Where To Next?
Over the last month, I've started to obsess over what the next year may hold. Snow is on the horizon, the gear collection is growing, and ambition is through the roof. I am a fairly big believer in always pushing past preconceived boundaries while planning trips. This last year, I was proud to spontaneously hike around a fairly remote peruvian peak in the rainy season. Wet? Yes. Slightly scary? Also definitely yes. Worth it? No question at all.
The next 12 months, though, are set to be a different story. In what ways is yet to be determined. I'm hoping the people in this community may have insight. Given we are all united around trails, HMG, gear and adventure, I have a hunch this is the right place to ask my main question:
What adventure should I go on?
Everything from the Fjords in New Zealand to the salt plains of eastern Peru are on the table. The idea is simple, what grand idea for an adventure can you come up with? Yes, I'm asking for myself because I'm desperate and having a hard time feeling creative, but I also see this as a chance to dig into people's unique experiences, allowing all of us to learn about special opportunities out there!
Right now I'm probably one of many itching to nab the new Headwall 55, which of course means that ski adventures, climbing adventures, or any other snowy mountain escapades are on the table! Nothing is off the table. All I know is that at some point, I'd like to question why I'm standing in this hypothetical wild, remote place, with my only assurance being the excitement I have for being there.
@swbugas Yeah, I think you maybe came to the right place with your question. One fellow adventurer whose travels have always gotten my imagination machine going is @JanVincentKleine - https://www.instagram.com/janvincentkleine/ - I'd be curious to hear what some of his favorite spots have been!1
I've followed Jan for some time now! Easily one of the better photographers out there, and great range to his travels. I would be very curious as well! Maybe he'll chime in...😁1
Thank you so much for the shoutout, Mark!
Hey Sam, those are great photos!
I think one way to approach the topic could be to ask what type of learning or experience I do strive for at a certain moment in time.
Is it the physical and mental challenges of a proper outside adventure? E.g. am I inspired by the creativity and uncertainty found in finding my own line in pathless backcountry pursuits? Am I into experience type B fun? Or am I more into pushing my physical limits on an established trail? Or am I not into pushing anything but instead more into an activity that gives me time and energy for new thoughts? For meditation? Growth from the inside?
Do I want to learn something new about myself? Or do I want to learn and experience a new way to play outside? Climbing, packrafting, bikepacking etc.
Am I in it for the great landscapes and the enjoyment that comes from playing in these areas in whatever way? Is there landscapes or climates that I have not yet experienced?
Or maybe I am equally/also/more interested to potentially broaden my horizon by exposing myself to another part of the world with an open heart and mind? To cultures and ways of living?
I'm looking forward to hear your thoughts. I'm sure there's plenty of knowledge and recommendations to be found within the community here for whatever aspect motivates you most!
(Apologies for weird sentence structures or grammar – I'm not a native speaker)
Appreciate the insight Vincent! I enjoy your perspective and approach. My ambition is largely to experience new cultures, new people, new types of terrain, etc... Right now, I'm curious what places have resonated well with people like you based on your own answers to the questions you presented above. For whatever trip comes next, I would love a mix of the type two fun you mentioned, a sense of remoteness, and ideally a new culture to learn from before, during and after the process. In other words, my ambitions are pretty dang broad haha. I'm curious which countries you have enjoyed the most?1
Alright, here's a suggestion that I think might fit: Ladakh in Kashmir.
The greater area: India, south of the Chinese border, between the Himalaya and the Tibetan plateau offers stunning landscape and a very interesting mix of culture and religion which is unfortunately not without challenges.
From lush forests south of the Himalaya to glaciated peaks in the main range. The dry, desert land to the north in Zanskar & Ladakh. The Tibetan, buddhist culture on the Tibetan plateau. It's an area of huge contrasts.
If you feel like you want to experience the approach, then for example the road from Kishtwar to Keylong might be the scariest road in the world. The Manali-Keylong-Leh Highway crosses the Himalaya with some 5.000m passes. But you can also fly directly into Leh which is a comfortable, central hub of the area to embark on all sorts of adventures. In Leh, it will also be almost impossible not to connect with other international travellers in the various hostels, busses, bars, hikes etc.
Leh is a great starting point for well known easy (except the altitude) cultural hikes like the "Markha valley trek" in Hemis National Park to a relatively easy 6.000m peak "Stok Kangri" all the way to your own individual treks in any level of challenge you might want.2
I love it, thanks Vincent. Great advise and exactly the kind of place I'm keen to visit. Ladakh has been on my radar for a while due to incredible proximity to some of the most beautiful terrain in the world. Definitely one of those places that feels outside of what's possible, which is why it's perfect! Thank you again!0