I’m happy to share that the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) took a fancy to my story about Iceland. The No-Nonsense Guide to Exploring Iceland by Camper Van, which I penned for RootsRated, earned Honorable Mention in two categories in the 27th annual NATJA Awards Competition:
Honorable Mention: Destination Travel – Online Publication
Honorable Mention: Sports, Recreation and Adventure – Online Publication
I find myself in good company. You can see all of the winners on the NATJA website. Congratulations to all.
I have tears streaming down my face as I read the comments on an essay I wrote for National Geographic Travel about my profound experience in Nepal last fall. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to this magical country and help inspire others to visit and help Nepal recover from the devastating earthquakes that hit last year. Here are some of the comments that moved me most:
“Reading articles like this makes me even more proud to be a Nepali. This article indeed brought tears to my eyes.”
“It was amazingly written from the top to bottom, last paragraph brought my tears down. Thank you for sharing your experience, thanks for the love towards Nepal and Nepali. Yes we really are suffering from so many things but this will really help Nepal for sure. Million Thanks again.”
“Thanks for showing the world that how Nepalese people are living with positive attitude despite of devastating earthquake and the cruel Indian economic blockade. We have fighting spirits and will continue to live in a positive attitude. I am a tour guide since last 14 years. I’ve seen lots of ups and down but still I am positive that we will have more people as visitors as the world loves Nepal not only for its natural beauty but also for the simplicity of people, honest people and kind people.”
“Namaste! This is a beautifully pieced together experience that puts a sober picture in your head. Thank you Avery!”
See all the comments at the bottom of the article on National Geographic Travel: Why Now is the Time to Visit Nepal.
If you’ve ever considered a trip to Nepal—or even if you haven’t—plan one now. You will help the Nepali people and, without a doubt, enrich yourself.
Here are some stories I wrote about Nepal:
Why Now is the Time to Visit Nepal (National Geographic Travel)
Nepal on the Rebound (Outdoor Industry Association)
Help Nepal Get Back on Its Feet (Outdoor Industry Association)
More coming this spring. Check back here or follow me on Twitter to see them when they publish.
Photo courtesy Dan Chehayl
Chatter about the world’s top ice climbing spots will always circle back to Ouray, a sleepy town in southwestern Colorado where more than 20 years ago, a few visionary climbers started teasing streams of water down the walls of a steep, shadowy gorge.
Since then Ouray Ice Park has blossomed into an ice climber’s dream-come-true, where ice farmers carefully tend hoses and showerheads to cultivate a mile-long network of magical ice.
Ice climbing is a delicate art of ascending frozen flows using ice tools and crampons. It’s slow and methodical, requiring careful pick and foot placement on ice formations that range from dangling fangs to chandeliers of fused icicles and lumpy mushrooms.
Learn how to give it a try in my Adventure 101: Ice Climbing in Ouray article on National Geographic Travel.
Earlier this week, I ventured to the Ouray Ice Park to try ice climbing for the first time. What a blast! Ascending the frozen walls, I was mesmerized by the beautiful, varied textures of the ice, and the chink chink sounds of my crampons and ice tools. The art of ice climbing is methodical and meditative, as you move one hand or foot at a time, tapping in holds. It’s challenging, fun, and so gratifying. I think I might be hooked! I have to give a big shout out to San Juan Mountain Guides for giving me a great introduction to the sport.
Next week is the Ouray Ice Festival, a great chance to try ice climbing, hone your skills, or watch the pros. Read all about it in an article I wrote for RootsRated:
The Largest Ice Climbing Festival in North America
Big. Fat. Blue. The stuff of frozen dreams. For months, ice farmers have been carefully coaxing magical slabs, pillars, and fangs to life in preparation for the 20th annual Ouray Ice Festival, which takes place January 8-11, 2015, at the Ouray Ice Park in southern Colorado. Park workers are now scurrying around like elves, putting the finishing touches on plans for four days of ice climbing clinics, demos, competitions, and parties that will fire up everyone from ice junkies to newbies.
This time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in holiday consumerism. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday … the shopping world assaults us with opportunities to spend money on material things. From my perspective, a far greater opportunity exists during this season of giving: Giving back, either by lending a hand to someone in need, volunteering your time, or supporting your favorite cause. Enter #GivingTuesday on December 2, a global day to celebrate generosity and to give.
It just so happens that a key trail in one of my favorite towns in Colorado is at risk of being lost to development—unless the Crested Butte Land Trust can raise $250,000 more by January 15 to purchase the land. For #GivingTuesday, I plan to make a donation to support this cause and protect a gem in my backyard.
You can read more about the Crested Butte Land Trust’s heroic effort to save the Snodgrass Trail in an article I wrote for Mountain Magazine. It’s my first for them. Check it out: Give a Little—The Crested Butte Land Trust Rallies for Access and Recreation on Snodgrass Mountain
How are you going to give back on #GivingTuesday?
Ski season is upon us! It’s been dumping in the Colorado high country for a couple of weeks now, and everyone I know is itching to bust out their boards and start carving buttery turns.
One key to a killer day in the backcountry is knowing how to organize your pack. It can make the difference between being quick, comfortable, and efficient, or fumbling around and getting flustered. In the latest issue of Women’s Adventure, I’m happy to share tips and tricks for getting your pack dialed. Read my article—How to Load a Backcountry Ski Pack.
Like what you see? Subscribe to Women’s Adventure. Each issue is packed with great articles about getting outside, exploring, and having fun, including Tech Talk pieces like this one to help you learn how to go about doing it.
I was recently invited by Courageous Creativity to share my thoughts on travel, adventure, and my path to becoming a writer. Think about the title: Courageous Creativity. It’s spot on. The truth is, it takes courage and vulnerability to share creativity with the world. You have to bare a bit of your soul.
The idea behind Courageous Creativity is to present stories of courage, creativity, and change from people from all over the world and from all walks of life. The November issue focuses on people who have found their vocation and creative expression in the act of exploring, adventuring, and being with nature… impacting their own lives as well as the lives of others in transformative ways.
I am honored to share my thoughts in this issue. I hope you’ll take a moment and read my interview.
Photo by Terry Stonich
Last year I attempted to climb Mont Blanc—and failed. Or did I? After the scent of the peak drifted away—like dreams lost to whimsical wafts of wind—I discovered that it’s about more than bagging the peak. It’s about all the steps along the way, wherever they lead.
The mountains make the rules. My guide quoted, “When you dance with the mountains, they always lead.” And I realized that if you follow their lead, you might just find a graceful waltz that opens a world of adventure and lets your spirit soar.
UK-based Travel Chronicles has just republished an essay I wrote about my experience. Check it out.