When it comes to products, our appetites are insatiable. There’s always something better out there. Products are limitless, but so are experiences. Planet Earth may seem fully explored — thanks to Google Earth satellites and the proliferation of Instagram adventurers — but it isn’t. We’ve climbed to the top of the highest peak, but we certainly haven’t climbed every peak.
The truth is, even for those who’ve seemingly been to all corners of the globe, adventure is just as addictive as collecting vintage Rolexes or Porsches. The wild places of the world have a way of calling to us; whether it’s the draw of unridden mountains and a foreign culture or the prospect of uncovering an ancient civilization, that call is like a nagging itch — that call must be answered. For the perpetual traveler, it’s easy to answer the question, “Where to next?” Not so easy though, the more lofty, “If you could go anywhere…”
Mountains and snow have endless details that intrigue me. Ranges and peaks near and far have so many nuances that the sheer number of new and exciting places to lay tracks is mind-bending. For me, the holy grail of locations to explore combines my love of skiing and a deep interest in ancient cultures and mysterious history. Evidence of an ancient civilization from a once temperate region is now buried in ice in a region of Antarctica. Searching for clues to this culture — who these people were and their connections to potentially other-worldly ancestors — and exploring the vast terrain of an untouched continent is my idea of the ultimate adventure. I would bring along a collection of other like-minded athletes, scientists, and experts on ancient speculative histories such as Graham Hancock. We would split exploration into low- and high-elevation teams, looking for evidence of ripping lines and ancient lives.
I’ve always wanted to go to Mongolia. Taro Tamai, founder of Gentemstick, went to Mongolia in the 90s and he showed me some photos. It’s not like Jackson Hole or Chamonix with towering peaks that you’d ride — it’s more like these barely snow-covered hills and gullies that are very unique looking. It’s just deep wilderness. I’m also really interested in the culture. I live nomadically as it is, but it’s out of a Toyota or a van instead of horses. I’m interested in how people choose to survive in these places that are relatively inhospitable. It breeds quite a bit of resilience and probably some humor around the ridiculous existence that they lead. And I think it’s pretty cool that they hunt with eagles.
What I’d Bring
Stingray by Gentemstick ~$1,117
Powslayer Jacket by Patagonia $419
MountaineerX Sunglasses by Dragon $220
XA-4 35mm Camera by Olympus $144+
Notebook by Field Notes $10
Black Hole Duffel 60L by Patagonia $129
Professional Ski Mountaineer and Long Distance Runner
It’s always evolving. The more things you do, the bigger things you want to do. You climb a summit, and you look around, and you want to climb everything around you. The more summits you climb the more you look around. Now, I’m happy doing big mountains and expeditions in the Himalaya, or a technical climb or fast ascent — then two weeks after, being able to run a short race, then one week after that a long race or an ultra. And in the winter, I’m skiing. I would really like to go to Pakistan because I have never been there and they say it has beautiful mountains. I’ve been to Alaska but I’d like to go again. Greenland, you can see from flying over, also has potential.
More From The Grails Issue
An exploration of the products in our lives that are so singular, so special and so intensely personal that no others compare. From brand new multi-million-dollar jets to Brazilian rosewood furnishings, these are Grails. Read the Stories