Two years ago, I was in the town of National Park, a small little town on the edge of Tongariro National Park. A few days prior, my buddy Mikkel and I had hitched there from Taupo, after a few crazy adventures there. Still being early spring in New Zealand, we got some unfortunately cold weather. Our climbing of Mt. Tongariro the previous day involved lots of snow and near zero visibility in the clouds. So bad that we had actually walked over the top of the mountain and started heading down the other side until we realized we had gone too far when the clouds parted for a brief second.

Upon our arrival in town the first day, we were invited to participate in National Park’s yearly rugby game against another town in the area. Needless to say, this opportunity could not be turned down and a few bruises, kicks, jabs and tackles later we found ourselves treated to a few free drinks at the local pub for our participation (one of the players worked there) and suffering.

Nov 1st I Hitched east to Napier for a few days and then on to Wellington and then to the beauty of the South Island, never to return north again. I guess it’s a bit of a shame really, some cool stuff up north, but I couldn’t be drawn away from the Southern Alps once I’d seen them.

Just some random memories from a cool little place. Still seems like yesterday…






Such an amazing place…

Summer 2006:

Spring 2007:


A few more pics from the Sierra eastside, Bodie and Tuolumne.






Mount Gould

At 13,005 feet, Mt. Gould is not especially high in the scheme of things, but it seemed like a good option because I hoped its south facing approach would be relatively snow free from the recent storm of a few days before. The morning started off cold, cloudy and windy, but as the hours passed and we drove higher and higher towards Onion Valley the day was looking like it was turning for the better. Onion Valley is notorious for its bears, and there were recent signs of bears breaking into cars, so it took me about 20 minutes to round up all my food + other smelly things (sunblock, soap, hand clear, ect) since they were scattered about my truck in a rather unorganized manner.

Up Kearsage pass trail we went. Stopped for a brief lunch at Kearsage pass, and then off trail up the easy, but often loose, class 1/2 south face of Mt. Gould. Near the top, a sufficient amount of fresh snow made the going a bit slower in an effort to avoid it and stick mostly to the rocks. The final summit block was a bit tricky, as it was mostly full of snow and quite slippery, I had quite cold hands by the time I was finished.

mount gould hike

mount gould hike

Nice view but still a ways yet

mount gould hike

mount gould hike

Looking down from the top

mount gould hike

Cool shadow of the mountains covering the Owen’s valley

owens valley panoramic

Alabama Hills

The Alabama hills are a frequent stop during my climbing trips to the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, making a good place to camp if I get a late start leaving town, as well as a bit of climbing if my hands are in shape for the glass like granite. And as a location for sunrise, I can’t complain about rolling out of the back of my truck and only having to walk a few feet, allows me to indulge in a bit of laziness from time to time, or at least a slightly later start to the day.

So on my recent California trip, it worked out that we ended up spending three nights here before heading further north. All the better since it had been almost exactly two years since my last visit.







Death Valley

For some reason I have never spent much time in death valley. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that it’s bloody hot most of the year, or perhaps due to the fact that I’m not all that fond of sand + camera. But it is an amazingly beautiful place with so many cool areas to explore so hopefully I can go back again in the not too distant future.

(click on panos to view larger)


death valley

death valley

sand dune, death valley

sand dune, death valley

sand dune, death valley

sand dune, death valley

sand dune, death valley

Mount Cook

Mt. Cook rises like a giant over the surrounding landscape. The Maori name – Aoraki – quite appropriately translates to “Cloud Piercer.” Of all the peaks I have seen in my days, I still consider this one of the most beautiful.

[click on images to view larger]

mount cook


Japan – China

It was a busy two weeks in Japan and China. Gotta run (litterally), only a couple pics for now.

Tokyo street

china street

The Captain

El Capitan, one beautiful piece of rock.

El Capitan Panoramic

East and West

A few more pics before I take off tomorrow morning. My brain is a bit fried from trying to figure out a bunch of CSS coding, but I think I finally got the hang of things.

Mono Lake at Dawn: 3 shot pano: click to view larger


Elk: Prairie Redwoods State Park