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The Essence of Adventure in 2015; The Top Ten Stories
Posted on December 28, 2015

Yoga on the summit of the Goat, Svolvaer in the distance, Lofoten, Norway

It’s the time of year when we all love lists. Reflecting back on the year that was, these numeric rankings serve to provide us with the mental montage of twelve months that always flash by in a blur. It’s a time of reflection and celebration as well as the pause we need before we charge back in to the New Year. The editorial staff at the Live Your Adventure blog is no different and we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of our top ten stories of 2015 that exemplify the spirit of adventure. Through a scientific process that would make an accounting firm proud, we’ve tabulated your likes, shares, views and retweets to narrow down an impressive selection into our top ten blog posts of 2015. We hope that collectively, they provide you inspiration to get out and explore in 2016. —LYA Editor

1) Mason Earle Sends One of the Hardest Crack Climbs in America at Bartlett Wash

 

Steady progress up a 5.14- crack, one of the hardest pure crack climbs in America.

With an unexpected phone call from Moab, Utah Thursday, we received word from photographer Jeremiah Watt that Eddie Bauer climber Mason Earle had finally ticked his Bartlett Wash Crack Project, a first ascent that has been called one of the hardest pure crack climbs in America. Rated 5.14-, starting with a burly V8 crack sequence and running 35 meters of sustained, steep climbing, the project was a three-year saga for Earle that was profiled in Exposure, Volume 1.

“Some hard routes you look up at and think, “I can see piecing this together.” Staring up at Bartlett, all I could ever feel was “this is going to ruin me.” This route is a monster, from start to finish. There are no easy sections, and the beta is very specific. There’s nothing quite as demoralizing as stepping off the ground directly into a burly V8 crack sequence, cams dangling off the harness, with another 120 feet to go.” —Mason Earle

Read the full saga of Bartlett Wash at blog.eddiebauer.com/Bartlett Wash

2) Photofitness and Training for Professional Adventure

 

Seagulls overhead, waves rolling in beneath your feet, and the colors of the morning sky coming alive. Clearly better than the gym. Whidbey Island, WA. P: Mary Skouras.

When we introduced Eddie Bauer Motion, it was with a vision that our new active training style was designed to build fitness, strength, and endurance for mountain missions. For a glimpse into the essence of that adventure training ethic, we asked Live Your Adventure contributing photographer Shannon Skouras—one of the fittest shooters we know—to take us through her perspective on training to keep up with pro mountain athletes, both visually and verbally. What she provided is a very personal take on why fitness is not just her routine, but an integral part of the life she leads.

“The focus should never be on how much farther you have to go. Instead, be proud of how far you have come, and focus your energy on figuring out what you need to do to make that next step a successful one. Yes, there will still be struggles along the way: it’s inevitable. But without those struggles on the journey, the final steps or pedal strokes to the peak just wouldn’t be as sweet. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. If you truly want something, you need to have the strength and courage to go out and get It.” —Shannon Skouras

Read the full story of photofitness at blog.eddiebauer.com/Photofitness

3) Stookesberry and Korbulic Selected as National Geographic Adventurers of the Year

 

Ben and Chris scouting Gorge #1. The point of no return. P: Ben Marr

A huge high five goes out today to Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic who were selected Friday as National Geographic Adventurers of the Year—with whitewater partners Benny Marr and Pedro Oliva—for an expedition of magnitude that ticked the first descent of the Beriman Gorge in Papua New Guinea. The story, the film and the Red Bull Media House footage are absolutely, jaw-dropping incredible but the executive summary is a jungle heli-drop first descent of a class VII river of no return to the Salomon Sea.

Read the adventure Q and A with Stookesberry at blog.eddiebauer.com/StookesberryQA

Read the adventure Q and A with Stookesberry at blog.eddiebauer.com/KorbulicQA

4) Eddie Bauer Partners for Yuba, Shasta and Tahoe Conservation Projects

 

Swimming Hole on the Yuba River, CA, a forty-mile stretch that drains the west slopes of the Sierra Nevada via its three-fork tributaries. Photo: Scott Hart

Northern California is an outdoor recreation playground for several members of our guide and athlete team, including Lel Tone, Ben Stookesberry, and Chris Korbulic. So as part of the 2015 efforts of our 20-year partnership with American Forests, we picked three conservation and reforestation projects to back and highlight in zones these guides and athletes know well.

Nearly every project American Forests identifies is worthy of support—but we thought these three NorCal projects carried a special resonance with our brand. Lel Tone completed an all-time Tahoe SUP expedition to the Klamath River in the Shasta-Trinity wilderness, many of our ski and snowboard guides have shredded in the Tahoe National Forest, and the Yuba is the home river for Eddie Bauer expedition kayakers Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic. “I spend a lot of time on the Yuba in Cali,” Korbulic explains. “It is one of my favorite places in the world.” That fact alone verified, to us, that this effort was a worthy cause.

Read the about the American Forests partnership at blog.eddiebauer.com/Yuba

5) Gear Report: Melissa Arnot on Training in Motion

 

Melissa Arnot Catching a Breather in Between Wind Sprints

Melissa Arnot says she is not a natural athlete – instead, it’s her rigorous training regimen that gets her up every mountain she climbs. The high-altitude climber, fitness disciple, and peacemaker currently holds the western women’s record with five summits of Mount Everest, which means she knows what it takes to reach the top. With this month’s launch of Eddie Bauer’s new line of Motion apparel—which focuses on building strength, endurance and fitness for adventure—we tracked down our brand’s most serious mountain athlete for an interview on what it takes to train for the world’s biggest peaks.

“Training is a huge part of my life, as much as climbing is. I love the discipline that I feel when training and knowing that I am working towards a real goal. There is nothing more satisfying then showing up for an objective knowing I have done all I could and I am physically ready.” —Melissa Arnot

Read more about Melissa’s training routine at blog.eddiebauer.com/MelissaInMotion

6) From the Archives: Pete Schoening and The Belay

 

Archival: Pete Schoening and K2

Our archives at Eddie Bauer run deep with stories of pioneering adventure and serious expedition climbing, but no story resonates more powerfully than that of “The Belay.” A legendary save in mountaineering lore, the story of Pete Schoening’s self-arrest with a hickory-handled ice axe to save his team on the Eddie Bauer-outfitted Third American Karakoram Expedition and its 1953 attempt at the first ascent of K2 is a gripping story from the Golden Age of Himalayan Mountaineering. We asked Colin Berg, our brand historian, to recount the tale for our throwback mountaineering history lesson this week and once again we were mesmerized by the tale.

It’s considered one of the greatest saves in mountaineering history, called simply “The Belay.” Pete’s borrowed ice axe is now something of a holy grail of mountaineering artifacts, on display at the American Alpine Club museum in Golden, Colorado. It’s a testament to one man’s extraordinary strength and skill in the face of catastrophic need, to a team’s willingness to work selflessly together, and to the serendipity of a chance visit from a friend several months before, 6,500 miles away.” —Colin Berg, Eddie Bauer historian

Read the full story at blog.eddiebauer.com/TheBelay

7) Caroline George Climbs above the Norwegian Sea in Lofoten

 

Climbing the second pitch of Angel Wings on The Goat above Svolvaer, the oldest town in Norway's far north

Caroline George has developed a relationship with Scandinavia. Between ice climbing missions, ski touring trips and climbing sagas, she’s become a bit of a superfan of a region known for its stark topography, wilderness ethic, stunning fjords and Viking heritage. Her latest trip resulted in spectacular images of towering big wall climbs near the Arctic Circle above the Lofoten archipelago in Norway’s extreme north, so we couldn’t help but share the visual inspiration. It is a classic example of the wild beauty that has made Caroline such a fan.

“After discovering and sharing this magical sea-to-summit archipelago on skis with clients, I daydreamed of what such a magical place would look like in the summer, sharing a rope with a friend on the perfect granite spires rising straight of the ocean. From endless sparkling oceans to infinite granite lines, to white sand beaches contrasting with the bright green moss covered rocks, to blue and moody skies, the unpredictable landscape and weather provided us with one of the most spectacular experience yet.” —Caroline George

View the Kristin Folsand Olsen gallery at blog.eddiebauer.com/Lofoten

8) Gondola Sessions II: Return to Rev with Lexi DuPont

 

Haines Alaska

Building on the success of last year’s breakthrough performance, the second edition of The Gondola Sessions captures what it is like to share a gondola with one of the members of the Eddie Bauer ski and snowboard team. Filmed on location in the Revelstoke Mountain Resort Revelation Gondola—with additional action footage from Alaska, Japan and interior BC—Gondola Sessions II: Return to Rev asks the tough questions of pro skiers and shredders Lexi du Pont, KC Deane, Andy Mahre, Lynsey Dyer, Wyatt Caldwell and Seth Waterfall. The result is a conversational summary of their 2014-15 seasons—plus plenty of deep powder footage— for those who have not had the experience of scoring a lift ride with the members of this totally entertaining and fully charging crew. First up is Warren Miller Chasing Shadows and Why So Serious film star Lexi du Pont with a breakdown of her trips to Alaska, Japan and interior BC last season.

View the Gondola Sessions II story at blog.eddiebauer.com/Gondi2duPont

9) Skeena Dreaming with Andrew Bennett and Lucas St. Clair

 

Catch. A 12-pound wild steelhead from the Kalum River, BC.

The Skeena River and its tributaries are a legendary destination for wild Chinook and steelhead fly-fishing in northern British Columbia. The second-longest river system in BC, the undammed 350-mile Skeena is a life-list angling location due to its long, wild runs and productive fly fishing for all four native trophy species: Chinook, steelhead, Coho, and Dolly Varden. Eddie Bauer Sport Shop guides Andrew Bennett and Lucas St. Clair landed in Terrace, BC and the riverside Skeena Spey Lodge last spring to fish the legendary braided bigwater of this system via jet-boat-accessed wading.

“Steelhead are elusive, beautiful creatures. They’re rainbow trout that at one point realized there was more food in the ocean and decided to turn and go out there.  They’re opportunistic, so it’s really special to catch them in the freshwater.” —Andrew Bennett

View the full Skeena story at blog.eddiebauer.com/SkeenaDreaming

10) Lambert and Earle Unlock the Secrets of La Mojarra, Colombia

 

Steep and stunning, climbing in La Mojarra, Colombia provides the opportunity to test your skills and enjoy authentic Colombian culture. Katie Lambert climbs one of the top tier classics of the area: Fuego en la Proa.

This spring, Eddie Bauer climbers Katie Lambert and Mason Earle headed south to the red sandstone of the La Mojarra climbing area in Colombia. Landing at the Refugio La Roca, high on the Mesa de los Santos next to Chicamocha Canyon National Park, the relaxed zone drew them south as the spring heated up, to sharpen their vertical skills and to experience the cultural richness of an area that treated them to world-famous coffee, fresh hippie fruits, edible insect harvests, dancing lessons and bolo, a national game of beer-bet bocce.

The climbing at La Mojarra on the Mesa de los Santos was the reason Lambert and Earle were drawn south. Yet the hardest routes on the private-access crag featured dyno and deadpoint moves that favored taller climbers, resulting in some challenging moves for the smaller-statured. Starting the two-week trip with a free-climbing attempt on a 14a route with an 8-foot dyno, Lambert’s frustration peaked with a tantrum, which was calmed by the sight of locals hauling their weekly goods on historic trails in wooden crates and baskets.

While the early focus remained on routes more suited to a longer reach, Lambert soon shifted mental focus to the airy, tiered sandstone roofs and horizontal moves on grippy, textured rock that climbed well in nearly any condition, even hot or humid. Problem solving with smears and knee-drops, she found a new way on the grippy sandstone. With a new outlook and a relaxed attitude, she finally unlocked a new approach to the Orion line, as well as ticking a few other first female ascents at La Mojarra, claiming victory for smaller climbers everywhere.

But more than just the climbing, it was the culture, the pace, and the destination that resonated with Lambert. We asked Katie to compile her thoughts on the journey in a travel and climbing journal and this is, word for word, the essence of what she experienced.

“We are enchanted with this land, with the people, with the way of life. As climbers we are drawn to a simple way of life, to taking only what we need and nothing more. We mesh well here with the Colombians, with their ways of living with the land, working with what they have in the best way possible and coming together in the process.” —Katie Lambert

Read Katie Lambert’s travel journal from La Mojarra at blog.eddiebauer.com/LaMojarra

 

Author: - Monday, December 28th, 2015
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