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Desert Sand Dune Skiing Morocco

Sand skiing in the Sahara Desert

In a way we did end up ski touring, but nothing like what we set out to do when we decided to go to Morocco. The High Atlas Mountains, and the 4000 meter Toubkal Peak was our goal. Our reality were the Merzouga Sand Dunes and a few 130 meter piles of sand. There, we rode camels and did a ski …

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Swiss Cows

I admit, I get a little self conscious with how many cow photos I post from life in Switzerland. I also admit that it is a rare occasion that I don’t click on someone else’s photo when I know it will be a cow that will be making an appearance. What is it about these animals that make them so …

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Nepal Travel Expectations

I could actually feel the warm puff of air on my face from the donkey’s ass. There was no mistaking what had just happened. I’d paid the price for getting too close in this absurd traffic jam. Amongst the swirling dust clouds, reeking donkey piss & shit, garbage lined trail and cigarette smoke – I had also been farted on. …

The Khumjung Monastery

“Can we go in?” A heavy, well worn curtain hung between us and what we so badly wanted to see. From inside the monastery came the distinct, exotic sounds of Buddhist prayer, chanting and the occasional gong. Suddenly, a young monk swept the curtain aside and ran across the courtyard only to disappear, then reappear a moment later. Back he …

Spoons and Monk Fights

The Monk’s eyes went wild as I lunged across the table and tackled him. This peaceful man’s hands, unaccustomed to combat, fought my own in a desperate attempt to keep me away. Moments before he’d been sitting alone quietly on the other side of the room, no one took him seriously when he asked to sit in for a game. Turns …

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Nepal Security Procedures

While we edit and prepare all our images from the last month in Nepal, we’ll post short stories written during our travels – quick, fun, journal entries for a few days until we have some images to show. The 3rd world likes to compensate for any real infrastructure by flexing its bureaucratic muscle. Endless red tape, useless rules & regs, …

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Shopping Cart Enlightenment

When I asked Alex Newport-Berra if he would like to contribute a mountain sport post to DolomiteSport, I had absolutely no idea I would get a story about a shopping cart. Coming from Alex I can understand his seeking enlightenment, but through a shopping cart? Well… this is his genius and exactly why I asked him to write in the …

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Facebook Poach Your Line?

Today we returned to ski the same backcountry peak we skied yesterday, the same one I wrote about, and posted photos of, right here at DolomiteSport. Unlike yesterday, the parking area was not empty, it had a couple of cars. Why? They saw 1) the turns from the road and 2) the post. Together with friends we laughed at the …

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Neurotic Ramblings

I like to think that wisdom is kicking in. Here it goes, my neurotic ramblings… Each and every October & November it starts, or in this case, ends. Fitness. 10 months of hard fought training days, that feeling of being unstoppable, of July & August being a peak where anything and everything is possible, easy, lean, mean, fast, comfortable, strong, …

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Alpabzug

And now for something completely different. Alpabzug No sports, no gear reviews, nothing to do with making your heart beat quickly. Just cows, the end of summer, beer and a lot of European tradition. Alpabzug: The traditional celebration of the end of summer where the cows are brought down from the high Alps to the valley floors for the coming …

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Hiding during Ferragosto

To me, the word “Ferragosto” makes me think of ringing cellphones, family squabbles and lots of dark, tanned skin being shown off on the decks of huts. Just what is this Ferragosto and why hidding during August? For American readers it is really only a useful term for trivia board games, but if one is planning a trip to the …

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Funny Later

For two of my favorite people. Seemingly rock bottom. That is where we were, mentally, walking along a roasting hot Bishop street. Our VW Westfalia was left behind us, a carcass of a vehicle, blown engine, cratered roof, shredded interior. In one little mistake in planning, we had lost our home, office and car. In our bank account we had …

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Roadside Distractions

Roadside Trash; what it says about a culture, its people, and its habits. After 25 years of staring from my bike at roadside debris, litterings, and the impact of humanity, I feel I have greater insight into several countries driving habits. Undoubtedly, America receives the award for the most plentiful and varied trash, while Switzerland receives the award for having …

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On Display

We would always laugh at the consistency of the kids learning to belay at the climbing gym. For whatever reason when we taught them to ask, “Am I on belay?” before climbing, they would often forget this specialized term and instead repeat, “Am I on display?”. The other day, along with 5 other grown men, we most certainly were. Our …

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Applied Infant Psychology for the Endurance Athlete

A few years back we found ourselves regular babysitters for a toddler, Sloan. Her parents would drop her off with us and then head out for some non-parenting time. I vividly remember one night when they brought her over, plopped her down on our bed, and said we could just let her lay there and squirm. They explained that it …

Under the Watchful Eye

I was a Catholic school boy, trained to feel guilty for nearly everything I did while growing up. At some point I began to wander away from the church, my drifting turned to speeding and soon Confession and Guilt were items I had left in my wake with the discovery of life and all its many wonders. One memory that …

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Precious Timing…

Sharing life via a Blog… We all have these precious moments, but how many really share with so little shame? As I was standing in the living room of our home this morning trying to decide which thickness of Smartwool socks to wear in my race tomorrow, Janine burst our laughing from behind her computer monitor. This is what she …

Italian Class, as in school

Two nights a week I sit in a room full of intelligent adults and speak like an idiot. We all have our normal lives as professionals, parents and/or business people but still we are forced to gather in an attempt to practice something other than our mother tongue. It makes for comedy, primarily from watching the teacher’s frustration at the …

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Europe’s Missing Points

For over a year now I have lived in Europe. While still an American, I do find myself uttering Euro phrases, using certain hand gestures only found in Europe, swearing primarily in Italian (so much more fun), slowing down perhaps a tiny, tiny bit, appreciating quality over quantity, and so on. I feel at home, reasonably understand the system and …

Cow Adventures part II

To stand witness to one’s demise and be able to offer absolutely no assistance is a strange feeling. One is left with the decision to either turn away, or to spectate the misfortune of others. In my case, today, I was entertained at the highest level by three dairy cows. I opted for spectating. While riding up one of my …