Posts Tagged ‘Mountaineering’

Entertainment’s New Direction

07/06/2009

Tolle & Carrey Headline “The Global Alliance For Transformational Entertainment”
Eckhart Tolle, Jim Carrey and Friends Opt for Consiousness-Raising over Lakers

By Los Angeles Times writer James Rainey
Some might say that spirituality and Hollywood go together like sensitivity and pro wrestling.

Ekhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle

But that’s just the kind of habitual/stereotypical thinking that more than 500 entertainment industry types vowed to vanquish at a conference Thursday night as they came together for the first meeting of the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment (GATE).

Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and movie star/seeker Jim Carrey headlined the more-than-three-hour session at an auditorium on the Fox lot in Century City. Along with singer Melissa Etheridge and several other speakers, they urged their colleagues in film, television, music and other media to transcend the tawdry and mundane with higher-minded fair.

It must have been important to those packed into the meeting. They missed the Lakers’ opening championship-round game to be there. (more…)

Mammoths and Pole Shifts

07/06/2009

Is there a link between Frozen Woolly Mammoths and Pole Shift?

When I first read parts of John White’s 1980 book,  Pole Shift,  what left an indelible mark on me, was reading the link between the green veggies found the stomachs of frozen woolly mammoths and possibility of relatively rapid shiftings of the earth’s magnetic poles called “pole shift”.  Then again, maybe I didn’t read correctly, as the excerpts from an old nhne.com article indicate below, where White is interviewed by David SunFellow.

Pole Drift
Pole Drift

I’m not well versed on the subject, but from what limited knowledge I do have on the subject, I find the the correlations interesting.  Also, the way that the poles are “drifting” more every year, (also according to NASA scientist turned author/mystic Gregg Braden)  has my attention. According to Braden, airports are having to repaint their runway compass coordinates so often, that some have stopped the procedure. (Check out his books, two of which are The Isiah Effect and Awakening to Zero Point.)

Pole Shift Torpedoed by Author
By David Sunfellow

When John White first published “Pole Shift” in 1980, his book sent re-affirming shocks waves through the earth changes community. Many (including this reporter)

White mentions Mammoths
White mentions Mammoths

believed White’s book “proved” that Edgar Cayce, and a host of others, had correctly foreseen a global catastrophe that would destroy much of the planet along with major portions of the human race. White’s book was particularly powerful because it was written by a man with serious professional credentials and, perhaps more importantly, because it seamlessly wed modern scientific data with contemporary psychics and ancient myths and prophecies. While White refused to say in “Pole Shift” that he was absolutely certain that a pole shift was coming, he left no doubt that he thought one might strike sometime near the year 2000.

Now, however, White has publicly said that he doesn’t believe there is going to be a pole shift — at least the kind of cataclysmic variety envisioned by Cayce, Gordon-Michael Scallion, and others. (more…)

Remembering the Route

05/06/2009
Near The Sunshine Route-Bergshrund Mt. Hood

Near The Sunshine Route-Bergshrund Mt. Hood

I was a senior staff trainer at Outward Bound for their Instructor’s Alpine Courses on Mt. Hood. We were finalising a week of training with a successful summit climb. But on the ascent, there was one of those moments, when learning from experience could have been painful but wasn’t, because the outcome was positive. We were climbing the Snow Dome, on Mt. Hood’s northwest side, on the final approach to the Sunshine Route. I had been leading and training staff on this route for a few years prior, so was relatively familiar with the route, crevasses and bivy sites.

Site not far from snowbridge collapse

Site not far from snowbridge collapse

We set out from high camp on the snow dome early on a cloudless sunny day, a crisp snap in the spring air, crampons crunched the snow underfoot. I decided to let the trainees lead out  on ropes of four, with one trainer per rope team. There were three rope teams, and my team was in the back, with taking up the final position. It was easy ground, and once we got to the base of the steeper terrain at the start of the Sunshine route, we’d rearrange the order.

Before setting off, we first decided who would lead out. I then briefed him on the route, which generally followed the crest of the snow dome, but (more…)

Great Travel Blog in French

23/05/2009
Christophe Pelet, Blogger extrodinaire in NZ's S.Alps

Christophe Pelet, Blogger extrodinaire in NZ's S.Alps

Christophe Pelet from France, shares images and word of New Zealand with heart.

A fellow traveler and volunteer hut warden at *French Ridge, *Frenchman (*coincidence? Maybe not) Christophe Pelet has become a good friend of ours. In fact he’s been hanging here in Auckland before he heads back to France. He’s been traveling New Zealand since late 2008 and been writing a great blog. But it’s in French so you’ll have to sharpen your French reading skills. He’s one of the best photographers I’ve seen, the images he creates through the lens of his camera are stunning and moving.

Author's niece and nephew with Christophe Pelet

Author's niece and nephew with Christophe Pelet

So it’s worth a visit just for the photos. There’s tons of history and background on all sorts of New Zealand aspects, as well as good commentary on his *”Wwoof“ing experiences. *(World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms)

See Christophe’s Blog where his most recent entry is called “The Top of New Zealand.

Travel Luggage – What’s best?

23/05/2009

Suitcase or Backpack? How about both – A hybrid

Heading to High Camp, Huascaran, Peru

Heading to High Camp, Huascaran, Peru

What you decide to take as your main travel luggage will depend mostly on what you’ll be doing. If you’re climbing Mt. Aconcogua or Mt. Huascaran Sur,  you’ll be needing a “mule bag” full of climbing gear plus an expedition pack, which I usually carry on my back and wheel the mule bag around.  If you’re vagabonding, with overnights in hostels or camping, a backpack is the way to go. If you’re doing a tour where you’ll  mostly be in hotels, a hybrid bag is great.

Travel as lightly as you feel you can,  My rule of thumb is lay out everything you think you want to bring and cut it by at least a third.

But you’ll need some trusty long underwear and possibly a down sweater or something like that if you’re headed to Lake Titicaca in July or August. The reason I mention this, before I answer the size of the luggage and type,  is…  The bulk of  what you may take could be the insulation for the chilly nights in Cusco and Lake Titicaca.

Luggage is a personal preference. I prefer a backpack just because I like the freedom of it, and I have traveled that way for years. (more…)

Reflections on Ice on Water

16/05/2009

From New Zealand to Utah, From Alaska to New Hampshire – Ice bergs to Honeycombs
It’s called calving, when a glacier’s edge dramatically breaks off. Many cruise ships take the tour along Alaska’s shores. From Seward and other harbors along the coast, one can sign on for a daily round-trip  to get up close views.

Perito Mereno Glacier, Argentina

Perito Mereno Glacier, Argentina

The dramatic Perito Mereno Glacier in Argentina’s Southern windswept Los Glaciares National Park has many visitors.and is possibly the most famous rivers of ice in the world because. It was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1981.  Amanda and I stopped at Tasman Lake in New Zealand’s Mt. Cook National Park to see the floating ice bergs in the grey-green water thick with rock flower. We hiked up to the top of an old terminal moraine and saw the bergs as the sun was setting.

White Pine Lake, Utah

White Pine Lake, Utah

More than a few times,  I’ve jumped into such frigid waters, after a run or back country mountain sleep, just to wake me up.  While at University of Utah,  when I was still learning about the mountains, I did an overnight up White Pine Canyon in the late fall and jumped into White Pine Lake near Snowbird. A few minutes later, it had a skim of ice on it. That’s chilly, but there were no icebergs or calving going on, just shivering.

Lake Tasman, Mt. Cook

Lake Tasman, Mt. Cook

The Tasman Glacier regularly claves ice bergs but the evening we were there it was calm and each iceberg gave us a show of *“petreflections” of various sizes and patterns.

When the ice goes out in Lake Sunapee, NH, the reader may be curious to know that there usually aren’t big ice bergs.  Then again, I didn’t grow up on the  west side of the lake, where the whole lot piles up on a windy afternoon leaving dramatic piles of ice, as if the town dump truck and just deposited its backlog for the winter.  On the east side of the lake, we observe the ice gradually thinning from the spring melt, and as it thins, darkens to almost a black. It turn into “honeycomb ice” we call it, where its transformed from the meter-thick solid sheet that runs the whole lake, to fragile, loosely held together elongated splinters that fall apart when scooped up in your hand.  Those of us that grew us as kids along the shore of a lake will know what I mean. Daily we watch the progression.

Petroflections Galore

*Petreflections Galore

Official Ice Out day is declared when Artie Osborne can take his boat from the north tip at George’s Mills to Newbury, some 10-13 miles distant without obstruction.  To my knowledge, he still makes the trip, and in the process, closes the informal town bets for the season.  Go swim in an ice-berg filled lake sometime. It’s the right thing to do.
Author’s Note: Also see my earlier entry on largest iceberg breaks off of Tasman Glacier in 100 years.
*Petreflections: A term coined by Kathy Lowe. See her link above.

A Joyful Ceremony Planned

15/05/2009
R. Richards and A. Hamilton are getting married in NZ

R. Richards and A. Hamilton at Mt. Cook, NZ Ceremony set for 30th May near Auckland

Executive Director Randall Richards is getting married to Amanda Hamilton. Randy 51,  is a native of Sunapee New Hampshire, USA, and Amanda, 40, born in South Africa, who has been living in New Zealand for a number of years, are planning a simple ceremony at the end of the month.  Neither have been married before, nor have any children.

It took their mutual friend Lizbeth Asserhoj from Denmark,  living in Copenhagen, to put them together. Richards knew Asserhoj from travels in Peru, and Hamilton first met her in Australia, and later traveled with her in India. Lizbeth thought the two would get along, and went so far as to invite Richards on the India trip in hopes the two would cross paths and hit it off.

What started with some emails and Skype video calls, soon developed into a trip to New Hampshire, USA for Amanda, and month later, a trip for Randy to NZ. The two will be having the ceremony on the 3oth of May at Piha Beach near Auckland, New Zealand, Amanda’s twin sister, mother and friends will be present. The two will also plan celebratory gatherings in the U.S. when they eventually return.

Getting Married on Piha Beach, NZ

Ceremony on N. end of Piha Beach, NZ

Both are lovers of the mountains. Hamilton has been a ranger for the Aspiring National Park for the last few seasons on New Zealand’s South Island, and has enjoyed trekking in Nepal, the Alps and other areas.  Richards has been climbing, skiing and mountain guiding most of his life.

Traveling Safely in Peruvian Cities

15/05/2009

Traveling in Lima and other Peruvian Cities

Friendly Lima, Peru

Friendly Lima, Peru

The below commentaries come from entries on virtualtourist.com, which I thought was useful information that mirrors my own perspective of traveling in Lima. I remember my boss, Willie Prittie of Alpine Ascents International cursing Lima for the time he lost a bags of climbing gear at the Airport, when it was stolen from him.  From his horror story, I came to Peru armed to the hilt with mace, chicken wire around my backpack and yes, even a machete. I was traveling south on the Pan American Highway and was still a little uneducated about travel in South America. Within minutes of entering Peru, and catching a ride I realized I could throw away all the armaments. I’ve been in love with Peru ever since.
Hints on Traveling in Lima
Of course, no crime is petty when it happens to you, so take precautions against (more…)

Family Cari on Amantani Island, Peru

15/05/2009

MSI and Family Cari
A Son Helps Build a Family Lodge on a Remote Island

There are times in my life when I’ve  returned to a wonderful place in the world that I’m still getting to know, and by chance, I’ve end up camping in the same field or returning to the same hostel. Only when I  walked into the place, do I remember having stayed there before.

Richard Cari with a Kantuta, National Flower of Peru

Richard Cari with a Kantuta, National Flower of Peru

Richard Cari’s home and the Kantuta Lodge is one of those places. Since I’m on the subject of “chance travel”, the reader might be interested my entry on a similar instance where I was hitch hiking across France and ended up sleeping in the same field I had slept in 15 years prior. But for now, more on Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca.

I’d come to Amantani Island a few times during my travels in Peru. The place and people drew me in. No cars, electricity only a few hours a day, not even cats or dogs, which made the place seem  peaceful. There is hardship on Amantani. The small population living on the 3 mile by 1.5 mile island on Lake Titicaca live at 13000 feet in stunning but somewhat harsh environment. There sustainable crops of Quinoa, potatoes and herbs are rain dependent. There is no irrigation of the crops. People do go hungry, despite the tourism dollars that trickle in from visitors taking boats from the nearby (4 hours!) harbor or Puno, Peru.  Most visitors stay at family homes on the island’s west side, who have formed a cooperative rotating schedule that spreads the wealth and visitor’s dollars so no one family is reaping the homestays.

At Outward Bound we learned as instructors the metaphors of community, and here on Amantani, the population, because of its environment is a clear example of community. The island people work together with the resources they have to create the best possible outcome for all.

Segundino & Marcelina Cari of Amantani Island

Segundino & Marcelina Cari of Amantani Island

Segundino, the island’s vice-Shaman, if you will,  and his wife Marcelina have what was once a small home like the other villagers near the boat docks. But their son Richard went to University in Puno and majored in Tourism. He has come back with a plethora of “tools” and ideas he learned at school, that have transformed their home into the Kantuta Lodge, complete a separate building dining room, with longer beds for Gringos and Gringas and the only hot shower on the island.

Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca

Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca

Richard has done a spectacular job with his new skills making a better life for his family. He is creating a market. I told him I would submit the family lodge Lonely Planet, and even though I’ve not followed through I suspect the word has already gotten out about his good work.

The last time I visited Family Cari, I enjoyed the stay thoroughly. I got to help Richard’s sister Wilma do some cooking and plant potatoes by digging trenches in the garden below the house. I didn’t do very well by the way. Wilma, showing me the digging technique with a short handled hoe, giggled as I’d dig for a few feet before feeling breathless from the altitude. Her mother and father looked on from the house with a wry smile. (more…)

Hitchhiking Near Paris, x2

14/05/2009

Chance Encounters with Campsites

The most likely scene of the tresspass

The most likely scene of the tresspass

I was hitching through France on my way to Brittany from Chamonix. I vaguely remembered being in a similar situation before as the day progressed.  My ride was approaching the southern outskirts of Paris, and I had to make a decision on where to get dropped off. It was getting late in the afternoon, I had a sleeping bag and a bivy sack, and decided to get out at the next major motorway intersection near Paris. Maybe I’d find a youth hostel, or even a field to throw my sleeping bag on. When we arrived at the interchange, it was a busy place, but it looked a good spot from which to start hitching in the morning for Western France. After hopping the guardrail, I found a an unused grassy path that took off from the motorway, that led to a small field. (more…)