out this informative timeline.)

Earlier this month The Journal of Wildlife Management published research confirming locations of cougars collected from 1990-2008 in 14 states and provinces of Midwestern North America. Breeding populations were established in South Dakota in the 90's then the Badlands and Nebraska in the following decade -- The animals appear to have continued their eastward spread from those three locations.  Some of you may have seen my post from last year when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the eastern cougar extinct.  However, this research gives me hope that one day cougars will recolonize the east.  Just remember, keep them wild!

Friday, June 15, 2012


The photo above was taken from a book titled Rules and regulations, Yellowstone National Park, 1920.  The inn was built in 1903, opened in the spring of 1904 and is the largest log hotel in the world.  Flash forward over a century, and although several renovations were made, the inn relatively looks the same.

Photo by Randy Watson (2011)

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Some of you may not know this but during the early years, Cannondale didn't just make bikes and panniers, although I would love a "Bugger".

Cannondale had a full line of framed and frameless packs, sleeping bags, tents and mountain wear.  Check out the following scans from some of their early catalogs.

Want more?  You are in luck.  Head over to Vintage Cannondale for more complete catalogs starting in 1973.

Friday, June 8, 2012


"Many of you love mountains, many of you longed to be among them and have been awed by their beauty from distant valleys; or you may have wondered what it is that drives men to climb, to carry heavy loads mile upon mile up winding trails. We hope that you want answers and that you desire the opportunity to experience mountaineering adventures yourself, to enjoy at first hand the magnificence of wilderness travel and to share in the unparalleled experience of standing atop a mountain and drinking in the panorama that lies below you. If you have a thirst for discovery, a wish to find the truth in yourself and to discover a real happiness, these are within your grasp. For learning well the knowledge that appears in the following pages and applying it can open you and applying it can open to you a new world of adventure and happiness." -Excerpt from the foreword

Nestled in the bookshelves of the Creak of Boots reading room is the 3rd edition of Basic Mountaineering by the San Diego chapter of the Sierra Club.  This gem was printed in 1972.

Here is an illustration on how to deal with a snake bite. NOTE: The "suck and spit" method is now considered ineffective.

Belay positions!

Quite possibly my favorite part of the book is the first aid notes and rescue signals tear-out page. This two-sided tear-out is crammed with useful information. It's primarily first aid; however, once you immobilize that compound fracture you may need to signal that search plane using international ground-to-air visual signals.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


This is such a fun video.  This little girl is outstanding.  Also, read this article published earlier this month in the New York Time.


Photo by Ben Kimball

This past Sunday I went trail running at Pisgah State Park in Cheshire County, NH. This is New Hampshire's largest state park, with over 13,000 protected acres - a true gem. I ran a 8.5 mile loop described here. I am fairly new to trail running and this was my favorite run to date. The loop offered some fantastic views, including Mt. Monadnock and the Pisgah Reservoir.  I liked it so much I plan on signing up for the Pisgah Mountain 23K trail race in September (Maybe I will train for the 50K next year).  If you are ever in southern New Hampshire and have some time to kill, take a hike (or a run) at Pisgah, you won't be disappointed.

Useful links:

Photo by calebjc

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


There are growing number of people
who have decided to live light on the earth
to not be a part of problem anymore
I spent the last few years with four of them
striving for harmony with nature
in the most pristine corners of United States.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


"Thank you for your subscription to Massachusetts Wildlife Magazine!"

That is the message you will see when you throw down the measly $6 for a year subscription to Massachusetts Wildlife Magazine, an award winning quarterly publication.  I actually opted for a 2 year subscription for only $10!  I spend a lot of time in Massachusetts - backpacking, cycling, trail running, kayaking, etc. - and these magazines offer a wonderful view into the state's conservation efforts, natural history, wildlife management, outdoor photography and the list goes on.  If you spend anytime in or around Massachusetts I strongly urge you to subscribe.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


 Photo by Kirk Kittell

The story of Panamint City is like a western movie come to life, which is probably why there were several films loosely based on it (do a search for "panamint" on IMDB).  It all started in 1872 when a few outlaws were hiding out in the mountains (Panamint Range) from johnny law and discovered silver in Surprise Canyon.  The city was founded in 1873/74, peaked in '74 and the boom was over at the end of '75.  Then, on July 24, 1876, a flash flood took out most of the city.  Some folks say they got what they deserved for their wicked ways.  Before this outlaw town was founded the Shoshone people resided in this area and it's home to the most elaborate Coso Style pictographs.  You can read more about that here.

Photo by Joe Grant

In October of 1994, the ruins of Panamint City were added to Death Valley National Park.  The most prominent remnant of this full fledged ghost town is the chimney of the smelter.  The only way to get in is on foot.  Backpackers can stay at one of the two first-come first-serve cabins, the Panamint Hilton and the Overflow cabin.  Here is some more information about visiting Death Valley NP.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Photo by .anderson

One of my favorite pieces of outdoor clothing is the venerable mountain cap.  Typically characterized by a weather-resistant shell, light insulation, brim and ear flaps.  I personally own three -- Lowe Alpine's Mountain Cap (I also bought one for my son) and two vintage caps by Wilderness Experience and Because It's There.  I suggest trying one out if you haven't already.  Finding one that fits your needs/style should be easy since most outdoor clothing companies produce a version of the mountain cap.  Here's a handful to check out:

  • AQ2 Mountain Cap by Berghaus (Berghaus carries a couple different models.)
  • Mountain Cap by Lowe Alpine (Can be had for cheap.)
  • Featherlite Mountain Cap by Montane (2.1oz and primaloft insulation...nice.)
  • Mountain Cap by Rab (eVent shell, enough said.)
  • Highpoint Cap by Outdoor Research (Great company, bomber gear, sweet guarantee.)
  • Alpine II Cap by Haglofs (lightweight, well-made.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Follow outdoorsman and host Willem Lange as he visits New England's wild places on New Hampshire Public Television's award winning series Windows to the Wild.  Check out their collection of photos from each episode on Flickr; or better yet, stream 41 full episodes online.  Giddy up.

Friday, January 6, 2012


This past summer, James Urquhart set out on foot to climb all 283 Munros (A Munro is a mountain in Scotland with a height over 3,000'). In late October he had already bagged 173 peaks before the snow set in.  He will resume his journey in the spring.  James is well on his way to becoming a 'compleater' and earning his Munroist brooch.  Although this trip isn't about the brooch, it's about the experience.  Watch the following trailer for his upcoming documentary.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Photo by Dian Jordan

The AMC Library and Archives have been collecting books, maps, films, photos, journals, summit registers and more since 1876, the club's founding year.  Today the library has over 3,000 titles, 10,000 photos and is one of the White Mountain rare book collections in the world.  The library and archives is open to the public and is located at the AMC headquarters in Boston on 5 Joy Street -- Look for the green flag.  If you can't make it to Boston you can access their online library catalog.  The AMC also offers prints for personal use and digital files licensed for publication, read more about policies and pricing here.  Happy hunting.