At the high point of Alaska, our lead pic is from Alaina as she prepares to summit Denali.
The Walking Traveller
Breaking out after the Covid restrictions, Aussie Helen has finished walking trails across England and is now in France.
Happily she reports that her ArmaSkin are keeping her feet in top shape.
"After our lovely time spent with Trevor and the Ladies from St Mary’s we were both in our own head space walking on a thin narrow trail in the woods. The huge oak trees lining our path. As we walked along it was so peaceful and gave us time to reflect on how our journey had started.
I turned to Anne and said “could this day get any better”. “ No, it couldn’t “.
But how very wrong we were.
Walking up a slight hill and bearing left I let out a loud gasp and stopped to a sudden halt and stood in amazement of what was in front of me.
Meadows and meadows reaching to the horizon of wildflowers . Purple and white. The trail meandered it’s way through them. Bumblebees flying from flower to flower. It was like I was walking in a dream .
But the day hadn’t finished with us yet. Making our way towards the top of a hill, the field was fenced by thick bracken on each side and right in the middle was a little gate and an arch cut into the bracken just large enough for us to walk through. I think I saw the red dots first , then as I straighten up I realised we were now walking through vivid green wheat surround with bright red poppies. I stood and watched as the breeze swayed the wheat and the poppies back and forward.
This is post card stuff .
One amazing day .
The above photos from Patrixbourne give a glimpse of Helen's delight.
Erick the Catracho on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail)
Erick, an ArmaSkin Ambassador, has now covered 800 miles of the challenging PCT. (1850 miles to go!)
He recently traversed Forester Pass and Mather Pass and provided these stunning pictures of the Sierra National Forest.
"On this day I was camped 3.5 miles from the summit of John Muir Hut thinking it would make for an easy day. The trail continues to teach. No easy days!!"
Erick has been creating many good friendships along the way, "The trail has a funny way of keeping you connected and reunited. You meet people. Days or weeks go by and you probably think you'll never seem them again and boom just like that you reunite."
Erick has been posting regular videos on Youtube. Follow along for the hike and maybe test your appetite for tackling the PCT. Dogfoot Trailing Youtube Channel
Yukon 2020 Stopped by floods.
( Arizona / Canada / Alaska )
After inserting into the picturesque and flat Bennett Lake, Art was over 250 miles into his 2020 mile trip down the Yukon, easily covering 50 miles per day.
But disaster lay ahead. Major storms and subsequent flooding just 50 miles ahead of him around the Carmacks, combined with an early Spring thaw meant that immediately Art had to stop his journey.
Art wrote, "The river rose every day after that. It submerged the few available camps down river which would make it impossible to reach streams with fresh water entering the river. The amount and size of debris was according to local residents, the worst they'd ever seen. Carmacks officials called it a 50+ year event."
"As I sit out a flood-hold in Carmacks, my schedule to be out of the Bering Sea by mid-August is in jeopardy. If I abort, there's options to pick up next year where I left off. Conditions down river in the Yukon and Alaska continue to deteriorate with few camping options remaining," reported Art.
A few days later Art sadly announced that in fact his quest to canoe the Yukon had to be terminated.
"I had the gear, supplies, and skills to navigate a flooded river, BUT local and regional authorities advised me from continuing on. This included the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the First Nations. I had to consider this because if I continued and something happened that it would come back to bite me and reflect poorly on my expedition, aka, the Kindness Expedition.
Another reason to postpone and hopefully continue it next year is out of respect for the Yukon River. My time spent with First Nations' paddlers has taught me that it is a sacred place, to be kind to the river and it will treat me well. It is an interconnectiveness of all life. Continuing on when the River is in such turmoil would bring discredit to me and the expedition."
The First Nations hold the River sacred, and see it as a connection to all life.
Art was of course totally gutted. "I had this, but a very quick spring thaw sent the feeder rivers into flood stages which poured into the Yukon River. I could have sat it out two more weeks until the flooding receded, but that would put me past my August 15th deadline to be back up river out of the Bering Sea. The weather there gets really bad after August 15th. Plus, there's very limited and costly extraction areas further into Alaska."
Despite the short time spent on the River Art was nevertheless touched, "I can't forget the experiences I had with my First Nations' interactions and the many people I met and who I paddled with. I got a lot of good information, personal thoughts, photos, and videos for the documentary film."
We do hope to see Art back on the Yukon in 2023.
Alaina on Denali
Alaina, an ArmaSkin Ambassador, is ready to go!
She is decked out and ready to tackle Denali as part of her personal challenge to climb the Seven Summits.
Alaina's climb is in support of @afghan_ascend which is an organization dedicated to women’s rights, education, and leadership training through climbing.
Denali, situated in the Alaska Range, is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. Denali is the third-highest of the Seven Summits (the tallest peaks on all seven continents).
Denali is about 210 kilometers (130 miles) north-northwest of Anchorage. Sixty million years ago, tectonic uplift pushed Earth's crust upward, forming Denali and the other Alaska Range mountains. Denali is the centerpiece of the Denali National Park and Preserve, which spans 2.4 million hectares (6 million acres) of land.
“Denali” comes from Koyukon, a traditional Native Alaskan language, and means “the tall one.” This name had been used for many generations and was used by early non-Native researchers and naturalists. But in 1896, William A. Dickey, a prospector, began calling Denali “Mount McKinley,” in honor of William McKinley, a presidential candidate at the time. After McKinley became president and was later assassinated, Congress formally recognized the name in 1917, despite McKinley’s tenuous ties to Alaska (he had never visited). But Native Alaskans, as well as locals of varied backgrounds, continued to call the mountain Denali. In 1975, a movement began to rename the mountain Denali, but it was blocked by politicians in Ohio, McKinley’s home state. Finally, President Barack Obama and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell took action in 2015 to change the name back to Denali, which is now its official name.
Warren is an ultra runner. His latest challenge was the 200 mile Unreasonable EAST.
The Unreasonable EAST 200 miler is the sister event to the Delirious West 200 Miler in Western Australia and the Irrational South 200 Miler in South Australia, and together the three events combine to become the TripleCrownder. The TripleCrownunder is the completion of all three 200 Milers, approx. 2 months apart between each. That’s 600 miles over the space of 4 months!!!
A stunning course that tackles the best the Blue Mountains have to offer. Starting and finishing in Glenbrook, the courses take in a plethora of trails between Glenbrook and Jenolan Caves, via the 3 Sisters, Kedumba Pass, Narrowneck, Megalong Valley, Katoomba, Laura and Woodford just to name some of the remarkable locations.
Warren covered the course in just a smidge over 6 days, that's more than one marathon per day over trails.
ArmaSkin Ambassador Molly and two other Women Want Adventure co-guides, spent a week guiding on the Larapinta Trail.
The Larapinta Trail is an extended walking track in the Northern Territory of Australia. Its total length covers 223 kilometres from east to west, with the eastern end at Alice Springs and the western end at Mount Sonder, one of the territory's highest mountains.
Women Want Adventure was founded by Australian Outdoor Education Teacher Monique Farmer. She created the community after years of looking for a tribe of women to ‘do’ outdoor activities with. To have a meaningful experience, rather than another coffee catch up. She started listening to what women really want. And most of it was about connection, community and getting outside to explore this wonderful world of ours. You can get more information at womenwantadventure.com.au
How to Backtrack (ArmaSkin blog)
ArmaSkin is delighted to feature this introduction to Tracking from Kyt Lyn Walken. As Kyt points out this is an art that takes time to learn, but is a powerful skill that you can acquire.
For of our readers not skilled in Tracking, we follow this article with some additional general advice from Darren Edwards of Trail Hiking for that occasion where you may become lost.
Advice for Customers Outside Australia:
Since supply chains and postal times continue to be extended, we remind you that we have resellers in major markets including USA, Canada, UK and many parts of Europe. And importantly, if you have a big journey coming up, please order early to ensure that your delivery arrives in time.
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