My daily trip to the post office have been more exciting than normal in the past few weeks. I’ve received all sorts of Tour Divide gear in...
While I'm already pushing towards the budget I had set aside for this ride, I know I still have quite the TDR shopping list to help increase...
My April desktop wallpapers show the slow slow transition from winter to spring in the Canadian Rockies. Choose one of three images for desktops and iPads.
Hello. My name is Jeff and I’m an adventurer, photographer and writer. It’s a mouthful but I find it hard to distinguish where one passion ends and the other begins. I love compelling stories about the outdoors and I admire people who’ve turned adventure into a career. While my editorial portfolio lives at photojbartlett.com, I’ve started this blog to satisfy my own curiosities about the art and craft behind adventure. The art of adventure being the compelling stories and stunning photography that inspires us to play outside, and…Read more about the Adventure Freelancer
I took advantage of the 4-day Easter weekend to sort through some older photographs that never made the cut, for whatever reason. This image of the Mt Edith Cavell Road definitely stood out as one that deserved to be shared.
I love the Edith Cavell Road because it feels like it shouldn’t exist. From highway 93A, just 13 kms south of Jasper, the Edith Cavell Road begins a 14-kilometer climb through sub-alpine forest. The road winds and twists its way up towards the base of the mountain; the road surface is the smoothest in Jasper.
While there is plenty of adventure to be had on and around Mt Edith Cavell, it’s worth noting there are also plenty of ways to spend time near the mountain. The HI Mt Edith Cavell Wilderness Hostel sits at the top of the road, just steps from the Tonquin Valley trailhead. Within the Tonquin Valley, the Alpine Club of Canada’s Wates-Gibson Hut is the go-to for backcountry climbers and skiers, while the Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge and Tonquin Amethyst Lake Lodge provide a more all-inclusive, yet rustic service.
The Athabasca River travels 1231 km from the Columbia Icefield to the Peace-Athabasca Delta in Northeastern Alberta. It’s waters eventually flow to the Arctic Ocean via the Slave River, Great Slave Lake and the Mackenzie River.
I just stumbled upon this video of a family with two small children who paddled the entire length of the watershed, from Jasper to Tuktoyaktuk, in 100 days.
It’s hard to tell which section of the river is most beautiful – though I am still leaning towards the section within Jasper National Park!
My daily trip to the post office have been more exciting than normal in the past few weeks. I’ve received all sorts of Tour Divide gear in the past week and I’m slowly preparing my Surly Krampus for the upcoming
sprint slog to New Mexico.
While I still have a few more weeks to sort out the particulars, the bike is slowly starting to resemble a Tour Divide-ready bikepacking rig. Here’s a look at what I’ve done so far.
On yesterday’s training ride, I hit a section of very rocky singletrack for the first time this season. I was ripping along, letting the 29+ Knard tires monster truck over the obstacles I was barely trying to avoid. My mind did it’s lightening fast calculation and figured my handlebars were a touch wide and likely not going to clear the gap between two trees. Sadly, the neuro-messages didn’t relay the message to my brake fingers in time. My right hand smashed into a tree, twisting the bike abruptly and launching my sorry ass half over/half beside the handlebars and into the rocks.
These handlebars are wide, but it’s practically required for all the gear that gets bolted, Velcro-ed or hung in the rider’s cockpit.
This bike is a beast and it seems Surly thought that meant it required a real brute of a saddle. I rode on the stock seat a few times but one of the first changes I made while preparing my Surly Krampus for this ride was swapping the saddle out for ol’faithful.
I rode this Brooks B17 Narrow Saddle clear across Patagonia, through Mendoza’s wine regions to the Bolivian Altiplano. It’s safe to say it’s molded to the shape of my backside and provides the most comfortable seat imaginable.
Underneath the saddle is a Porcelain Rocket Booster Rocket Seat Bag designed to both look cartoonishly large for a saddlebag and to hold 11L of camping essentials.
More changes to come soon, but this is starting to look like a true ultralight setup.
The Icefield Parkway Roadtrip is a 230-km journey that links Lake Louise and Jasper, through some of the most stunning mountain scenery in North America. To make the trip even more memorable, forgo a vehicle in favor of a bicycle. I captured this image while out on a short day ride on the northern end of the Icefield Parkway.
Five wilderness hostels line the route, along with Parks Canada campgrounds, providing more than enough opportunities to slow the journey down and spend days exploring the Canadian Rockies in both Banff and Jasper National Parks. While all the major landmarks, like Athabsaca Falls, the Columbia Icefield and Peyto Lake will stand out, traveling by bicycle means discovering countless landscapes that vehicles go racing past.
Although local road cyclists complete the 230-km Icefield Parkway in a single day, I believe its a natural three day ride for cyclists looking to enjoy the journey.
Beauty Creek and Rampart Creek Hostels divide the trip perfectly into three stages. Beauty Creek is located 87 kilometers south of Jasper (or 143 km north of Lake Louise) and Rampart Creek sits 135 km south of Jasper (or 95 km north of Lake Louise). The middle day is only 56 kms; however, it does include some hefty climbing and a requisite stop at the Columbia Icefield.
In 2013, two of my most popular Instagram photos were from Athabasca Falls in winter. This year looks to be no different, as my followers really responded to this image posted, which I posted yesterday.
It’s so great to see the ice slowly melting around the falls. While I am guilty of saying that the Canadian Rockies look more beautiful when blanketed in snow, it’s been an exceptionally long winter and I am ready for some warmer temperatures!
It turns out that Athabasca Falls isn’t just beautiful in the summer, but its also possible to score a crazy (or is it stupid) adrenaline fix?