Sunrise Towers: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile [360-Degree Panorama]

Torres de Paine

Our alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 4:30AM. We were huddled together trying to stay warm against the freezing temperatures of the night in a rented tent that wasn't quite meant for people of Dan's height. The temptation to turn off the alarm and roll over instead of heading out into the frigid pitch of pre-dawn was difficult to resist. Under these … [Read more...]

The Salkantay Trek: From Glaciers to Machu Picchu

“Oooh, Machu Picchu!” Even my mom caught the hype when I told her we were headed there last week. As excited as she’s been about our travels, I think that was the first "Oooh!" of our trip she ever uttered.We kept our expectations low, however. Maybe it’s our reflex reaction to the prevailing travel wisdom: “Machu Picchu is the granddaddy of South American … [Read more...]

7 Treks That Made Us Gasp

At the time this is published, we should be crossing Apacheta Pass (4,650 meters/15,255 feet) and one day away from Peru's Machu Picchu. That is, if the scheduled publishing works as it should and we don't need an emergency mule ride or airlift from the top of the mountain.In preparing for this, the Salkantay Trek, we reflected on other memorable multi-day treks … [Read more...]

Are We Too Old to Be Climbing Volcanoes?

The weight of my backpack at 5:00 AM was brutal: 9 liters of water, 1 sleeping bag, and sundry other camping bits and bobs. And I was one of the lucky ones. Dan carried all that plus an old school (read: heavy) four-person tent.Even at this hour, it was steamy. Under the weight of my pack, I was glazed in sweat before we reached the crossroads for the chicken … [Read more...]

Himalayan Trekking Stew: A Recipe for a Life Experience

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Nepal's Annapurna Circuit trek didn’t make the first cut of our respective **25 Things To Do Before I Die lists. But maybe it should have.With bathroom books like 1000 Places To See Before You Die serving as life-prescriptive authorities, we’re hesitant to describe anything as a “must-do life experience.” “Must-do” sounds presumptuous and “life experience” … [Read more...]