The new year started with a bang regarding my travel plans. By this I mean an implosion as a trip I've been working on for over two years to the Galapagos to scuba dive collapsed right before Christmas. Due to changes by the Ecuadorian government my trip of nine clients soon became four and with another large payment due to the boat owner this was several below the go/no go number needed.
This opened up several weeks of vacation time that had been committed to the trip–two in Ecuador and another week in Peru to visit Machu Picchu. So no travel plans at all for 2009. For anyone who knows me knows it is difficult for me not to have a goal or trip to focus on, plan and train towards. For one it keeps me in shape as my trips are usually active adventures and not sitting on a beach, book reading R&R; the other is I am a planner by nature and also profession. To not be planning something it akin to asking an artist not to create art. It just doesn't happen; its not natural.
While my running plans at first formed up quickly for the year travel plans were elusive. Now that my knee is acting up the running is on hold. I'm not sure what race I'll train for at this point. So back to travel planning.
Over the years I've noticed that many people can't, or don't, want to commit to a trip too far in advance. That's great when all they are doing is picking a trip and writing a check to pay for it. For those of us who plan trips its a different story as many logistical issues need to be considered and booked often well in advance in order to have a successful trip. I am reguarly working on multiple trips one, two or even three years in advance. Having done both types of trips you can safely assume that I prefer to plan and execute them than just sign up on one.
Now with that preable out of the way I had four climbing trips to consider, three in Alaska and another in Bolivia. With unfinished business in Bolivia, from my expedition there last year, I had some serious thinking to do. The Alaska objectives are two groups going to Denali (20,300 ft), also known as Mt. McKinley, and Mt. Foraker (17,400 ft) via the Sultana ridge, a more technical route.
And the winner is…
2008 Photo of Denali with a lenticular cloud.