Every New Year’s Eve, I reflect on all the crazy adventures I’ve had over the past year and make tentative plans for the year ahead. I remain extremely grateful that I am able to live this adventurous life, and hope it continues for decades to come. So in no particular order, here are some of my favorite outdoor adventures from 2018.
Last summer, I spent over five weeks riding my bike across a few of the ‘stans — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. A part of the world I have always wanted to see, partly because of its vast remote landscapes and partly because of its historical significance, the journey was tough but extremely rewarding. While I have linked to my Kyrgyzstan photo gallery above, you can read about the Pamir Highway portion in detail over on The Radavist.
Backpacking the Dientes de Navarino
While I posted a few photos over on Instagram during the trip, I’ll have my full report out later this week, including gear recommendations for anyone looking to backpack in Patagonia. Navarino Island, at the very bottom tip of Chile, made for one of my favorite backpacking trips of all time.
Three blissful weeks of cycling through the hills of Tuscany. OK, let’s be honest — there was probably just as much eating and drinking wine as cycling but that’s what Italy is all about, right?
I love everything about Scotland (yes, even the weather) and this 8-day bike touring route around the far north of the country took us through some of the most beautiful landscapes. And there was plenty of whisky to sample along the way.
Machu Picchu is indeed as impressive as everyone says, but it’s also crammed full of tourists. By hiking two days down into and up the other side of a 5000-foot canyon (and two days to get back out again), we had Choquequirao, Machu Picchu’s sacred sister, pretty much all to ourselves. It was a magical experience.
Another canyon hike but this one a little more arid. This hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is a classic for good reason and an overnight stay at the historic Phantom Ranch made it even more special. I recommend everyone do this hike at least once in their lifetime.
I got the chance to ski the “Big 3” ski resorts outside of Calgary, Alberta in Canada — Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay. While the weather was cold, we stayed warm testing out Columbia’s new winter gear lineup.
During this women’s ski weekend in Aspen, Colorado, I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone in terms of skiing and not only hiked up Highland Bowl, but survived the ski down. There is such a great community spirit in Aspen and I hope to head back this winter to ski some more.