Partner Blog Feed

  • ryanjordan.com | 18.Aug.14
    Here’s a live photo from our camp this morning at Reconnaissance Lake (18.Aug.2014). Our shelters are the little dots at the base of the talus field in the lower left part of the photo. The big mountain is Peak 12,385, the southernmost high point of the Yard Peak Massif, and the most dramatic. Godspeed, RJ // Follow our trek in the High Uinta Wilderness! Enjoy live dispatches and photos via satellite from this expedition online at http://www.ryanjordan.com/uintas2014 and receive updates...
  • ryanjordan.com | 18.Aug.14
    17.Aug.2014 – Walking the Shelf This morning dawned with clear skies, warm sun, and tiger trout rising to flying ants at our camp along the lightly forested north shore of Dead Horse Lake. Eden and Mike packed up first. This was to be their last day on the trail and they would walk out the West Fork of the Black Fork River trail, nine or so miles to a trailhead where a shuttle would pick them up. I thoroughly enjoyed their company. I will miss the Rabbi and the Big Persian on the rest of...
  • ryanjordan.com | 15.Aug.14
    14.Aug.14 – Explorer Peak An epic day in a Wild Place is made with two ingredients. First, it requires a healthy mix of uncertainty and adversity. Second, it is best enjoyed when you don’t believe it can happen to you on the day you don’t expect it. Today we had both. ### I wore my down parka (an 8.1 oz hooded anorak custom made by my friend Ben Smith at Goosefeet Gear) to bed last night to stave off the cold. (You need some insurance when you’re only packing a 14 oz...
  • ryanjordan.com | 14.Aug.14
    Tarp camp at Cleveland Lake, High Uintas Wilderness, Utah. This is a 9-foot square flat tarp made by Hyperlite Mountain Gear (link). Weight is about 9 oz naked and complete with enough guy lines and stakes for a serious storm above the treeline, about a pound. // High Uinta Wilderness! Enjoy live dispatches and photos via satellite from this expedition online at http://www.ryanjordan.com/uintas2014 and receive updates from Twitter via @bigskyry (http://www.twitter.com/bigskyry).
  • ryanjordan.com | 14.Aug.14
    13.Aug.2014 – Cleveland Lake Dear Mom: Happy Birthday! You are not forgotten by me just because I’m tramping in the Wilds. I love you! ### This morning I awoke at 5:25 AM not very eager to emerge from the fancy multi-thousand count Egyptian cotton sheets at the Park City hotel generously comp’d to me by one of my consulting clients. But here I am at 11 PM tucked into my Katabatic Chisos quilt (14 oz!) at 11,172 feet in elevation at the spectacular Cleveland Lake in the High...
  • ryanjordan.com | 26.Jul.14
    We’ll be taking a trip into the High Uinta Wilderness August 11-21, 2014. Check back here for more as the trip approaches and be sure to follow updates via Twitter @bigskyry.
  • ryanjordan.com | 12.Jul.14
    We slept under the stars last night, cowboy style, as the embers from our final campfire faded in the light of the full moon. I couldn’t sleep. I knew I wanted to finish the expedition and ride the high that comes with accomplishing what you set out to do. I was also looking forward to taking a hot shower, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and sleeping under cotton sheets. I also miss my wife and can’t wait to see her. But exiting the wilderness after such a long and engaging...
  • ryanjordan.com | 11.Jul.14
    Today we packrafted the South Fork of the Sun River from our secret campsite near Pretty Prairie to The Gorge. It may have been the funnest day of packrafting on the whole trip. The South Fork of the Sun is running at a healthy flow of around 550 or 600 cfs today, maybe. The waves are big, there’s lots of Class 2 water, and the rapids are splashy. Our packraft repairs held up through the whitewater and limestone riverbed. The day started off overcast, cool, and a little breezy, so we...
  • ryanjordan.com | 10.Jul.14
    I don’t have a prosperous relationship with the West Fork of the South Fork of the Sun River. Over the years, I’ve lost trophy trout in its submerged trees, slipped and swam in its slippery fords, and portaged its countless logjams with my packraft. But the West Fork has an allure that is hard to resist. Deep green pools that harbor trout of untold size, beautiful and expansive mountain views that reward the persistent floater, and of course, good whitewater at high water. This year...
  • ryanjordan.com | 9.Jul.14
    We have stopped for the day after a short hike to take a half day to recover from our arduous trek across the top of the Chinese Wall. We are camped on the banks of the West Fork of the South Fork of the Sun River in a shady grove of lodgepole pines. We have a nice beach, good sitting logs, a stone firepit, a bear pole, and green luxurious grass for lounging. I am drinking coffee and the boys are playing a game of hearts. We have looked forward to being off of our feet for a few hours to rest...
  • ryanjordan.com | 9.Jul.14
    Day 8 & 9 – The Chinese Wall On Monday we left the cozy shade of the lone pine tree at our meadow camp on the Upper White River and immediately started bushwhacking through a forest understory dominated by huckleberry and deadfall. We soon emerged into steep meadows and then onto a mixture of limestone scree and isolated stands of subalpine fir. 2,000+ feet of elevation gain later we were standing atop the Chinese Wall at its terminus just south of Larch Hill Pass. The temperature was...
  • ryanjordan.com | 7.Jul.14
    We are now traveling atop the crest of thee Chinese Wall. There is no trail here. The terrain here consists of spartan landscaping dominated by sharp, limestone shale. There is a 2,000 foot cliff (the Chinese Wall) and huge snow cornices to our left. There is a steep shale slope to our right. It’s beautiful and remote up here. We feel alone. It’s awesome. Godspeed – RJ // Enjoy live dispatches and photos via satellite from this expedition online at http://www.ryanjordan.com/...
  • ryanjordan.com | 6.Jul.14
    Day 7 – Staging for the Wall We spent a great part of the morning today … “managing a medical issue.” Nothing terribly urgent, but one of those things that if you get it wrong, the consequences can be fatal. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to live blog about it, so as to protect the confidentiality of the patient and the Montana High Adventure Base, but we are monitoring our patient under the close consult of our Camp Director and Health Officer via sat phone....
  • ryanjordan.com | 6.Jul.14
    Day 7 – Staging for the Wall We spent a great part of the morning today … “managing a medical issue.” Nothing terribly urgent, but one of those things that if you get it wrong, the consequences can be fatal. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to live blog about it, so as to protect the confidentiality of the patient and the Montana High Adventure Base, but we are monitoring our patient under the close consult of our Camp Director and Health Officer via sat phone....
  • ryanjordan.com | 6.Jul.14
    Day 6: In View of the Wall (sent the morning after when we got better sat reception!) Our objective for this trekking leg is simple: to complete an off trail traverse of the crest of the Chinese Wall from Larch Hill Pass to White River Pass. Today we spent trekking the first part of the approach to this objective. Heat, 3000 feet of elevation gain, and 10 miles with 40-45+ lb packs (which feel remarkably better than the 50-55+ lb packs we were carrying 4 days ago!) were today’s defining...
  • ryanjordan.com | 6.Jul.14
    Day 6: In View of the Wall Our objective for this trekking leg is simple: to complete an off trail traverse of the crest of the Chinese Wall from Larch Hill Pass to White River Pass. Today we spent trekking the first part of the approach to this objective. Heat, 3000 feet of elevation gain, and 10 miles with 40-45+ lb packs (which feel remarkably better than the 50-55+ lb packs we were carrying 4 days ago!) were today’s defining features, thrown in with a bit of dehydration and general...
  • ryanjordan.com | 4.Jul.14
    Day 5 Running at 7,500 to 8,000 cfs (as measured at the Hungry Horse gaging sta.), the South Fork of the Flathead is not exactly revealing its prim and proper summer behavior so well known to packrafters worldwide. In fact, it’s darn right rowdy and at times, a bit belligerent. We left our camp on Murphy Flats this morning. Within 20 seconds, we paddled into the confluence of the South Fork Flathead with the White River. Three things happened there. First, the river got a lot colder. The...
  • ryanjordan.com | 3.Jul.14
    Day 4 If yesterday was defined by wood then today shall be defined by whitewater. Running a river with a large group (we have 9) requires the presence of eddies that are able to accommodate the entire group if we are to “boat scout” the river (the process of river running where scouting is done from real time in the boat). This is how rivers are run quickly. We don’t have that luxury for a number of reasons – crew size, the presence of less experienced paddlers, flooded...
  • ryanjordan.com | 2.Jul.14
    Day 3 Early this morning we received a sat message confirming a downward trend in flows on the S Fk Flathead. Very exciting! We are wondering if we are the first crew of boaters here this season. We dropped our boats into Danaher Creek just below its confluence with Camp Creek late this morning and proceeded to enjoy what May have been my favorite Danaher float yet. With only 3 portages (one very long one!), lots of water, and plenty of splash and technical maneuvering made it both interesting...
  • ryanjordan.com | 1.Jul.14
    For a packrafter carrying a 50+ lb pack, the exclamation that “we are at a river!” is welcome news. We received that news this afternoon as we arrived at the confluence of Camp Creek with the imminently packraftable Danaher Creek. We have trekked about 16 miles from Benchmark to our camp here. Yesterday, after a ranch breakfast of French toast and sausage, we began an 11+ hour march over the snowyContinental Divide and through downfall not yet cleared by Uncle Sam to a serene camp...

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