Current Events

“The illegal killing of elephants has skyrocketed to over 100 elephants per day,” says Dr. Dag Goering. “At that rate, the species could be near extinction within 10 years.” Dag’s a veterinary and a photographer, and he cares deeply about the plight of the elephants left roaming our earth today – an estimated 370,000 according to more recent records.  2011 elephant poaching levels in Africa were at an all time high since record keeping began in 2002, states a New York Times report on the poaching frenzy.  While the stats are alarming, I ask Dag,...
The other day I learned some rather shocking stats. According to the Alzheimer Society of B.C., 1 in 11 Canadians has Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia – that’s ~500,000 people! Over 71,000 of these people are under the age of 65, while 50,000 are under the age of 60.  It's a good thing there are many people in our communities working to address this condition. Some of them are even going to great lengths to raise funds and awareness about it - namely the 11 brave souls who are challenging their own personal limits and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro this month...
Steve Richert has been living with Type 1 diabetes for about 13 years. After being diagnosed in 1999 he was told that this was something he would have to live with for the rest of his life - he would have to monitor his food intake, minimize risky behavior, and rely on insulin shots before every meal to ensure his survival. Instead of succumbing to a life of relaxed inactivity and letting fear guide his decisions, Steve and his wife Stefanie are on a mission to challenge what it means to live with Type 1 diabetes or any other chronic illness. Project 365 is Steve’s quest to climb...
Deep in the Himalaya, the remote village of Phu – a tiny Nepali community  near the Nepal/Tibet border, is nestled in at ~14,000 feet in elevation amidst countless gargantuan 20,000+ foot peaks. Although very little grows at this elevation, for nearly 800 years the people of Phu have lived here in balance with their natural surroundings. Given the remoteness of Phu (it’s a seven day trek just to get there), and the fact that it was only opened to outsiders approximately eight years ago, the community has been relatively untouched by tourism and our ‘modern’...
"I know that outsiders find it difficult to understand what we do, and I'm often asked what the point really is. But this is our world; it's the way we want to live." ~Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is the first woman to reach the top of the world’s 14 8,000M peaks without the use of supplemental oxygen or porters. With that incredible accomplishment under her belt (amongst numerous others), Gerlinde takes a well-deserved place as a nominee for National Geographic’s “Adventurers of the Year 2012”. Yes, this feat in and of itself...
To all our Fellow Climbers, Hikers, and Trekkers for change, Reflecting on 2011, we find ourselves thinking about a quote from Buddha: “It is better to travel well than to arrive.” From the heights of Pico de Orizaba, to playing among the peaks in our own backyard, from navigating economic uncertainty, to understanding how we can better our own communities, 2011 has been a year of great adventures, building new friendships, and seeing new places – but not without being challenged on many levels. After all, what would it mean to ‘travel well’ without dealing...
“We’re a group of educated youth born and raised in the mountains of Sri Lanka,” writes Ranjith. “For me, this is the world that provides everything – we all live together as one family here and always depend on nature and the mountains for our livelihood.” A message from Ranjith pops into my inbox the other day. “We work to preserve mountains in Sri Lanka,” the note says. Ranjith formally introduces himself and his team of twelve eager youth who want to make a difference for the land that makes their living possible. They are from...
Some of you will remember the crazy story we told last year about two artists, Jeff Whiting and Stephen Quinn, who ventured on a rather unconventional mission deep into the jungle of the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They climbed a 14,000 foot mountain to find the exact spot where an epic explorer, Carl Akeley, painted the backdrop scene for the world famous mountain gorilla diorama in the American Museum of Natural History. Akeley’s journey took place almost a century ago – retracing his footsteps proved more difficult than the...
Sudden infant deaths in the 21st century? Hmm, this is not something the average Generation Y or younger often considers…or at least, I didn’t until I heard Russell’s story. To celebrate his 40th year and the 40th anniversary of the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), Russell Soden committed to climbing La Concha 40 Times in 40 Days to raise awareness and funds for this cause. FSID is incredibly important to Russell because 14 years ago, he tragically lost his daughter to cot death. Statistics show that in the UK, over 300 babies under the age of one die...
Ever wonder what Lululemon and imagine1day Founder, Chip Wilson, is up to on a Saturday afternoon? Well, we were...and we found him walking (or rather climbing) the talk yesterday with a group of Lululemon staff, friends and family...combining fitness, philanthropy, community and fun in a 1-day movement to raise enough funds ($100,000 that is) in 1 day to build 1 school in Ethiopia for 400 children. How? This particular group chose to climb the 2,830 steps up Grouse Mountain, Vancouver via the Grouse Grind trail, also known as the rather gruelling “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster...
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