Revo Ambassadors @erichroepke and @steinretzlaff share their incredible experience in the most remote place on the face of the earth - Antarctica.
TUNE INTO INSTAGRAM STORIES ON 12/20 FOR ERICH AND STEIN'S REVO TAKEOVER.
Meeting Doug Stoup
DECEMBER 2015 WHISTLER, CANADA
Three years ago, Stein and I were skiing in Whistler, Canada. We were making a video series for Pabst Blue Ribbon about being ski bums. There were six of us living in a 1983 Toyota Sunrader, named “The Millenium Fart Box” for over two weeks. One afternoon, we were skiing below the ‘Harmony’ on a brilliant sunny day. I ripped around a corner and saw a man wearing a helmet with a large Squaw Valley sticker on the front.
“No way! Are you from Squaw? I asked, "Stein and Thor are from Squaw!”
This conversation would change our lives forever.
Doug Stoup smiled and told us that he lived ‘right next to the tram’ in Squaw. We all finished the run and jumped on the lift. During the ride, we asked Doug what he did for a living.
“Oh, a little of everything, mostly ski trips,” he replied nonchalantly.
As the lift swept us higher, we talked about our favorite zones in Whistler. We told him what we were up to, and talked about being ski bums.
“Wait, there’s six of you in that camper, and you’ve been staying there how long?” he chuckled. “Here. Take this.” He handed Stein a key. “I am staying at the Fairmont down in the village. They have a huge hot tub with a bunch of showers. Take my key, and go use the spa. You guys smell pretty bad and could use it. Walk in there like you own the place. No one should give you any trouble. If you have any problems, here’s my business card. Shoot me an email, and I’ll see what I can do”.
Two weeks later, we're back home in Oregon finishing our final semester at Lewis & Clark College. Walking to school, I felt something in my pocket. I pulled out the card Doug had given me that day on the lift. Douglas Stoup - President, Ice Axe Expeditions. I sat down to my computer and googled Doug - my jaw dropped.
Doug has had a wild life. Growing up on the east coast, he went on to play NCAA soccer at West Virginia. He became one of the first Americans to play professionally in Europe. Then, he was an actor. He lived in L.A., where we made a career acting, and pushing actors through strenuous workouts. He had a role on Baywatch, and even was the winner of a famous 80s American Gladiator-like TV show, “Battle Dome”. Doug would use his earnings to travel the world, climbing, skiing, and snowboarding. He was noticed for his skill in the mountains and ended up landing a few sponsors. He climbed some of the biggest mountains on earth, making an incredible career.
While in Chile, he found out two skiers were attempting to ski to the South Pole. They were going to have to drop their trip because their guide had to cancel. Doug stepped up and offered to guide the duo. Then found out that one of the members was blind, and the other was deaf... some difficulties, but no problem. Once they finished the trip, Doug was in love with Antarctica. He went on to become a full International Polar Guide. Doug has skied to the North and South Poles more than any other person in history. After a few years guiding, he launched Ice Axe Expeditions. He decided to rent a cruise ship, bring in twenty-five international mountain guides, and go ski the Antarctic Peninsula. Ice Axe took off and expanded, offering ski trips around the globe. Recently, Doug launched the Ice Axe Foundation. Its mission is to bring students into these wild places.
The minute I read Doug’s resume, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I called Stein. “Dude, come to the library. You’ve got to see this."
Over the course of the next three days, Stein and I drafted the most eloquent email we’ve ever written. It was full of cordial titles, detailed life summaries, and our aspirations. Doug responded within minutes - ‘Yo! Brothas, let’s jump on a call soon.’
Fast forward six months later, and Stein and I are living in Doug’s house and working on projects with Doug.
Doug became our mentor.
The White Continent
NOVEMBER 2017 ANTARCTICA
In 2017, we got our first chance to step on the white continent with the Ice Axe Ski Cruise. Stein and I joined the expedition as interns, filmmakers, general assistants and apprentice guides. Basically, we were willing to do just about anything to be invited on the trip.
Stein and I flew down two days early to film the guides’ meetings. While on a layover in Atlanta, we found out our red-eye to Buenos Aires was canceled. We bustled to a cramped hotel on the outskirts of town. Stein and I spent the night anxiously checking and rechecking the schedule for our future flights. If we were late, it’s not like they hold up a ship full of one hundred skiers for the two dirtbag interns. We got on a flight to Buenos Aires first thing in the morning. Once we landed in BA, we made the traditional pilgrimage across town the local ‘Aeroparque’ airport to catch our next flight south. I pulled up to the baggage check window and handed over my passport.
“You missed your flight. It was yesterday." The clerk told me.
“I know, we were delayed out of Atlanta,” I nervously snapped back.
“Not my problem.” He replied.
Shit. We were going to miss the trip. I dropped the bags with Stein, and ran down the hall to customer service. No one there had answers for us. I was able to find wifi and called the airline. The customer service rep told me we were on the flight that afternoon to Ushuaia out of the airport. I marched back up to the clerk and slapped my passport on the counter.
“Oh, there you are. Now I see your reservation."
OCTOBER 28 USHUAIA, ARGENTINA
We ended up landing in Ushuaia, Argentina just twelve hours before the ship left. We opened the doors to the kickoff dinner in a local restaurant, late, to find over a hundred people listening to Doug describe the trip. We hurried to our seats. The energy in the room was like nothing I’ve felt before. The stoke was so high you couldn’t help but let it take you over. After all, we were heading to Antarctica the next day.
After a restless night, our departure day was finally here. We packed our bags and walked into the lobby of the Albatros. Everyone was piling ski bags in the lobby of the hotel. Pretty soon there was a two-meter high pile of colorful ski gear and bags.
As we made our way to the docks, the group stopped off for a photo. One-hundred and thirty people with smiles as large as I have ever seen hugged one another. Within 15 min we would be boarding the Ocean Adventurer to set off from Antarctica. The excitement was infectious.
OCTOBER 29-31 DRAKES PASSAGE
For the next few days, we experienced some of the roughest seas of our lives so far. The ship regularly heaved fifty feet in the air and plunged back to the sea. We took turns spewing our lunch off of the starboard side. Two days into the journey, we heard a crackle over the loudspeaker.
“The top deck will be closing due to hurricane force high winds. We are expecting up to 95 knots.”
Of course, we ran upstairs. We clawed our way to the rail, to find twenty other thrill seekers holding on for dear life. Everyone was hooting and hollering like they were bull riding. The 100 mph winds ripped the air from your mouth. A huge wave crashed over the bow, showering us all with Antarctic seawater. Instantly, I had the worst brain freeze of my entire life and started retching up anything I had left in my stomach. I lifted my head and saw white outlines of mountains in the distance-- Antarctica.
The ship was remodeled the year prior with ‘Rolls Royce’ engines. This improvement landed us in Antarctica almost a full day earlier than expected. The crew decided to start skiing further south and work our way back north in the following days.
NOVEMBER 1 BLUFF ISLAND
We pulled into Bluff Island as a first stop. The weather was a bit cloudy with a chance of snow. Groups bustled through the hallways. The excitement was heavy in the air. I can’t remember being more excited for anything to be honest. As we drew closer to the portside door, we caught our first glimpse of Doug. He was loading skis into boats for guests.
We had heard Doug talk about Antarctica for years by this point. He always says the best part of his job is creating ‘Antarctic Ambassadors’. These ambassadors would be people that fall in love with Antarctica and will do whatever it takes to preserve it.
Doug loaded the boats with a knowing smile. He was just as excited as the guests because he knew what was in store for us. We watched as two groups loaded into rubber dinghies and disappeared into the fog. We stopped at the wash station and gave our ski boots a quick dip to make sure we didn’t track any foreign organic matter onto the Antarctic Continent. We passed our skis to Doug.
“Have fun out there, boys.” he smiled.
Our ski boots clamored on the aluminum floor of the zodiac as we jumped in. We pushed off into the fog. As the boat began to whine away from the ship, the fog cleared. Deep blue icebergs jutted out in front of us. The zodiac weaved a safe path through the ice.
Large peaks began to reveal themselves. Every person the zodiac gasped. The mountains were flanked on all sides by ancient glaciers. Each peak and its serrated line was reflected back to us a second time in the black water. After one of the most memorable zodiac rides of our lives, we gently bumped the frozen continent. Our team worked together to unload the gear and we soon began our ascent.
This was the definition of a fairyland. Snowflakes have fallen so slowly, practically hovering. We spaced out our rope team of four and began to hike up the glacier.
Our first run was magical. Light fluff on top of the glacial snowpack. We made four runs were one of the last groups on the ice.
NOVEMBER 2 PARADISE BAY
On day two we had an Antarctic powder day. Powder in Antarctica is not normal. It is considered a desert and only gets six inches of snow on the coast each year.
So face shots in Antarctica are special. We lapped a slope above a Chilean research station at least ten times. As we traversed back to the ship, we noticed black mass shifting through the water. It was a huge group of penguins darting up and down, in and out of the water. The mass moved to the shore and all the sudden, hundreds of penguins started hucking themselves feet into the air. One after the other, they catapulted on top of each other.
NOVEMBER 3 LEMAIRE CHANNEL
There is a cold anticipation every morning waking up at 5 AM. Scaling to the upper deck in the frigid morning hours always unveils an unexpected present for the day. On this particular day, we were staring at a peninsula of white-capped peaks complimented by a stunning bluebird day. It was about to be one of those days...
We were the first ones off the ship at 8 AM. Once we landed, we skied directly over to Nansen Peak and made a long summit bid. We topped out at around 11, then we kicked it into overdrive.
We skied the entire day with very little breaks. People are not allowed to bring food to shore, because it could disturb the Antarctic environment. This means you have to return to the ship to eat lunch. Our group didn’t ever stop for lunch. We didn’t want to miss a second. We would be one of the first groups out and were always the last to leave.
By 5:15 pm, we heard the radios, “Miles group - you are the last on the ice. Please return to landing zone B for pick-up.”
So, we took our skins off and began the descent. We arrived back at the zodiac, late, around 5:45. At least we weren't alone. We were happy to meet another charging group lead by lead-guide, Jules Hanna. It was an absolutely unreal day skiing non-stop from 8 am to 6:15 pm.
NOVEMBER 4 NANSEN ISLAND
We thought the previous day couldn’t get any better, we were wrong. November 4 was the best weather we saw the entire trip.
We arrive at landing zone and begin the boot pack up a narrow ramp placing us at about two-hundred feet up the shore. We punched deeper into the snow, arm after arm, foot after foot. After swimming our way to the top, we were finally able to strap skis to our feet.
After a couple runs, we made a traverse above a few crevasses and made our way to the other side of the island. It was about 11 am and it was getting very warm. We took off our jackets and began skinning in our t-shirts. Unreal to think about backcountry skiing in t-shirts in Antarctica!
After about an hour long skin, we made it to the summit and had an incredible view of a snow-covered spine. It split our view of the ocean and ice with a glimpse of our ship in the background to the right.
We soaked up warm Antarctica sun and enjoyed the unbelievable views of the island.
The day finished with the infamous ‘Polar Plunge’. This is when antarctic first timers must make a rite of passage, jumping into the ocean...
We won’t ever forget that.
NOVEMBER 5 WILHELMINA BAY
With the turn of weather, a low-pressure system manifested some cloudy and icy weather. We weaved through various crevasses in low light. The Revo photochromic lenses were absolutely clutch in all conditions.
Later in the afternoon, we made it back to the ship where we then made our way to Half Moon Bay where we did a Facebook Live event with Doug and Miles. We were surrounded by thousands of Gentoo and Emperor penguins. Every now and then, an Albatross would land and attempt to kill a few penguins… a few attempts were successful. Crazy to watch the raw moments of nature at work.
After the Facebook + Instagram Live event, we went back to the ship and prepared for the infamous ‘Antarctic Party.’ This year was Halloween themed and everyone on the ship including ship crew enjoyed sharing stories and dancing.
NOVEMBER 6 DECEPTION ISLAND
Today was our last day skiing in Antarctica. Weather was decent with a bit of overcast and very warm at 5-10 degrees Celsius.
We skinned up to a spine where did hot laps for some incredible ski shots in front of huge, blue glaciers. Throughout the day, we heard glaciers calving all around us. It was truly a humbling experience to watch the amount of ice breaking from these 50,000+ year-old glaciers.
As the day’s end approached, we were once again, the last to board the zodiacs. Our team couldn’t have imagined anything less than skiing the white continent until the very last moment.
Once back on the ship, we made our way for a quick stop to visit a Polish Antarctic Research Station on King George Island. We were met with a few energetic and young people fulfilling their one-year working agreement on the peninsula. The Quark Expedition team knows how to field an awesome crew. I wish we could have stayed longer to hear their stories. Nevertheless, we got our passports stamped and headed back to the ship.
The next couple days will be spent aboard the ship as we make our way across the Drakes Passage once more until we arrive in Ushuaia.
Antarctica is wild. It is the most remote place on the face of the earth. This trip changed the course of our lives forever. Since then, our lives have revolved around ice. We have worked with SeaLegacy, IceLegacy Project, we will forever be in love with the white continent.
And, Doug’s job worked. Every person on that ship has a new perspective on life. I am sure it’s impossible to see beauty like that and not be changed. Doug created another hundred ambassadors that year, just like he does year after year.
Antarctica holds a special place in our hearts, and we hope to keep this last frontier clean and pristine for many future generations.
We asked these Revo Ambassadors to pick a frame for the adventurers on their lists.
For the Modern Outdoorsman
Will Saunders, Photographer
I'm Will Saunders, a professional adventure photographer based out of Salt Lake City, UT. For my friend Jake, I picked Marx. Jake is an avid outdoorsman who recently made the seasonal activity switch from months of climbing to ski touring in the backcountry. Jake loves to tour in his glasses and then ski down the mountain in his goggles. With its large frame, Marx kills two bird with one stone - it protects from the sun while touring and the snow while skiing downhill.
For the Minimalist on the Move Cait Bourgault, Photographer
My friend Britney is a photographer, dog mom, and adventurer living in Maine. When she’s not outside hiking with her pup, she’s taking photos for clients or companies. This brings her everywhere from the city to the mountains. I wanted to gift her a pair of sunglasses that she could wear during any of these outings. The Revo Reign glasses give her just that - style for the days she’s shooting weddings or editing at a cafe, and durability for the days she’s climbing peaks in the mountains. It’s important for Britney to see her camera settings during shoots in bright sunlight, and Revo’s lens technology will protect her from sun glare on bright days.
For the Extreme Adventurer Shawn Corrigan, Photographer
I chose Slater for my friend Palmer Taylor. Palmer is a location audio engineer that specializes in action-adventure shoots, often leading him to the far reaches of the world. Revo sunglasses are perfect for someone that spends so much time outdoors, especially in extreme environments as Palmer does.
For the Spirited Wanderer Gaz Leah, Adventurer and Producer
My name is Gareth "Gaz" Leah, I am a producer and professional adventure climber. I spend my life exploring the worlds lesser known locations and seeking experiences through a fresh world lens. I chose my wife Dr. Paola Carbajal who is an explorer in her own field of dentistry and an avid traveler. Nothing captures her excitement for life more than the first glance at a location that she's previously seen only in her dreams. I picked Traverse glasses for her because they are adaptable to many environments and having large lenses, they embody our shared view of seeing the world with your eyes wide open.
For the Nonstop Traveler Cassandra Yourist, Outdoor Enthusiast
My boyfriend Danny and I have been nonstop adventuring for over a year- island hopping, glacier walking, mountain summiting, ocean exploring, and cross-country driving. He is constantly on the move, so I chose the Guide S sunglasses. We are backpacking in Southeast Asia for the New Year, so shatterproof, polarized sunglasses with fast flow vents make the perfect gift. Plus, now I can stop bugging him to look at the water through my Revo lenses wherever we go.
My name is Megan Khang, and I am a professional golfer on the LPGA Tour. In my line of work, I am outside 99% of the time and my Revo sunglasses are an essential piece of my equipment. I am gifting the Lukee frames to my caddy, Kurt Moskaly, who is an important member of my team. Kurt also plays golf himself, and there is rarely a time that I see him outside without sunglasses on. I picked this set of sunglasses for him because whether he is caddying for me, playing golf with his friends, or just relaxing outside, they are the perfect pair of shades for any occasion. Now that he has a pair of Revo's we can work side by side in some serious style!
For the Active Entrepreneur Cameron DeMars, Photographer
I chose to gift the Slaters to one of my best friends and business partner Caleb. Caleb and I met in film school and have always shared a love for film and the outdoors. This unique relationship led to us starting a media company in Bozeman, MT called Benshi Creative. Caleb's lax style and outdoor ambition made him a perfect fit for Slater. Because of its style and durability, Caleb can take the frames on early morning skiis up the Bridger Range and then stroll around downtown Bozeman without sacrificing style.
We spoke with Revo Ambassadors Erik Douds and Annalisa van den Bergh about their 1000 mile bike ride through Alaska in which they documented via film their interactions with strangers as well as what it's like to live with type 1 diabetes.
How did this 1000 mile journey come to be, and what were your objectives?
Annalisa and I biked the 4,000 mile TransAmerica Trail the previous summer and knew we wanted to go on another trip. Believe it or not, her journey crossing America with me was the second time completing this feat. One of the most special parts about bicycle touring is that people come up to you all the time and ask questions. Annalisa began flipping the questions around on these curious strangers and turned the journey into a photo series called Miles of Portraits.
Alaska is the second installation in Miles of Portraits made happen by a successful Kickstarter campaign. Our goal is to have this project take us around the world. For this trip, I added the component of film. After Miles of Portraits: America, everyone kept asking us “How do you choose these people you photograph?” Annalisa kept explaining that they choose us, not the other way around. My object is to create a film that shows how we encounter these people along with capturing footage of our day-to-day life on the bike.
How did you prepare?
Everyone assumes I am a biker. This is false. For the TransAmerica Trail, I tried to put the bike I was using together about a week before the trip and managed to put the handlebars on upside down. Dark Roast, the nickname for the Novara Randonee touring bike I borrowed, was dropped off at the local bike shop: “When do you need this by?” The response, tomorrow.
In all honesty, I had 4,000 miles to learn how to ride a touring bike. I always say that the first two weeks will be the hardest and then your body will adjust.
Crossing the country by bicycle gave me so much joy in life that I kept going. It had been a full year of traveling before Annalisa and I left for Alaska.
How did you pack?
Everything you need in life can fit on the frame of a bicycle. Some argue that the bike is even excessive. We all pack way too much stuff and end up shipping a lot of it home. On the road, you must follow the golden rule, “If you haven’t used it in two weeks then you don’t need it.”
There are four bags called panniers that hold your gear. The reason touring bikes are made from steel and not carbon is to hold this weight. As an athlete who manages type 1 diabetes, I have an extra amount of medical supplies that need to make it on a bike. There is some extra tech and cameras to film the journey along the way.
What tech/gear do you use to produce the Miles of Portraits film?
The reason you see me wearing a Camelbak backpack in Alaska and not in any TransAmerica photos is that extra gear was brought along for the YouTube series I am creating. Thanks to the generous support of our Kickstarter backers, we purchased a Mavic Air drone that transformed the shots I was able to capture. The main footage is shot on a NikonD5300 with a kit lens and a wide angle lens. Honestly, I wish someone would give me a Cannon because Nikon does not auto-focus well. Audio is captured using a Rhode Videomic Pro (an upgrade from last summer) along with a lavalier mic that can plug into my iPhone for interviews.
Tell us about the route you took? Where did you stop? How long was each leg?
Annalisa designed the 1,000 mile loop we did in Alaska in response to a women’s scholarship application. Lael Wilcox is an endurance athlete who is notable for winning the self-supported TransAmerica Race; what we completed in three months took Lael 18 days and ten minutes. She is from Alaska and put out a challenge to women cyclists to make a route and come bike in her home state. Annalisa pledged that no matter what she would go on this trip (our friends ended up winning it).
We flew into Anchorage, Alaska and took the train north to Denali National Park to begin the trip. We biked to the “end of the road” past the highest point in North America. From there, our route went east towards Cantwell and Paxton eventually stopping in Valdez – known as Little Switzerland. After missing a ferry, which cost us two days, we explored the Kenai peninsula where we got caught up in a 100-mile mountain biking race (taking photos, not racing) and finished in Seward.
What was the most challenging part of the trip? What was the most difficult leg?
In Denali National Park there are no established campgrounds. Cyclists receive backcountry permits. Every night after biking you must set up camp half a mile off the main road and out of sight from any potential tour buses that come barreling through the park the next morning. This challenge turned out to give us our favorite night on the trail. We camped at the base of Denali mountain and saw the sunset around midnight turning the white slopes a shade of rose.
Tell us about one of the main highlights, any super special moments in particular?
“Why?” That is what people love to ask us. If we are all on the pursuit of happiness then I recommend grabbing a bike. Every day is an adventure when you are not quite sure where you are going, when you will stop, who you will encounter, and what is your next meal. Every day on the bike I have a smile on my face and miss that feeling.
What were some key takeaways?
Alaska is a different state then the “lower 48.” One aspect I took away from the trip is the way people interact with the land. Alaskans have a right to harvest salmon, hunt elk, collect barriers, and forage in way you do not see elsewhere. From my observations, this develops a sense of community where everyone is looking out for each other in a type of unspoken family bond.
Living with a chronic illness like type 1 diabetes also puts you in a world of “cannot.” The extra obstacle that Annalisa and I must overcome is that fear of passing out, or worse, from our blood sugar levels while out in the wilderness. I find that if you are trying to accomplish something outside your comfort zone that it is helpful to bring a friend along. We are each other’s safety net and that has pushed us further than either of us could imagine.
When are the magazine and film coming out and how can people keep your journey going?
Annalisa showed me a proof from the printer for Miles of Portraits: Alaska. The magazine is officially going to be released on World Diabetes Day (Nov. 14th). Anyone reading can pre-order here.
I released the Miles of Portraits: Alaska trailer on YouTube (@erikdouds). This is a sixty-second teaser to the five-week trip.
Follow Erik on Instagram: @erikdouds Follow Annalisa on Instagram: @annalisavdbergh Follow Miles of Portraits: @milesofportraits Pre-order the magazine: www.milesofportraits.com/pre
That is the best way I can describe the feelings that I get and exactly what happened to me last November, as my team and I were called to Nepal.
When the mountains are mixed-in with philanthropic endeavors and exciting new terrain, I’m linked up with my dear friend Jeff Evans —an expert adventure guide, high altitude medic, and professional mountaineer. A Nepal Expedition had been on our radar since his Medical Mission in Nepal after the devastating earthquake rocked the precious region and its peaceful people in 2015.
We chose two different climbs for the expedition and built two dynamic teams - made up of US military veterans, philanthropists, teachers, and my bestie since I was 10 - Remembrance Staber; a bunch of all-around good people joined-together to see this epic endeavor through.
We focused our philanthropic efforts on the most abundant need and zeroed in on an orphanage in Kathmandu, that services children with disabilities. Along with the help of private donations and a hands-on attitude from both teams, we succeeded in supporting the children of the CDCA Orphanage and the surrounding community with a full day medical-clinic and stock medical supplies. We donated several wheelchairs, computers, and hired an educator who stayed with them for weeks. Monies for food supplies for months ahead was raised, there were dental supplies and water filters, and shoes and boots were handed out to the joyful music of donated harmonicas and an abundance of love.
This was an Expedition designed to give back - a most fulfilling way to journey through the spectacular and hectic panorama and sit at the top of the world among five of Nepal's highest peaks, seen optimally through a Revo lens and after several days of hard pulling, knowing we had done some good.
The Alpha Team:
Heather Thomson, Jeff Evans, Michael Milner, Diggs Brown, Paul Szary, Greg Swanson and Matt Hines
Revo Ambassadors Tim and Allison "Fin" Diemer (@timandfin) document the high highs and low lows of travel on their YouTube adventure series, TRIPPED. Here’s a peek into how filming their experiences during a year-long world journey without ever previously operating a camcorder began as a little project for their own entertainment and turned into a full-time gig.
Ever look at travel videos or Instagram posts and think … that’s not actually what it’s like?
Before leaving on a year-long trip around the world, we found inspiration with Youtube videos featuring stunning models running down white sand beaches with their wraps flapping behind them in slo-mo. Then, when we got there we found:
Budget accommodations in the Philippines? You’re probably sharing your room with a gecko or two.
New Zealand in a cheapo campervan? Lots of sandflies and lots of rain.
Don’t know the language in Vietnam? You’re going to be eating a lot of mystery soup.
It’s strange, what started as a silly little project has grown into something that has helped shape our lives.
TRIPPED is our YouTube adventure series that began as a hobby, something to work on while on our round-the-world trip. It was super awkward at first - two people who could barely operate a camcorder had decided to spend 10 months shoving a camera in each other's faces.
TRIPPED found its voice in showing the real side of travel. While living out of backpacks for a year, we had a few rough patches. However, they were always completely eclipsed by some of the amazing experiences we had. What it made us realize is that we’re happiest when we’re constantly on the move and exploring new places.
Eventually, our first trip came to an end. It was time to come home, get jobs, and settle down.
Except we couldn’t. Instead, we worked like a couple of maniacs at building our own remote businesses so we could hit the road again. We renovated a 13-year-old RV (SO MUCH PAINTING) and, with our new 10 lbs fluffy puppy, Pepper, got back on the road.
TRIPPED RV was born.
Finding the longest route possible, we set off from Michigan in the winter, drove to Florida, then off to... Alaska?
Each TRIPPED RV weekly Sunday episode documents the next step of the adventure. We’ve had more than our share of breakdowns, boondocking, and getting off the beaten path. Of course, we make sure to poke some fun at ourselves along the way - some of the problems we’ve run into are completely OUR fault after all.
Our recent TRIPPED RV episode on the Beartooth Highway in Montana represents one of our favorite aspects of life on the road - getting to be completely surprised by the unexpected. I mean, we knew the Beartooth was going to be a white-knuckle drive in a 30 ft RV. What we didn’t know is that over the course of the day we’d be impromptu snowboarding with locals, hitchhiking in the back of pickup trucks, tracking down marmots, playing frisbee in the snow with our dog, and getting to witness views that rival the beauty of anyplace else we’ve been.
Hope you come along on the adventure with us! If by chance, you’re slowed by traffic behind us in the RV, I promise you, we’re driving as fast we can!
Watch "NOT WHAT WE EXPECTED! Beartooth Pass" - TRIPPED RV S3 E5
Last month I got in a van with three friends and drove 1,362 miles from Santiago to Punta Arenas in search of perfect corn snow from the peaks of active volcanoes. Here is a travelogue detailing our experience.
Pete Stone, Jack Klim, Dan Klim, Chris Martin
Our first stop was Valle Nevada, a ski resort just outside of Santiago offering lift access to glaciated peaks up to 17,000’. Getting back in tune with one another and feeling our ski legs under us after a long summer of rock climbing and backpacking, La Parva Peak was our first objective. To our delight, and unlike lift access terrain in the States, we were tugged just shy of La Parva basin making the push to 13,500’ relatively a breeze. This made for an amazing warm-up lap, through the north couloirs from the peak, to the base area for a warm sunny Après. The Après were strong on this trip and would be respected the entire road trip.
La Parva's’ North Couloirs as seen from the ridge. Dan & Jack mid slope before the constriction of the couloirs.
La Nina weather patterns left northern Chile dry and well below average snow temperatures. Word spread of the solid snow accumulation happening in southern Chile, so we ventured down south towards the biobio region. In the car we sipped yerba mate as we studied the horizon and watched each peak took form.
Our van, aka Mystery Machine
Our first stop was Valle Nevada, a ski resort just outside of Santiago offering lift access to glaciated peaks up to 17,000’. Getting back in tune with one another and feeling our ski legs under us after a long summer of rock climbing and backpacking, La Parva Peak was our first objective. To our delight, and unlike lift access terrain in the States, we were tugged just shy of La Parva basin making the push to 13,500’ relatively a breeze. This made for an amazing warm up lap, through the north couloirs from the peak, to the base area for a warm sunny Après. The Après were strong on this trip and would be respected the entire road trip.
Location: Bio Bio Region, Chile Elevation: 9,774’ Date:9-10-18
We arrived below Vulcan Antuco late into the night. The following morning was cold with frozen conditions on the ascent, an ideal condition for a warming spring snowpack. After reaching the summit crater, the temperatures began to rise, and the snow softened lending the most perfect corn snow any of us had ever experienced - hero turns all the way back to the snow line above Lake Antuco.
Dan Klim enjoying a sunny day of corn harvesting above lake Antuco
We drove through the night and finally arrived at the parking lot of Vulcan Lonquimay where we were able to get some much-needed sleep. We woke the next day to a breakfast of champions. Due to a slow start that day, we missed our window for the corn harvest – the snow was frozen and ski conditions too risky. We headed back to the van.
On the edge of Vulcan Lonquimays’ caldera
With the stunning North face of Vulcan Llaima on our right, we found ourselves perched before a spectacular ski descent which we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.
Another drive through the night had us skiing corn from the peak of Vulcan Llaima (the one we spotted from the summit of Lonquimay) the following day. Being enveloped in a summit on Lonquimay inspired further exploration into the unknown backcountry volcanic terrain.
From the summit of vulcan Llaima, we descended and remembered the previous day’s icy ski slopes of vulcan Lonquimay looming in the distance (largest vulcan, front right).
Location: Panguipulli, Los Rios Region, Chile Elevation: 9,380’ Date: 9-14-18
Dan Klim creating his mark upon Vulcan Villarica in perfect corn condition. Vulcan Llaima in the distance
Back in the van, we continued south, crossing into Argentia directly below Vulcan Lanin. Lanin didn't have enough snow so we pushed deeper into Patagonia and stopped in Bariloche, a ski town on a lake below the Andes.
Our span of bluebird weather came to a halt, snow expectations across the region forced us to hunker down and wait out severe Patagonian winds. We headed to Refugio Frey outside of Bariloche and enjoyed fresh powder from the ridge off of Cerro Cathedral into a neighboring basin. We got to Refugio just before nightfall and were greeted with a warm bowl of goulash.
After a swift 12 hours of driving we arrived in El Chalten, where a thriving mountain climbing community exists independently from adventure tourism.
Fitz Roy Massif & our basecamp at Lago de los Tres
La Punta Velluda
Location: Cerro Fitz Roy Range Elevation: 6,440’ Date: 9-26-18
This glaciated peak is nestled below the Fitz Roy Massif. We skied the mountain on the southeast side via the east ridge, it was a technical ascent on rock, snow, and ice but well worth the soft powder descent.
Our success in the mountains has everything to do with our shared respect for something we like to call “deep time” - recognition for what’s been here long before us and will remain long after we’re gone.that the mountains have been here long before us and will remain long after we’re gone.
A huge thank to the American Alpine Club for choosing us to support their mission in helping mountaineers achieve their goals via their Live Your Dream Grant.
Chris Martin & Peter Stone skiing the SE face of La Punta Velluda in optimal conditions
The ski tour concluded and we were homeward bound, reflecting on the days passed, exhausted and grateful to have fulfilled our volcano ski tour dream.
Photography By: Dan Klim - @dankphoto Pete Stone - @petey_stone Jack Klim - @jacksreel
One day when I was in middle school, my mother and I went shopping and found a pair of sunglasses we loved at a shop in the mall. There was nothing special about these cheap frames that we had except for the fact that when you put them on the whole world got warm. The white balance had so much orange in it that it made the world around you look and feel better.
I’ve moved up my sunglasses game since that day. I no longer buy $10 sunglasses especially for the adventure that my business and blog take me. There is still one thing I look for in a sunglass that hasn’t changed since that day in the mall, I like to look through the lens of my glasses and see the world in a better light even if that means capturing what I see is a little bit harder.
Revo Sunglasses has done an amazing job with not only protecting my eyes and keeping me looking good, but in helping to shape my perspective of the landscapes I see and none of this could be truer than in the Autumn season. While each lens will give you a different experience, you’re sure to see the world in the right light with one of these lenses.
My favorite Revo lens is the Blue Water lens. Maybe it’s the reflective surface or the way they pop with color but these lenses look great on any frame and photograph beautifully. When it comes to looking at the view through these, they do a great job of lowering the brightness just a touch and keeping things warm. There’s only a slight warmth from these lenses but it’s so small you barely notice it. If you're looking for a lens that will show you the landscape without changing it much, are always on the water, or just want to make your world seem a little bit warmer, this is the lens you want.
My husband Clayton lives for the Green Water lens. Aside from the fact that he looks great in them, they brighten and warm up every scene and I love the reflective lens to play with when I’m taking photos. Unlike the Blue lens, this one really warms ups the world around you. It’s the perfect lens to go hunting for fall colors because they’ll explode through this lens.
Slater in Matte Tortoise with Green Water Lens, shop Slater.
The Graphite lens doesn’t have the same reflective properties as the water lenses, which is preferred by some. Unlike a lot of the other lenses this lens actually cools a scene, adding more blue to the look. Like the Blue Water lens, it’s a very small difference but it’s there. It also takes down the brightness a whole lot more than the water lenses making it a great lens for bright sunny days, but hikes in the middle of a forest might be a little tough with these.
The Terra lens is very similar to the Graphite except instead of it down cooling your environment, it slightly warms it. Just like the Graphite, it does have a darker lens to keep the light out and makes walking through Aspen forests a breeze, it just might get a little dark when you come to the pine forest.
The extra bonus, with every Revo Lens, is the polarization. From looking into rivers and lakes or needing the reflective light from the Aspens to calm down, these lenses will have you covered and look good doing it. It really doesn’t matter what you’re looking for in a lens you’ll find one that fits your adventure. From levels brightness to the change in perspective of color and of course, always having a polarizing lens there’s really no wrong way to go, the hardest part is choosing, especially when you get to the frame!
Revo has partnered with SKIN Sunscreen to enhance and expand the mission of providing proper sun protection through specially designed products. SKIN’s zinc-based formula, made for golfers by golfers, was awarded the 2018 ‘Editors’s Choice’ by Golf Digest for “Best Sunscreen and Lip Balm” in Golf.
“Sunscreen and quality eye protection are both essential to lifelong enjoyment of any outdoor sport given the number of hours under the sun,” said Jessica Folino, General Manager/Partner, SKIN Sunscreen. “Partnering with Revo gives us the opportunity to work together to provide more people with options for everyday sun protection, while increasing their awareness of skin cancer and UV damage.”
We sat down with Jessica Folino, General Manager/Partner, SKIN Sunscreen, to learn about how they got started in the golf industry, what sets them apart, and what’s coming next.
How did SKIN Sunscreen get started in the Golf Industry?
SKIN was founded in 2016 by two families, holding many years of experience in the golf space, both having a personal relationship with skin cancer and its harsh reality. General Manager, Jessica Folino, spent 15 years at Private and Resort facilities as the Merchandise Coordinator. Recognizing the lack of non-greasy, fully-functioning sunscreen options for golf enthusiasts of all ages, SKIN spent many months formulating the perfect solution.
What sets SKIN apart from other brands?
SKIN Sunscreen is proud to share our premium line of sunscreen products sold exclusively in golf facilities and online. Our non-greasy, Oxybenzone-free, stain-free lotion formula is guaranteed not to run into your eyes and burn while sweating. Though our industry focus started with golf, our products are designed for all outdoor activities where the sun’s harmful UV rays are present. SKIN covers all the bases for maximum, broad spectrum protection from both UVA (cancer causing) and UVB (burning) rays. Our product line up is simple, offering a product formulated for daily use without the technical issues often found in other brands.
Any new products coming soon we should keep an eye out for?
SKIN Sunscreen’s focus is preventing and protecting against skin cancers of all kind. We take great pride in educating and encouraging proper skin health habits, while considering the environmental effects of the ingredients we use. We are very excited to announce the addition of our new SPF50 Reef Safe Continuous Spray. This Oxybenzone-free and Octinoxate-free formula is coral reef friendly and environmentally kind. The new spray formula will be available early 2019.
Mitchell Quiring spent his childhood immersed in the wild delight of the Eastern Sierras, a treasure trove of dense pine forests, rocky desert vistas, glassy lakes and sharp granite peaks. Weekends were consumed by backpacking excursions along Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon National Park or along the John Muir Trail in the Sierra National Forest, fly fishing on Kings River, and skiing at China Peak.
With so much beauty in his actual front yard, Mitchell began taking pictures to capture it.
“Nature moved me as a kid and it moves me now. I grew up backpacking, camping, skiing, and fly-fishing, I loved it. I started taking photos to share these experiences, and thanks to the epic scenery, a beautiful photo wasn’t hard to come by. It was encouraging as a novice photographer, I’d point, shoot and voila.”
Mitchell, now a photographer residing in Mammoth Lakes, California, spends significant time looking through a lens. He takes his gear seriously and like us, loves to nerd out on lenses. As an avid rock climber, mountaineer, peak bagger, and trail runner, his sunglass lenses are equally important as the lenses on his camera.
“A top-quality camera lens supports creative vision, a sunglass lens does essentially the same thing with the added value of protection. Both lenses are meant to capture a moment, they’re tools to help you achieve a specific visual experience.”
Revo sunglasses have mirror-coated polarized lenses that block and manage light, getting rid of harsh glare caused by horizontally reflected light from surface. For Mitchell, this is especially important when exploring the Eastern Sierra’s lakes, rivers, and snow-capped peaks.
We talked with Mitchell about life in the Eastern Sierras and the Revo frames he loves the most.
Walk us through your morning routine.
I’m usually up at 7, unless I’m gunning for a big ski/climb or on a photo assignment (or both!). I sleep with a darkened house, so my first pull is to open all the blinds to let in the morning light. Then I drink a couple glasses of water. Light + water get me in the right head space for the day. I’m a vegan endurance athlete so I keep my diet high and tight. Breakfast is usually a bowl of raw oats with almond milk, loaded with berries, banana, peanut butter, hemp seeds and honey. After some fuel I take care of a few tasks and then head out for a run. I like to run in the Mammoth Lakes Basin up the Mammoth Crest. How far I go depends on time, but if I can, I make the 11-mile loop from Lake George over to Duck Pass and down. For winter, a quick lap or two on the Sherwins (local range that sits directly over the town) or a lap up the Basin, best known around here for its relatively short approaches, steep line access, solid pow, and good times! Nothing better.
What is your favorite place and time of day to shoot in or around Mammoth?
Early morning or anytime when the “Sierra Wave” lenticular clouds come in like a freight train and provide the most glorious diffusion.
What would you recommend someone do with 12 hours in Mammoth?
Get yourself into the Lakes Basin. It’s the local gem and one big reason why this place is so special. Heading up to Duck Pass is incredible. Reward yourself with a spectacular Mediterranean dinner and cocktail at Jimmy’s Taverna, my favorite restaurant on the East Side.
What’s your favorite photo you ever took?
I love this photo from Kootenay National Park that came out of a marathon trip through Canada this last summer with fellow Revo Ambassador, Troy Kellenberger:
And this one of Mt. Tom and Pine Creek:
How do you select which prints you’ll have in your collection to sell?
I take special requests for anything that you see on my website (www.mitchellquiring.com), usually I go with photos that have the best initial response.
What other photographers do you most admire?
Traditional adventure greats like Jimmy Chin, Chris Burkard and locals Christian Pondella and Ken Etzel. I keep a hard eye on Joey Lawrence (Joey L.), Paul Nicklen, Joshua Cripps and related photojournalistic, landscape, and portrait photographers.
What’s on your bucket list? Top three.
1) Travel through Mexico, specifically slowing in Oaxaca for Dia De Los Muertos. 2) Skydive or Paraglide/Paramotor. 3) Visit and eat at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, India.
If there’s anyone who knows how to keep life interesting, it’s Heather Thomson.
Her secret? Set a goal, never quit, repeat.
To many, Heather is a reality star that got her claim to fame from her 3 years on the hit Bravo reality series, The Real Housewives of New York City, showcasing her life as a married fashion executive, international business professional and mother of two.
But that’s only scratching the surface. Heather is also an inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, athlete, licensed health and wellness coach, avid adventurer, and most recently, Revo Ambassador.
She has garnered 25+ years of fashion accolades and CFDA nominations serving as Design Director for the Sean “Diddy” Combs line, and Co-Creative Director alongside Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Lopez to launch and develop their respective labels.
In 2008, Heather founded Yummie by Heather Thomson which changed the shapewear and lifestyle game for women. Today Heather is taking a fundamental integrative approach to nutrition with the launch of Nutritionary, her line of superfoods a recent expedition to Nepal and various projects in the health and wellness arena.
Revo worked with Heather on a recent photoshoot in Naples, Florida. Here’s what she said when we asked about her vision for the shoot:
“The Naples shoot was the perfect opportunity to bring together some of my teammates from our Mera 2018 expedition to Nepal, helping us tell the story of adventure, fun, and camaraderie, from the summit to the sea, Revo is the perfect, must-have companion on any adventure.”
Heather pictured above wearing Raconteur in Chrome with Blue Water Lens: