This summer I made my mom go on her first overnight kayaking trip. In fact this would be her first night ever sleeping on the ground so I set up the Stargazer 2 for ultimate comfort and high visibility of the stars to come. The two seated water kayak "Duo" is one of the most exciting ways to see a river for the first time with mom. Idaho's Salmom River delivered 3 days and 75 miles of fantastic whitewater and incredible scenery. @benstookesberry#LiveYourAdventure#WhyIHike
@benstookesberry taking over the Eddie Bauer feed today with some of my incredible summer adventures.
@eboomer and I did a full week scouting the Box Canyon Tongue River in the Big Horn Mountains in preparation for the first kayak attempt on this wild river. When we returned to the Big Horn Mountains 2 weeks after our initial scout, Erik and I brought world renown French paddler @nourianewman to round out and lead the way towards 2 major first descents. #whyIhike#liveyouradventure
There are many ways to do the TMB with a seemingly endless variety of side routes and alternate trails; we decided early on that we’d take every high-route we could and the extra effort paid off. Not only were the views better at almost every step, but the trail was generally more interesting, the crowds almost non-existent, and the occasional snow patches refreshing on hot summer afternoons.
On the seventh and final day of our Tour du Mont Blanc trek, we reached the Col de Balme and crossed another international border on foot, stepping back onto French soil. Traversing up and over the Aiguillettes des Possettes, the view of all of the French towns in the valley below -- and our stopping point -- was a sight to see. How rewarding was the feeling to come full circle on this historic trek around the Mont Blanc massif.
We crossed from France into Italy on the morning of our third day on the trail at Col de la Seigne and found ourselves on what would end up being my favorite part of the trail. Maybe it was all that glorious Italian espresso, but from here the peaks seemed taller, more jagged, sported more glaciers, and there was an extra pep in my step.
Following one of our more moderate days on the TMB, we sat outside our hut at Relais d'Arpette, and watched the sunset over the Fenêtre d'Arpette, a high mountain col with steep and rugged terrain. Over the course of our trek, it had become clear that the Alps were a sight to see at any time of day, but particularly around sunrise and sunset.
Photos: @nickrlake and @scott_kranz#WhyIHike
From start to finish the Trail du Mont Blanc is pure eye candy for any hiker. Passing through three countries and circumnavigating Western Europe’s highest peak, there’s rarely a moment when your view isn’t dominated by a craggy, glacial peak cut by mile-high waterfalls cascading into emerald-green meadows. @ Scott_kranz, myself, and our wives, Jill and Kelly, set out to complete this 105-mile trek over seven days earlier this summer, gawking at world-class views by day and relaxing in quaint alpine refuges by night, and eating a whole lot of cheese along the way.
By the second day of our TMB trek, it had become clear that delightful surprises were around every corner of trail and over every mountain pass. After hiking up and over the Col du Bonhomme, we dropped into this pristine valley, which was straight out of a fairytale. Approaching our second-night hut, we soaked up views of the snowy peaks overhead as well as the lush greenery and wildflowers along the trail.
"I hike to teach my kids the wonders beyond the screen." #WhyIHike winner @overlandforgood.
Why do you hike? You could win a $100 Eddie Bauer gift card, or even win a trip for 2 to an epic hiking destination. How do you enter? Simple. Share you hiking photos and stories with us on Instagram or Twitter and tag @eddiebauer, #WhyIHike and #Contest. Happy hiking!
"Time and how it flows is such a crazy thing. Just a few months ago as I was holding my newborn daughter I felt like it would be an eternity before I went back to work in the mountains. That eternity comes quickly and I’m curious and ready for the challenge of guiding as a mom." Eddie Bauer guide @MelissaArnot#whyihike#liveyouradventure
@priya_mareedu and I spent four days exploring the valley: it's lush beech forests, glacial-fed rivers, and natural hot pools--rediscovering our connection with nature, ourselves, and each other. That is #WhyIHike. I’ll be sharing more of our favorite moments from the trip on the Eddie Bauer story. Be sure to check them out!
"I hike to discover new perspectives, both within myself, and in the world at-large." Follow the Copland Track adventure from @ChrisBrinleeJr on our story! .
The Copland Track, which originates on the west coast of New Zealand’s south island, offered plenty of opportunities for both. The 18km (11 mile) each-way trail meanders up a wide valley, covered in natural rainforest vegetation, along a turquoise river, over several bridges, while surrounded by jagged snow-capped mountains the entire time. To top it off, there are natural hot pools a two-minute walk from the Welcome Flat Hut, the turn-around point for most people’s trip.