Sea To Summit – A Different Perspective

Sea To Summit products are designed and known to keep your items dry in wet places – Adventure locations like a river, rainy trail, boating or backpacking in a tropical rainforest. I decided to give the Sea To Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack a go in a different realm of the world that one might not normally think to use a dry bag. In a dusty and very dry location. The goal was to keep my camera gear dust free during a photography tour. I took the bag out to Antelope Canyon in AZ. If you’ve never been, this is a very sandy and dry location with lots of tourists. My first impressions when putting the pack on were very good. To give you a big of background on myself – I’m a ‘backpackaholic.’ I have a pack for every activity. Rather than unpacking and repacking, I just pickup whichever pack aligns with whatever activity and I’m ready to go in a matter of seconds vs minutes. Adjustability, ease of use, and comfort are all the most important factors for me. Other than a North Face Basecamp Duffle, this was my first enjoyable experience wearing a pack without any frame, support, or padding directly against my back. The fully adjustable shoulder straps are easy to use and built comfortably. As an added bonus, in the hot weather, the EVA foam air mesh designed to dry river water dried my sweat off equality as fast. Thewaste belt adjusts perfectly and every 7075 aluminum buckle on this pack is wonderfully overbuilt, easy to adjust, strong and most importantly, not going to break in the middle of an adventure. This pack has some serious durability and kept my camera gear dust free in the middle of several dust storms. Keeping my expensive equipment dust-free allowed me to capture some of the most beautiful colors Antelope Canyon has to offer. Overall, this pack is perfectly suited for use on the... View More »

The Rubicon Trail – Chuck Wagon

Together my friends and I drove through one of the most desirable and best known 4×4 trails in the world. A rare combination of difficulty, beauty, length and pure rock-crawling pleasure. Great camping next to crystal-clear lakes with stunning views. Coming from a “go-fast” background I wasn’t exactly sure how I would like such a slow motorized adventure. We were on trail for close to 12 hours and only had one minor breakdown/repair. I’m very thankful for a properly setup rig and great friends to coach me through the trail. …Even though a solid amount of advice was “Hammer it!” All photos and video were captured by my very close friend: Chris Wong... View More »

14,179 Feet Above

At 14,179 feet Hiking Mount Shasta is the second highest peak in the Cascades AND one of the most physically draining treks I have ever done. Here my brother, Jonathan, and close climbing partner Tracy are ascending (going up) Mt Shasta. We started at our trek up the 14 thousand foot mountain at midnight and around 1am all I could do was look up and watch the milky way arc across the sky above us. It felt as though we were walking on the moon – I couldn’t get enough of it. The rest of the trek was just as difficult as I thought it would be, like the last time I hiked it 4 years ago. To put the size of this mountain into a visual perspective: Empire State Building in NY is 1,250 feet tall. Transamerica Pyramid in SF is 853 feet tall. If you can visualize stacking the Empire State Building in New York just over 5.5 times, that’s the height of this mountain…OR take San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica building and stack that building a bit over 8 times and you’ve got Mount Shasta. We carry our backpacks full of food, water, safety supplies, extra gear, gloves, goggles..and for me a 7lb camera the entire way up and down. The different types of feelings and emotions one can experience during something like this is priceless. You can go from the most upset you’ve been all year, to instantly feeling the largest waves of euphoria you’ve felt in your entire life all within a few hours of each... View More »

Castle Peak Backcountry Snowboarding

Castle Peak is known to be one of the “gnarly” backcountry zones of Lake Tahoe. Its a 30-45 minute snowmobile ride just to get to the “zone” – IF – someone has already blazed a trail through the fresh snow. This morning I went with someone well rounded in this area and he was blazing the first rail out to the zone from the trailhead by 8am. I’ve lived in the area for 4 years and this was my first time being back here. Lucky for me, I have just enough skills on my snowmobile to ride with all my snowboarding gear & camera gear on my back. I felt like every previous snowmobile adventure was practice for this moment. 2 feet of fresh snow, steep hills and camera gear. Talk about being in the right place at the right time? Here are some photos, two of the photos I did not take…because I’m the subject riding.... View More »

Peter Grubb Hut

The Sierra Club has four hidden huts in the Sierra Nevada’s. Naturally since I’m an outdoor enthusiast that likes to be in the mountains, camp, hike and everything in between – I’m drawn to such things like a hidden hut. This is the second time I had the pleasure of camping out in one of these huts. Last year the same group of friends and I decided to go to Bradley Hut and this year we decided to make it out to the Peter Grubb hut. This hut is quite a bit larger, has a bit of an easier hike, and even had two rooms on the first floor!   We got two full days of backcountry splitboarding in. We nailed some of the most amazing corn snow without a cloud in sight. I’m blessed to be invited to such an amazing event with wonderful people. Which brings me to my next topic… Everyone that attends a trip like this seems to be like-minded and open minded. We had 17 people in this hut. Most of which had only ever met once before at the previous hut trip… yet we all got along like we had been best friends forever. Everyone has their own coffee setups in the morning, their own packing techniques and special “doodads” – my special thing was gummy bears and a nice camera to capture the weekend. Another friend brought high quality whiskey for everyone to enjoy. Another close friend of mine brought a solar panel and a mini wireless boom box so we could play some tunes and recharge our batteries.   The overall experience when putting yourself into a potentially uncomfortable situation where you have to sleep shoulder-to-shoulder next to someone you might know close to nothing about, is very humbling. You create friendships that you might not otherwise had built. You make similar connections in a place like this, like you would... View More »

Mavericks

I had the opportunity to go to this years Mavericks big wave contest. My brother has been working with K38 water rescue for the past decade or so. He’s been saving lives, teaching people how to save lives and making a big difference in the big wave surfing community. Since my brother has been around this scene for so long he’s got me access that NO MEDIA can get. I was able to get into the founder Jeff Clarke’s shaping room and board room where all the best big wave surfers from around the world store their “Mavericks Guns” – this was really special to me since I’m also a surfer. I could connect on so many different levels…I was on cloud nine. I was able to see, touch and photograph some of the winning boards ridden on some of the biggest waves in the world by a handful of the best surfers in the world. Talk about a dream come true?! This year I was able to attend camera in hand, and since no one is allowed to watch from the beach I had some of the best front row seating. I was on Jeff Clarke’s personal boat shooting from the inside channel. Where pretty much only competitors and the judges were allowed to be. The size, sound and feel of these waves are astronomical. They literally shake your bones…and if they don’t you’ve never ridden any sized wave. Bravo to everyone involved that made for a great contest and congrats to Twiggy for winning the... View More »

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