Saturday, April 18, 2015

Andrew Skurka Presents: "Ultimate Hiking Gear & Skills Clinic"

At more than an hour in length, this video is obviously rather long. However, it's extremely informative, especially if you're fairly new to hiking and backpacking.

In this clinic originally presented at the Google headquarters in 2012, renowned long-distance backpacker Andrew Skurka discusses the gear, supplies and skills necessary to make hiking fun, not an arduous chore. Skurka was named "Adventurer of the Year" by Outside and was described as "a Superman among trekkers," by National Geographic; he's also the author of The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide.

In this video you'll learn: (1) How to predict the environmental and route conditions you will encounter on a trip; (2) the best uses and limitations of lightweight equipment; (3) skills that will help keep you safe and comfortable with a minimum of possessions; and, (4) exactly what Skurka takes for a summer backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada, and why:

Grand Teton Hiking

Friday, April 17, 2015

Forest Service to begin fuels reduction project along Ridge Road in Nederland

U.S. Forest Service contractors are expected to begin work this month on a fuels reduction project that also will improve forest health on the Roosevelt National Forest near Nederland. The work will occur on a 122-acre parcel of National Forest System land located along Ridge Road, southeast of Nederland. The parcel is surrounded on all sides by private lands.

This type of forestry work is designed to reduce existing fuel loading and increase the vegetative diversity across the landscape, encouraging a healthier, more resilient forest for future generations. Age and species diversity across the landscape helps make forests more resilient to climate change, disease and insect infestations, and helps reduce the spread and severity of wildfire.

This particular parcel, known as the Ridge Road Unit (see a map), will be treated to stimulate the growth of ponderosa pine and aspen over time. The work involves cutting both live and dead trees of varying sizes and species to give the ponderosa pine a competitive advantage. Aspen stands and open meadows will be enhanced and expanded, improving wildlife habitat for a diversity of species. In places where predominantly lodgepole pine grew, the treatment will jump start the growth of a younger stand of trees, creating a greater variety in the ages of lodgepole pine stands across the broader landscape.

Trees on this parcel will be cut by hand using chainsaws. Smaller material will be piled to burn and/or chip. Larger material will be cut into four-foot lengths and left on the forest floor. Once work begins, crews are expected to be on site for several weeks, working between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The piled material will need to cure for several years before it can be burned. When the work is complete, the area will open to firewood collection, providing an ideal opportunity for area residents to stock up for the winter season close to home. Only unpiled material lying on the ground will be available for gathering. Permits cost $20 per cord and will be available through the Boulder Ranger District office later this summer.

Environmental effects of this project were analyzed in the Sugarloaf Environmental Assessment (2004), which was focused on reducing hazardous fuels along the wildland urban interface. This is one of the last projects to be implemented out of the Sugarloaf Decision.

Grand Teton Hiking

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Throwback Thursday

And you thought the boys from the Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush were the only ones that never had a plan! If you’ve ever had the chance to hike the 6.3-mile trail to Cracker Lake in Glacier National Park, you would understand it travels through some very rugged terrain. Not a big issue if you’re a hiker. But try hauling a 16,000-pound concentrator up the canyon. That’s exactly what some miners did in the early 1900s in order to mine ore near the lake.

The miners used a large freight wagon and twelve mules to transport the concentrator on a 29-day trip from Fort Browning to the mine. The load was often hauled with block and tackle up the bed of Canyon Creek to its headwaters at Cracker Lake. Although hauled in and installed, the concentrator never operated. A mining expert from Helena determined that the site wouldn’t be profitable and discouraged further development! If you’ve ever seen Gold Rush, that sequence of events probably sounds familiar. Despite digging a thirteen hundred foot tunnel into the mountain, the miners, fortunately, didn’t spoil one of the most beautiful lakes you’ll see just about anywhere.

Grand Teton Hiking

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How To Pack For a Dayhike

In the short video below, Backpacker Magazine offers a list of items that should be included in your pack during a day hike. This is a great starting point for being properly prepared for a variety of conditions or circumstances that can be encountered while out on the trail, especially if you're new to hiking. However, you may want to check out the far more comprehensive list we've compiled on our hiking website. Our Hiking Gear Checklist is divided between essential and optional gear to bring on a hike.

Grand Teton Hikes

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Throwback Thursday

John Muir once said “If I were so time-poor as to have only one day to spend in Yosemite I should start at daybreak, say at three o'clock in midsummer, with a pocketful of any sort of dry breakfast stuff, for Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, the head of Illilouette Fall, Nevada Fall, the top of Liberty Cap, Vernal Fall and the wild boulder-choked River CaƱon.”

Many of those places described by Muir are found along the Panorama Trail. In fact, Muir may very well have hiked this trail himself, as it's one of the older trails in the park, having been constructed in 1872. Today the Panorama Trail is still considered to be one of the premier hikes in Yosemite National Park.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Help Wanted: Explorers for the Ultimate Canadian Dream Job

Woods Canada is currently looking for two persons to become Woods™ explorers. The two of you will be engaged for the 2015 program and work and travel together as a team. Interested parties can submit their application video as a team or as individuals.

The selected applicants will travel across Canada on the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) visiting key points of interest while producing compelling content about their journey. Each week, Woods™ explorers will travel to a unique destination along the TCT with the intention of covering a wide range of Canada over the 5-month journey. Travel will not be necessarily continuous and may involve driving or flying to different debarkation points in order to maximize their geographic reach.

The position runs from May 12, 2015 until September 30, 2015. Applicants should be comfortable hiking, climbing, paddling, portaging and swimming, though the more extreme disciplines like technical mountain climbing or canoeing through rapids will NOT be a requirement for this job.

Some of the skills and requirements for the job include:

• You have experience in the outdoors with camping, tripping, canoeing and orienteering. You also don’t mind be isolated in the great outdoors for a few weeks at a time.
• You get social media and are a skilled communicator. You are an avid social media contributor and content creator.
• You are both a leader and a team player. You have been a coach, counselor, manager or team leader in your previous life. You work well with people and inspire others.
• Having skills in photography, videography and content production is a definite plus.
• Having some experience or training in media or public relations is a bonus.
• Bilingualism is a definite asset.

Prospective applicants must submit a 60 second video and tell Woods Canada why they should choose you. Submissions are due by April 17, 2015. For more information, please click here.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Climber Suffers Multiple Injuries In Fall

At 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, park rangers were notified via a 911 cell phone call of an incident above the Loch in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was later determined that a 28-year-old female, Janet Heung from Boulder, Colorado, reportedly took an 80 to 100 foot roped fall near or on a climbing route called Deep Freeze. She was with a climbing partner. She was located in steep scree roughly 500 feet above The Loch on Thatchtop Mountain. The Loch is located 3 miles from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead.

Park rangers reached the woman at 2:30 p.m. She received numerous injuries and was conscious. Rangers lowered Heung down a steep scree slope to The Loch where an air ambulance was able to land on the frozen lake. At a little after 7:00 p.m. Flight for Life transported her to St. Anthony's Hospital. A total of eighteen rescue personnel reached the Glacier Gorge Trailhead at approximately 8:00 p.m.

Fortunately, weather conditions and the location of the incident were conducive for assistance from a helicopter. Otherwise, it would have been an even lengthier rescue operation. Teams of Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue personnel were assisted by Larimer County Search and Rescue and Rocky Mountain Rescue.