Month: November 2011

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Is Coming

The Banff Mountain Film Festival made its thrilling return recently. Over 50 films dedicated to adventure and exciting mountain stories were screened. The grand winner was Cold by Anson Fogel.

A selection of the best films based on exploration, culture, environment and mountain sports are hitting the road for a world tour. Get inspired by watching the intro video, check here for 2012 tour dates in your area and see the films in their entirety.

The films will definitely remind you of why you are an adventure traveler… or motivate you to become one.

Norway’s King Crab Safari: Pass The Melted Butter

A red king crab safari is a rather unique option to the typical arctic excursions found in Norway. Near the town of Kirkenes you can sit back and relax, floating in a dry suit on the Barents Sea surface while professional divers brave frigid waters below to retrieve massive crustaceans for you. If you are a certified diver, then you can join your guide on an ice dive and personally pick your own.

Although not the prettiest species in the sea, the king crab is definitely one of the most delicious. Scientists first introduced these delectable creatures in to this northern Russian sea in the 1960s. Since then the crabs have multiplied into the millions and migrated into Norway. This delicacy has the ability to grow up to 4.9 feet and weigh in at 22 pounds.

This safari is done year round. In winter, the sea can be reached by snow mobile; the rest of the year by boat.

It’s the rare experience that one can catch and eat their own dinner from the deep arctic sea.

New CamelBak Water Bottle: UV Protection Against Bacteria

What did I like? The taste of my water.

Bacteria. Viruses. Protozoa. CamelBak has come up with a purifying system that will kill 99.99% of these microscopic creepy crawlies that lurk in mountain lakes and streams by using a powerful ultra-violet light technology.

Brendan Leonard gives a detail review hereThe CamelBak All Clear Microbiological UV Water Purifier Kit will include a 0.75L Tritan Better bottle with classic cap, All Clear cap, protective cover and a recharge cable. The cable has a mini USB that plugs directly into the cap and connects to a wide range of USB compatible such as wall chargers, laptops and cell phones.

It probably won’t replace your need for the bigger hydration packs for long trips, but it would easily be handy on day outings or on daily travels when you’re staying in a hotel in a foreign country where the local bacteria isn’t as friendly to your gut.

This new bottle will be coming out in March 2012 with a price tag of $99.

Testimonial From a Client on a Guided Expedition

On the back of our successful Beta launch yesterday, I want to share with you a testimonial we received from a client who went on a guided trip during one of our test cases this summer.  Our Co-Founder Eric Remza guided a group of guys to Everest Base Camp and then an attempt to summit Island Peak.   Here how PathWrangler helped Chad as a client on this trip:

PathWrangler was a terrific tool for our group in preparing for an expedition to Nepal this year.  Having the capability to have our itinerary, gear list, and discussion boards all in one place made the planning and packing process much easier than constantly changing lists and e-mail chains that we are used to when planning these trips.  Being able to access all the information in one place made packing and gear checks simple and easy.  In addition, being able to buy gear straight from the site made getting last minute gear items and supplies much easier.  I would recommend PathWrangler for any group, whether you are going on a month long international expedition, or a weekend hike in the mountains.  It’s a great tool.

PathWrangler Launches Private Beta

Today, PathWrangler is proud to announce that it has launched a whole lot of awesome on the adventure travel and outdoor community.  PathWrangler is a revolutionary tool that  makes building and storing experiences easier than ever before.

Let’s face it, planning an adventure trip or an outdoor excursion is like herding cats. It can be maddening to get everyone and everything prepared. We’ve built a collaborative web tool that makes trip planning not only easy, but fun.  The goal is empower you so that your only limitation is your imagination and sense of wonder.  It can be used just as easily by professional guides running recurring excursions to the Himalayas to avid outdoor enthusiasts planning their next camping trip to Yosemite with a few friends or family members.  The days of chasing people down over email and managing trips with spreadsheets, PDFs, Word, Excel and Google Docs are over!

Who is giving us love for what we created for them?

Guides and Adventure Operators love us because we make their businesses run better.  We significantly cut down on their office work and help them to build deeper bonds with their clients prior to the trip.  Customization, trip changes, queries from customers, eye-candy quality presentation of trip itineraries, recommended gear fulfillment, packing lists, logistical support and sharing “beta” or information with other guides is not only more efficient, but more engaging and dynamic.

Travelers and Outdoor Enthusiasts love us for two reasons: 1) we provide a great way for them to interact with their adventure providers on their trips.  There is always a conversation from the time a traveler signs up for a trip to the time they are ready to leave.  We make that conversation collaborative, easy and way more fun.  2) We also provide them a way to organize their personal trips with friends and family as well.  It is far easier to herd the cats get everyone organized and out exploring.  In the end, all that planning and hard work is memorialized forever.

Private Beta

All this is available if you were lucky enough to get an invite to our Private Beta.  In this next stage, we’ll be working with our existing customers and thought leaders to build the next stage of our product before we launch it to the public.

For those that are interested in Beta and either haven’t been contacted by us yet or made a request, please request through our homepage and we’ll do our best to get to you as soon as we can.  In these beginning stages, we are absolutely committed to personal service for all of our customers, so bare with us as we get everyone onboard and settled.

Thanks

I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with such an incredible team that has put in so much work and overcome a lot of adversity to get us here.  Eric Remza (Customer Development), Mikey Clarke (Tech Lead), DG Elmore (Investor/Advisor), Brad Wisler (Advisor), Neal Patel (Advisor), Angelique Coffee (our blogger extraordinaire ).  I’m amazed not only at the talent and vision of our team, but of the indefatigable nature of each one of you as we took a kernel of an idea and turned it into something that we know will change adventure travel forever.  All of us are going to be banding together to provide the best service to our present and future customers.

A huge thanks to Axel Albin and Josh Kamler of Language in Common and Ryan Faubion and Matt Dimmit of Bold Exp for their tremendous concepting, design and implementation.

Also, we didn’t build this product in a vacuum.  We had some really incredible guides, tour operators and thought leaders that have been working with us since the early days to focus our efforts on building the right product.  We’ll provide more detailed info on who these visionaries are and how they contributed in the near future.

In the meantime, pack your bags!  Adventure Travel just got a whole lot easier.

Doug Heinz – CEO & Co-Founder

An Adventure That’s Full of Hot Air

The first hot air balloon launched back in 1783, stayed in the air for 15 minutes and the test passengers were a sheep, a rooster and a duck in order to determine the effect of high altitude on living beings. That same year in Paris the first human flight by the French brothers Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier took to the air for 20 minutes and hot air ballooning became reality.

Besides the fact that it can be done almost anywhere, the best thing about hot air ballooning is that the destination is guided by the wind, and the pilot’s skill, making each outing a unique adventure. Here are a few picturesque destinations around the world that are ideal for getting carried up, up and away.

Arenal, Costa Rica- Float peacefully above the tree line canopy where monkeys hang out and drift over lush rainforests and rivers for a bird’s eye view of Costa Rica’s wild side. To view the imposing Arenal volcano makes this area extra special.

Bagan, Myanmar/Burma- The sunrise flight over the ancient Bagan plains is sure to invoke a sense of serenity. There are over 2,000 decaying pagodas, monasteries and temples that date back to the 11th–13th centuries A.D. that dot the landscape.

Canterbury Plains, New Zealand- For as far as the eye can see there is a  patchwork of multi-green fields that stretch out to the base of the Southern Alps. The fresh clean air and beautiful countryside combine to make for an exciting flight.

Cappadocia, Turkey- Soft volcanic rock in the shape of storybook chimneys fill the Goreme Valley along with church caves that were carved around 1000-1200 A.D. From the hot air balloon basket 100s of chimneys, pillars and cones of pink, yellow and dark copper brown can be seen.

Masai Mara, Kenya- Silently fly over the king of the jungle’s territory. Observe other wildlife in their natural habitat. Watch from above the great wildebeest migration. Since the terrain is mainly grasslands with areas of acacia trees, the ability to witness nature in action is pretty clear.

In an airplane, we soar through the sky moving too fast in our cramped seats to enjoy the view. A hot air balloon ride allows us to be a part of the show, enjoying what’s around, above and below us.

Get Pumped Up For Powder Season

Get off the couch and go ride some powder.

The time for getting bundled up, grabbing your snow gear and heading for the hills is fast approaching.  The cold wind on your face, your breath turning to fog, the swooshing of your skis gliding over the snow as you blaze the first run on the fresh, untouched powder is nearing.  But, while those in the Northern Hemisphere wait for enough snow to play, it is Warren Miller time.   The film tour is in full swing for those who can’t wait for ski season to start.

Filmed in breathtaking locations like Colorado, Utah, Chile, Norway and New Zealand the 62nd film will get you pumped up for the winter season. Check out the calendar, see the film and then get ready to shred the mountains like there’s no tomorrow.