Category archives for Environment

A Year in the Wilderness: Winter and Spring Play Tug of War – Week 27, Post 12

The dogs trotted down Knife Lake pulling us silently across the last patches of snow lining the southern shore. In the spring, dawn is usually the coolest time of the day and offers the best traveling conditions. In a couple hours the sun’s powerful rays would cause the dogs to pant, the snow and ice…

Opinion: A Neighbor’s Plea

Utah’s failure to enforce protections from coal-derived air pollution hurts the West. Last May, I stood on top of 13,824-foot Jagged Peak in Southwest Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness, feeling good. My friends Ted and Christy Mahon and I had just completed the hundredth and final ascent of our Centennial Peaks Project, a seven-year effort to climb…

A Year in the Wilderness: Thanksgiving in the Boundary Waters – Week 9, Post #4

Our 65th day in the Boundary Waters gave us an excuse to celebrate on two accounts. We mused over breakfast that we will be in the Wilderness for 300 more days. More importantly, we were celebrating Thanksgiving in the Wilderness. We have been looking forward to Thanksgiving for several weeks and the stuff sack full…

A Year in the Wilderness: Howling Wolves Remind Us We Are Only Visitors – Week 7, Post #3

The lake’s glassy surface beckoned us, so after setting up our camp we slid the canoe back in the water for a quick paddle as the sun set. We pulled our canoe up on shore and were about to continue our camp chores when a pack of wolves broke the silence with a chorus of…

A Year in the Wilderness: Feeling the Pull of the Basswood River – Week 6, Post #2

The Basswood River in Minnesota’s Boundary Water Canoe Area spills over many ledges and squeezes through rock walls where it empties out of Basswood Lake. There is a mile-long portage that bypasses the first mile and a half of river, where most of these rapids lie. Gazing up the river this morning from our campsite…

A Year in the Wilderness: Week 4, Post #1

Yesterday morning I poked my head out of the tent and found a thin, white blanket of snow. It was the first snowfall of the season in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota– another milestone in the slow and steady transition between fall and winter. My wife, Amy Freeman, and I have…

Bike-and-Hike: The 3,350-Mile Microplastics Transect

Since pedaling away from her apartment in LA this spring, Julie Hotz has ridden 2,150 miles to Montana, and hiked more than 400. Along the way, she’s helped the nonprofit Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation study microplastics pollution.

Hiking the Andes to the Amazon: Peru in the Rear View

To tap into the heartbeat of a land, you have to get up close and personal with it. This isn’t the kind of experience you can glean from a bus or train window as the scenery rushes past you. No, to really dig into a place, there’s nothing so intimate as a walking pace. Meandering…

Everest 2012: Cory Richards on Climbing Everest’s West Ridge

Alpinist and photographer Cory Richards is on the rise—literally and figuratively. He is presently making his way to Everest Base Camp as part of our 2012 expedition, which involves climbing, science, and school kids following along. Once there, Richards and his good friend Conrad Anker will prepare to make a challenging ascent of Everest’s West Ridge…

Snowboarder Jeremy Jones on Protect Our Winters

"Jeremy Jones is an alien. He's just inhumanly good at snowboarding." So lives the legend of this pioneering big-mountain rider. We heard this comment this week from an Alaska-based ski/snowboarding operator, but the sentiment is one that rings throughout the snowboarding world. Once a pro rider hitting a different big-mountain location every week, Jones's ethos…