March 3, 2016
Peter Perry: Trekking Peru's Cordillera Huayhuash
In August, local builder Pete Perry, 58, along with his son, Jackson, 19, and daughter, Dani, 21, headed to South America to trek the country's famed, 90-mile Cordillera Huayhuash route in the Peruvian Andes. "It's a special place," he says. "We did the classic, 90-mile trek in about two weeks, climbing about 4,000 vertical per day." As a side trip, they climbed "a moderate alpine route" on 17,716-foot Diablo Mundo en route. "The hardest part was seeing an Israeli kid in our first camp who had died of complications from altitude," Perry says. "The highlight was fly-fishing for trout at 14,000 feet. Plus, you can get donkeys to carry your gear and a cook for next to nothing. I'd recommend it as a great adventure for anyone."
Peter Hall: Supping Japan's Yoshino
Visiting an international distributor has its perks. Just ask Peter Hall, owner of stand-up paddleboard company Hala Gear, who flew to Japan in November for business as well as a little boarding. The latter occured on the Yoshino River with an assortment of team riders, dealers and local river guides, including local SUP stalwart Masayuki "Yaku" Takahata. "It was as much a cultural handshake as it was a paddleboard and business trip," says Hall, whose crew camped along the river at an off-season river guide outpost. "They showed us a lot of Japanese hospitality and numerous rivers." The hardest of the waterways was the Yoshino, whose Class IV rapids made it "the most legit whitewater I've ever paddled," says Hall. Using the company's new Hala Luya board, he proceeded to make the main rapid's only clean run out of 45 combined attempts. "It was the steepest, fastest and biggest drop I've ever done on a paddleboard," he says. "It was a great place to test out some of our new products."
Tom Sharp: Trekking Europe and Iceland
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It was a big hiking summer for retired water attorney Tom Sharp, 71. First, he knocked off the 90-mile Walkers Haute Route from France's Mont Blanc to Switzerland's Matterhorn with his son, Brian, 38. Then, no sooner than un-tying his laces back home, he flew back across the Atlantic to tackle southern Iceland's 40-mile Laugavegurinn Trek, knocking off the 40-mile hike in five days.
"We stayed in mountain huts and inns on the Haute Route," he says of the nine-day trek linking Chamonix and Zermatt. "One time we arrived soaking wet in the dark just in time for a family-style dinner and round of applause from the other trekkers."
In Iceland, his group trekked from Landmannalaugar to Porsmork, traversing moss-covered valleys and lava fields riddled with hot springs and fume holes into a land of snowfields and glaciers. They also visited "a cave reportedly home to trolls" before celebrating the trip's end in Reykjavik with a dinner of rotten shark and horse steak and toasts of Floke, an Icelandic single-malt whisky.
Sergio Ryan: Grinding gears to the Grand
Coal mine loop, schmoal line loop. Last summer Sergio Ryan rode his bike round-trip to an even bigger ditch in the earth. On a heavy, steel, 1980s-era Fuji road bike borrowed from his father, Ryan, 23, pedaled to and from the Grand Canyon for a grand total of 2,200 miles. When he made it back to Steamboat Oct. 23 — 53 days after leaving on his birthday Sept. 1 — he had learned a lot about perseverance. "Once I started, I knew I would finish," says the Minnesota transplant who works as a ski instructor. "Every day I'd set my own goals, and it was up to me to complete them."
Avoiding the Interstate, Ryan went southwest through Telluride before cutting through Utah's Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon's North Rim. His return journey took him through Utah's Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, where he had one of the best moments of his trip. "With the super moon rising over the cliffs, I climbed to the top of the highest dune in the middle of the night," Ryan says. "I had a pretty good revelation up there." This overshadowed such bad moments as a flat tire in the Navajo Nation Reservation, and a four-mile stretch carrying his bike through sand. "You learn a lot about what's important on a ride like that," Ryan says. "It's sad when you come home, but that's when you just start planning your next adventure."