alpenflo
authenticity through outdoor Experience
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journal

I love the feeling of going to the mountains. The static of life in the city fades away. The challenge of moving through rugged landscapes brings me out of my head and into my body. I love long days on the trail where time slows down and the Experience lives in my memory for years. I created the alpenflo project to share my passion for seeking an authentic life through outdoor Experience.

how-to: backcountry route planning - part I, before the trip

-15 minute read-

Have you ever flipped through a guidebook and had a rising sense of tunnel vision? If you’re ready to pull the blinders off and open up your horizons, there’s a whole world of custom adventure waiting to be discovered. Over the next three weeks I’ll walk you through some tools and techniques to launch your own custom trip.

This week we’ll build a custom map in Caltopo and transfer our notes to the Gaia GPS app for use in the field.

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mini-guide: mount hood ski circumnav

-8 minute read-

The ski-circumnavigation of Mount Hood offers some unique rewards for a tour so close to Portland. You get the challenge of working your way through varied terrain that requires a variety of skills, a big mountain feel, and a fairly long ski traverse. For Ryan and I, it was a fun opportunity to practice working and problem solving together, and spend a full day taking in our home mountain.

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how-to: free slope-angle maps for your phone

-8 minute read-

Picture this. You’re two days in to the Ptarmigan traverse in the Washington’s North Cascades. The wind’s blasting you in the face and your fingers are freezing as you walk the ridge crest, peeking tentatively over the edge to scout your descent to the valley floor. It’s been a long day already and all you want is to setup the tent and fire up some dinner. Before you do that, you’ll have to work your way through the cliff-band lurking somewhere below. All you want is to be off this damn ridge, but picking the wrong couloir will mean a long boot-pack to the ridge only to start it all over again.

It doesn’t take many experiences like this to reinforce the value of carrying slope-angle maps with you into the backcountry.

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wallowa hut skiing

-5 minute read-

The light dimmed and the patch of snow visible through the yurt’s single window changed from white to blue. I rose from my seat by the fire, grabbed the door latch and wrenched it inward against the stick of the jam. A path led to the two smaller sleeping yurts and the pit toilet. My puffy nylon slippers swished over the firm snow as the path turned to ice in the late-evening cold. I stopped outside the ring of light thrown by the propane lanterns. I took a breath, peed against a tree, and turned to walk back to the raucous good-timing of the main yurt. I took a step and paused.

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traveling alone

-10 minute read-

I clearly remember the feeling. A swelling in my chest and a sense of the world opening in front of me. I was driving a beat-up Toyota minivan south on US 97 into California. The sun beat the blacktop and the open plain stretched away toward Mt Shasta in the distance. I had just left Oregon with everything I’d have for the next year. A couple of rubbermaid gear bins and a cooler stuffed under a platform bed in the back. The passenger seat was empty, nothing but possibility on the horizon.

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