Mountain Biking

PATHWRANGLER NAMED HONOREE AS PART OF OUTSIDE’S ACTIVE TRAVEL AWARDS

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA | MARCH 12, 2013 PATHWRANGLER has been selected by Outside, America’s leading multimedia active-lifestyle brand, as a recipient of its second annual Active Travel Awards.  PathWrangler was honored as an Honoree. The full list of award winners will be published in the April issue of Outside magazine, available on newsstands March 12, 2013, and at Outside Online.

To select this year’s awards, Outside tapped our global network of correspondents, who spent months on the road traveling from the Philippines to Switzerland to Namibia and then some, to report a definitive roundup of the best new adventures, secret paradises, mountain epics, stunning beaches, airline deals, gorgeous islands, and more. The result is 42 fresh trips that we guarantee will change your life, plus smart travel strategies, the best travel gear, and five exciting new frontiers.

PathWrangler is proud to be awarded honoree of Outside Strategies to “Plug-In.”  With all these beautiful destinations and incredible activities to do, PathWrangler is the tool that brings it all together and makes these dream trips a reality. 

Outside magazine has long been one of the world’s most trusted advisors for active and adventurous travelers,” says Outside Editor Christopher Keyes. “In addition to truly award-worthy destinations and travel providers, this year we unearthed a handful of amazing new frontiers in active travel. Our annual edit franchise honors the year’s best trips, hotels, lodges, luggage, islands, and new destinations that will be an invaluable travel resource for years to come.”

Simply put, PathWrangler makes creating experiences and telling those stories easier than ever before.  Planning an adventure trip or an outdoor excursion is like herding cats. It is maddening to get everyone and everything prepared. Our web app brings the conversation together in an interactive place designed specifically for adventure and outdoor enthusiasts to dream and organize their trip together, and then share their stories after.  Over 100 Tour Operators, Outdoor Clubs and Outdoor Wilderness Programs and thousands of outdoor enthusiasts are using PathWrangler to run better trips and share them with their friends.

In celebration of the Outside Active Travel Awards, PathWrangler is offering its award-winning product for free in preparation for a new premium rollout in the upcoming months.  That means unlimited trips and users for any individuals or business that sign-up now.  Please sign-up here to take advantage of this offer.  Please contact us at info@pathwrangler.com if you’d like any help in getting you or your organization started.

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About Outside

Outside is America’s leading active lifestyle brand. For more than 35 years, Outside has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The Outside family includes Outside magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ tablet edition, and Outside Books. Visit us on www.outsideonline.com and www.facebook.com/outsidemagazine.

Contact PathWrangler

For further press inquiries or other requests, please contact CEO Doug Heinz at doug@pathwrangler.com and 415-309-2242.  Please visit us online at www.pathwrangler.com, www.facebook.com/pathwrangler and @pathwrangler.

Share Your Adventure with the World

A year ago, we created the first way to build your own adventures and organize them with your friends, clients and associates in one, central, integrated place on a map.  Six months ago, we built a way for everyone to tell their own stories and share photos with each other.  After doing this, we made all kinds of enhancements to the product that made doing all of these things easier and better.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that you can now publish your trips, as well as your individual stories with the public.  We’ve integrated with Facebook so you can easily publish them to your friends and family.

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 10.01.37 AM Your PathWrangler Story on Facebook

Benefits to You

PathWrangler is now almost seamless.  We can’t create the ideas for you, but once you get an adventurous idea, you can build it, invite others, organize together, share your experiences as they happen and then share them with the world.

For the Traveler: it is the best way to organize and journal your trip.  We make it easier to store your memories.

For Trip Organizers: not only is the the best way to organize the many trips that you run, but it helps you to get business.  As your clients/members share their trips with their friends, it is a way to get those crucial testimonials and word of mouth referrals naturally.

Share Your Trips Today

Start building and sharing your trips on PathWrangler today!  Please contact us if you have any questions.

We’ll be sending out more details around these exciting new features from some of trips and users that we find particularly inspiring.  If you want to submit a trip, contact and share it with us and we’ll put it up on our blog!

Morocco: Venturing Past Camels, Souks and Snake Charmers

Tucked away in North Africa is the exotic destination of Morocco.  It is best known for its imperial cities like Marrakech, Fez, the Mediterranean city of Tangier, and of course the famous Casablanca.  A visit to Casablanca wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Rick’s Café, inspired by the original gin joint, for a bit of Bogie nostalgia.  Most travelers are familiar with the aroma of Moroccan food lingering in the air over bustling souks and medinas that sell local goods such as hand-woven rugs, woodworks, slippers, pottery and fabrics, while snake charmers entertain nearby.

Beyond the walled cities are other well-known areas like the Atlas Mountains, the beaches and the Sahara desert, where camel trekking in the Erg Chebbi on Dromedary camels is something to be experienced.  But amongst the familiar sights are quite a few outdoor distractions to add some spice to what the cities offer.  Morocco is not only a haven for culture it is a desert oasis for the adventurous.

Trekking through the cedar forests and past Berber villages will lead hikers on a non-technical route to the highest peak in North Africa, Jebel Toubkal.  The snow capped summit sits at 13,671 ft. and has a spectacular view of the Atlas Mountain range.  This mountain range has enough varied terrain with its meadows, plateaus and gorges to keep mountain bikers of all levels quite challenged.  With all this natural rock there are several rock climbing areas to explore.

In the middle of the Atlas Mountains runs the Ahansel River that rushes to Bin El Ouidane Lake and is the place to be for some serious whitewater rafting and kayaking.  Travel from the mountains to the coast of the Atlantic and you will find the year-round wind conditions of Essaouira and Agadir ideal for kiteboarding and surfing.

Get on your boots, grab some of their deliciously famous mint tea and discovering the more adventurous side of Morocco.

PathWrangler and Cat Juggling

Just got off the phone with a client who is running some amazing rafting trips.  I learned that path to enlightenment with PathWrangler is the following:

  • Phase 1: Cats wandering aimlessly; mewing, scratching, breaking things, ripping up carpet and, in some cases, hanging from drapes.
    • Get PathWrangler Account.
  • Phase 2: Herd Cats…herd happier cats.
    • Herding Cats becomes too easy and effortless.  New inspiration is needed.
  • Phase 3: Cat Juggling: xnectf_cat-juggling-from-the-jerk-1979_shortfilms

Tired of cats running rampant?  We make it all better.  Check us out!  I only hope Nathan Johnson doesn’t get to us first!

Guide Promotion: Free Setup and Best Practices Training ($300 value) – Until July 31st Only!

Guides are the engines that run the adventure travel and outdoor industry.  Being able to share your passion with willing customers and enthusiasts make guiding incredibly rewarding, but it also brings business and professional challenges with it.

PathWrangler is an industry-first web application that empowers guides interact with the clients and run their business better than ever before.  The trips you run can now look like this:

Why Guides Love PathWrangler

Let’s let one of our clients, guide and owner of Inner Passage, Matt Walker, talk about how PathWrangler is making a difference for his company:

“When a guest registers for an Inner Passage adventure we begin an exchange of emails containing word docs, pdfs, and logistical details. I have always wanted to support our guests with a centralized place that they can refer to the necessary information, purchase equipment needed for their trip, and interact directly with Inner Passage staff for support. I am thrilled that PathWrangler will be an aspect of all of our programs from March 2012 forward – it will be a central point of interaction between Inner Passage and our guests following their enrollment in an adventure….not only do they share our vision for bringing adventure into the forefront of our lives, but their product integrates a seamless design that decreases some of the barriers that we all encounter while planning and putting together an adventure. I can think of no better solution!”

Here is what PathWrangler empowers guides to:

  • Save time with preconfigured trip templates for simple trip creation
  • Improve service to clients with intuitive & interactive collaboration tools
  • Maximize efficiency through unified & single point communication
  • Increase customization & tailored trips capability
  • Retain & Attract new customers/members
  • Competitive Advantage vs competitors who run trips using flat files & generic project management tools
  • Expand capacity with less time spent in the office, more time with your clients/members on trips

It can work for you whether you are an independent guide with your own business or if you are employed by a larger company.

This month, PathWrangler is offering guides free setup along with best practices training ($300 value) with any paid account subscription.  Contact us at support@pathwrangler.com to get started today.

A Bumpy Ride Down Monserrate

In Columbia’s capital city of Bogota, Monserrate hovers 10,341 feet over it.  About 1,500 rocky steps make up the path to the summit where Cerro de Monserrate resides.  Many locals make the pilgrimage to this church for worship as well as to enjoy the view of Bogota.

Red Bull decided this was an ideal spot to have a downhill mountain bike race.  Here’s a head cam video of Columbian mountain biker, Marcelo Gutierrez (2nd place winner), riding the course that descends 6,561 feet in under 5 minutes.  His crazy hairpin turns will get your heart pumping, indeed.

Whistler is Thawing Out for Summer Exploration

Whistler, Canada offers year round adventures.  Although it’s probably known more as a winter destination with some of the best skiing and snowboarding in North America, Whistler has been thawing out, exposing its natural beauty and getting ready for summer activities.

There is plenty to do in this untamed wilderness.  Whistler has about 70 black bears in residence and a bear viewing tour will bring you into their habitat that they share with other wildlife like marmots and grouse.  Fly fishing for stealhead, trout and salmon is a relaxing way to connect with nature.  There are several hiking trails on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains where you can be exposed to the wild beauty of Western Hemlock forests and alpine meadows.

For those seeking faster paced activities there is mountain biking.  From Whistler Mountain Bike Park to cross-country biking the mountain biker will be thrilled at the terrain this area has to offer in off road adrenaline.  Fly through the air via ziplining, walk along glaciers in the middle of summer and climb Via Ferrata to the summit of Whistler and its stunning views.  Bungee jump 160 feet above the Cheakamus River or take advantage of the snow melt and enjoy the thrill of white water rafting on the Cheakamus, Elaho, Green and Squamish rivers.

The summer activities seem to be endless here.  It truly is a mecca for the adventurous.

Who Has The Right Of Way? African Red Hartebeest or Mountain Bike Racer

I would have to say the hartebeest, considering it weighs 300 pounds and travels at a speed of 40 mph. Thanks to Steve Casimiro for posting this video of mountain bike racer, Evan van der Spuy, getting side swiped while racing in South Africa. Good thing he was able to walk away from it.

Another great example of why wearing a helmet is so important.

Easter Island: Mystery, Moai, Mountain Biking & More

“Mysterious:” the most common word used to describe the remote 63 square mile island of volcanic origin sitting alone in the vast South Pacific Ocean. A 2,400-mile flight from the nearest populated areas of Chile and Tahiti over the deepest, bluest water would arrive on the only runway of the Mataveri Airport. Discovered on Easter Sunday back in 1722 by Dutch explorers, Easter Island’s mystery still entices people today to not only explore its history, but to indulge in the outdoor activities that are available.

It is not the crystal clear ocean or the pristine white beaches that attract visitors like most Polynesian islands. Nor is it the volcanic craters or lava formations. It is the gigantic stone statues known as moai. The mystery of their origins still fascinates to this day even though the trade winds of time have eroded most of the coral eyes and statues details. There are about 900 moai throughout the island in various stages of completion, some sitting firmly on their ahu platforms while others still lay in transit near and in the Rano Raraku quarry where they were carved. Now, imagine the unique opportunity to do outdoor activities amongst these ancient monoliths.

For those who want to work up a sweat over the volcanic soil, there is mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and caving. This triangular-shaped island is hilly and there are bike trails throughout that can take a few hours to all day to finish. The terrain, depending on difficulty, can range from all paved roads to a combination of paved and dirt to all soil roads. The south side will especially challenge cyclists with steep, winding roads.  Most of these trails are available to horseback riders as well.

The hiking routes guarantee passing in and around archeological sites and moai. The three extinct volcanoes, Poike, Rano Kau and Terevaka, supply the elevation for the island, which make for some great hiking. For example, one route starts in the main town of Hanga Roa, passes Ana Kai Tangata, the Cannibal Cave, and from there it is a steady upward climb to Orongo, the ancient ceremonial village. It ends at the 1,063 ft. peak of Rano Kau where the reward is a fresh water crater lake. The crater has its own microclimate and for the experienced hikers, a walk around the crater is a challenge with a shear 820 ft. drop from the razor edge cliff to the sea. A hike to Mount Terevaka, the tallest peak at 1,676 ft., goes along grassy slopes and has the best 360˚ panoramic views.

The volcanic eruptions of long ago created a labyrinth of underground caves. The underworld here is riddled with caves and tunnels and it is believed this is where the Rapa Nui people hid from slave traders during their darkest times. There are a few official caves and several unofficial ones that have small hidden entries, but open up to large, deep cave systems worth exploring.

The South Pacific Ocean beckons as well. Scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing can all be enjoyed here. The volcanic origins not only helped form the cave system, it also formed a remarkable topography underwater where coral and marine life thrive. The temperate waters surrounding Easter Island and Motu Iti, Motu Kao Kao, and Motu Nui (the three islets just off the coast), offer divers and snorkelers 164 ft. of visibility. With this type of clarity it is easy to observe the local inhabitants like blowfish, butterfly fish, the Mediterranean moray eel, porcupine fish, trumpet fish and sea turtles.

Due to its remoteness surfers get the pleasure of a certain calm and feeling of having the waves all to themselves. Hanga Rova cove is a great place for the novice surfer where the more experienced would be satisfied with the waves at Mataveri and Tahai.

The remoteness of Easter Island, plus its abundance of outdoor activities and geographical, historical and spiritual richness make it a quintessential location for those looking for an authentic adventure.

Microadventure: Two-Wheeling On Mammoth Mountain

Summer weekends in San Francisco usually mean cold, foggy days. Ideas of escape to feel the warm sun on my face swirl around in my head. When I factor Friday into the escape plan that gives me 72 hours of serious playtime before I have to be back in the concrete jungle on Monday morning. That is plenty of time to have a microadventure.

The small town of Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierras was the destination. The 5-hour route to Mammoth consisted of a customary In-N-Out Burger stop and then on through the wilderness of picturesque Yosemite. There is nothing like a blast of fresh mountain air to the lungs and the sight of mature evergreen pine trees to get me excited about being in the Sierras. Mammoth Lakes is just a half hour beyond Yosemite’s backdoor. It is home to several beautiful lakes and amazing hiking trails so I made sure to set one day aside to explore the area by foot. But the main attraction for me was mountain biking Mammoth Mountain.

Mammoth Mountain covers more than 3,500 acres and boasts one of the longest ski seasons. But once the snow melts Mammoth Mountain becomes a mountain biker’s paradise. Very little is required in both areas of prepping and packing for a weekend here. I grabbed a couple of my outdoorsy friends, rented a condo there and the prep list was complete. Adding the standard bike clothes, shoes, helmet and hydration pack in with my basic weekend clothes and toiletries was a no-brainer. Less baggage on a microadventure is better. It leaves more room for fun.

I opted to leave my mountain bike at home so I could rent one at the Adventure Center on the mountain and experience the ride of a newer model. My friends and I cruised up the mountain via the gondola and exited at the summit. At 11,053 feet the 360˚ vista was breathtaking. From here I could see into Yosemite’s backyard. Mt. Ritter, Mt. Banner and the jagged peaks of the Minarets were also part of this picturesque backdrop.

There are over 85+ miles of single-track trails to choose from and although I am an avid cyclist it had been a long time since I had been on a mountain trail. I always have a sense of “keeping up with the guys” and this trip was no different. I wanted to ride every trail, intermediate or double diamond, they picked without hesitation. So what if one was an ex-triathelete and the other works out daily? I could keep up.

The first intermediate run started above the tree line in sandy dirt and had a gentle downward pitch to it. My leg muscles barely had time to warm up before I was upon the soft pumice dirt of tight switchbacks. I was a bit squirrely with the first one and coming out of its 180˚ turn I found myself brake too hard, went over the handlebars and landed on my back. Although I’m no stranger to bumps, scrapes and bruises in the pursuit of fun, my female pride forced me to regain my composure without hesitation. I dusted myself off and continued on to regroup with my friends. At the side of the trail I got a lesson on how to brake on this terrain and went on to tackle the next several switchbacks with more confidence and an occasional foot down for support.

Trails led us past Red Lake and through the thick pine tree forests as the terrain shifted from pumice to more sand and rock, which gave me more control of the bike. I stopped a fair amount of times, not because I could not keep up, but because I didn’t want to just blow through this beautiful area. I wanted to take it all in. This trail, like most on the mountain, eventually ended back at the Center where I dismounted my bike and rediscovered my John Wayne walk— the one I get after sitting on a bike for long periods of time.

After lunch, with bellies full and bladders empty, it was time to get back on the gondola and the afternoon run. I soon had my second pass at the switchbacks. Now anchored by the confidence of having navigated through this zigzag trail already I was determined to get through each one without fail. Taking up the rear relieved any peer pressure and I went through them with more ease and better agility.

Trails crisscrossed the face of the mountain and as we took one heading south it became clear that at some point I left the comfort of my intermediate trail for the challenge of an expert one. On thing is for certain- this mountain does not disappoint in testing my biking skills.

Having  successfully maneuvered off the expert trail I continued on a path that swerved in and out of pine trees, my tires crunching twigs beneath me while I sped along dodging imbedded rocks. I completely enjoyed hearing the birds, coming across squirrels and watching the sunlight dance between the trees while feeling the much-needed warmth of the sun on my face. At the end I took my tired, dirty self back to the condo content that I had just enjoyed a challenging, yet extremely fun day on the mountain.

Mammoth Lakes really exposes its scenic beauty in summer and a microadventure here that includes biking on Mammoth Mountain is a great way to experience it.

-Angelique