I would like to dedicate much of the outdoors related content on this site, both posted and yet to be developed, to my brother Martin.

Martin reached out to me in the spring of 2004.  He was living in the American southwest at the time, and was in need of an escape.  He had done his own research, and suggested the Berg Lake Trail as a destination.

That first e-mail triggered a flurry of activity, from gearing up from scratch to logistics and trip planning. We exchanged regular e-mails with progress updates on our purchases and preparations.  And of course he liked to pepper his e-mails with stories about human/bear encounters of the grizzly type, as well as exaggerate what to expect when we would tackle the Hump.  His teasing would have you believe that we were going to attempt a death march with fully loaded backpacks up an impossible slope (which was not quite the case).

On the face of things, the trip itself was a “failure”.  I had contracted an intestinal bug and could not participate in any of the side trips we had planned from our base camp at Berg Lake Campground.  What I did not anticipate was the profound impact stepping into my new Asolo boots (bought for this occasion) would have on me – I would frequently look forward to the next opportunity to slip into them.

These hiking boots carried me to several achievements on this, and future trips, as well as inspired me to explore so much more on a personal level.

Martin and me on the Snowbird Pass Trail

Martin and me on the Snowbird Pass Trail

A month later, a major change in personal circumstances lead me to expand on my outdoor pursuits.  I joined my local section of the Alpine Club of Canada, and through this outlet, increased my confidence in the outdoors, conquered my fears while hiking alone, and eventually assumed a leadership role.  I had graduated from the front country to the backcountry, all while wearing my Asolo boots.

Today, I practice and help to teach backcountry navigation, and have planned and executed successful group backpacking and hiking outings.

I thank my brother for the gifts and inspiration that he gave to me in 2004, and today strive to share these with others.

December, 2012

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