10 serious adventures anyone can conquer

12:58 p.m. on April 12, 2014 (EDT)
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6:44 p.m. on April 12, 2014 (EDT)
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They forgot to add:

11)Become an astronaut and go to Mars

Anybody can do it!

;-)

Nice pictures, though.

11:05 p.m. on April 12, 2014 (EDT)
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Odd, none of these trips make my top ten.

Ed 

 

11:54 a.m. on April 13, 2014 (EDT)
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Just thought it was an interesting article at yahoo. My top ten do'nt really exist. I just do whatever I want on my 6-9 months off every fall, winter and spring.

11:56 a.m. on April 13, 2014 (EDT)
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Outdoor writers are currently in love with out of the way trips to small countries that are hard to pronounce. That is not a bad list but there are plenty of better trips in North America. "Anyone" does not belong on the Zambezii or Aconcouga.

12:33 p.m. on April 13, 2014 (EDT)
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GaryPalmer said:

Just thought it was an interesting article at yahoo. My top ten do'nt really exist. I just do whatever I want on my 6-9 months off every fall, winter and spring.

 Gary- it IS an interesting list, for me...and great pics, so thanks again. I just tend to roll my eyes whenever the 'anybody can do it' line gets trotted out.

Face it- a person with little experience couldn't follow you around for a month either....let alone climb a big peak like Aconcagua.

I've climbed the Grand Teton and I definitely wouldn't have belonged up there without a few years of solid climbing. Even then, I found the free rappel down to the col focused my mind.... ;-)  One difference: I was leading, not using a guide. If I need a commercial guide, I have no business being there, IMO. That article was definitely aimed at the 'money can buy any experience' crowd, it seemed.

12:40 p.m. on April 13, 2014 (EDT)
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BTW, IIRC the picture of the 'Grand Teton Climb' actually shows the snow slope which leads up to the 'high camp' on the lower col. (or it may be a different route entirely...)

My climbing partner looked down that slope/slog when we were coming down, thought about glissading with a pack on, and said: "F*** that" (add Czech accent...) and tossed his rucksack down the slope - it bounced into the boulder field and came to a stop. The only problem: he was carrying my Sigg cookset and it took us quite a bit of work to get it straightened out enough to separate the pan and the windscreen, later... Good times.... ;-)

2:08 p.m. on April 13, 2014 (EDT)
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They lost me at "conquer". As Mallory said, "Have we vanquished an enemy? None but ourselves".

2:42 p.m. on April 14, 2014 (EDT)
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Erich said:

They lost me at "conquer". As Mallory said, "Have we vanquished an enemy? None but ourselves".

Good point.  The article doesn't list an author, so I assume this was a Yahoo staff production.  The conquer terminology was probably intended to target bucket list weenies that chart out their entire lives accordingly: go to college - check; sire 2.3 children - check; do things to brag about at cocktail parties - check...

On the other hand, Erich, you are one of the most traveled people I can think of.  I bet you have some excellent suggestions for us, albeit it probably includes stuff most of us can't even consider undertaking.  Perhaps a change in topic heading too, such as ten travel experiences worth the effort.

Ed

2:57 p.m. on April 14, 2014 (EDT)
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Yeah...Thinking Messner giggled if he saw "conquer" given his internal v. external view of what climbing mountains is.

For instance...most people think EBC is overdone and some even arrogantly leave it off any list they would do. I say arrogantly because if the reason to leave it off is its frequency in being trekked, IMHO it is the wrong reason. I went because I love Mount Everest and wanted to see it. The challenge was getting my 51 year old, out of shape, overweight self there. Conquer was only in play internally. The psychological overcoming of stereotypes I tend to buy into about myself rather than the reality of what I can me ME do. I like how Messner diminishes us as incapable compared to animals who can scurry up rock faces, have hair to keep warm in frigid water etc. So our own inadequacies evolutionally have to be overcome psychologically. YADA YADA YADA I drone on...

12:58 p.m. on April 15, 2014 (EDT)
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Ed, we can each develop our own list of things we would like to do and places we would like to see. I prefer to not call them a "bucket list" as that, as well, implies a milestone, rather than a continuing evolution. My prejudices include little desire to visit steamy jungles or "the most beautiful beach in...". For me, I would like to paddle the Hayes River to York Factory, where the HBC first established a foothold in NA. Artifacts abound in several spots along the way and it is wonderful way to connect with our recent past. Several buildings at York Factory still stand, though they are only about 200 years old now. It is not a trip for the superbly fit, so I still have some time. And my trip is also about my companions. I have a friend who is a member of the Explorer's Club and an archaeologist who has had to postpone the trip for a couple of years.

When I was in college, I traveled to Yemen and really enjoyed my time there, visiting historic sites and a country that had no tourism and very few westerners. Doubtless it is much changed now.

In my film work, I enjoyed the McNeil River Bear Sanctuary. Only open briefly to a very few, it was an experience that has remained with me. The Atacama Desert was one I also can't forget, for the mummies the show was about, the lack of vegetation, and the silence.

Other places draw me, not for their physical needs(skiing Mt. Shasta), but for  my curiosity about them, about their significance in enriching our knowledge of the world. In a now back entry(once the front) of the University of London, sits a glass case. Inside is the skeleton of University founder and philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, adorned with his walking clothes, now hanging quite loosely. I visited him in the early 70's.

4:55 p.m. on April 15, 2014 (EDT)
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I've never considered most of these "Top 10," or even heard of some of them, like biking in Bhutan. However, I did live in New Zealand for a time and had close friends who participated in the Coast to Coast. They were trying to get me to join, but I am not a fan of races where one pays lots of money to do something they could do on their own time anyways. Just not my thing. 

My experiences from personal observations, and what the article says about the NZ Coast to Coast are pretty different. First, this event is not the Super Bowl for NZ. Anyone who knows anything about NZ knows their "Super Bowl" (if we have to use that language) is the Rugby Union championships and the Rugby World Cup (which NZ hosted and won in 2011 and the whole place went bizerk!) The Coast to Coast is not really on the forefront of the national radar as the article suggests and the only thing "Super Bowl" about it is that a giant national beer company (Speight's) spends millions, to get their name on everything. 

NZ, like many other places around the world, has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to outdoor adventures, and I'll admit, the Coast to Coast race route is rather spectacular (South Island), but no way would I ever pay $1100 just for the registration fee, let alone the bike and kayak rental costs, and the airfare. 

I wonder how many of the other descriptions in this Top 10 list are just plain wrong and misleading. 

12:23 p.m. on April 16, 2014 (EDT)
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Well, skiing down Shasta is something that people do quite a lot. Its above my skill level, but something I would put on my list of things to do if I was capable of skiing it.

5:45 a.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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The concept that anyone can do some of those things is certainly "cute", but on the other hand, if it gets people outside, it cant be too bad.

There are lots of great adventures to be had everywhere, so making a list like this is kind of silly, but the photos are nice!


The Grand Teton climb is however on my "list"!

9:03 a.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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TJ1984 said:

The concept that anyone can do some of those things is certainly "cute", but on the other hand, if it gets people outside, it cant be too bad.

There are lots of great adventures to be had everywhere, so making a list like this is kind of silly, but the photos are nice!


The Grand Teton climb is however on my "list"!

 I don't know....why is making a list like this silly just because there are other things to do too? As your first point reflects, it could be the catalyst for getting someone off the couch. A documentary about Machu Picchu got me off the couch. Since then I went to Everest and in preparation did a lot of hiking and kayaking in no-name kind of places. So a list like this can get  you to those other non listed adventures as well.

11:53 a.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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giftogab said:

TJ1984 said:

The concept that anyone can do some of those things is certainly "cute", but on the other hand, if it gets people outside, it cant be too bad.

There are lots of great adventures to be had everywhere, so making a list like this is kind of silly, but the photos are nice!


The Grand Teton climb is however on my "list"!

 I don't know....why is making a list like this silly just because there are other things to do too? As your first point reflects, it could be the catalyst for getting someone off the couch. A documentary about Machu Picchu got me off the couch. Since then I went to Everest and in preparation did a lot of hiking and kayaking in no-name kind of places. So a list like this can get  you to those other non listed adventures as well.

Well its silly in the fact that its likely the product of a bunch of people sitting around in an office looking to fill some space on their website so they manufacture a story about an arbitrary list of things people must/can/should do... I mean they could have literally put anything on there. Many of the things on there cannot be conquered by anyone, most are quite difficult and really should not be attempted by the unprepared... even if they do pay a guide to keep them alive and pull them through it.

5:25 p.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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Have you ever done something where a guide "got you through'? I know it is frowned upon and all, but even when a guide gets you through, you are out there doing what you want to do. There was a lady on the trek who realized after  day one, all this walking wasn't for her so she rented a horse. Think she was able to go up to round 14k on the horse. People in my group looked down their nose at her. I thought it was great! She paid for her adventure and she did what she felt she could instead of turn tail and simply leave. It an adventure invalidated because it is not done a certain way? Would we rather have nobody go to places like Everest Base Camp and Machu Picchu because they hire a company to fix their foods and set their camps or take a train in? I just think it is a bit elitist to impose our own idea of what an adventure is and negate another's. If I could go from Lukla to the top of Everest MESSNER style I would. But the most I could do is base camp. And it was effing hard and I am sure there are those who think I had no business there. But I tasted rarified air and I did it and I was changed by it. I think that is what adventure really is. Challenging yourself and letting the metamorphosis take shape.

6:37 p.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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People can do what they like with their money. Thats what keeps the economy going. Does that mean I agree with people putting themselves in situations they arent ready for and may end up seriously hurting themselves or worse.... not really, its quite tragic for their families, but it is their choice.... but those people usually end up putting those watching them and potentially search and rescue crews in unnecessary danger as well.

I dont think that makes me an elitist..... I think if anything it just makes me sensible.

To answer your other question, yes I have used a guide before, it was for rafting... and have seen someone nearly drown because they should have never been on the boat to begin with (didnt know how to swim but thought it was fine to go anyway... this was in Asia where there wasnt much in the way of safety or too many questions asked, you just pay and do it). Im sure looking back it was quite the adventure for her, but it wasnt worth almost losing her life.


I also plan to do Mont Blanc next year.... where I will need a guide as I have nobody who is willing to go with me.... and I will probably need all the motivation I can get once we get past 4000m as I have no clue how I will respond to that altitude!

10:58 a.m. on April 24, 2014 (EDT)
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A word about "guides" and paid trips. I have been on a few hunting and fishing trips with guides, and have been paid to guide others on elk hunts. Don't hire the cheapest guy out there because you get what you pay for. The relationship between the personalities is really important especially on rigorous trips. Try to figure out if you can really get along with your guide under duress.

I used to raft rivers a lot when I was younger, and hired guides to run some difficult and dangerous rapids. That is when the trouble really started.Taking a swim through Tunnel Chute or many of the other rapids on rivers like the North and Middle Forks of the American R in CA is no joke. People need to be careful and not have a false sense of security because they are on a trip with a "guide." I got pinned under a raft directly above a boulder sieve. The guide in that case let air out of the tube and I got out. Later he said he was very close to puncturing the raft with a knife. He acted appropriately but sometimes guides panic just like everyone else.

 

11:16 a.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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TJ1984 said:


I also plan to do Mont Blanc next year.... where I will need a guide as I have nobody who is willing to go with me.... and I will probably need all the motivation I can get once we get past 4000m as I have no clue how I will respond to that altitude!

 I know what you mean about not being there if you have not got the basic skill to be. The trouble is, how can you make that determination outside the obvious ones? The grey areas become the problem. I am sure some would have said I should not have been on my trek...but the guide was not of that mind and I called the company several times over the course of my training to explain to them my skills, fitness, size etc and let them tell me if I was in over my head. The company is Mt. Madness and no slouchy company. (The guide I had was voted Wanderlust Guide of the Year that year).

 

I do hope you have a blast on Mont Blanc and that you do a trip report and let us all enjoy it vicariously through you. Good luck with the altitude. It is a carp shoot who will get a problem with that,

ppine said:

A word about "guides" and paid trips. I have been on a few hunting and fishing trips with guides, and have been paid to guide others on elk hunts. Don't hire the cheapest guy out there because you get what you pay for. The relationship between the personalities is really important especially on rigorous trips. Try to figure out if you can really get along with your guide under duress.

Truer words were never spoken, ppine. I hire Mountain Mmadness because of their stellar reputation, skilled guides and level of support I feel I need at my age/fitness. If I were young and at the top of my game I may not need as deluxe a package.

September 21, 2014
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