Archive for the ‘Traveling’ Category

Vanishing Rivers of Ice – Dave Breashears

06/04/2012

Mountaineer and Filmmaker Dave Breashers presents Rivers of Ice, Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya

Before and After Shots..Not Good.

The Greater Himalaya has the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar ice sheets, providing vital fresh water for almost every major system  of Asia. Over the past five years, Breashears and the team of his nonprofit organization, GlacierWorks, has conducted ten photographic expeditions to the region, to study and document the effects of climate change on this delicate landscape.

Dave Breashears

Breashears presents at the Boston Museum of Science on April 12, but alas, tickets are sold out. Nevertheless we thought it was worth the post here. You might try to try the climber’s move and squeeze in somewhere.

Retracing the steps of pioneering alpine photographers and explorers George Mallory, Vittorio Sella and others, Breashears and the team have captured  high-definition photographs that  match those of the earliest expeditions. By comparing this contemporary imagery with the historic photographs, Breashears and his team are discovering staggering changes to the region—changes with potentially devastating consequences.

There is  debate in the scientific community about the rate and extent to which Himalayan glaciers are shrinking.  Nevertheless, scientists agree that there is a trend of melting beyond what is expected to occur naturally. Although future impacts of glacial melt cannot be known, any disruption to the water supply will inevitably present challenges to the millions of people living  downstream.
Breashears plans on sharing his work in a blend of first-person story telling and imagery.
More info: Mount Washington Observatory

Thursday, April 12, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm
Museum of Science, Boston

Solitaire, A Backcountry Skiing/Riding Film

17/02/2012

We’ve not seen this yet…but it looks good, at least from the trailer:

Solitaire BC Skiiing/Riding Movie

Getting Out – Seeing the World

06/02/2012

Rachael Umbriano is Taking a Big Bite Out of Life
I met Rachael at a recent wilderness emergency medicine refresher course in North Conway, NH where we were both participants. Rachael just finished a year-long stint studying in Italy and traveling to 40 countries in her spare time while in Europe. A rock climber and go-getter, Rachael has some cool ambitions – see her vid below.
Learn how getting out of the U.S. for an extended period can shift your perspective. The Aussie’s and Kiwi’s call it an O.E. (overseas expedition). Most Americans, due to our work and study schedules, plus our limited work reciprocity with other countries only take short visits abroad. Rachael doesn’t fit that stereotype.

Build It & They Will Come

14/01/2012

An Outpost of Sustainability

Robert and Robyn Guyton were determined to start a food forest instead of mowing a front lawn. And a forest did they grow,  when in the mid-’90’s,  they purchased some land and a house in the small coastal town of Riverton, New Zealand. Riverton along with its neighbor, Invercargill rank as one of the southernmost towns in the world, and back then Riverton was an affordable place to buy land. It still is compared to the northern resort towns of Wanaka and Queenstown, the latter which graces its runway with  private jets, rivaling Aspen Colorado.

The Guytons worked  in earnest on their two lots planting trees and plants based on permaculture practices. When they first started, they received some odd looks from the neighbors, as their front yard started to take on the forest look. There were no other like-minded people in Riverton when they arrived, but undeterred, they started a cooperative learning center called the South Coast Environment Society.

Today the organization modestly states on its website it is an umbrella group for a “several” local environmental groups who have information,displays and meetings in the centre. Those several groups include:

Groups working for protection and enhancement of local ecosystems:

  • Riverton Estuary Care Society
  • Aparima Pest Busters
  • Aparima Nursery Enterprise
  • Seed Balls for Restoration projects

Groups working to promote sustainable lifestyles:

  • Riverton Natural Health Group
  • South Coast Permaculture
  • Sustainable Lifestyles project
  • Riverton Organic Food Co-op

Groups promoting sustainable growing methods

  • Riverton Organic Growers Gardeners Group
  • Southland Seed Savers
  • Riverton Organic Farmers Market
  • Riverton Community Orchard
  • Rivertonians for Alternatives to Toxic Substances (RATS)

Robert Guyton

My wife and I met the Guytons when they were giving a presentation on sustainability to the ultra small Garston School, (which deserves its own blog post),  New Zealand. We were intrigued with their presentation, which included a movie (to be posted on this blog) called “Welcome to the Food Forest”. We decided to take our chances and take the hour and half drive from our place and show up unannounced. Even though we had a standing invitation, we happened to miss them, when we stopped by to say hi. Nevertheless, I decided to interview Mark Baily while visiting the centre. You can see the video on my adjacent post.  We’ll have to get down there again when Robert and Robyn are home, so we can get the proper tour of their food forest!

A Restored Mountain Hut Getaway with Good Energy

11/01/2012

A New Zealand Farmer Does Good by Following His Passion

Tom O'Brien of High Country Walks

Tom O’Brien, owner of Blackmore Farm and founder of High Country Walks has followed his passion by offering up a little hut on the back side of his 5000 acre farm. Called the Chinaman’s Hut, it was restored some years ago, by local volunteers, Tom and his father. The hut is situated on the rolling mountains of the Slate Range,  just south of the Remarkables Mountains, on the border of Otago and Southland. Tom took the afternoon to show me his farm, the backcountry and the Chinaman’s Hut. below is a short piece on the hut, and a chat with Tom about his philosophy and passion of sharing this part of the world with others.We’re in hopes, here at Mountain Spirit Institute of collaborating with Tom by running some programs on the Slate Range and Blackmore Farm. We chatted about providing Solo’s and other types of programs.
Thanks for the time you took to show me around Tom!
Note: I’ve met one of the volunteers who helped restore the Chinaman’s Hut, a neighbor of ours here in Kingston named Dusty, who I’ll see if I can get on tape in the next few days. He has an interesting story to tell of not only this restoration project by many others.

How do You Move?

29/11/2011

Andrew Lees - Moves!

3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films….. = a trip of a lifetime.

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Along the Road to Milford Sound, NZ

01/11/2011

Nothing to see here, keep moving..

Milford Sound is renowned for its world class beauty, its fjords, hikes, and waterfalls, wildlife and dramatic alpine terrain. It’s something to put on your “must do” list, despite its popularity with so many that come to New Zealand. However, the drive through (and under) the mountains,  on NZ Highway 97 and its  the 1270 meter Homer Tunnel also got my attention. I’m looking forward to getting out into the Darran Mountains soon, where there’s granite and lots alpine adventure to be had.

A sense of perspective and vertical relief from our sunroof

A sense of perspective and vertical relief from our sunroof

We took a day off, and drove over to Milford last month, and thought we’d share a few images.

Heading back to Kingston, we caught a glimpse of the wind farm, which is somewhat controversial in this area, and stopped to take an image of the huge blades above the fields of sheep.

Yep, we did get out of the car, these are just some images taken along the road. More on the backcountry and Milford Sound in another post.

Windmills in New Zealand

The Ugly American Turns Beautiful

18/09/2011

Outsourced - A great source for cultural awareness

Outsourced
By R Richards
Says one movie critic about the movie Outsourced, “It does for cultural differences with humor, what ‘Crash’ did with intensity and violence.” I found it to be a wonderful treatise on the Ugly American turned good. Using the metaphor of outsourcing, Yankees are forced, through humor, to reassess the American way of life.  According to United States Government Accountability Office, about 28 percent of the U.S. population has a passport, and the main character in Outsourced is no different. But he eventually awakens with his first trip to India to learn not only about a rich country, but about himself.  See this movie.

Outsourced is a modern day comedy of cross-cultural conflict and romance. Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton) spends his days managing a customer call center in Seattle until his job, along with those of the entire office, are outsourced to India. Adding insult to injury, Todd must travel to India to train his new replacement. As he navigates through the chaos of Bombay and an office paralyzed by constant cultural misunderstandings, Todd yearns to return to the comforts of home. But it is through his team of quirky yet likable Indian call center workers, including his friendly and motivated replacement, Puro (Asif Basra), and the charming, opinionated Asha (Ayesha Dharker), that Todd realizes that he too has a lot to learn – not only about India and America, but about himself. He soon discovers that being outsourced may be the best thing that ever happened to him.

See the Trailer

Outsourced debuted with its world premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, and following a successful run at festivals around the world, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, the production company behind Outsourced, has chosen to distribute the film independently in select theaters around the US and on DVD

Three Good Websites

14/08/2011

From Mountain Cams worldwide and Avalanche Forecasting to Sending Money, here are a few sites I’ve come across lately

While it’s a bit too focused on the frontcountry scene, the worldwide reports and  list of snowcams can’t be beat.  Check out MountainWatch.com for snow conditions, news and forecasts.

Avalanche.org

Avalanche.org is what your really want to get access to local avi conditions worldwide. With a click, you can jump from North America to New Zealand and zero in on your region before you head out.

Xoom.com

On a completely different note, I just stumbled upon what appears like a good site for transferring money. MoneyGram only works if you’re in the U.S and God bless Western Union for being around longer than Greyhound, but their online system has never worked for me, and by god, they’re expensive. So check out Xoom.com, it’s who I’ll be using the next time I need to send some funds across the ocean blue.

Limiting Machu Picchu Visits?

01/08/2011

Machu Picchu ©Mtnspirit.org

Peru Gov’t looks to increase visitor limit to Machu Picchu
From: Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES
Peru’s Ministry of Tourism and Foreign Trade said Tuesday that a recent study supports more than doubling the number of visitors to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel perched on a mountain top in Cusco region.

Currently, the daily limit on tourists that can enter the Machu Picchu site is set at 2,200. According to state news agency Andina, the ministry’s study suggests the citadel can withstand 5,479 visitors a day. This would allow Machu Picchu, a World Heritage Site, to receive approximately 2 million tourists a year.

The study is in direct contrast to the opinion of UNESCO, read the rest of this story..