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John D'Onofrio

The Topography of Paradise: Autumn at Lake O’Hara

  I first set eyes on Lake O’Hara way back in 1991. It was the last day of July. It snowed. I was there on a whim, having heard about this beautiful place in the Canadian Rockies, travelling with some friends on an extended backpacking trip. We were looking for magic. We found it at Lake O’Hara. Since that first …

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Field Trip: Mendenhall Ice Caves

  As a boy, I was introduced to the joy of paddling canoes on a small lake in Ontario, a generally placid body of water with little cause for concern about wind and currents. I was taught that the cardinal rule of paddling is to avoid overloading the canoe. And so it was that I found myself, forty-some odd years …

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A Walk in the Park: Hidden Lake Peaks

North Cascades National Park is home to some of North America’s most awe-inspiring hiking trails. It’s truly a hiker’s park, sharing it’s most transcendent charms only with those willing to meet it on its own terms. The trail to Hidden Lake Peaks epitomizes this pay-to-play scenario, although in this case, the payment in sweat equity is moderate. In truth, you …

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Exploring hiking heaven in Macau

Macau is fast becoming a city on the radar of people in all four corners of the world. It is full of history, culture and magical scenery, which can be explored properly on one of the city’s many hiking trails that are available to adventurous types. Although Macau is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet, with …

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Dreaming in Glacier Bay

I had been thinking about Glacier Bay for a long time. I’d done my fair share of poking around on— and in— glaciers in the North Cascades, Canadian Rockies and Alaska. The sensuous forms and sculptural grace of icescapes had always captured my imagination. For me, glacial landscapes offered up a visceral sense of nature’s drama laid bare, the shifting …

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Above & Beyond: The End is Just the Beginning

The North Cascades are a hiker’s paradise. The trail system that we enjoy in these northern mountains provides access to spectacular places and ranks among the world’s supreme networks of footpaths. Two of the finest routes in the Mt. Baker area are the Ptarmigan Ridge and Yellow Aster Butte trails. Both transport boot-clad acolytes across landscapes of unforgettable grandeur. Both …

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St. Moritz in the Alps: The Ultimate Winter Sports and Hiking Spot

St. Moritz undoubtedly ranks very high on any list of places that winter sports and hiking enthusiasts would like to visit one day and is certainly at the top of ski resorts in Switzerland. This famous alpine resort is the perfect combination of majestic scenery, a lush environment and a wide variety of winter hiking trails to choose from – …

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Shrunken Heads and Globalization: An Interview with Lawrence Millman

I first encountered the inspired writing of Lawrence Millman some 25 years ago, when I happened upon a somewhat battered copy of his now-classic Last Places in a used book store. I was instantly smitten. The book, which chronicles Millman’s journey across the North Atlantic from Norway to Newfoundland following ancient Viking sea routes was a revelation. At the time, …

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Dancing with Goats: A Walk up Sahale Arm

“The views from here of ice-chiseled peaks and peak-chiseling glaciers are the most extensive and impressive of any trail in the west.” – Harvey Manning, Hiking the Great Northwest   North Cascades National Park is home to countless high and lonely camps, tucked away in rocky enclaves above tree line. But the highest established camp in the Park is found …

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