OUTSIDE TELEVISION BLOG

"From an Outsider" is a blog based on life in the field: Kim Havell's writing spans her interests in people, gear, skiing, climbing, mountaineering, running, and general addiction to outdoor pursuits. With a passion for travel, and a thirst for exploration, Kim combines her love for the outdoors and the mountains into her expeditions and adventures, sharing the journey on Outside TV. From the backyard in Colorado & Utah to the greater global sphere, she will reveal her personal experiences and lessons, documenting the joys and challenges of pursuing your dreams.

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It is always hard to get off the beaten track. But, Alaska is a destination that can easily provide the remote escape.

In June, I headed up to visit the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. It is a scenic 40-minute float-plane flight west from Rusty’s Flying Service in Anchorage over to the Lodge grounds in the Tordrillo mountains of the Alaska Range. 

It is always hard to get off the beaten track. But, Alaska is a destination that can easily provide the remote escape.

In June, I headed up to visit the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. It is a scenic 40-minute float-plane flight west from Rusty’s Flying Service in Anchorage over to the Lodge grounds in the Tordrillo mountains of the Alaska Range. 

Each week, a small guest roster gets acquainted in an intimate lake-side setting at the base of the big peaks. Heading in for a week of “Cast & Carve”, our crew geared up for some corn skiing and fly-fishing from the pristine enclave.

We had excellent weather and twenty-four hours of daylight. Averaging about 8-10 four-thousand-foot runs a day, the variety of terrain and the panoramic views are impressive. There are some extraordinary couloirs in the Tordrillos, in addition to the classic spines, big faces and steep peaks. Hitting up such locations like “Couloir Town”, “Top of the World” and “Beyond Bond”, each run brought a new perspective on the expanse of the range.

The 5,000 sq.ft. Lodge is a beautiful, comfortable and stocked base camp. Perched on the edge of Judd Lake at the headwaters of the Talachulitna River, with the heli landing pad out front, it is ski/fish/raft in-out. From snow/water sports, to lawn sports, to motorized sports, it is a complete playground for any age. Privacy abounds as the camp offers a recreational sanctuary.

Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is the name of the both the lodge as well as the new business that friends and Heli-Ski pros and guides Mike Overcast, Greg Harms, and Olympic Gold Medalist Tommy Moe started this past May. As owners, the three collectively have more years of experience cataloguing new terrain and guiding in the big mountains than any other operation out there. They are professionals and FUN. This is an experienced Alaskan trio with whom everyone wants to play.

We made the most of the 24 hours of light in the splash and snow. And, after long days carving down soft snow in towering mountains, it was relaxing to shift gears and wade into the shimmering lakes and the rivers for King Salomon casting.

The Lodge is available for all summer activities through September for the day or for the week. Winter week ski sessions start in February. 

www.tordrillomountainlodge.com

Accordion
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In Fall 2010, our team attempted a 1st ski descent on Shishapangma in Tibet, the 14th highest peak in the world and one of the 14 8,000meter peaks (as blogged about here on Outside Television). We successfully skied from CAMP 3 and climbed to within 400 meters of the summit but turned back due to illness, uncooperative weather, and dangerous conditions. We were purist in our endeavors. Our climb and ski was done with neither oxygen nor on-mountain Sherpa/Porter support, and during our summit bid, we were alone on the peak with no other teams present...

In Fall 2010, our team attempted a 1st ski descent on Shishapangma in Tibet, the 14th highest peak in the world and one of the 14 8,000meter peaks (as blogged about here on Outside Television). We successfully skied from CAMP 3 and climbed to within 400 meters of the summit but turned back due to illness, uncooperative weather, and dangerous conditions. We were purist in our endeavors. Our climb and ski was done with neither oxygen nor on-mountain Sherpa/Porter support, and during our summit bid, we were alone on the peak with no other teams present... There were no successful summits on Shishapangma in the Fall of 2010. After two months in Tibet, our team learned as much from the culture as we did from the mountain. Himalayan journeys offer so much more beyond the climbing: This is Fisher Creative's raw and beautiful look at traveling to the Himalaya and the experience of high-altitude ski-mountaineering.

Ski Tibet: Through Mark Fisher's Lens
Tibetan Travels, Part II
Aligning the Mind: A Himalayan Journey of People

Accordion
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We waste a lot of batteries. But, there are some small ways through which we can cumulatively make a positive change. It can be as simple as switching one habit in our household as often as possible. With the present evils of global climate change, oil and gas dependency, plastic waste issues, the water and sanitation crises, and more it is good when we are handed simple solutions to immediate problems.
 
Our Energy sources are being tapped. Enter companies that are making a difference:
 

We waste a lot of batteries. But, there are some small ways through which we can cumulatively make a positive change. It can be as simple as switching one habit in our household as often as possible. With the present evils of global climate change, oil and gas dependency, plastic waste issues, the water and sanitation crises, and more it is good when we are handed simple solutions to immediate problems.
 
Our Energy sources are being tapped. Enter companies that are making a difference:
 
Solio is the leading developer of hand-held solar chargers. Their newest device, the CLIP-MINI, is a simple and efficient rechargeable lighting product. With the CLIP-MINI, outdoor travelers have an easy and non-toxic power supply.  The CLIP-MINI utilizes the clean energy of the sun, or optionally the wall, charging via solar power or alternatively by plugging into the wall via the included USB charging cable. It eliminates the use and waste of single-use batteries. And, it costs nothing to operate via solar power. The market price is $35.
 
The ClIP-MINI also has incredible power storage. With an internal Lithium-Polymer battery that stores charge for up to ONE year, and a high efficiency solar panel to charge off the sun, the piece is reliable for most charging applications. All SOLIO products are compatible with a wide range of devices from GPS units to MP3 players to smart-phones and cameras. If a device is USB compatible then it can most likely be powered via a SOLIO product.
 
The CLIP-MINI offers five lighting modes, each varying in intensity of brightness and illumination and providing multiple lighting options to fit many needs. Illumination modes include 100% strength, 50% strength, 10% strength, Flashing, and SOS. With a fully charged battery, the Clip-Mini provides 5 hours 30 minutes of Light in 100% mode, 11 hours of Light in 50% mode, and 50 hours of Light in 10% mode.
 
There is a diffuser mode that alters the lighting color, a bike-safety mode, and an integrated carabiner that easily clips to objects for the solar charge process. Weighing only 3.6 ounces and encased in a durable shell, the CLIP-MINI withstands daily use while offering energy sustainability. SOLIO products are available for purchase through specialty retailers like REI, Sprint, RadioShack and more.
 
SOLIO also walks its talk. An Oakland, CA-based ten-year-old company, SOLIO provides rural communities in Kenya with home solar lease options, providing access to affordable clean energy and lighting systems. And, through its support and partnership of KIVA, an entity that provides microfinance loans and assistance to solar energy entrepreneurs, Solio helps individuals start green energy businesses of their own. www.kiva.org/green
 
So, buy beer and not batteries. Everyone will happier in the long and the short run.

Accordion
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