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Thread: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

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    Avalon Member avid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Wow! I was so relieved to see the car, my nerves have been well and truly dithered, well done!!!
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    What a great adventure! I’ve walked about half the Camino in Spain which has a bit of climbing, but that seems like a stroll in the park compared to your hike. The loose rocks, diminishing water supply, disintegrating shoe soles, disorientation etc. added dramatic elements. It kept me on the edge of my seat until the end. I was especially nervous about the water. I’m glad you made it home safely. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    I meant to tell you Bill how much I enjoyed the video. I just love watching Mara and seeing the strange to me countryside. I had a real hankering to go to Ecuador in 2013, but couldn't swing it.

    Generally, I love the Hispanic culture and the craftsmanship in Ecuador fascinates me.

    I also found the compass morass fascinating. Such a beautiful place.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    I truly enjoyed the video and the strange (to me) mountains and countryside.

    But one comment I thought all along: You are in f good shape man!!! as good as Mara for sure... you are both the description of excellent health.

    You always say: will be easy - well, for you!!! lol
    Last edited by Flash; 7th October 2018 at 00:08.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)



    All is Well…

    Bill, I’m late to post this because my internet is mostly down… Fortunately, I was able to download the video on Friday. Yeah! It’s up again. I’ll have to be quick here just in case it goes out.

    A couple of fun lines from your 9.5 hour monstrous workout:
    • Mara’s got a bit of mountain goat DNA in her.
    • The very heroic crackerjack shoes.
    Thanks for sharing.
    You and Mara rock!



    ¤=[Post Update]=¤

    Quote Posted by Flash (here)
    I truly enjoyed the video and the strange (to me) mountains and countryside.

    But one comment I thought all along: You are in f good shape man!!! as good as Mara for sure... you are both the description of excellent health.

    You always say: will be easy - well, for you!!! lol
    Ditto, Flash. Exactly what I thought, too.
    Last edited by RunningDeer; 7th October 2018 at 02:29.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    This is a real feelgood video, confident skilled wilderness exploration at it's best, witty joyful narrative.

    I enjoyed every moment! Thank you.

    If Wilson Serrano's corpse resides in that other confused direction you sensed, maybe it was him urging you to go find his remains or what's left of him. Just an idea that came up while watching.

    Was the confusion by the lake, at all covered by a blanket of gloom sensation? (for the lack of a better expression)

    The solitude that this virgin rocky landscape have to offer, appeals to me a great deal.
    Last edited by Magnus; 7th October 2018 at 20:12.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Very Well Done Bill! I have hiked at plus 14000 ft also and I know how exhausting it is at those altitudes.
    You and Mara are a good team and it was great watching a REAL adventure. Much better than an action movie.
    Btw I think it is time to buy a new pair of shoes.
    If you or anyone would like to see a few pictures of my hike and camp in Yellowstone this year I could send a few. I was at 11000 ft and it was an assbuster.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Oh my goodness! What a stunning video and documentary. I was sitting on the edge of seat! The beautiful interludes with the different flowers helped me to remember to breathe Thank you so much for sharing it Bill, and how good to have a climbing companion like Mara. My love to you both.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Thanks, everyone, for the very positive and even enthusiastic responses... I was worried it was WAY too long. (But it was a long hike! )

    I was thinking the last couple days what Mara and I might possibly do as an encore. The criteria for a real-time mini-documentary like that seem to be
    1. It's entirely unrehearsed
    2. The outcome is not certain
    3. I may not know exactly where I am.
    I think I may have a good follow-up. Way in the distance in these two screenshots below (taken at 26:18 and 33:02 respectively) is a mountain called Quitahuayco, which, though it doesn't look too imposing, is just a few feet short of 15,000 ft (4560m) and apparently is the very highest peak in the area.

    Furthermore, as best I can understand, there's a long, dramatic, thin ridge extending from it, called El Filo de Quitahuayco, and that does seem impressive from what little I can gather. Mara and I might be able to teeter along that, and our audience could teeter along with us vicariously.

    As mentioned earlier (several times!) there are no maps worthy of the name, but I'm confident I've identified Quitahuayco correctly. (Unlike Cerro Negro. I'm still not 100% sure which one that was!) The added entertainment for another 'live' video would be that Mara and I would probably have to camp, maybe somewhere near the [non-haunted] lakes in the second photo.

    And the more I think about it, the more I think all this really IS the Wawa Grande's territory, not the officially defined National Park which is where I've done almost all my explorations so far.





    More later, as I continue to consider whether this is a viable two-day trip. But at the moment, I think it may be.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 8th October 2018 at 19:33.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Please - no, not without a team. Your first instinct on the last trip was sensible, now you are taking chances, and especially in your ancient shoes! Older and wiser....? What about water...? You are now making me very nervous, take others for safety. 🤞
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    Please - no, not without a team. Your first instinct on the last trip was sensible, now you are taking chances, and especially in your ancient shoes! Older and wiser....? What about water...? You are now making me very nervous, take others for safety. 🤞
    Hey, thanks. I'm not used to people worrying about me!

    The thing here that actually does make a difference is that a planned two-day trip, with tent, sleeping bag, food, and all the rest, affords a lot more safety and comfort than an in-and-out one-day trip with the necessity to always pace the clock to make it back by nightfall.

    With my home on my back, maybe 20 lbs rather than 12 lbs, I can stop anytime I like, anywhere I like, for any reason. So it becomes much more like a vacation than a mission.

    I'm not averse to having a companion! (Especially one that can talk. ) But there are none, or none that I know. Almost everything I do here is solo.


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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Bill, In the area you plan to visit, do you know if a smartphone can determine your location using GPS? Might be a worthy experiment. Iphone has an application FindFriends. I can find family anywhere in the US. If you partner with someone they can see where you are, similar to Google Earth. There is also a similar program for Android phones. Resolution is excellent, withing a few meters or better.

    I am sure you can find many friends to pair with using either an iPhone or Android.


    You need to get permission from your friend(s) to track each other. And it is very easy to cancel.
    Last edited by Ron Mauer Sr; 9th October 2018 at 19:28.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Ron Mauer Sr (here)
    Bill, In the area you plan to visit, do you know if a smartphone can determine your location using GPS? Might be a worthy experiment. Iphone has an application FindFriends. I can find family anywhere in the US. If you partner with someone they can see where you are, similar to Google Earth. There is also a similar program for Android phones. Resolution is excellent, withing a few meters or better.

    I am sure you can find many friends to pair with using either an iPhone or Android.

    You need to get permission from your friend(s) to track each other. And it is very easy to cancel.
    Thanks, Ron, and that's a nice idea. But I don't have a smartphone, never want to have one, and out there there's almost no cellphone signal of any kind.

    Here's a fun (and true!) anecdote, from something like 25 years ago. Way up high on Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland, there's a famous obstacle called Tower Gap. It's a deep notch in the precarious narrow ridge, immediately behind the climber in this photo. It can be very tricky to negotiate sometimes, especially in bad snow conditions or bad visibility.



    A new guidebook had just been published, and two novice climbers, encountering the intimidating Gap for the first time, got stuck in the gathering dusk and called up the guidebook writer on their cellphone to ask him what they should do.

    The author hung up on them, and later wrote about the episode. His view was that if they had to phone him for advice, they had no right being up there anyway — and would just have to learn a lesson from their experience. The worst thing that could happen would be that they'd have to retrace their steps in the dark (a long way!), but safely, if with little comfort of any kind.

    The mountains are a tough school sometimes. But there, one can learn a lot. If we had every possible modern safety convenience with us (and where do we draw the line?), then all the challenge — and soul-stirring remoteness — is taken away. We do need wild places, and wild places where we can all go: to see what we can find, both there and also within ourselves.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote A new guidebook had just been published, and two novice climbers, encountering the intimidating Gap for the first time, got stuck in the gathering dusk and called up the guidebook writer on their cellphone to ask him what they should do.

    The author hung up on them, and later wrote about the episode. His view was that if they had to phone him for advice, they had no right being up there anyway — and would just have to learn a lesson from their experience. The worst thing that could happen would be that they'd have to retrace their steps in the dark (a long way!), but safely, if with little comfort of any kind.

    The mountains are a tough school sometimes. But there, one can learn a lot. If we had every possible modern safety convenience with us (and where do we draw the line?), then all the challenge — and soul-stirring remoteness — is taken away. We do need wild places, and wild places where we can all go: to see what we can find, both there and also within ourselves.
    This sounds like a metaphor for life on planet Earth.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    This sounds like a metaphor for life on planet Earth.
    Yes, it is. That's one of the points I've been making on this thread.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Still doesn’t stop me from worrying though...
    Ever since all brakes failed near the top of Honister Pass necessitating crashing into a rockface as opposed to falling off sheer drop, I am very nervous of heights, so although I am in utmost admiration of your fearlessness, I can’t help sitting on the edge of my chair in trepidation until you and Mara are in a safe place. Mara is your ‘extra sense’ thank goodness. Take care, and may loads of ‘pozzi-vibes’ go with you both.

    Off topic, but my Dad was fearless driving on Wry Nose and Hard Knott passes after jolly family pub-lunch outings, Mum had eyesight problems so was unaware, but I had to lie on back seat due to severe panic attacks until I felt level ground...
    Last edited by avid; 9th October 2018 at 22:35.
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    Ever since all brakes failed near the top of Honister Pass necessitating crashing into a rockface as opposed to falling off sheer drop, I am very nervous of heights
    Wow! Understood. (To others: The Honister Pass is an infamous English Lake District 1 in 4 (25%) incline, with a bunch of hairpin bends thrown in for good measure. Dramatic and beautiful, and NOT the place for a brake failure. )

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    Please - no, not without a team. Your first instinct on the last trip was sensible, now you are taking chances, and especially in your ancient shoes! Older and wiser....? What about water...? You are now making me very nervous, take others for safety. 🤞
    Hey, thanks. I'm not used to people worrying about me!

    The thing here that actually does make a difference is that a planned two-day trip, with tent, sleeping bag, food, and all the rest, affords a lot more safety and comfort than an in-and-out one-day trip with the necessity to always pace the clock to make it back by nightfall.

    With my home on my back, maybe 20 lbs rather than 12 lbs, I can stop anytime I like, anywhere I like, for any reason. So it becomes much more like a vacation than a mission.

    I'm not averse to having a companion! (Especially one that can talk. ) But there are none, or none that I know. Almost everything I do here is solo.

    If there is such a thing as a vote in this matter, I'd vote for solo. A winning concept is worthy of preservation. Imo, you going solo equals unimpaired quality of your experience and of your video. Any company would likely just slow you down, impede your focus on details, train of thoughts and narrative, as well as adding an extra load of responsibility.
    Last edited by Magnus; 11th October 2018 at 10:37.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Thanks, everyone, for the very positive and even enthusiastic responses... I was worried it was WAY too long. (But it was a long hike! )

    I was thinking the last couple days what Mara and I might possibly do as an encore. The criteria for a real-time mini-documentary like that seem to be
    1. It's entirely unrehearsed
    2. The outcome is not certain
    3. I may not know exactly where I am.

    I think I may have a good follow-up. Way in the distance in these two screenshots below (taken at 26:18 and 33:02 respectively) is a mountain called Quitahuayco, which, though it doesn't look too imposing, is just a few feet short of 15,000 ft (4560m) and apparently is the very highest peak in the area.

    Furthermore, as best I can understand, there's a long, dramatic, thin ridge extending from it, called El Filo de Quitahuayco, and that does seem impressive from what little I can gather. Mara and I might be able to teeter along that, and our audience could teeter along with us vicariously.

    As mentioned earlier (several times!) there are no maps worthy of the name, but I'm confident I've identified Quitahuayco correctly. (Unlike Cerro Negro. I'm still not 100% sure which one that was!) The added entertainment for another 'live' video would be that Mara and I would probably have to camp, maybe somewhere near the [non-haunted] lakes in the second photo.

    And the more I think about it, the more I think all this really IS the Wawa Grande's territory, not the officially defined National Park which is where I've done almost all my explorations so far.





    More later, as I continue to consider whether this is a viable two-day trip. But at the moment, I think it may be.
    Some more detail. Here's a dramatic aerial photo of El Filo de Quitahuayco (The Edge of Quitahuayco). It's what mountaineers call a knife-edge ridge. (Meaning, it's quite narrow.)

    I'd be planning to camp at or near the small high lakes to the right of the photo, and then climb Quitahuayco (and traverse the 'Edge') the next day, carrying a very light pack. Not sure when yet: it'll depend on the weather, how I'm feeling, and (importantly, no joke!), my own intuition. I listen to myself quite carefully about things like this.



    And an enlargement.


  38. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to Bill Ryan For This Post:

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Hey, thanks. I'm not used to people worrying about me!
    The thing here that actually does make a difference is that a planned two-day trip, with tent, sleeping bag, food, and all the rest, affords a lot more safety and comfort than an in-and-out one-day trip with the necessity to always pace the clock to make it back by nightfall.
    With my home on my back, maybe 20 lbs rather than 12 lbs, I can stop anytime I like, anywhere I like, for any reason. So it becomes much more like a vacation than a mission.
    I'm not averse to having a companion! (Especially one that can talk. ) But there are none, or none that I know. Almost everything I do here is solo.

    Bill, your climbs make for invigorating viewing. I for one would absolutely love to watch this.

    I'm the kind of guy that buys folding shovels and machetes when they are on sale and I dream of doing something as cool as this.

    For all those out there like myself who purchase kayaks with absolutely no chance of ever actually using them you need to do this.

    But please take a tent of some kind, napping in a sleeping bag under the stars next to a campfire might make you look like a tasty tight wrapped sausage to any WaWa Grande's cruising the mountain top for a snack. No feeding the WaWa Grandes, especially not with yourself and little Mara.

  40. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to DNA For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (14th October 2018), Debra (17th October 2018), Hazelfern (14th October 2018), RunningDeer (14th October 2018), YoYoYo (14th October 2018)

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