Tag Archives: New Zealand

December 7, 2015 Lower Yellowstone Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

12 Favorite Photos From 2015 Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

Did you get outdoors enough this past year? I like going through the photos from all of my trips of the past 12 months to remember those good times and remind myself to start thinking about where I want to go next year. I’m sharing here 12 of my favorite photos from my 2015 adventures, including several with my family. This list includes six national parks, two international trips, a multi-day descent of a world-class whitewater river, classic hikes from the Presidential Range to Zion and the Grand Canyon, and the summit of the highest peak in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains.

Enjoy. I hope these images inspire you to visit one of these places in 2016, or to start planning a big adventure—or perhaps a dozen of them—for next year. Continue reading →

November 9, 2015 Hiking Blahnukur, in Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Iceland.

15 Adventures on Earth That Will Change Your Life

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By Michael Lanza

“Change your life.” That’s a tall order, isn’t it? I mean, how many experiences have that magnitude of impact on you? I can think of several that overhauled my perspective on life, or at the least, expanded how I view the world and other people. Looking at the highest mountains on the planet and walking through villages in Nepal where people live much as their ancestors have for centuries. Seeing the surreal landscapes of Iceland (photo above) and Patagonia. Immersing myself in the mountain culture on hut-to-hut treks through the vertiginous Swiss Alps. Paddling a kayak below jungle-clad cliffs rising 4,000 feet straight out of the sea in New Zealand’s Doubtful Sound, and hiking what’s reputedly the hardest hut trek in that adventure-addicted country, the Dusky Track. And seeing unforgettable mountain ranges like the Scottish Highlands, Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park, and Italy’s Dolomites, and seals, brown bears, and sea lions in Alaska’s Glacier Bay through the unclouded eyes of my kids. Continue reading →

November 8, 2015 Kayaking Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

Photo Gallery: Sea Kayaking New Zealand’s Milford Sound

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By Michael Lanza

A vast sea of liquid glass spread out before us as we aimed our kayaks out into Milford Sound, a 4,000-foot-deep fjord in Fiordland National Park, on the southwest coast of New Zealand’s South Island. A thick fur of rainforest clung to cliffs plunging straight into the sea. The sharp, rock-crowned arrowhead of Mitre Peak rose to 5,545 feet (1,690m) out of the ocean, slashing at the sky. Continue reading →

October 12, 2015 Trekking the Alta Via 2 in Parco Naturale Paneveggio Pale di San Martino, Dolomite Mountains, Italy.

My 10 Rules of Adventure Travel

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By Michael Lanza

I remember well my first big “adventure.” Two buddies and I, all 19, biked from our hometown in central Massachusetts to the summit of Mount Greylock—the highest peak in the state. It took us four days to ride there and home again. We had cheap 10-speeds, bulky, old sleeping bags, no tent but two big plastic sheets to lay on the ground beneath us and over us if it rained—which it did the first night—and hardly a clue about what we were doing.

Although it was not evenly remotely exotic, in our minds, it was an epic adventure, and it helped kindle in us a fire for more experiences that would give us that buzz again—that feeling of being entirely on our own and not knowing what’s going to happen next, but whatever lay ahead, we were excited to leap into it. Continue reading →

April 9, 2015 Summit of Mount Luxmore on the Kepler Track, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

One Photo, One Story: Trekking New Zealand’s Kepler Track

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By Michael Lanza

After my friend Jeff Wilhelm and I reached the Luxmore Hut, where we planned to spend the first night of our three-day trek on the Kepler Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, we quickly decided there was no way we were just hanging out there for the rest of the afternoon. The sun was shining—which, in Fiordland, is rare enough that a smart trekker takes advantage of it: This corner of the world receives a mind-boggling volume of rain, up to about 400 inches a year, about 10 times as much rainfall as Seattle gets annually. So instead of resting, Jeff and I went for a hike. Continue reading →

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