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Favorite Outdoor Adventures 2016

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.

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Bikepacking the Badlands of North Dakota


I have always wanted to bikepack through the badlands of North Dakota, with its snaking rivers and rolling prairie punctuated by multi-colored buttes and canyons. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Midwest and the lure of those wide open spaces keeps calling me back. I assumed I would ride the Maah Daah Hey Trail on a mountain bike one day, but when I read about the Badlands Gravel Battle and saw photos of those deep red scoria roads rolling through the exact same countryside, I knew I found my adventure.

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Outessa – Every Woman’s Outdoor Weekend

Mtb Outessa

I learned how to make beer cheese fondue on a camp stove. I learned how to build a shelter and find water from no apparent water source. I learned how to take better outdoor photographs. I rock climbed, rode a mountain bike, paddled a kayak, hiked, roasted s’mores, camped, made a slew of new friends. And I did all this over a single weekend thanks to the Outessa Summit at Powder Mountain, Utah.

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Climbing Mt. Baker with MSR

Baker basecamp

I woke up gasping for air as the tent wall pushed flat against my face. We found ourselves in the middle of a nasty wind storm, with gusts so strong they forced the side of tent completely in on itself. The next morning, covered in dust, sleep deprived, and yearning for coffee, we made a quick inspection of the tents and found they were no worse for wear. Good thing we were on Mt. Baker testing the new four season tents from MSR — anything less burly may not have fared so well.

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Hiking Between the Sun and the Moon


Step. Breathe. Step. Breathe. I pause mid-switchback to fill my lungs with the increasingly thin air and look out across the vast cirque surrounded by glacier topped peaks. Glancing down at my watch, I suddenly realize I am standing higher than any point in the lower 48 — and it only took me a couple of hours after breakfast to hike here.

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