China I had just fallen on that glacier nearly breaking my Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens in half on the ice. My D750 camera was focusing strangely; the lens preforming even worse. I had brought a drone but the app on my phone to shoot with it had somehow logged me out. Then; in the midst of it all nature gave us this night. First it was the Milky Way, then it was the super moon that started to rise; my friends inside the tent called to turn out the lights, but I yelled back "A little longer!" and got the shot. Despite the misfortunes of the day, it was truly a perfect night. And that's just a glimpse of all the things that makes being deep in the wilderness of the Tibetan Plateau at 15,000ft worth it @passionpassport // #ppwilderness
China In middle school I used to draw and paint. Then I realized nature was the best artist, dropped the brush, and headed outdoors. That doesn't have to be true for everyone, but it sure was for me. I could look at these lines forever... Get lost in loving the mountains.
China For the @passionpassport #PPTinyPeopleBigPlaces2 challenge // My jaw dropped. I think I probably screamed. The sun was rising, the clouds flowed like water, and the mountains seemed to grow bigger and bigger. I was awestruck, jaw probably reaching the ground by now, but I couldn't just stand and spectate. I was energized, set up the tripod, and ran in there myself. 15,000ft up, gasping for air, and no regrets.
China Peaks of the Qionglai Shan in western China catch the sun's first light. These are the moments that completely glue my eyes to the mountains! Woke up at 4am and climbed two and a half hours to get here!
China This was actually the least technical section during our first ascent of Pachembogongga (elv. 5421m/17785ft) in Qinghai. Climbing straight up through loosely shifting rock in rain and fog on the way up was far more nerve racking than the relatively flat ridge. Would the whole world slide down on top of us? Obviously it did not, but that was the question I kept asking myself at every pause during the ascent. Sometimes this is as exhilarating as you ever hope things will get, but still, us humans can't help but cast our eyes on higher things...
China Did you know? If you make two New Years resolutions you are more likely to fulfill them both than if you make just one. This year I'm going to climb and dance above 20,000ft and race my first trail 60km! What are your goals?
China Here's to the heroes that made 2017 such a spectacular year. These are the faces of conservation in China's Wild West, the edge of Tibet, Himalayan rim, and the Hengduan Mnts. I don't normally feature these kind of photos on Instagram for fear that they won't attract enough "likes", but these are the people who deserve all the credit. Without them we wouldn't have any wild places to explore. Thanks for an incredible last year, it has been such an honor to tell the stories of your work and the land you protect. China's conservation wave is just beginning. Here's to an even better and more adventurous 2018!
China Sunset on the source of the Mekong. One of Asia's longest Rivers.
China Exploring the glacier cave alone was eerie. Where the light shone ice sparkled, but in the corners around me thick blackness crept around slick walls, mystifying the echoes of running water through and under the ice. At 15,000ft, one of the most unearthly, enchanting worlds I've found.
China Trekking around China's Jiazi Feng (6540m) in the Minya Konka region of Sichuan. It's actually pretty hard to step safely when all you want to do is look up.
China Goals for 2018: learn to climb as well as her.
China Unknown Name Holy Lake No. 1. 14 others remain unexplored. This one is probably the least photogenic. Getting ready for 2018!
China The fog at 9,000ft blanketed everything in a damp, silent shroud. But we didn't need visibility to know what one false step would mean. The silence dominated, the ridge narrowed, and somewhere to the northwest four hours away unbeknown to us, a gale was brewing, hurdling our way.
China The results of our expedition to explore and photograph the dramatic peaks of "China's Dolomites" are finally out in paper in Action Asia Magazine. Here's an excerpt from the piece written by Adrian Bottomley @whistlingarrowhk : "[We] were dive-bombed by two huge bearded vultures who swooped out of the leaden sky. Kyle slipped and badly twisted his ankle. And that night, after we camped where Kelsang had dismounted, denying all existence of the "lake", we were terrorized by a wild Tibetan mastiff." There was never a dull moment, and, for those wondering, my ankle has only really recovered this month from that horrible fall in July. It was one of my most frightening experiences in some of the most impassible of mountains... But still, some prime backyard real estate here. Who can spot the traditional black and newer white migrant yak herder tents in the picture?
Tibetan Plateau In August 2017 another American and I completed the first kora and survey of Ganggeqiaji, an almost unknown peak on the Tibetan Plateau standing at 5,752m/18,871ft. This is the first time Ganggeqiaji has been named in an English publication. Check out the story of what it took to get there and what we took from it in the link in my profile at @sidetrackedmag Photo of me contemplating if it would be better to die on a stormy peak or a quick descent by @pcguebert
China Yep, it's Friday, and there's still so much to be thankful for. #optoutside
China "One day our eyes will finally see, the beauty from our dreams, and only one word will come: Hallelujah!"
China One of the least known mountains in China sits below a rising Milky Way on the Tibetan Plateau. After our expedition this August, this is also now a candidate for the long debated northern border of the Hengduan Range. Excerpt from my newest Chinese article below, link in profile: "夜里十一点左右，气温降至零下，风息了，银河从南天奔泻而出，降横断山脉起点笼罩在一片璀璨的星光之中。茫茫宇宙，难解之谜浩如烟海，但对此刻的我而言，眼前的这片山地比灿烂星汉更需要人类的认知与探索。” #ExplorationforConservation
Mupi, Sichuan, China Less than a month ago, under primeval grunts of exertion and a slew of not-so-under-the-breath curses, I swore 10,000 times I'd never go back to this place. But, here I am, preparing to dive back into the jungle. The call of the wild, or just the call of work? Probably a little bit of both. Either way, like I said in my recent interview with MightyGoods, "Adventuring is fantastic, but it's not necessarily more romantic than any other job - just different. Instagram shouldn't be your inspiration, you should be. You do you." Find the interview and a discussion of how I do my adventures and manage my gear in the link in my profile. As far as what "you do you" means in my choice to return to this place, I guess it means that yes, I'm a bit insane and a bit of a perfectionist. You must be to do this job. Back to the bamboo on the #pathofthepanda! This time can I have a machete too?
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