Climbers in Yosemite Say Goodby to Jim “the Bird” Bridwell

On Saturday, May 19, climbers from around the country gathered at the Lower River Amphitheater in Yosemite Valley to share their remembrances of Jim Bridwell.

Love this last bit.

Mike Graham, a member of the Stonemasters and the early Yosemite Search and Rescue team (YOSAR), for which Bridwell was a driving force, reminded the audience that "a man dies twice: once with his last breath, and then when his name is last spoken," prophesizing that as long as there are climbers in Yosemite Valley, Jim Bridwell will not die.

Dude is probably going to live forever. Rest In Peace.

Many flock to Yosemite to say goodbye to Jim 'the Bird' Bridwell

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History Matters Too...

The title of this post is a nod to my wife who is currently getting a Masters Degree in History. I give her a hard time about her love of all things history related, but I caught this article below and it struck a chord with me.

One of those cognitive scientists spoke on the Tuesday panel: Daniel Willingham, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia who writes about the science behind reading comprehension. Willingham explained that whether or not readers understand a text depends far more on how much background knowledge and vocabulary they have relating to the topic than on how much they’ve practiced comprehension skills. That’s because writers leave out a lot of information that they assume readers will know. If they put all the information in, their writing would be tedious.

But if readers can’t supply the missing information, they have a hard time making sense of the text. If students arrive at high school without knowing who won the Civil War they’ll have a hard time understanding a textbook passage about Reconstruction.

I’ve always felt fortunate that in my younger years I didn’t have TV. My parents could only afford to pay for cable whenever the summer Olympics came around, and we never got the free network channels (lived in a valley). This meant that I read a TON as a kid. My reading comprehension was always years ahead of my peers as I got further in to my school years and was reading books meant for adults almost before I was a teenager.

The implication is clear. The best way to boost students’ reading comprehension is to expand their knowledge and vocabulary by teaching them history, science, literature, and the arts, using curricula that that guide kids through a logical sequence from one year to the next: for example, Native Americans and Columbus in kindergarten; the colonial era and the American Revolution in first grade; the War of 1812 and the Civil War in second grade, and so on. That approach enables children to make sense of what they’re learning, and the repetition of concepts and vocabulary in different contexts makes it more likely they’ll retain information. Not to mention that learning content like this can be a lot more engaging for both students and teachers than the endless practice of illusory skills.

I look back on all those things my mother had me do as a child during summer breaks. Keep a journal. Read certain books. Write about those books.

After reading this, I appreciate that now more than ever. Looks like I’ll have to start siding with the wife when she wants to take the family to all those historical sites now.

Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years

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These are the North American Mountains You Want to Photograph

For many landscape photographers, mountains represent the pinnacle of subject matter.

Not only can you photograph gorgeous mountain peaks covered in snow, but there's also plentiful opportunities to capture things like forests, lakes, rivers, glaciers, wildflowers, wildlife, and even the Northern Lights.

The question, of course, is what mountain ranges should you photograph?

Here's a few landscape photography tips for the next mountains you need to photograph.

Top Mountain Ranges in North America That Photographers Love to Photograph

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These are the North American Mountain You Want to Photograph

For many landscape photographers, mountains represent the pinnacle of subject matter.

Not only can you photograph gorgeous mountain peaks covered in snow, but there's also plentiful opportunities to capture things like forests, lakes, rivers, glaciers, wildflowers, wildlife, and even the Northern Lights.

The question, of course, is what mountain ranges should you photograph?

Here's a few landscape photography tips for the next mountains you need to photograph.

Top Mountain Ranges in North America That Photographers Love to Photograph

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Training for That Big Climb

Johnathan Siegrist:

I had laid some kind of foundation but for 2018 I really wanted to improve. Ideally that improvement would result in climbing 9b, but honestly more than anything I just wanted to feel like I was making progress. When you've spent years fine tuning your training and inching towards your personal best, massive breakthroughs become less and less realistic. You start to aim for the smallest increments to motivate you.

Been there 100%. As a long time gymnast turned climber, that “push the plateau” part of training was always the toughest but the most rewarding.

He’s training for one of the most famous (and difficult) climbs in the world, Jumbo Love.

I campaigned at Clark for roughly a month. I think I had around 11 days in total on the route this season but the process to sending really felt like it started with my obsessive planning back in December. Hopefully there is a lesson hiding somewhere in this summation of my process that speaks to you, and maybe it's just what you needed to start planning (...or not!) for your next big mission.

May 2018

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How to Use Instagram as a Travel Guide

Use geotags

Instagram has always allowed you to tag your location in posts and you can now tag them in stories as well. By clicking the location tag, you can not only see pinpointed where the hotel, restaurant, or graffitied wall is located on a map—you can see photos taken by other Instagrammers there.

"Any time I travel and want to check out a new restaurant, I look up that place on Instagram's geotags to see all the photos people posted at that location. Ninety-five percent of the time I choose what to order off the menu based on people's photos. It may seem like I'm overly reliant on Instagram, but it's actually saved me from ordering food that I probably wouldn't have wanted had I seen a photo of it." —Rachel Coleman, Condé Nast Traveler's social media director, @rachelecoleman

"Hashtags have become an incredibly over-saturated wasteland. You'll be searching a certain destination like China and there will be posts from all other corners of the world mixed in. Generally, geotags are more accurately tagged." —Brendan van Son, travel photographer, @brendanvanson

I’ve been saving places in a “places to go” private list on Instagram for a while now. I do like this next peice of advice for those who might try this out too.

Don't let the 'gram define your trip

As we've said before, Instagram is the highlight reel of travel and while it can provide so many good tips and ideas for your next trip, you shouldn't rely exclusively on the app for your planning.

"So many people these days focus way too hard on photogenic destinations. I used to go somewhere like Peru and people would obviously hit up Machu Picchu. But, they'd also head to places where the history, culture, and experience in general couldn't be captured in a photo, but that had a lot of personal value. Nowadays, they just head to Machu Picchu, the Colored Mountains, and leave. They definitely focus too much of their planning by using Instagram, rather than guides." —B.V.S.

How to Use Instagram As a Travel Guide

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You’re Going to Want these National Parks Posters

The Fifty-Nine Parks Print Series is a project helmed by the National Poster Retrospecticus that features screen-printed posters depicting many of the US national parks. The artwork for each one is stunning, and together they truly put the diversity of these awesome places on full display. It doesn’t hurt that they got an eclectic mix of artists to apply their unique styles to the series.

For every poster sold, the project directly donates 5% of the proceeds to the National Park Service.

Um, yes please.

The Fifty-Nine Parks Print Series

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The Best Thru-Hikes You’ve Never Heard Of

The Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails get all the attention—and the foot traffic—but there are plenty of long walks that aren’t crowded. These five offer the best glimpses into unspoiled wilderness, spanning each region of the country. From hot springs and vistas in the Rockies to less-frequented trails in southern Appalachia, there’s something for every thru-hiker’s skill level.

The Best Thru-Hikes You've Never Heard Of

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Journaling Automation with Day One

One of the things I love about Day One is using it as a fully digital journal, but it can be hard to use it to its full potential on a mobile device.

By nature, any journaling app is just one of many applications on your phone. Compared to a physical notebook that you might keep with you and remember to write in, something like Day One can go under-utilized if you just don’t think to use it enough.

Plus, if you’re not at a Mac often or don’t use an iPad with a keyboard, you might not find yourself getting the full use out of having a digital journal.

Nailed the big reason I don’t use Day One as much as I’d like. Definitely trying these out.

How to make journaling in Day One even better with automation

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