Tag Archives: adventure

Best of 2015

January is flying by! I meant to post this earlier in the new year, but got caught up with breaking news coverage and designing and preparing a magazine for print single-highhandedly. It’s been a year of changes and introspection for me. I’ve felt isolated as a photojournalist and I’ve been shedding layers of my identity to find what’s at my core. Changing means growth, but it can be hard. I’ve found myself bursting into tears for no known reason, yet still pushing my physical and mental limits. I think I’ve found a lot of solace in the past by associating with other photographers, dancers, outdoor adventurers, and I still do. Yet I’m learning, slowly and surely, that those things are what I do, not who I am.

Check out some of my favorite images from 2015 in a grid! (Because why not make more art out of my primary medium?)

BESTOFGRID-2015-small

And here’s some highlights from 2015, including personal adventures and career developments. I’m grateful for all the people and experiences I encountered in 2015.

  • Spent many weekends backcountry skiing, fully embracing the chill of winter and snuggling with fluffy huskies post ski.
  • Took the Amtrak train to San Francisco, and a Chinese tour bus back home, to photograph a travel story.
  • Danced through a winter bluegrass concert with my best friend.
  • Skied under the full moon on the largest flat top mountain in the U.S.
  • Performed to live piano music written by Debussy, an innovative French composer.
  • Mountain biked at night, for the first time, in Sedona, Arizona.
  • Danced and modeled chainmail in the annual Paonia, Colorado fashion show.
  • Backpacked through Canyonlands National Park in Utah.
  • Taught dance and watched young girls get more comfortable with their bodies.
  • Shoveled 700 pounds of coal in just over 2 min!
  • Trekked in the Weminuche wilderness in Colorado, stopping to swim in every alpine lake along the way! We also met a herd of mountain goats!
  • Ran the four pass loop in the Maroon Bells wilderness of Colorado, finished multiple trail races, and my first trail marathon!
  • Attended NPPA’s Women in Photojournalism conference, Geekfest, Summit Workshops for Adventure Photography, and Mountain Workshops in Kentucky, meeting many passionate photographers and visual journalists along the way.
  • Built a bed and storage in the back of my Subaru Outback.
  • Spent my birthday and Thanksgiving climbing sandstone cliffs in Indian Creek, Utah with my whole family
  • Met my partner’s family in Oregon for Christmas, climbing and skiing in the midst of the chaos.
  • Completed a personal portrait challenge, taking someone’s portrait every day for a month.
  • Moved into a beautiful farmhouse with 13 fabulous folks, where we create, share delicious meals, and have spontaneous dance parties.
  • Worked on multiple photo stories throughout the West, helped redefine print and web design elements, and developed a more robust data visualization system for High Country News.

 

Advertisements

Vantage: There for the Light

Four of us and a dog crammed into a car on Memorial Day weekend to cross to the other side of Washington State in search of some climbing. We pulled into the campsite, just as the sun sent golden rays across the valley, next to our friends with an American flag flying high from their car. For the next two days we climbed basalt pillars in Vantage, Wash. Some of us climbed for the first time, others put up their first leads, and one of us (Annapurna the dog) learned how to chimney (kind of).

This trip I focused on taking interesting pictures in camp. It’s important to be able to capture beautiful scenes that aren’t about peak action or extreme locations. I also took the opportunity to try harder routes and teach some of my friends how to belay, so I became lost in the moment rather than engrossed in capturing the moments while at the crag. In this age where everything seems to be photographed, I think letting go of the documentation to be in the now can lead to a different enriching experience.

So here’s to the downtime and approaches:

Zach Pike-Urlacher and Ari Blatt make lunch while Annapurna takes a nap, tuckered out from hiking in the hot sun.

Zach Pike-Urlacher and Ari Blatt make lunch while Annapurna takes a nap, tuckered out from hiking in the hot sun.

A climber watches the sunset above the camp at Vantage, Wash.

A climber watches the sunset above the camp at Vantage, Wash.

Annapurna the dog looks down a drop with trepidation while Morgan Foster prompts her to get over her fears and leap down.

Annapurna the dog looks down a drop with trepidation while Morgan Foster prompts her to get over her fears and leap down.

Zach Pike-Urlacher and Ari Blatt check out the sunset at Vantage, Wash.

Zach Pike-Urlacher and Ari Blatt check out the sunset at Vantage, Wash.

Ari Blatt sets up her tent in the dying light.

Ari Blatt sets up her tent in the dying light.