How To Build A Snow Cave

Snow caves are fun to build and provide warm places to sleep and take shelter from a storm. This is a brief how-to guide to building a snow cave. The snow cave in this example was built by 4 people near Skinner Hut at the edge of the timberline in late-December 2015 at 11,620 feet. Builders were Brett Poulin, Chris, Nick, and me, Neal Mueller. The cave we built was large enough to sleep and provi... Read More

When in Iceland

When in Iceland I recommend renting a vehicle. It’s a round island with a single ring road. When renting a vehicle I recommend a 4×4. There are no trees, so you can drive anywhere. When renting a 4×4 I recommend renting a Land Rover. The British were an adventurous lot. When renting a Land Rover, get a Defender. It protected the King of England well enough now didn’t it.... Read More

Deaths and Fairness on Mount Everest

More people died on Everest this year than any other year. The cause of 16 of the 17 deaths on the mountain this year was an avalanche, that occurred between basecamp and camp 1 on 4/18/2014, in an area known as the Popcorn Field. This is around 18,000 or 19,000 feet at the top of the Khumbu Ice Fall, the most dangerous part of the Mount Everest climb. An overhanging wedge of ice the size of a ... Read More

A Thawing Arctic

The year that Arctic Row rowed across the Arctic Ocean we witnessed the lowest ice cap in recent history. And the trend predicts more melt to come. The Arctic, the roughly 8 percent of the earth above latitude 66º 33′ north, is warming faster than many climate scientists expected—at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the planet. The extent of Arctic sea ice, which melts to its nadir eac... Read More

Launching the Lifthrasir Rowboat

Last night we launched the refurbished Lifthrasir rowboat into the flat evening waters of the San Francisco Bay. The Lifthrasir had been in the boat shop since April for a strip, overhaul, and varnish. The launch happened after 3 hours of last-minute touch-up and assembly work by 20 members of the Dolphin Club Rowing Club, including my friend Jason Zanetti and me. A bit of history on the boat, t... Read More