Friday, March 25, 2011

Extreme Hiking

"Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself."

So I am watching my favorite outdoor show "Out Of The Wild" and I start wondering, how extreme would I want my hikes or adventures? As @SFhiking tweeted, he wanted to do a hike where everyone got lost. Watching a show like Out Of The Wild definitely gets you pumped up about getting lost and doing extreme hikes but would you want to?

There was an article recently about how people instead of going heli-skiing go heli-hiking. Via The Chicago Sun Times the article talks about how people are using helicopters to reach remote areas. Surprisingly, the areas contain rather easy hikes once you get up there. Even a rock climbing section as a whole belay, ladder system so that 80 year olds can scale the heights.

Of course, if you super extreme, there is always Spain. Once you get there, you can go all extreme on The King's Seat.

Over 2 million webpages come up on Google if you enter Extreme Adventures Guides so clearly there is a market for this stuff. There are even support services that if you get into trouble in a foreign location, these guys will come bail you out (even on super high cliffs) using ex-military guys. There are apparently some responsiveness issues but there will only be more of these services developing as more and more people get more "extreme".  Outside Online breaks it down.

So what are we to make of all of this? My initial thought is that a lot of these people attend the college of "WhatsamattaU". 98% of nature not good enough for ya? Far be it for me to step on someone's outdoor adventure. Heck, if I could afford it, I might want to bushwhack around somewhere that doesn't have any trails. And the next time Out Of The Wild casts in a cold clime, I am THERE! Still, I wonder if people can't find adventure and testing yourself in more germane "wilds" like the PCT or the Rockies, or Hollywood and Highland. Do you really need to be lost to find yourself? I am not sure but I am willing to take @SFhiking if ever gets a group together down in LA!


  1. Truly being lost, in the literal sense of the word is a scary thing and I don't think it should be romanticized.

    The sun was setting, and we'd lost the trail between patches of snow on Ragged Peak. I knew were we were and more importantly roughly where to go to find the trail but as we scurried down wet granite skinning our hands on the rock there was plenty of fear. What if I'm wrong? I think I know where I am, but do I know I know where I am? What do we do if the sun goes down before we find the trail?

    As it turns out my orienteering skills were up to par and we only stayed lost for about an hour but it was dreadful.

    I've enlightening experiences and introspective moments, being lost does not count among them.

  2. The fabled @sfhiking here :) - I like that "you have to get lost to find yourself" - where is that from? :)

    Btw, I would be too chicken to really get lost. The park I was suggesting to get lost in is 3x3 miles :) so it is really impossible to be truly lost. Also, everyone has a phone with a GPS.

    I was just thinking of adding fun and game-like aspects to the hikes.

  3. Chris, that is a great story and a good example of the downside of being "truly" lost.

    Alex, a great quote isn't it? I do like the concept of getting lost, especially if wine is involved ;).


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