Top Ten Adventures


1. Go on a multi-day sea kayak trip and try to live off the sea. The Caribbean offers warm water snorkeling and the North West US offers tons of sea life and great fishing.

2. Ski Jackson Hole and jump into Corbet’s Couloir. This world class mountain offers hundreds of challenging runs, but Corbet’s is a true classic and is actually quite reasonable on a big powder day.

3. Learn to surf.  Surfing is a very challenging sport, but the rewards are worth the effort.

4. Go canyoneering in the great Southwestern desert.  The hundreds of pristine slot canyons in Southern Utah offer exciting journeys into another world that are impossible to describe.

5. Climb and ski a big mountain. One of my favorite thrills is to climb to the top of a mountain and ski back down. The many great mountain ranges of the world offer a huge spectrum of summits and descents and Wild Snow by Lou Dawson is a great guidebook. Mount Shasta in California is highly recommended.

6. Spend at least one winter in a ski town and join a town race league. You’ll meet some very interesting people, enjoy an incredible thrill and really improve your skiing techniques. Extra points for the Aspen Town Downhill. The Masters League is another alternative which doesn’t require moving to a ski town.

7. Kayak the Colca or Cotahuasi Canyons in Peru or climb one of the many great mountains. The Colca offers a truly surrealistic journey through the deepest canyon in the world and the Cotahuasi flows through a spectacular desert canyon filled with the ruins of an ancient Inca civilization. A few brave companies offer commercial raft trips. Peru is also famous for big surf, ancient Inca villages and pristine jungles filled with exotic birds.

8. Kayak and climb or hike in Nepal. This mountain paradise is home to some of the best whitewater on earth. The vistas are stunning and the locals are very friendly. Don’t forget to ride an elephant.

9. Take a climbing trip to Thailand or SE Asia. The weather is a great, the food is awesome and a wide variety of bolted routes provide a climbing mecca.

10. Climb a desert spire. The great Southwestern desert of the US is home to some great sandstone spires and they offer a wide range of thrilling challenges. Layton Korr said that a spire was worth 3 big wall climbs and I tend to agree. Extra points for “Moses” in Canyon Lands, Utah.


Top Ten Non-Extreme Adventures

Link to Buy Adventure Books 

The Devils Tower and the Grand Teton


West face of the Devils Tower in Wyoming.

The trail wandered through a pristine forest and soon reached the magical high alpine zone that I was learning to love. The rock was a lot more stable then The Deadly Bells, and I quickly scrambled up to The Belly Crawl Ledge. This was mentioned as one of the cruxes in the guidebook, so I studied the route carefully before starting the traverse.  Crossing the ledge was easy, but it was a bit icy and very exposed, and the weather was deteriorating rapidly, so I moved cautiously.  A sudden squall of icy rain slammed the mountain as I looked over the edge at the infamous North Face. But the squall passed as quickly as it had arrived, and I continued on the safe ledge to the double chimneys. This crux had a rating of 5.4, which means that a rope and technical gear were recommended, but a confident climber would find it easy.  I stopped for a brief rest and studied the route very carefully.  If I slipped here as I had on the Devil’s Tower, I would probably die or be severely injured, so mistakes were not an option.  The route looked fairly reasonable and the weather was clearing, so I took three deep breaths and headed upwards.

The first moves were a bit scary, but they felt good and I started to relax and truly enjoy the high-altitude experience. There was a secure place to rest about half way up the chimney, so I stopped to take a breath and survey the fabulous mountain scenery.

“Wow!” was about all I could think, as I looked down at the Middle Teton and off toward the plains of Idaho.  If there is a stairway to heaven, it is in the mountains, and I felt like I had found it.

After a brief rest I looked upward. The path looked easy, so I carefully followed it and arrived at the summit just in time for another squall, which dropped a bit of sleet and headed on its way.  After a quick lunch, I found the rappel anchors and started to head down.       Table of Contents