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Tom Diegel’s Gallivants (and Occasional Rants) Posts

FOMO in the Ascent Backcountry Journal

Over the last few years Paul Oelerich has been kind enough to let me opine on just about anything I want regarding backcountry skiing as the opening column “The Tour” in his beautiful Ascent Backcountry Journal. Like all print media, Ascent has been a challenging and not very lucrative endeavor, and when even venerable mags like Powder go away it’s a clear testament to Paul’s skill, creativity, passion, integrity, and determination that Ascent has continued…

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Bikepacking the Lost Coast

Part II of a series of posts about Bikepack adventures that we had on a recent long road trip from the Pacific Northwest to the California coast and its deserts. After a stellar tour of the John Day River/Ochoco Mountains area of Central Oregon, we did some great socializing in Seattle and Portland before heading to Southern Oregon to paddle the (formal) Wild and Scenic Rogue river (it was one of the originals designated as…

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Ochoco Overlander Bikepack

This fall Ashley and I had the unusual opportunity to hit the road for a fairly extended amount of time; she had finally finished up a fulfilling role in leading Wasatch Community Gardens for nearly a decade, so we loaded up the beige Forester, completed the all-important task of creating the hashtag #beigeforesterlife, and hit the road.  Our macro plan was go go to the Pacific Northwest first to take advantage of typically-nice fall weather…

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Doin’ the WURL

When I first starting hiking and running in the Central Wasatch after a few seasons of only really skiing there (and then in the summers mostly mountain biking in the foothills) I had a thought:  “Wow, it would be pretty amazing to traverse the ridgeline that almost encircles Little Cottonwood Canyon; maybe do it over the course of a buncha hikes over the summer. And you could call it something cool, like the LCC Horseshoe!” …

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Paddling the Flashy Paria

Our Paria adventure started as many adventures do:  a text message came in asking “hey, you busy tomorrow?”  For the first time in three years the Southwest monsoon cycles had been firing this summer, and they seemed to be making up for lost time and water, with more and bigger rain events than normal sweeping through all of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, and they were also stacking up on each other.  This caused a…

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Packrafting the Susitna and Talkeetna rivers, twice each!

If you’re a packrafter, or even someone who might be mildly interested in packrafting (or read the first of the series of articles I wrote about packrafting for American Whitewater; page 14) you know that Alaska is not only the birthplace but also kind of the motherland of packrafting.  Heck, for that matter, Alaska is practically the birthplace and motherland for nearly all outdoor adventuring; there’s a reason that tales of adventure from Jack London…

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American Whitewater Journal the tale of an Argentinian River trip

I have been a member of American Whitewater since I started paddling long ago, and have always felt good about sending them money. The Journal is fun, and AW has been a huge advocate for rivers around the country since the 1960’s. Last year they indulged me to do a series on packrafting, and this year I did a piece that described some good (South) American whitewater: a trip we did with Rocky Contos and…

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Idaho Ski Raft trip – Part III

The Marsh Creek start to floating the Middle Fork of the Salmon has never had much appeal for me; its reputation is that of a swift creek with lots of wood (ie trees that have fallen across the entire span of the river) and few eddies to suss out what’s downstream and escape the river to avoid said wood.  Rafts in particular have a tough go, since rafts aren’t as nimble as kayaks/pack rafts and…

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Idaho SkiRaft Adventure – Part II

While Jeff Creamer is a bit of a wunderkind packrafter (he’s never really paddled a hardshell boat before, yet has paddled some of the most difficult whitewater in the West) by his own admission his skiing is not necessarily up to the level of his paddling.  But his obsessive map researching and subsequent good route development capabilities are definitely class 5, and he’s a bloodhound on CalTopo, which I can only begin to decipher.  Jeff…

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Idaho Ski Raft Trip – Part I

Most of us like to play in the mountains, and most of us like to play in the rivers as well.  Intuitively, of course, we know that the are interconnected:  snow falls in the mountains, melts, and flows into creeks that join to become rivers, and even mountains that don’t retain enough snow to feed rivers with runoff generate cloud lift that in turn creates rain that feeds rivers.   But despite their connection, we as…

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