Greetings my fellow granola eating and velcro strap sandal wearing enthusiasts. My name is Lucas Wale, similar to most of the other bloggers spotlighted so far, I too am an explorer of this wonderful landmass once referred to as Pangea. Originally from Chicago, my roots mainly derive from the fact that at the tender age of 10 I was a famed drug lord in the much-publicized south side of the city referred to as ChI-raq. Honestly though guys, I was raised by 2 British parnetals in the suburbs – surrounded by cornfields, cow patties, and a landscape that was as flat as a pancake. In 2007, that lifestyle changed drastically (Hallelujah!) when my family moved out to Highland, UT for my fathers work. Living at the base of the Wasatch front meant it didn’t take long before I caught the ‘outdoorsy’ life style bug. I mean, who in there right mind would move to Utah and just stare at the mountains without having the slightest nose itch to go check out what they have to offer? Anyway, 9 years on from the move I am as eager as ever to get out and find that next great, all natural, experience.
When I heard from a genuinely incredible person/friend of mine about this wonderful company she was looking into getting started, I couldn’t help but unleash my inner STOKE! We all have different callings from nature, whether it be due to a thrill seeking itch, exercise goals, natural therapy for an underlying condition, or even an excuse to take that cute girl or boy from your Writing 1010 class out on a cheap first date. It has this unique way of providing us with this euphoric escape form everyday life that we wouldn’t otherwise have at our disposal. In this day and at our tween-ish, early twenty and older ages life definitely has its challenges. For me and from what I’ve read from many others involved with the club, we all look to our outdoor experience to create separation, and authenticity in what is an otherwise bland and suppressible real world. So as my initial plug and support for the Pangea Explorers Club: Get outside! Find your niche! And enjoy the adventure along the way!
That all aside, let us proceed with the business at hand - “Jonesing for winter.” As an avid outdoorsmen (in my own mind) I constantly have the draw to explore all phases of our planets detox system, formally known as changing of the seasons. What we all learned about in kindergarten: summer, fall, winter, and spring, its absolutely astonishing stuff. It is so unique that we are able to enjoy 4 different climate phases throughout the course of a year. These phases all offer up such unique experiences as well, constantly keeping us on our toes. With 21 total years under my belt I have been so blessed to experience this cycle just about, well, 21 times. Over the years and with a plethora of adventures in each season of the cycle I have developed this unconditional love for a single phase, that being winter. Winter is most excellent: it makes everything look dead, it makes everyone ultra grumpy, and it makes traffic 10x worse. But above all that fantastic stuff, it provides us with some of the most unique outdoor opportunity’s imaginable. This is why no matter what time of they year it is I am always looking forward to or ‘Jonesing’ for winter.
I know with summer winding down a lot is made about how upset everyone is that winter is coming and all their favorite hikes and swimming holes will be closing. My argument to that is that we simply aren’t trying hard enough. Grab some snowshoes and enjoy that same hike or pull out your ice drill, throw on your favorite swim attire and take that polar plunge. That last one was a drastic example, but you get the point. Winter can seem like a drag at times, but with a few more layers and a smile as long as the hike to the peak of Timpanogos, anything is possible. I acknowledge by this point all of my preachy non-sense has probably scared off most readers. If you managed to get this far, this is the point where I tell you about my exploits from our most recent winter. And by all means if any of this tickles your fancy or you are interested/ have questions feel free to get in contact with me.
This past winter (2015/2016) provided me the amazing opportunity to spend a lot of time ski touring (split boarding) in the Wasatch and Bridger-Teton backcountry (hence WY. Explorer). Both completely different and wonderful landscapes that I would be thrilled to show even my worst enemy. For those that may not be familiar ski touring is a way of accessing terrain that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible via ski resort lifts. It presents a new set of variables that wouldn’t otherwise be of great concern while skiing at your favorite local ski resort. Amenities such as food, water, shelter and mainly toilets are a scarce commodity in the backcountry. Basically all the things that are necessary to ensure your lively hood, maybe minus the toilet part. Putting yourself in the backcountry requires that you take full responsibility of managing each of these amenities. Along with those functions you also throw in the perils of fast moving weather systems, equipment mechanicals, wildlife, and most of all avalanches. Backcountry skiing is all about management of the variables and the risk that comes along with each of them. “KNOW BEFORE YOU GO” means everything out there. That being said, the snow is deep! POWPOW is served on the daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For me the draw to this sort of recreation comes from the inherent unknown/reliance on my partners and I for our collective safety, the opportunity to access terrain that is scarcely utilized, and overall the journey along the way. Short description, but as a visual learner I’m hoping the pictures shed a little more light on the situation and how fun the winter truly is. Stay amped for winter guys, because she is just around the corner and excited to spend time with each and every one of you.
Cheers for reading along. Thrilled to be apart of the Pangea Family. Be safe out there explorers!