Monday, January 26, 2015

Juneuary at Mt. St. Helens

The unseasonably good weather here in SW Washington proved to be just too tempting yesterday. Despite the oppressive weight of the studying I needed to do for an upcoming economics test, I couldn't resist taking a break for a quick afternoon jaunt to Mt. St. Helens. It's been a spectacularly warm January, but even with the record breaking winter temperatures, I was shocked at how little snow there was on Mt. St. Helens and the mountains surrounding it. Even the region’s highest peaks, Coldwater, Whittier, Margaret, and Potato, retain little more than a few scattered snowfields. St. Helens itself has fared little better, and vast bare streaks extend far up its flanks. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

SOL Escape Lite Bivvy Review

 My review of the SOL Escape Lite Bivvy, Published in Seattle Backpackers Magazine
As the ice crinkled on my bag and water melted from around my face and dripped into my eyes, I pondered on the fantastic claims many gear manufacturers make about their excellent products.
The great paradox of backpacking gear has always been the balance between weight, comfort and durability; comfort and durability often equal bulk and weight, while a lack of weight and bulk often result in the sacrifice of comfort and durability. As I settled into the SOL (Survive Outdoors Longer) Escape Lite Bivvy, I hoped that, here, I would find an ideal balance of the three, but it turns out that – at least in this case – you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Read more at:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Adventures in deep snow with old gear

Until last year I had never been downhill skiing. The closest I had ever come had been an occasional jaunt in the woods on cross country skis; looking up at the ski hill, I would shake my head in wonder at the madness of people careening down mountains at breakneck speeds. In my mind, skiing was a hobby partaken of only by wealthy daredevils, and of course by my parents sometime in the ancient, hazy days of the 80s. That all changed with the watching of a broadcast of the 2014 Olympic winter games in Sochi, and my younger brother’s resulting fascination with winter sports. For several days of the games, he watched snowboarders twirl through the air, saw the challenge and the glory of the sport, and decided that was what he wanted to do. We decided to take to the slopes with him on skis to see what the allure of the tall mountain was.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Southwest Washington Timelapse

A short collage of winter timelapses taken in Southwest Washington using a fisheye lens.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Coldwater Lake

Published in Seattle Backpackers Magazine

The shimmering waters of the Fjord ripple below ragged, tundra-clad peaks, its waters lined by the stunted forest of the high arctic. The lonely cry of a Loon echoes across from a far shore and, seemingly in answer, a mournful howling sounds from the autumn-tinted copses of alder and wind-blown firs. Where is this rugged wilderness, you ask? Is it some forsaken corner of Alaska, accessible only by the most intrepid of bush pilots? Or is it, perhaps, one of many fjords in the troll-haunted wilderness of Norway, Svalbard, or Iceland? It is, in fact, Coldwater Lake, situated smack dab in our own proverbial backyard; an Arctic paradise created by the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Read More.......

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Brenthaven Velo Backpack Review

Check out my review of the Brenthaven Velo Backpack on

If you commute by bicycle, and carry along electronics, then the Brenthaven Velo Backpack is for you! Rugged yet sleek, the Velo’s water resistant exterior protects against all but the heaviest rain, while a waterproof interior pocket guarded by two sets of sealed zippers will keep laptops with screen sizes as large as 16” snug and dry. This interior compartment is also cleverly designed to suspend a laptop in the center of the pack so that it is not touching any of the exterior walls.Read More.........

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jousting and Jets

Photograph Jousting by Andy Zahn on 500px

What's better than a renaissance fair packed with acrobats, magicians, falconry and overpriced food? Having an airshow going on overhead at the same time! It may not have been the greatest day for the performers; if an act grew boring everyone's eyes would begin drifting skyward to watch the incredible stunts performed above.