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Archive for March, 2011

Pain McShlonkey Results and Recap 2011

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

WHO: Kevin O’Hara

WHAT: Pain McShlonkey Snowlerblade Chinese Downhill

WHERE: Squaw Valley USA

WHEN: March 27, 2011

GEAR: Smith Holt helmet, ContourGPS, K2 snowlerblades

Lately I’ve found myself yelling loudly in lift lines, jumping off of things more frequently, and generally acting like an idiot. Why? My demeanor has become more immature because I was chosen to compete in the most ridiculous race known to man: The Pain McShlonkey Classic. This event was devised as a tribute to the late Shane McConkey, and requires participants to bring their best GNAR faces. If you haven’t seen the movie or aren’t otherwise familiar with the game of GNAR, the general idea of the game is to be the most hardcore, badass skier that you can possibly be, while making fun of yourself, and poking fun at ski culture in general. Dressing up is encouraged, smack talking is expected, and having fun is the whole point.

About three weeks ago I received an email blast from event organizer Scott Gaffney (brother to the author of Squallywood), informing all pros and amateurs that we were chosen to compete. Everyone’s email address was CC’d on the email for all recipients to see. The list included names like Daron Rahlves, Jeremy Jones, Chris Benchetler, Colby West, J.T. Holmes, Cody Townsend, Elyse Saugstad, Kent Kreitler, Aaron McGovern, the Gaffney brothers. Immediately, the smack-talking began, with comments about crushed egos, other competitors moms, how poorly women ski, how poorly men ski, body part references, and a plethora of other obscenities. And it did not stop until after the competition went off! I can count 172 emails. All smack talk. All of them.

The competition itself was nothing less than a freak show, and I loved every minute of it. We began with a costume contest of hysterical proportions. This was followed by a little briefing by Scott, and then it was all hands to the KT lift! Imagine 30 pro skiers and big names, along with 30 amateurs all dressed in their most outrageous, and all waddling on snowlerblades through the KT22 line. Pushing, shoving, arguing, falling all over the place, accumulating GNAR points. After we barely made it onto the lift, the scene at the top was no less humorous. It resembled a medieval battle zone, just before the war began. Except there was less discipline and more liquor. We stood around awhile in the 60 mph winds, sipping our obligatory Red Bull, making obscene comments about each other, and touting our own masterful snowlerblading abilities. Then came the start, and well, you can watch the video for yourself. I biffed about 6 times, and put my knee into my mouth when I landed in a giant hole at the bottom of the Women’s Downhill run. Either way, I came in about 20th out of 60, I beat Daron Rahlves (check out his video of the downhill) to the bottom, and had an amazing weekend altogether. I would not have missed being a part of this!

Pain McShlonkey Chinese Downhill Results

MEN – 1) Cody Townsend 2) Aaron McGovern 3) Robb Gaffney

WOMEN – 1) Suz Graham 2) Stacia Federowski 3) Wendy Fisher

Pain McShlonkey Small Mountain Invitational Results

MEN – 1) Jesse Hall 2) Cody Townsend 3) Chris Benchetler

WOMEN – 1) Wendy Fisher 2) Michelle Parker 3) Suz Graham

Most importantly, this event brought together a group of Shane’s friends and fans, who connect through their love of skiing. Being that all of us are quick to make fun of ourselves was also an important factor. The whole point was to remember the amazing attitude and lust for life that Shane McConkey embraced. His spirit and influence live on in all of us. The event was organized by Scott Gaffney, and Shane’s widow, Sherry, all for the purpose of spreading the word about the Shane McConkey Foundation. I feel all was accomplished in a way I never could have imagined.

I leave you with a quote that continues to inspire me, and so many others:

“Now ski down there and jump off of something for crying out loud” -Shane McConkey


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tahoe Mountain Sports Adventure of the Week blog series takes a walk (or hike, ski, surf, climb, bike or snowlerblade, Pain Mcshlonkey style) in someone else’s shoes, from pro athletes to local Tahoe adventurers. Let us know if you’ve got an adventure to share.

Contour vs Go Pro – Wired Weighs In

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

So you want to buy a helmet camera… this Contour vs Go Pro post gives you the POV of our staff plus the rigorous testing results from Wired magazine’s April 2011 issue.

ContourGPS

What Wired Says: The tech magazine gave the ContourGPS the coveted Editor’s Pick stamp and an 8 out of 10 rating, the highest of the 4 cameras tested: Vio POV.HD rated at 7, GoPro HD Helmet Hero rated at 6 and Looxcie rated at 3.

“Even before Contour brought GPS tagging to helmet-cams, the company had solved the most irksome thing about them: It replaced the Record button with a giant, glove-friendly slider switch. This 4.4-ounce cylindrical pod shoots 1080p at 30 frames per second or 720p at 60 fps, and an upcoming smartphone app will let you use your mobile as a viewfinder and controller. Wired: Dual lasers project at the edges of the frame for aligning shots. Tired: iPhone users require a $30 ConnectView card for the app. Lens captures 110-degree perspective, but the short frame makes it tough to keep the action in view.”

What TMS Says: If we’re going on looks alone, Contour blows away the competition. The sleek, black aluminum package is far from its clunky counterparts. Plus, it’s only an extra $50 than buying the Go Pro Helmet Hero ($300), and its added GPS features and usability make it worth it. Plus, it’s super cool to see your line tracked on a Google map.

GoPro HD Helmet Hero

What Wired Says: Their rating of 6 dubs it a “solid product with some issues.”

“The original all-weather self-aggrandizer now comes in a 1080p model that can switch to 720p and 60 fps for slo-mo. It’s rugged, too. The included waterproof housing sheds snow, ice, and muck, and our test unit survived a 1,000-foot tumble off Telluride’s 13,320-foot Palmyra Peak. But the interface was the least intuitive in our test. Expect a lot of two-second movies of yourself angrily trying to change the settings. Wired: The 170-degree fish-eye mode is ideal for mounting on car hoods or ski poles to aim back at yourself. Tired: Requires a veritable erector set of swing arms and doohickeys for mounting. Is that readout Cyrillic or hieroglyphics or what? Adhesive mounts not so great in the cold (see 1,000-foot tumble).”

What TMS Says: Again, looks alone, the GoPro’s chunky square dimensions look awkward on a helmet, sticking up out of lift lines far and wide, screaming “Look at me! POV!” Included chest harness mount is cool for some sports, but misses the mark on most. Props on the included waterproof case; Contour also offers a ContourGPS waterproof case but it’s sold separately and it has not been released to the masses just yet (but you can pre-order it from us). (As of 2013 Tahoe Mountain Sports carries the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition and our opinion has improved about some of the new and improved GoPro mounts and accessories.

November 2011 Update: Contour has expanded it’s line of helmet cams, building on the success of the ContourGPS, compared to the GoPro below.

The new Contour Plus brings professional level features to the POV camera market, with a top-quality lens that offers a 170 degree ultrawide perspective, live streaming, external microphone connections along with everything that makes the ContourGPS great. Testers from outdoorgearlab.com said this: “With configurable camera settings, iOS / Android connectivity, GPS, etc, the Contour+ may more thoroughly satisfy the camera geek or tech-savvy user.”

And for anybody on a budget, the new ContourROAM offers the best value in hands free video cameras, period. It offers incredible image quality at a bargain price by leaving off a few bells and whistles. Outdoorgearlab.com gave it their best buy award: ”It was a tough call to decide which one (vs. GoPro) got the Best Buy award, but ultimately it went to the Contour because of the better image quality which is same as the Contour+ which costs an extra $300.”

For more information on Contour vs Go Pro and the other helmet cameras tested, read the full Wired helmet cam reviews.

Contour +
Contour +
MSRP: $499.95
Contour Roam
Contour Roam
MSRP: $199.95

Local Students Head to Nepal

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

photo by kkcondon

WHO: 7 female Sierra Nevada College students

WHAT: 15 days walking to Nepali villages that can only be reached by foot

WHERE: Humla, Nepal

WHEN: June 2011

GEAR: hiking shoes, trekking backpack

Tonight, March 23, 2011, is a Nepali Buffet fundraiser to benefit Sierra Nevada College’s Nepal Service Learning Course, a trek in which 7 SNC students will walk more than 200 miles to deliver safe motherhood birth kits, pre/post natal vitamins and pencils to Nepal’s most remote villages. Literacy rates in Humla, Tibet, are at only 5 percent for females, and infant mortality rates are at 8.1 percent (versus 0.7 percent in the U.S.).

While these students’ impact on the locals is sure to be great, the cost of getting there is not small. Attend tonight’s Nepali Buffet to support the trip and enjoy Nepali food, drink, art and music, as well as a silent auction and raffle. Can’t make it tonight? Donate online to help offset the $9,000 per student. Here’s how your donation can help:

$20 = 10 Clean Birth Kits (SNC students will deliver at least 300 of these on the trip)

$175 = A pair of hiking shoes (Students will hike more than 200 miles to visit the villages)

$500 = Cargo tariffs to deliver vitamin supplies from Kathmandu to Simikot

$2,000 = Cost of airfare to Nepal

The Tahoe Mountain Sports Adventure of the Week blog series takes a walk (or hike, ski, surf, climb, bike, or Nepal trek) in someone else’s shoes, from pro athletes to local Tahoe adventurers. Let us know if you’ve got an adventure to share.

5 Under $50: Shane McConkey Style

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

This March 26th, Tahoe Mountain Sports’ own Kevin O’Hara will vie for the Golden Saucer at the Pain McSlonkey Classic, where he’ll flaunt his freestyle skills in the Extreme Snowlerblading Small Mountain Invitational, then look to crush the competition in the Snowlerblade Chinese Downhill. This is a contest of epic proportions, so we had to dedicate this month’s 5 Under $50 blog post to outfitting Kevin for the task at hand. We thought, WWSW, What Would Shane Wear, and came up with a few ideas, all under $50 of course:

1) ContourHD Mount $19.95

With the Who’s Who of Squaw Valley competing, nare a helmet will go without a camera. Everyone will be sure to capture that POV footage to dole out to sponsors and impress the world with the epicness that is snowlerblading. Though you can’t get the actual Contour helmet camera for under $50, you can buy a tricked-out rotating mount to best catch the action at any angle for just under $12.

2) Dakine Quick Tune $39.95, now on sale for $29.95

Going up against the likes of Daron Rahlves, JT Holmes, Jeremy Jones and the Gaffney brothers, Kevin needs his blades to be lightning fast. While other competitors have talked of using bacon grease and old race horses to concoct magic wax potions, we suggest that Kevin sticks with the standard tune to get his snowlerblades and saucer in top shape.

3) Dakine Tall Boy Hat $19.95

Nothing says Squaw Valley steez like a slouchy beanie. We’re thinking if Kevin throws one of these over his tousled hair, and grabs a tall boy to drink outside the Chammy, that maybe just maybe Debbie Dutton will let him buy her lunch.

4) Suncloud Standby Sunglasses $49.95

These sunglasses don’t just look good. They’re glare-fighting polarized machines. Kevin surely can’t let anything get in his way of the Golden Saucer, especially not any pesky late March sun.

5) Chinese Downhill Hat $34.95

Who needs the safety of a helmet when you can have the aerodynamic properties of a rice paddy hat? Kevin’s going to look ultra authentic in this as he crosses the finish line first on Saturday!

5 Under $50 is a monthly Tahoe Mountain Sports blog series dedicated to showcasing some of our more affordable products. Each month we pick a theme, then show you the gear.

22 Designs Axl Review

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Matt Samelson of Boulder, Colorado, takes a break from his ski reports on our site to pen this 22 Designs Axl Review.  He’s a former Couloir magazine editor, so this guy knows his stuff!

Serious downhill performance with a free pivot.  That’s my quick and dirty assessment for this 22 Designs Axl review.  This is an active binding that allows you to drive the skis, initiate with confidence and know that the edge control won’t let you down.  With the underfoot double springs providing a smooth flex throughout the turn, the Axl binding excels both at the resort and in the backcountry. The binding has three cable guide positions that allow you to optimize the pivot point to your preference or the demands of the snow.

I mounted the Axl on a pair of Moment Belafonte’s knowing that I needed a beefy binding capable of initiating these skis in all variety of turns.  It’s been a good choice.  In the best of conditions, we all feel like we could rail a pair of 2x4s with a three-pin binding.  It’s when things go south that you truly appreciate your gear.  A couple of weeks ago, approaching Dragon’s Tail Couloir in Rocky Mountain National Park, I knew the ski was going to be challenging.  The wind was howling and the snow wasn’t going to warm up.  Sure enough, the conditions sucked.  But the Axl provided excellent edge control on a day that I wish I had a whippet on my pole.

But the free pivot is really what has me hooked.  I will confess; I am not an early adapter.  I knew about the advantages of the free pivot.  I just hadn’t made the switch.  With roughly 45-50 degrees of pivot, deep snow and kick turns no longer register as an issue.  The ski-tour mode lock has an easy to engage underfoot attachment.  It’s essentially a quick flick of the ski pole and you’re transitioning from touring to ski mode and vice versa.

Only once have I had some difficulty re-engaging lock for ski mode.  The snow was knee deep and had moderate water content to it.  But the issue was simple to fix.  A quick sweep with my hand and a second or two of poking around with my ski pole.  All in all, not a big deal.

I have heard some people mention that the weight (3.9 pounds per pair) is deterring, but the energy savings from the free pivot would seem to make up for that.  And the weight is comparable to other free pivot bindings on the market

I wouldn’t put any restrictions on who I would recommend the Axl binding too: beginners through the rock stars, resort skiers and backcountry enthusiasts.

Other setups

My other setups include the G3 Reverend with G3 Targa and the Volkl Gotama with Bishop Bomber.  So I have both a light and moderately heavy setup that I tour with.

For more 22 Designs Axl binding reviews, check out the Axl binding on the Tahoe Mountain Sports site.

12-Year-Old Telemark Skier Bennett Drummond

Monday, March 14th, 2011

For this Adventure of the Week we catch up with Bennett Drummond, a 12-year-old Truckee resident and Tahoe Mountain Sports–sponsored athlete. Bennett took our our ContourGPS helmet camera to capture footage at the second stop on the Mountain Hardwear Big Mountain Telemark Series. And… he stomped it! After his second win of the series, Bennett took some time from his busy skiing schedule for this interview:

WHO: Bennett Drummond

WHAT: Alpine Meadows Big Mountain Telemark Championships

WHERE: Alpine Meadows, CA

WHEN: February 24-27, 2011

GEAR: 22Designs Hammerhead bindings, K2 skis, ContourGPS

TMS: Was this your first real ski competition?

BENNETT: No. This would be my third… last month at Grand Targhee in Alta, WY was my first tele comp. It was the first stop on the TGP Mountain Hardwear Big Mountain Tour (1st place). My very first comp was at Alpine Meadows in early February at the Tahoe Junior Big Mountain Comp… it was an alpine event and I was on teles (9th place out of 58).

How did it feel to win?

It was great to win at my home mtn :-)

What was your favorite line of the comp?

My favorite was x-mas tree chute. 200ft long and narrow, came out at 43 mph!!

What was the best line you saw someone else do during the comp?

I thought Connor Davis had a nice 1st run on Keyhole .. perfectly smooth tele turns and sweet airs.

I hear you’ve been skiing since you were 19 months old and this is your 3rd season on teles, why do you like telemark skiing so much?

I think its more graceful and more like skiing. Harder, more challenging. Also easy to get around.

Do you have any goals for the rest of the season?

Not really. I have already competed in the comps I really wanted to do well in .. maybe go to Crested Butte for the tele championships and also do a fun park edit.

[Blogger's note: Bennett obtained some minor, but painful injuries (bruised bone, nasty forearm abrasion/contusion, fractured thumb) while freeskiing after competing in the Tahoe Junior Big Mountain Comp at Sugar Bowl this past weekend. Send healing thoughts his way!]

Do you have any advice for youth who want to get into telemarking/competing?

Only do it if you feel comfortable doing it, don’t be pushed to do it

I hear you ski on K2 Bad Apples and 22Designs Hammerhead bindings… What about this current setup do you like?

My skis are awesome in powder and the bindings give me more stability, especially skiing big mtn & in the park.

The Tahoe Mountain Sports Adventure of the Week blog series takes a walk (or hike, ski, surf, climb, bike, ContourGPS helmet cam ski line) in someone else’s shoes, from pro athletes to local Tahoe adventurers. Let us know if you’ve got an adventure to share.

Tahoe SnowFest Parade Footage

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Oh yes! It was going off at our shop today… loads of people shopping our Sasquatch Sale, and even more lining the town streets for the Lake Tahoe SnowFest closing weekend parade.

Our LEAVE sNOw TRACE crew included our shop, Tahoe Rim Trail Association and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, so watch for all three of us (plus the LNT mascot, Bigfoot!) at the start of the video. Wigwam‘s Wig-L-Wam Wagon happened to be in town so they hopped in on the fun and handed out free socks behind our crew. Watch as even the parade emcee snags a free pair! We also caught Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue on tape (see Doug and Mike skiing down the pavement) and the Kings Beach Boys and Girls Club’s parade of monsters including Tahoe Tessie. We hope you enjoyed Tahoe SnowFest, and remember the Sasquatch Sale runs through tomorrow, March 13, so keep on shopping!

Learning to Leave No Trace

Friday, March 11th, 2011

We had so much fun learning from the Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers at the Leave No Trace Winter Awareness Workshop last night! For those of you who missed it, here’s a quick recap. We highly recommend attending next time Kate, Tracy and Bigfoot roll through town. And it’s not too late to catch a glimpse of the elusive Sasquatch: Bigfoot will be at Tahoe Mountain Sports on Saturday, and he’s headlining the Kings Beach SnowFest parade, which starts at 11:30am so don’t miss it!

First of all, Kate and Tracy, aka the Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, are traveling machines! They’ve logged near 100,000 miles on their Subaru the past two years, and expect to put another 50,000 on the clicker this year. Their routes from the past two years are in green and red on the map pictured above.

They’re passionate about spreading the Leave No Trace message, but don’t expect to be lectured. We played fun, interactive games to find out best practices in the wilderness. And it felt like more of a conversation than being told about hard-fast rules.

In game #1 we learned how certain gear could help us follow the 7 Leave No Trace principles, and in game #2 we had to guess how long various items picked out of a bag took to decompose. And guess what I picked: the diaper. Lucky me! My item took the third longest of the bunch at 10-20  years, with the 6-pack plastic holder being the longest at 100 years. The orange peel was the shocker, taking longer to decompose than a paper bag. And then we learned that a plastic bottle can take, depending on conditions, anywhere from 1,000 years to infinity (never breaking down)! Definitely made me think more about the trash I create.

We also talked about pet and human waste. While we all know that it’s important to dig a hole for our #2s in the wild, most of us will pee without a second thought. Technically, this too is leaving a trace, and it’s best, the trainers told us, to choose a site away from water, and one that’s less nutrient-rich, like a sandier soil. Animals are attracted to the salt in urine, so be aware… they told a tale of one woman’s encounter with a pee-thirsty goat!

As for pet waste, we know of the problem well here in Tahoe, perhaps the dog capitol of the nation! Yes, it’s not OK to leave your dog’s business lying around, especially near Tahoe’s crystal-clear waters and near roads where it can contribute to run-off. If you want to read more about the science behind these principles, check out the Leave No Trace Related Research page.

This workshop was just 1 of 3 levels of training provided by Leave No Trace. Level Two would be a 16-hour, 2-day course that requires a night out, and then there’s a Master Educator 5-day course.

LEAVE sNOw TRACE – March 10-13

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Tahoe truly comes alive this time of year… the sun’s in the sky, there’s fresh snow on the ground and now it’s time to celebrate!

We’re piggy-backing on the fun of the North Lake Tahoe SnowFest (March 4-13) with an event of our own, LEAVE sNOw TRACE, with partners Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. We’re aiming to help spread the word of leaving no trace at Lake Tahoe, so join us in a weekend of learning, parading and shopping season-end deals:

Thursday, March 10 – Tahoe Mountain Sports Sasquatch Sale Benefits the Tahoe Rim Trail Association

The Tahoe Mountain Sports annual spring clearance, the Sasquatch Sale, kicks off with 10% of all profits being donated to the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, all day online, or 10am-6pm in store.

Thursday Night, March 10 – Leave No Trace Winter Skills Awareness Workshop

Join the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers at the North Tahoe Events Center in Kings Beach foran interactive program that provides the necessary tools to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. Participantswill explore the principles of Leave No Trace through hands-on, engaging activities that are guaranteed fun for all ages. Rumor has it that Bigfoot will be there to share some of his secrets on leaving no trace inthe wild!Program runs 6-8pm with light refreshments provided, and is free and open to everyone.

Saturday, March 12 – Kings Beach SnowFest Parade

Bigfoot, the Leave No Trace mascot, hits Kings Beach’s mainstreet for the SnowFest Closing WeekendParade, joined by the official, decked-out Leave No Trace Subaru and the Tahoe Rim Trail AssociationFord F-150 filled with Tahoe Mountain Sports and Tahoe Rim Trail staffers. Parade starts at 11:30am.Watch the action go by at Tahoe Mountain Sports, aka “parade central,” with the judges and the emceehanging out on their front porch, and the best deals of the season inside with the Sasquatch Sale!

Through Sunday March 13 – Tahoe Mountain Sports Sasquatch Sale

After the Sasquatch Sale kick-off on Thursday, during which 10% of all profits go to the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, the spring clearance continues all weekend long, 10am-6pm. Get up to 25% off skis andboots from Black Diamond, K2, and Dynafit, as well as the hottest deals of the season on winter apparel and accessories.

Traveling Peru with AdventureSmith

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

We’re excited to hear again from Chris Harter of AdventureSmith Explorations. Chris is a 7-year North Lake Tahoe resident who has one of the best jobs around! Here he recaps a product development trip to Peru, where he scoped out potential activities and sites for AdventureSmith’s tours.

WHO: Chris Harter of AdventureSmith Explorations, along with some incredible guides

WHAT: A 2-week product development tour through some of Peru’s must-see destinations with hiking, paddling, and some serious cultural immersion

WHERE: Lima, Amazon Basin, Cusco, Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca

WHEN: June 2010

GEAR: Salomon XA Pro 3D Running Shoes, Kuhl Eiger Shorts, Smith Proof Sunglasses, Dakine Overhead Suitcase

WHY IT WAS SO EPIC:

With locations as diverse as the glaciated peaks of the high Andes, the Atacama and Sechura deserts, the upper rainforest tributaries of the Amazon basin, and the highest navigable lake in the world (Lake Titicaca), Peru offers an astounding array of environments for the adventurous traveler to explore. But after several long flights down to Peru, I could think of nothing but bed before beginning my busy schedule the following day. Fortunately, after checking in to my Lima hotel at 1:00am the desk attendant and bartender insisted I try the national drink, a complimentary Pisco sour, before retiring. Beyond being gracious and welcoming, there’s a reason they insisted I try it: It is without a doubt one of the world’s most delicious concoctions, and they were clearly proud of their national cocktail. This example of national pride and hospitality became a constant theme throughout my travels in Peru. Pisco sours became a common theme as well!

The first stop on my Peru journey brought me to the Amazon town of Puerto Maldonado, a gateway for travels along the Amazon tributary of the Madre de Dios River (Mother of God). The flight alone was worth the trip. In no less that a half-hour we transitioned from the incredibly rugged peaks and glaciers of the Andes to soaring over the dense lowland rainforests of the Amazon basin. Upon arrival I was greeted and brought to the long dugout vessel, which motored us 45 minutes down river to our riverside lodge. The list of excursions and activities on offer from the lodge was extensive: Beyond the wilderness hikes and water based journeys, their activities for Amazonian cultural immersion and education was impressive. I opted for an all-day hike and dugout canoe paddle along the Gamitana creek one day and a visit to the rainforest canopy walkways and platforms the next. Beyond the wildlife viewing that one expects with any journey into the Amazon, I was surprised at the participatory nature of the excursions offered. I fished for piranha using beef for bait from a locally crafted dugout canoe. I sampled a freshly picked and succulent annona fruit, easily the tastiest fruit on the planet! I smelled, tasted, and rubbed any number of useful plants to see first hand their use and value to the local people. I even wove plant fibers to create garments and adornments. The intrinsic value that this type of participation creates is something that stays with you long after the trip ends.

For my second leg of the journey I made my way to the central valleys and mountain ranges surrounding Cusco, the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley), and Machu Picchu. (more…)

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