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Scouting in the Zirkel Wilderness: Part 2

After our last scouting trip up to the Zirkels ended with finding the perfect location we decided to go back with some surveying gear to confirm that all of the angles and headings were correct. As always we brought some friends to be sherpas and did a little bit of shooting for Mika Yoga Wear along the way.

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Morning grinds to power some climbing.

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Chalk up and go.

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That bokeh on the Canon 35mm SSC is just ridiculous.

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When your adventure partner is really unhappy that your out in the middle of the lake.

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These feet have seen a few miles this year.

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Always bring the dogs along.

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Rangefinding……1800m. And some serious farmers tan!

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Doing and math and stuff.

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Top of Little Agnes just in time for Sunset

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Dancing In A Fantasy

Every year for our anniversary we try to go somewhere “new”. That can be close to home or it can be far but it has to be somewhere neither of us have experienced. Kaydee wasn’t very happy when I told her we were going to Vernal, Utah this year! But a little bit of alpine caving, some desert sun and a landscape straight from the set of Mars quickly changed her mind.

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Sometimes you just gotta dance…..45sec exposure with a color changing Luci light.

 

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Scouting Big Agnes Peak

 

We routinely drag our friends into the wilderness in search of new locations for upcoming shoots or when we could use some sherpas to carry extra gear. Sometime things work out and we find amazing things, sometimes it really doesn’t and we end up soaked but stoked to be out anyhow. In looking for a new location to shoot some mountain Aerial Dance stuff we went back to a place that has some special meaning to me as it was my extended back yard growing up.

The Zirkel Wilderness area is 159,935 acres of pristine wilderness just outside of Steamboat Springs, CO. It’s the site of the high point of Routt County (Mt. Zirkel) and one of my favaorite places in the lower 48.

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Standing on top of Big Agnes peak scouting the ridge.

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One of my favorite things about the Zirkel Widlerness is the amount of water (and fish). Creeks and lakes everywhere!

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Happy trail dog.

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Unhappy trail dog.

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Devon Barker Stills & Motion - Catamaran Sailing - Carribean

On The High Seas – Guatemala to Florida

We didn’t have much of a plan on how to actually get back from Guatemala. We had three months on our Visas and knew we’d have to get back to the states via bus, plane or as it turns out…sail! We had a few days to kill before meeting up with our friends who own the catamaran “Adonai” so we jumped on the bus from Yepo to the Caribbean coast and did some exploring.

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The best turtle hunters in all of Rio Dulce! The water taxis in the background run up and down the lake all day running expats to their homes and boats.

 

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We’ve been to many hot springs in our travels but this is the first hot waterfall we’ve ever been too. This one is going to be hard to top!

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In search of Topado in Livingston, Guatemala. Topado is a sea food dish that usually consists of salt water fish, mussels, prawns and plaintain stewed in a coconut based broth. After passing an older gentleman on the street who handed us a paper menu, we had to give his restaurant a try. Turns out it was a just a couple tables and when we were told we could eat outside we found that we had our own little private wharf to enjoy sunset and a Gallo : )

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Never know what you’ll find creeping around in the jungle. #freelensing

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Beautiful morning to be setting sail.

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Navigating downt the Rio Dulce towards the Carribean.

 

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As we made out way down Rio Dulce, all I can imagine is the Spanish trying to bring galleons up this narrow river with nothing but oars for power.

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The days activities have always got to include fishing! Mahi for everyone!

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Kaydee and I took the early morning shift (my favorite) which means we always got to catch the sun coming up over the horizon.

 

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Sails up and calm seas.

 

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When you have an abundance of beautiful purples reflecting off the atmosphere and in turn the texture of the ocean you just can’t help but ask the wife to model for a moment ; )

 

Devon Barker Stills & Motion - Volcan De Fuego Rescue - Acatenango, Guatemala

Third trip (and possibly final) trip up Volcan De Acatenango – Guatemala

We had a sobering reminder of the power of weather over the weekend. Climbing Volcan De Acatenango for the second time this trip, we got an afternoon start with the intention of camping near the saddle and summiting before sunrise to shoot timelapses. When we hit the saddle the wind was whipping and there were tents everywhere out in the open and full of people trying to stay warm to summit the next morning. After being invited to join a group around their small fire for a minute of warming up and some instant coffee, we went in search of a place to setup for the night that had a little more shelter. The saddle was full so we found a small patch of dry mountainside between a couple tress to provide at least a little bit of wind protection and started to try and level a spot in the volcanic soil using machetes and our hands. We built a platform roughly big enough for our two small tents and small fire to warm up some dinner. We crawled into our already soaked tent to try and get some sleep for the next morning.

 

4am rolls around and the alarm goes off and instantly I realize that we’re all soaked. The temperature dropped in the night and condensation has soaked everything in the tent on top of the rain/sleet that started sometime around 1am. I strap on my soaked shoes and wrap my soaked sleeping bag around some equally soaked cameras in the hopes that it might help somehow and we set out to investigate the summit. We quickly realize it’s still sleeting and visibility is 5-10ft at most as we pass through the camp at the saddle. A few minutes up the trail and where there used to be a camp, there’s now just flattened tents and make shift tarps. What was a tolerable wind five minutes back down, is now a force we’re barely able to walk against on the ridge. The wind is whipping rain/sleet sideways and anything we had managed to keep dry in dry bags is now soaked through as well. The summit definitely isn’t happening and if it is, we’re definitely not going to see anything. We call it quits and head back to our camp and are on the trail back down by 5am to try and get out of the wind and warm up.

 

Fast forward to the morning after we get back…and we’re told 7 people died on the mountain that night, 3 are confirmed and the other 4 are unreleased.

 

All my mountaineering friends, stay safe out there…this weekend was a reminder that there’s just a few millimeters of nylon separating you from the elements and the power of the mountain.