August 27, 2009

Climb Every Mountain

Well-known fact: I'm terrified of heights. Big heights, little heights, all heights. But when you're in British Columbia high up in these gorgeous, ice-capped mountains and someone you've never met before promises that it's TOTALLY safe, then do you conform? If your friends were all jumping off cliffs, would you do it too? Well, actually, that's exactly what I did.

Commuting to the base of the climb by helicopter, I spent the day picking my way up cliffs and over rocky peaks to achieve the summit of Nimbus Tower, a 9,000 foot peak of brown-grey rock in the middle of the Columbian Range. Was it terrifying? Slightly. Luckily, I was so focused on the rock and clipping myself in and out of each new section that I rarely took time to stare outwards into the clear-skied abyss--a drop of some 3,000 feet. After about four hours of climbing, I ended the hike by rapelling off the cliff's edge, dangling to the bottom for a good 150 feet. Folks, this is not something I do. Despite popular belief, I am not an adrenalin junkie. But I did it.

August 21, 2009

My Awesome Brother

I dislike unpacking. After a terrific journey, it's kind of sad to empty suitcases and download pictures. It means it's really over and the actual experience has begun the transition into memory. I came back from Iceland two weeks ago, but thanks to my big fancy TV debut and lots of work deadlines, I have only now begun to dust off the black volcanic dust of Iceland's breathtaking interior from my boots and clothes. I have been to Iceland many times, but this time was special because my brother came with me. Together, we hiked the famous Laugavegurinn trail, from the scorched and steamy springs of Landmannalaugar to the green glacier valley of Thórsmörk. The 4-day walk crosses some of the most tremendous landscapes in the heart of Iceland's uninhabited interior. On a single day we passed bubbling mud pots, walked through the sulfur steam of fumaroles, winded through chunky lava fields, trudged across mountainsides of shiny obsidian and tiptoed across immense snowfields. It was a tremendous journey and I recommend it highly to anyone who loves uninterrupted, beautiful spaces. And ice caves.

My brother Nathan--an aspiring filmmaker, musician, fellow adventurer and all-around wunderkind--was a perfect hiking companion. Together we conquered some very high peaks (for me) and left footprints in sand, mud, snow, and moss. I'll be writing the entire journey up a little bit later for a magazine article but until that's done, I will be recommending the hike to any and all who suffer from walking wanderlust. Thanks, Nate!

August 11, 2009

As Seen on TV

So I survived my little Travel Channel debut last night without any major trauma or fainting spells. A big thank you to all my fabulous friends who watched with me and showed their support and another thank you to all the great people in Chile who made the show/trip possible. I'll be back!

August 6, 2009

Confessions of a Travel Writer

As much as I wanted to keep it a secret, I am going to be on national television this upcoming Monday night. In my eager attempt to infiltrate new trends in media, I participated in a reality TV show that has been daringly dubbed Confessions of a Travel Writer. The show airs on the Travel Channel at 9 PM EST on August 10th, 2009.

I won´t even attempt to script a disclaimer for this one, as I have absolutely no idea what might appear in the final cut. However, let it be known that I had a great time in Chile during the shoot, fell in love with the country, loved the camera crew and had a blast traveling with all the other writers. See you all in TV land.