Ladakh Trekking: A Beginner’s Guide

Ladakh

Every year we try to go on a big trek, one that takes us far far away and high into the mountains. For us, it's not only a way to exercise our bodies, but to clear and challenge our minds. It’s a way to disconnect from all that is part of our daily life — technology, social media, blogging — and reconnect with nature and ourselves.Last year’s trek of the Markha … [Read more...]

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh: Hiking Through Canyons [360-Degree Panorama]

ladakh canyon

First day of our Markha Valley trek. We weren't quite certain what to expect for the remaining six days of trekking through the Himalayas, but we were sure the following day would be steep and uphill, to 4,950 meters/16,200 feet. So on our first day on the trail we were relieved to find relative flatness, to lose ourselves in the red rocks of the canyon around us and … [Read more...]

Next Up: New Zealand, When I Close My Eyes

This is a story about faraway places and our relationship to the somewheres we dream of visiting. It's also about the fact that we fly to New Zealand next Monday.Some places on our planet seem to lend themselves to the imagination, that is to the image of the mind, to putting eyes closed and attempting to place yourself somewhere you’ve never been. Think about … [Read more...]

Torres del Paine Trek: 6 Days, 6 Lessons, Many Photos

Most articles we read about Torres del Paine National Park in Chile focus on Patagonian meadows, turquoise lakes, and rose-tinted granite towers in sunrise.We’ll allow our photos to do that bit for us.Instead, we’ll take a different tack and share some of the lessons –- about yourself, your marriage (if you have one), Patagonia, expectations, life, and … [Read more...]

How Kazakhstan Nearly Killed Us

Barely recovering from self-inflicted death march from Kazakh mountains. Copter airlift looked likely. Rappelling down waterfall = escape. -- Our Twitter update from Almaty, Kazakhstan on 3 September 2007My, how things can go wrong. … [Read more...]

Blue Eyes, Gold Teeth: The Fabled Land of the Svans

High Caucasus Mountains in Svaneti, Georgia

When you get there, you'll meet the Afghan at the telephone pole.These instructions given to us in Mestia by the Svaneti Mountaineering Tourism Center left us baffled. Is our mountain guide a member of the Mujahideen who’d lost his way and made his home in the mountains of Georgia? After all, in Svaneti just about anything seems possible. … [Read more...]