Floating Markets, Orchid Farms, and Exploring Bangkok | Thailand Trip

After exploring the city of Bangkok for an entire day and night by ourselves, the following day we planned to do a few tours. This AirBnB Experience was of a floating market and an orchid farm just outside of the city. This was our chance to experience local foods and fruits brought to market by farmers, and a guide to experience everything we wanted to try and eat. Not only for the food, but we were excited to finally get to see and ride on the traditional Thai Longtail Boats that are inexorably tied to the way Thai people, still …

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Exploring Bangkok’s Chinatown | Video

After 26 hours of traveling to Thailand, we finally reached our hotel in Bangkok! After wandering around Chinatown and Bangkok for the day, all that travel was completely worth it! We explored the tremendously busy weekend markets, wandered through critter-filled parks, and capped off our day walking up and down the streets of Chinatown to experience the world famous street food scene. We tried as many foods as we possibly could, but we only scratched the surface of what Bangkok has to offer. The city itself was so busy and chaotic, we’d experienced nothing like it in America or anywhere else. But for how hectic the Bangkok was, it was shockingly friendly and easily accessible! Here is a video from just our first day in Bangkok on our 14 day trip! Later in the trip we made it down to the beaches of Phuket and even experienced life on a liveaboard dive boat for a few days! Thailand was unforgettable.

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Backcountry Skiing the Wasatch | Days Fork (Video)

02/26/2023 – With avalanche conditions slowly healing from the previous weeks storm that dropped over 3ft of powder on the Wasatch Mountains, it was time to get out and do some skiing. I linked up with my buddy Mike and his friend Skyler to check out some safe terrain in Days Fork of Big Cottonwood Canyon. The plan was to keep it mellow and low angle, because the avalanche conditions were considerable due to the heavy wind loading along with the wet-slide potential from the unseasonably warm weekend temperatures. We parked at the spruces campground and headed out on the …

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Best Mountain Biking: Mag7 -Gold Bar Rim – Portal | Moab, Utah

For years I’ve starred up at the canyon wall that surround the town of Moab, wondering what exactly is up there any how could I get there. Well, a few weekends ago, I found out exactly how, and it was followed by one of the best days on a mountain bike I’ve ever had. I’m talking about the classic trail link-up of Mag7 to Gold Bar to Portal. Each of these three trails is unique and incredibly challenging for drastically different reasons. And 5 1/2 hours later, my two friends and I were back at the truck, exhausted, and ready for a beer to cap off an incredible day on the bikes.

What exactly is the Mag 7 – Portal Finish trail in Moab? Well, it’s a 21 mile trail that starts on top of the Plateau where Canyonlands National Park is located in Moab. From the trailhead, the route descends down both flowing and technical slickrock for 10 miles. The first half descent tracks down Getaway (Blue), Bull Run (Black), and Arth’s Corner (Blue). Following the first half, starts the difficult section of this trail. Once you cross Gemini Bridges Road, it’s a gnarly, steep, and punchy climb up 1,700ft of desert riding on the Gold Bar Rim Trail and Gold Bar Road. After you successfully navigate the climb to the top of the cliff’s edge, the fun has just begun. A technical traverse along a cliff with a 1000 feet of nothing over the edge on the Gold Bar Rim Trail, followed by one of the most technically demanding and challenging trail, called Portal.

TrailForks Mag7 to Portal Route

The ride isn’t a normal start and finish from the trailhead, unfortunately, there’s a bit more logistics to go into it. You need to shuttle to the top, leaving a vehicle at the bottom for the finish. After that, my two friends Nate and Tyler dropped into the trail for our epic ride ahead of us. Even though the ride is primarily downhill (3,800 feet of descending), in the desert, even when you’re going downhill, it’s still filled with punchy climbs that are exhausting. But that didn’t get in the way of riding some of the most fun trails at the Mag7 area. We took turns leading out down some of the technical features and flowy sections of Bull Run, regrouping after each section to share the stoke. And the first half descent was capped off with my favorite trail in Moab, called Arth’s Corner. This trail is packed filled with rock drops, huge sweeping slickrock sections, and tons of difficult step-ups that require all of your focus and energy to navigate.

Upper Mag7 has amazing views of the LaSalle Mountains

Gold Bar Jeep Road Climb (Mile 10.5)

After the first half descent is done, it’s onto the uphill section. See, in the desert, the trails are made up of either soft or slickrock. Slickrock, which is the infamous orange and red sandstone of Moab, is a mountain biker’s dream terrain choice. Unlike back in the day, when horses and wagon wheels couldn’t gain traction on the rock, which is how it got its name, mountain bike tires grip to slickrock like velcro! This is absolutely required to accomplish some of the difficult, back-to-back sections of climbing up steep 1 to 3 feet step-up climbs. You’re able to crawl up the steepest rocks and never loose traction, well, as long as your legs can keep pushing. And that is required to climb up the Gold Bar Road, which is normally only tackled by modified Jeeps and off-roaders with big engines. And we struggled up this hill, very, very slowly, with very high heart rates.

Example of the average steep, step-up climbs in the desert

Gold Bar Rim (Mile 14.7)

Once you climb up, you treated to one of the most incredible views of the Moab area below. Arches off to the east, Moab to the south, Canyonlands and the Colorado River to the West, and of course, the snow capped LaSalle Mountains off in the distance. And after eating a few snacks, to help replenish our energy that was quickly draining, we headed down on the double black diamond rated Gold Bar Rim singletrack. This trail was wild! Starting off with very steep and technical features that slot between narrow rock sections, spitting you out onto huge slickrock slabs. Each descent was followed by a quick climb up to the next feature, and repeat. All while you skirt the edge of the rim, following the trail that goes ever-so close to the void below. On this section, Nate somehow blew the crank off his bike on a climb, which had us trying to do some trailside repairs to keep riding. Eventually, we were able to get the crankset with it’s damaged splines back onto the bottom bracket with some critical input from Tyler coming up with the solution and we were back riding to the end of the Gold Bar Rim trail, which meant the fun was about to begin on Portal.

“Don’t Look Down!”

Portal Trail (Mile 18.4)

The proline rated (harder than double black diamond) Portal trail, is a Moab classic for the extreme riders out there. Broken up into two sections (Top Half and Bottom Half) will have your nerves, and tires, on edge the entire time. The first half is the iconic portion of the trail where you are quite literally riding on a two foot wide sliver of trail on the middle of a sandstone rockface. As in, hundreds of feet of rock to the right side above you, and hundreds of feet of nothing on your left side. The trail isn’t too technically demanding (relative to the second half), but does feature a few sections that you absolutely must walk your bike, because even the slightest miscalculation will result in certain death. But that doesn’t stop the fun to be had flying along the trail, clearing rocky steps, floating down the chunky drop sections. But once you clear the first half, you are treated to the most difficult riding I’ve ever done. Not so much the steepest trail, but sections of technical rocky features that your tires need to hit the perfect line, maybe only an inch or two wide, in order to have a chance of navigating successfully. I say a chance, because each feature flows immediately into the next, requiring you to maintain your wits about you, looking ahead at the next feature, while your tires are still navigating the one you’re on. The sections of trail can twist, turn 180 on a dime, and drop 10 feet, all within a few yards of trail. And of course, throughout the trail, are sections where the rocks are so unevenly spaced, that the slightest error will result in your front wheel getting stuck and you flying over the handlebars like superman into a less than soft landing. 

Steep exposure along with very technical lines

With that being said, nearly every section of Portal trail can be walked down if you’ve gotten in over your head. Which we definitely did on some of the switchback features. There was no way we were able to control our bikes enough to navigate a hard chunky section at full speed, stop on a dime, then flip the bike around 180 degree, and down a 6ft slab. Just wasn’t going to happen. So it begs the question, can you only say you’ve ridden the Portal trail if you clean every feature? Or is there an acceptable percentage that you can walk? Either way, it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had on a mountain bike! Will I do it again? You bet! But hopefully I’ll be in better shape next time, so once I get to the top of one of the most difficult trails in Moab, I’ll have all my strength and energy to really rip down that trail! And somehow, all three of us reached the truck without any major crashes, and in good enough shape to head into town for some beers at Moab Brewery!

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Full MAUI Hawaii Trip | Video

After going to the Big Island of Hawaii a few years ago, we were itching to get back anyway we could. So for our family trip this year, we headed over to the Island of Maui. The goal of the trip was to see and do as much as possible, and since we live in a land-locked state, spend as much time in the ocean as we could. We stayed all over the island, moving around ever other day, from Lahaina to Kapalua, then from Kihei to Hana, and then eventually to Kahului. We snorkeled nearly every day, I went …

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Washington State Road Trip | Video

Every year, Courtney, Gregor, and I load up the truck (or a rented Van) to take a weeklong road trip around a state out west. So far, we’ve done a road trip around Montana, Oregon, and Colorado. This year, to knock off the last western state that neither of us had been to, we headed up to Washington State! Admittedly, it was going to be a far haul and lots of driving to get there and back, but with a week off, we knew it would be worth it. And after the countless opportunities to paddle all types of water …

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Backcountry Skiing 101: Video Series

In this Backcountry Skiing 101 Series, I’m going to breakdown all the little pieces that go into a day backcountry skiing or snowboarding. We’ll touch on going uphill, transitioning to the downhill, working with your avalanche equipment, rescue scenarios, and fun backcountry powder skiing. This series is not intended to replace official AIARE or Avalanche Safety Courses offered by professionals. This is merely a series for those who are sticking to resort touring, or might have some questions about ski touring and need some help. Please reach out if you have any questions, comments, or helpful tips that you’d like …

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The Colorado Summer Road Trip | Video

This trip was something Courtney and I have been dreaming about since moving out to the West. Yet, it’s been something we’ve been putting off for years because it was almost too feasible. Unlike a vacation that requires plane tickets and months of planning, this trip was comparatively easy. Our plan was to drive around to a bunch of mountain and ski towns of Colorado during the summer months, camping just outside of each town. That way, there was no reservations, not deadlines, just get in the truck and go. For this reason, we’ve just put it off year after …

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Awe Inspiring Hike to Candy Cliffs | Campfire Stories

What if I told you there was another place, equally as stunning as those hikes in Utah’s National Parks, that you could have all to yourself. Well that place is called Yant Flat or Candy Cliffs. And these cliffs are just outside of St. George in Southwest Utah.

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Climbing Purblind Pillar | Campfire Stories

In this new series, Campfire Stories, I wanted to capture some of my favorite funny and crazy moments from trips I’ve been on.

“900 feet above the ground from where I stepped off the deck and onto the first holds of the route. That’s when it finally hit me. The wave of accomplishment, stoke, and relief. We’d spent nearly the entire day on this wall, 7 hours to be exact, and our ascent was finally over. Even though it’s only rated a 5.8, the 6 pitches of the climb were one adventure after next. And for my first time on the Red Rocks of Vegas, it was one helluva trip.”

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