Blog

 
 

Brazil Bound - The World Cup Through Our Lenses

July 25, 2014

imageA taste of South America’s one and only with our Aussie friends—Words by Kim Oxenham, Photos by Jason Corroto 

"Brazil, a vibrant mix of stunning scenery and bulging cities of people with a passion for one thing… football. Every four years the sporting world stops as thirty two nations descend on one country to compete in the FIFA World Cup. This time it was Brazil’s turn to host the world’s biggest party and along with thousands of other Aussies we were desperate for an invite. While we love getting behind our country and supporting them against the world’s best this time we wanted a unique World Cup experience. An experience that would take us on a different route, to different regions of the country mixing with different fans. This trip would not be about "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oy, Oy,Oy".

image

Upon deciding not to follow the army of Green and Gold around Brazil it was time to pick a new side to adopt for the tournament. Cameroon, a country of twenty-two million people in west-central Africa, had just secured World Cup qualification with a 4-1 win at home against Tunisia. While our knowledge of their native French was limited, it was agreed that they were as good a choice as any and we’d have plenty of time to learn a few chants. So Les Lions Indomptables it was.

The Cameroon World Cup draw had them playing in three vastly different regions of the country paving the way for an exploration of Brazil’s landscape and cultural diversity. The endless sweeping dunes surrounding the city of Natal on the north coast portrayed the vast scale of the country and this was only emphasised upon flying into the city of Manaus over the mammoth Amazon rainforest. A two hour boat ride up the Amazon River took us away from civilisation and the World Cup crowds and into nature. Here the sense of openness was replaced with that of enclosure. We were confined to our canoes as flooded mangroves towered above us. A three hour hike into the rainforest further intensified this feeling. Dorm beds were replaced with hammocks and the hostel shower with a natural waterfall we shared with a snake.image

In contrast to the isolation of the Brazilian rain forests are the colorful tourist beaches of Rio De Janeiro. With the World Cup in town Brazilian beauties shared the sand with fans from across the globe playing their own football matches as far as the eye could see. Beyond Rio our travels would take us further abroad to explore more of the Brazilian coast including the picturesque island of Ilha Grande and the chilled out Praia Da Pipa with its long right hand break. Each spot the perfect location to enjoy a fresh coconut followed by a caipirinha or two.image

The real highlight of an adventure like this is the people. Stadiums, town squares, bars and anywhere else with a big screen served as a meeting point for locals and fans from further abroad to mix, cheer, boo, sing and laugh. The feeling of being in a stadium as seventy thousand Brazilians belted out their national anthem or seeing the look on our fellow Cameroonian supporters’ faces as our team conceded yet another goal showed us that football really is a global passion and more than just a game. This journey allowed us to experience it in its basic form in the back alleys of a favela all the way to a packed Estádio Nacional de Brasília. The end result of this World Cup may not have been to the locals’ liking but the memories they have provided will last a lifetime.”

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Jason Corroto is a professional photographer based out of Sydney, Australia. He focuses on documenting special moments in life in a way that tells a story and makes those special occasions last forever. To see more of Jason’s work, check out his website and blog - jasoncorrotophoto. Follow him on Instagram @jasoncorrotophoto and on Twitter @liquid_visions.

Kim Oxenham is a producer at Fox Sports Australia whose combined love for travel and sport have taken him across the globe. Follow his adventures on Instagram @kimoxenham, on Twitter @kimandcourtney, and on YouTube.

 
 

PedALL The Peaks In The Elk Mountain Range

July 24, 2014

image

Join Morris Hogan and Austin Johnson as they conquer the Elk Range on their mission to hike and bike all of Colorado’s Fourteeners - with PedALL The Peaks.

— Written By Morris Hogan and Austin Johnson

It was Wednesday morning and the 4:45 alarm woke the lot of us. We crawled out of our tent and strapped on our packs. Today was day one of our to be seven day trek through the Elk Mountain Range, which hold some of Colorado’s deadliest peaks. We were on our way up Pyramid Peak, our second summit of the range-Castle happened a few days prior.

From the get go we caught up to a mountain goat, the keeper of the mountains, whom showed us the way towards the east ridge of Pyramid. From here we parted ways with animal and began our own journey towards the summit. We scrambled and navigated the loose upper section but arrived safely at the summit around 9 am, we had it all to ourselves. After a quick lunch we began the decent back down, which is always more exciting than the ascent on these technical climbs.

Around 12:30 we arrived back at Crater lake, located at the base of the Maroon Bells, and we were starving. We went through our food supplies and realized that even if we rationed properly we could maybe consume about 2,000-2,500 calories a day, which is suitable for a 13 year old, but here we are burning about 4,000-5,000 a day and we’re lucky to re-nourish half that. Shit.

We ate dinner and crawled into our tent. Throughout the night, numerous animals came to pay us a visit. In the early morning, Austin was startled by an odd noise, he woke the two of us and we spotted a porcupine nibbling down on Morris’ pack. A quick yelp and the animal lazily scurried off. In the morning we wrapped up the shoulder strap of the pack with athletic tape, which would hopefully hold it through.

At around 5:30 we were back on the trail towards South Maroon peak. Steep and dirty; the trail was unrelenting. We were burning calories we didn’t have, but that didn’t matter, there is no place we would rather be. Around 7:30 we hit the ridge of South Maroon, where the technical aspects of the day would began. We crossed numerous gullies of loose limestone. Kyle unfortunately stepped on a microwave sized block that was everything but solid, the block broke loose and tumbled down into oblivion, fortunately Kyle stayed put.

After that little scare we continued up to the summit of South Maroon, from here we gained a great perspective of the traverse over to North Maroon. We enjoyed a quick snack and began the traverse around 9:30. The decent off South proved to be loose and scary. Towards the saddle we endured a solid 30 foot down climb into the bell cord. From here we quickly regained the elevation with the 50 foot climb back up the blocky ledges.

imageThe remainder of the traverse involved navigating wet, loose, and steep limestone. We safely arrived on North around 11. After a quick lunch we began the decent down the steepness that is North Maroon Peak. It wasn’t till around 2 when we arrived back at camp, starving as usual.

For whatever reason, these more difficult peaks were extremely clean compared to most other mountains we’ve seen this year. We found some trash, but really not a lot. Maybe these mountains require more experienced climbing abilities, and with experience comes the respect for the mountains that results in clean trails.

Back at camp we took a quick snooze next to Crater Lake and awoke right in time for dinner. We ate what little we had and went to bed still hungry, per usual. The following morning we packed up camp began the trek towards Snowmass Lake. We couldn’t get there soon enough, we knew there would be fish in that lake and those fish would soon be our dinner.

We passed over Buckskin pass at around 11 and arrived at Snowmass Lake no later than 1. Along the way we scooped a good bit of trash compared to the amounts we found on Pyramid or the Bells. The weight of our packs nearly threw out our backs each time we bent down to clean up nature, but as always it was worth it.

Once we arrived at the lake we were greeted with an infestation of mosquitos and people alike. We quickly set up camp then moved lakeside. Within 20 minutes we reeled in the first catch, and then another, and another. Before long we had four decent sized fish. Head, tail, and guts, all that was left was tender succulent meat.

We kindled up a fire a decent distance from the water and cooked the deliciousness. When it was all said and done we had nearly a pound of fresh fish, the perfect additive to our freeze dried meals. After dinner we crawled back into the tent and caught some much needed rest.

That evening our friend and Morris’ brother showed up-Mike. We had no idea he was going to join and it was quite the pleasant surprise. We groggily greeted but were soon fast asleep.

Knowing that Snowmass was slightly less technical than the rest of the Peaks throughout the trek, we allowed our selves the luxury of an extra hour of sleep. After a small, quick breakfast, we finally set out for the day’s mission around 7:00 AM. We somehow managed to find ourselves off trail and inhaling a fresh bug-hatch as we bushwhacked through the swampy landscape. Twenty minutes of hell brought us to some steep scree which we quickly scurried up. A little tundra, glacier, and more scree travel brought us to the top of the ridge around 9:00. And thirty minutes later, the four of us were celebrating on top- peak 31! 

A short discussion on the summit led to the decision to descend the opposing North Ridge rather than what we came up. It was a tad more sketchy, but it was a short route down to a long glissade. We were down in no time and hanging out around the beautiful Snowmass Lake around noon with cold, delicious beers in our hands (Mike was an animal and carried em’ up for us).

A few hours later we were greeted with another surprise, and yes, it may have saved the lives of a a few fish. Another group of friends had heard that we were up at Snowmass that night, and they knew that we were extremely hungry. All of the sudden, we were rich in ramen, it was a salty and satisfying filler to add to our freeze-dried’s. We finally went to bed full, it felt amazing. 

It was a late start for us the following morning, and we knew we had a long day ahead of us. Shortly after 10:00 AM we marched down from Snowmass Lake to set up camp for the next days summit of Capitol Peak. Six miles down, an extreme creek crossing, more than enough bushwhacking, and 5 miles of up finally brought us to the base of the east side of Capitol around 5:00 PM. We set up the tent, cooked dinner, and passed out before sunset. 

imageThe alarm sounded forty-five minutes before sunrise, which allowed us just enough time to break tree-line as the light peaked over the horizon. It was a perfect morning. A couple hours later, after scrambling up large boulders and steep snow, we were enjoying a snack at the start of the true ridge to Capitol, which starts from K2. The exciting class-4 traverse took us another couple hours or so, and before we knew it the summit was all ours. We high-fived, relaxed, ate an early lunch, and then realized it would be the last thing we would eat until we made it all the way out and back to the trailhead. 

The descent, as always, was more testing than the way up. We took our time and stayed focused on the technical sections, but as soon as there was solid ground under our feet, we were going for gold. Not ordinary gold though, this gold consisted of Wings, Burgers, Philly’s, Beer, and Ice Cream- all the cravings we had been waiting to satisfy. 

 
 

Capturing Light Through The Lens Of Seth Andrew

July 23, 2014

image

ZEAL Optics Ambassador Seth Andrew shares some amazing insight on taking amazing photos in the first of a series - this week we kick things off by “Thinking outside the box”

Broken down into its simplest form, photography can be described as the act of capturing light.  As simple as it may seem, it is actually vastly complex to use the light to capture a beautiful moment in time.  Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of the moment. image

If you are a photographer, then you have probably heard of the “Golden Hour.”  This phrase is used to describe the soft natural light given off within the hour of sunrise and sunset.  As a general rule of thumb, the Golden Hour will be your best bet for getting the most out of your photos.  And honestly, who doesn’t love a good sunset?  But this doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t go after a shot outside of these times.  Some of my favorite shots were taken at various times throughout the day.  It just depends on where the light is located and what surroundings it is effecting. 

For example, there is a beautiful waterfall located on the Sacramento River near Shasta, CA that faces west.  I chose to wait until mid morning (far past the Golden Hour of sunrise).  This location is heavily shaded due to the shadows from the rising sun. There would have been too little light to bring out the bright greens and yellows that I was looking to capture.  Even though the light in the sky was technically less desirable for shooting, waiting for the brighter, mid-morning light allowed the trees just behind my position to help illuminate the scene.  Think: bounce flash off of a ceiling or wall, but on a much larger scale.  This ambient light is what made the shot possible.image

Another time that I shot using “less-than-desirable” light is when I went to the lava caves in the Mojave Desert.  Some of the lava caves have open portholes, where sunlight can shine down into its chambers.  The trick here is to know where the sun will be in the sky and at what time.  Once you know this, you can use it to choose when you need to be ready at your location.  In my case, it happened to be right around mid-afternoon, which is normally not ideal.  Had I taken the shot any earlier, the beam of light would have been too bright.  It would have filled the entire chamber with far too much light, creating less of a “beam” look and washing out the entire scene. On the other hand, had I waited any longer, the beam would have disappeared altogether.  Waiting for that perfect moment got me the exact results I had envisioned… and in photography, there is no greater feeling than looking down at the camera and saying to yourself, “Got It!” image

image

image

Sometimes it’s a good idea to bend rules and think outside the box.  So get out there and explore some new locations.  Maybe even check out a few places that you have already shot at different times.  Who knows?  You just might find a hidden gem by using the shade, clouds or a certain time of day to really capture the light.

image

image

 
 
Join ZEAL Optics for our biggest Industry Night ever. Run For The Hills with a talk by Jon Kedrowski, and help raise money for Second Mile Water and The Colorado 54 with a huge raffle and silent auction with great items like a guided fourteener experience, a tour and tasting fromSilver Oak Cellars, prints from Chris Burkard Photography and Artifact Uprising, and beer for a year from Sanitas Brewing. Did you mention the after party at Nod & Rose Storehouse? Music by Nate Hrivnak and much more!!
July 22, 2014
 
 

Amateur Hour: Skate Slayer Tyler Quigley

July 22, 2014

Name: Tyler Quigley

Hometown: San Clemente, CA

Current Location: San Francisco, CA

Sport: Skateboarding was never a sport until recently.  Thank you Street League…

How long have you been skateboarding? 15 years

Hobbies other than skateboarding:  Grilling, biking, cruising, scooting and dogs

What do you love about ZEAL? I love the technology behind the sunglasses and how aware of the environment the company is.

Favorite ZEAL product and why? I enjoy the MEMPHIS because they are sleek and light.

What inspires you? Friends and the ‘lil groms who shred way harder then me.

Top 5 songs on rotation on your iPod right now:

Check out time - 2pac

DJ Cam - Summermadness

Duangdao Mondara & Chailai - The Black Superman

Janis Joplin - Summertime

King Diamond - Charon

 
 
Got your tix for @SanitasBrewing's #SanitasFest? It’s gonna be a heater. See you on July 26. GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY!
July 21, 2014
 
 

San Juan Hut Systems: Mountain Biking From Telluride, CO To Moab, UT

July 21, 2014

7 days, 260+ miles, 32,000+ feet climbing…

By Nate Miller

Scenic mountain vistas, rolling plains, dense pine and aspen forest and the desert would be the setting for this 7-day journey. There were 8 of us (3 women, 5 men) who would share this incredible week together. Each night we would spend in a different hut. These huts were stocked with canned and dry items from your grandmother’s pantry, coolers full of bacon, eggs, cheese and beer. The sleeping arrangement was a cozy bunk set up, but most of us opted to pull the mattresses outside to sleep under the stars. Since our food and water was taken care of each day and night we didnt have to worry much about the days ahead. Forty-ish miles a day was our average. 

Packed on our backs were a couple clothing items, rain shells, flip flops, bag liners, safety and repair items. with eight of us we could split up the load. Of course we (the guys) would sherpa more gear in our chivalrous manner.

All the days were tough in their own way. Day one was getting used to the added weight of rider and bike. The first 40 miles of the journey gained around 8,000 feet in elevation. The last 100 yards being a hike-a-bike up a loose rocky trail to the Last Dollar Hut. This day would be the benchmark for the rest to come.

The following day was pretty straight forward. Double track through high plains zigzagged to the Spring Creek Hut. Days 3 and 4 would be spent riding deep in the Uncompahgre National Forest. Remote, primitive and simply amazing single track. Coupled with some dirt road in between, encounters with disrespectful trucks, and a friendly rancher named Whimer. Whimer didn’t heed us from travel but we were sure he was scratching his head at what the hell 8 of us were doing about to descend into the woods. He said if anything happened and we needed shelter from the looming storm to stay at his ranch (somewhere down there he pointed). Cow pies, downed trees, straying off course a few times and we made it back to the road unscathed. As we exited the trail Whimer came driving the other direction. Thumbs up from the old rancher rejuvenated us and it was off to Graham Ranch to celebrate the 4th of July. Showers, BBQ and a re-up of supplies were awaiting. A few of us overindulged in the party and luckily the next day was overcast and cool as we would ride the remainder of Uncompahgre sweetness before taking the descent into the town of Gateway, CO. The only saving grace of this hut was the river 50 feet away. An oasis from the 100 degree heat. 

It wasn’t getting easier. We were still a shit show. And motivating a group of 8 in the morning was our struggle. We knew leaving early on day 6 was the smart thing to do. After cooking breakfast and cleaning, not to mention some bicycle repairs that had been neglected for the past few days, we departed at high noon.

This day’s route was 22 miles. Uphill. Starting temp of 108 degrees and it never got cooler than 95 before our first regroup at the CO/UT border. I don’t think I’ve ever sweat that much. It was as if i had a faucet turned on from my face. We all made it to the final hut (Jabba, named for its green color) in the La Sal Mountains. We made our last canned food dinner  top some pasta, had a group yoga session before all falling asleep under the stars for the final time. The final day we rode the ever familiar Porcupine Rim, finishing off the day cheers-ing margaritas & Burritos at some Mexican joint in town.

I can speak for all of us when i say this was a trip of a lifetime. We all had great focus and determination coming into this ride and exceeded our mental and physical expectations. Each day knowing what was ahead and where we came from the previous day was mentally exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. Now that I know what a trip like this takes i’ll be embarking on more. I’ve been a cyclist my whole life and have countless hours in the saddle. Whether it be, racing, training commuting or an adventure like this, I cannot wait to Explore More! Pedaling two wheelers makes me smile. 

 
 
Join More Than Just Me's Tommy Danger and Mark Nolan as they scale Sunlight and Wyndham peaks outside Telluride as they train to conquer the remaining peaks in the 7 Summits to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis.
July 20, 2014
 
 
Huge thanks to ‪#‎MatthewCoughlin‬, Nightmare Development and Woodward at Copper for keeping our summer shred dreams alive. Check out the latest ‪#‎PublicPark‬ from Week 3 of ‪#‎WoodwardAtCopper‬
July 19, 2014
 
 
Looking forward to an amazing journey of exploration and wanderlust to the wild north of Canada with Jason Van Bruggen and crew. Things are about to get deep - stay tuned…
July 18, 2014