Today is #SnowLeopardDay, and my mind inevitably drifts back to this 7 year old male we attempted to save in 2016 in Mustang. He had, we believe, been attacked by villagers after he got many of their sheep; his hind legs were shattered, likely by a boulder. (While horrific, it’s hard to blame the locals whose lives and livelihoods are directly tied to their sheep, and snow leopards have been known to kill an entire herd in one night.) We cared for him during the day, shading him from the sun, offering what protection he would allow, and then with the help of two amazing Nepali wildlife biologists who happened to be in the area, we contained him in a makeshift box for transport down valley to Jomsom and veterinary care. He made it down to Jomsom and was apparently showing signs of improvement (eating and drinking), but then sadly passed that next morning, possibly from an overdose of tranquilizer used in his treatment. It is all a poingant reminder of these precious animals and the precarious situation they are in across the Himalaya. It’s estimated there are only 4,000 – 7,000 snow leopards left in the wild, and those that are face ever increasing pressure from expanding development, human-animal conflict, habitat loss, and climate change. But, there is a lot of hope with amazing programs like the 12-country GSLEP (Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Program – link in profile) working across borders to preserve habitat and protect these elusive cats. Huge thanks, too, to @snowleopardtrust and @snowleopardconservancy for their great work. #liveyouradventure #wildlifeconservation #animalportrait #endangeredspecies #snowleopard #buliyoeuta #gslepRead More
#MAGA. Make America Great Again. It sounds nice, but what does it mean? When were we great, and what, precisely, was the greatness we embodied as a nation and a people? I have yet to hear Donald Trump – or any member of our government who has fallen in line behind his empty rhetoric – articulate the vision of greatness. If anything, we have become a house divided, perhaps more so and with greater vitriol and mutual distrust than at any time since 1860, on the eve of our worst conflict.
The times we’ve come closest to that purported greatness is when we’ve, as a nation, opted to do what’s right rather than what’s politically expedient, when we’ve opted to unite and make courageous choices rather than ones of ease and comfort. Lincoln led the nation to something resembling greatness in the Civil War. We found it again in World Wars I and II, and in the fight for civil rights 20 years later. Sure, there were those on the wrong side of history and intellect who resisted those fights, who supported slavery and secession, who desired isolationism or admired the Third Reich, who saw darker skin as a sign of inferiority; but no rational person would look back on our national times of courage and conviction and say we acted in error. It’s been our collective courage that has brought brushes with greatness.
Tomorrow, the Senate votes in a particularly partisan and bitter hearing on Judge Kavanaugh and his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court. The appalling accusations against him aside, the decision made tomorrow – especially by those key Senators like @sensusancollins @sencorygardner @senlisamurkowski Jeff Flake, and @joemanchinwv – needs to be one of courage, of taking the high road rather than the partisan one, of doing the right thing for our nation rather than for our party, our agenda, our re-election hopes, or our financial well-being. Perhaps Kavanaugh said it best before his emotional, erratic, abjectly partisan (and well-rehearsed and planned) outburst last week when, in 2016, he said in a speech: “First, and most obviously, a good judge, like a good umpire, cannot act as a partisan…” If the accusations leveled against him by (more in comments)…
Pikes Peak is one of my favorite mountains, if for no other reason than its diversity: within its ramparts you can find terrain to challenge any climber, from a rote beginner to the best on earth. It’s a mountain where everyone can push themselves to set new goals and reach their peak. It was an honor to work with @bentleymotors a few months ago as @rhysmillenracing broke the production SUV record at @pikespeakhillclimb with #Bentayga as I climbed nearby, albeit a tad slower. Looking forward to helping others #reachyourpeak. #liveyouradventure #pikespeakRead More
It’s been said that in photography, sunsets are cliché. While this is perhaps true, I reckon that clichés exist because there’s a degree of profound truth hidden within their tired shells. Sunset for me is a glorious ending that offers in its color and vibrance the promise of more to come, another day’s dawning, and with it the hope of another tomorrow, a better tomorrow, festooned with the playful, hopeful tones fading on the horizon. Tonight Ryrie and I sat by the pond and marveled at the display across the meadow and high above Hicks Mountain, breathing in the promise of tomorrow and the wonder at what just was and what soon will be. “I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset – tears are words waiting to be written.” – Paulo Coelho #liveyouradventure #sunset #paulocoehlo #tomorrow @eddiebauerRead More
Stunning view from Fuego Camp on day 2 of the Antigua to Atitlan trek. It was a big one yesterday, maybe 10 miles with about 4000 feet of ascent, but the whole crew – including 5 kids – did great. We arrived in Pachute with an impressive display of lightning and thunder and a big plume off distant Volcan Fuego, which erupted violently back in June. As always, though, @trekguatemala did an amazing job of preparing camp and keeping everyone dry, warm, fed, and happy. Today, another hike onward toward Atitlan. #liveyouradventure #liveyourfamilyadventure #whyihikeRead More
Even at 12-1/2, Pema still loves to adventure. She’ll plod along slowly on a trail, but as soon as I veer off, her energy rises, the thought of finding a new creek, interesting smells, and of course some nice rocks to carry brings a burst of vigor. We’re often in the boonies, zig-zagging through dead fall, scrambling up rock towers (we have a good system for easy 5th class scrambling with her in between my chest and the rock, lifted from ledge to ledge), fording hidden creeks, and discovering yummy remnants from lion kills. (Pema enjoys the latter more than me.) I’m convinced our adventures, although tiring for both, also help keep her young and strong; I know her companionship in the hills does that for me! And, it’s even better now with the @myraddog “Release N Run” collar we got recently: use the leash when you need it, and when you don’t it stows away into the collar. Pretty sweet setup, and makes it even simpler to get out into no man’s land with Pema. (Full disclosure: Rad Dog sent me the Release N Run to test, but I wouldn’t post something if Pema and I didn’t love it!) | In this photo, Pema atop a cool rock tower in a hidden canyon east of Mount Evans. #liveyouradventure #whyihike #myraddogRead More
Eleven. Hard to believe. This girl has taught me beyond words since she came into our lives in 2007. From enduring rain on Mt. Kinabalu at 7 months to handing Taggie to strangers in South 24 Parganas, West Bengal 8 months later, Lila – through our work and perhaps not her choice – experienced more of the world in her first 2 years than I did in my first 2 decades. It caused some shell shock for a while, an understandable desire to be home rather than away, in the known rather than the unknown. But in recent years, her desire to travel, to learn, to engage, and to experience has exploded, coupled with an openness to the experiences available only far outside our Colorado bubble. She’s taught me that patience often leads us to better lessons than haste… All good things come in time as they say. I’ve learned to share her insatiable and unending love for all earth’s creatures (well, except maybe for rats) and – to some extent – her drive to be on or in the ocean as much as possible; to see the world as art and emotion as beauty, laughter as medicine and the world as an oyster more beautiful than anything. It’s been an amazing 11 years so far, Lila… Thanks for sharing them with us, and I cannot wait for the years yet to come. | In Nuqui, Colombia, en route to @morromico. @wendebvalentine #liveyouradventure #liveyourfamilyadventure #happybirthdayRead More
Six miles into the Indian Peaks Wilderness from Lake Granby is one of the most stunning areas in all of Colorado, and yet more often than not you can visit it without another soul around. Reflected in the crystal waters of Crater Lake is the pinnacle of Lone Eagle Peak. I’ve spent many days in this valley with no other company but some marmot and moose and my own thoughts and reflections. It’s close in yet far away, and an simple place to absorb the cleansing and healing tonic of wilderness. This is but one of many reasons why I hike. #whyihike #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer #indianpeakswilderness #loneeaglepeak #bestmountainartistsRead More
Every once in a while, your travels take you to a place that is so enchanting, so magnetic in its ethereal spirit and subtle power, that it draws you back before you’ve even left. It’s almost never a result of a single factor such as environmental beauty, cultural significance, or local interaction, but rather a precise and rare recipe combining all the above. We were fortunate enough to stumble upon such a place this past week on the remote, wild, and beautiful Pacific Coast of Colombia north of Nuqui called Morromico. More to come… #liveyouradventure #liveyourfamilyadventure @morromico #morromicoRead More