While 2016 will go down as a challenging year for many reasons, it was still one filled with plenty of outdoor adventure. As begets New Year’s Eve tradition, here are ten of my favorite adventures from the last year.
Riding Around Sri Lanka: It took 10 days and 1000 miles to ride around the entire island country of Sri Lanka, with a 50-mile mountain bike race thrown in for good measure. We collectively suffered through long days in the saddle under the blaring sun and extreme heat, but it was all for a good cause. We gained a unique perspective on a beautiful country and made a peloton full of new friends in the process. Can’t wait to return and do it all over again this April.
Hiking in Peru: Llamas, pisco sours, and one of the highest mountain ranges in the world — Peru is an outdoor adventure paradise. I need to get back real soon to climb some of those beautiful peaks and bikepack along those never-ending high-altitude gravel roads.
Climbing in Iceland: Visiting this country in winter was magical, as there were often times I had some of the most popular tourist destinations all to myself. And ice climbing up in the West Fjords was the true definition of adventure — no guidebooks, no maps, not much beta. And climbing a frozen waterfall right next to the sea with the sound of gulls and ducks in the background is an experience I will never forget.
Climbing Mt. Baker: Such a fun mountain to climb and with a fabulous group of people. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Hiking in Chamonix: I had the opportunity to hike a portion of the famous UTMB race course, staying in mountain huts steeped in history along the way. Chamonix is one of my all time favorite places in the world and I was thankful for the chance to return.
Camp Therm-a-Rest on Orcas Island: The best way to describe this weekend is like summer camp for adults, complete with copious amounts of Rainier beer and naked hut tubs. We had so much fun hiking, orca watching, kayaking, SUPing, and oh yeah — testing out the new line of Therm-a-Rest tents and other gear.
Bikepacking North Dakota: Part of my Midwestern bike tour this fall, I bikepacked along the scoria gravel roads adjacent to the more famous Maah-Daah-Hey singletrack trail.
Backpacking With Lola: One of my favorite ways to spend time with Lola is to take her backpacking in the Sierra. She is getting a bit too old for long trips now, sadly, so I will cherish every moment I can.
Outessa Summit: Spending a weekend playing outdoors with 300 other women is chicken soup for the soul. All you women out there — do this next year.
Mount Washington Take 2: This was my second time up Mount Washington and oh what a difference the weather makes. The first time we got stuck in the hut with gale force winds and snow, while still managing to eek out a summit. This time around we basked in the sun and drank a celebratory beer at the summit before heading all the way back down to the parking lot where we started that morning.
Happy New Year everyone! May 2017 bring more peace and happiness to this world and many, many more adventures!