If you are someone who likes to spend your free time in the mountains, or at least thinking about mountains, then I probably don’t have to tell you who Ueli Steck is. The is breaking alpinism records left and right, and is rightfully called “The Swiss Machine” He has climbed the Eiger in Switzerland in under three hours, and that is only one of his super human accomplishments. Recently, after learning to paraglide, He decide to marry the sports of paragliding and mountaineering into one by linking up three of Switzerlands legendary peaks in one day, using his paraglider between mountains. Basically, he would climb one, then paraglide to the start of the next climb and do it again. What a way to travel!
Check out this video preview about the film coming to Reel Rock 8 this year.
So I finally have decided to go to Iceland. I’m not sure what inspired me to go there initially, but I know I have wanted to for a while and well, now I get to go! Well, not right now, but in May. Why exactly should anyone go to Iceland, you might ask? Well I shall tell you what I have discovered so far while researching.
Big ole sheets of ice, carving their way into the land, shaping it as they slowly make their journey. No trip to the land of fire and ice would be complete without venturing onto an Icelandic glacier. The biggest glacier, and biggest in all of Europe for that matter is located in Southeast Iceland. Vatnajokull, which is situated in the national park bearing the same name is massive!!! Covering over 3ooo square miles and more than a thousand feet think on average. Glacier fun includes hiking, climbing, photography and more.
The capitol city of Iceland, and travel epicenter. Chances are, if you are coming into Iceland via air or sea you will get to spend some time in Reykjavik. A few places that have intrigued me while researching Iceland are:
Probably the most notable attraction to Iceland is the Blue Lagoon hot springs. Heated by runoff from a Geothermal power plant, this blue watered resort draws people all over the world hoping to get a warm relaxing soak. Starting at around 38 Euros (around 50$ US. Ouch!!!) you too can step into the azure blue waters that this lagoon is named after. Though the price of admission seems steep(maybe i’m just cheap?), I have read nothing but good things about this place, and am told it is a must do activity for any visitor of Iceland.
What would any adventure be without a little climbing? Iceland has mountains and glaciers galore, ready to be climbed all over. Iceland offered Ice climbing and Mountaineering as well as some sport and traditional climbing. One climb that really has my attention is Hraundrangi in Northern Iceland, near Akureyri. This 1075 meter spire seems to tower over the country side. The climb includes hiking, a bit of snow travel, and of coures, rock climbing. It looks to be an all day adventure, but with the 24 hours of daylight we will enjoy during May, having enough light will certainly not pose a threat. Check out this page for more about Hraundrangi
Iceland covers almost 40,000 square miles, contains glacier, volcanoes, fjords, waterfalls, small villages, a bustling capitol city, and much more, so exploration options are pretty limitless. We plan to head north out of Reykjavik upon our arrival and circumnavigate the island using the ring road, an 830 mile loop that starts and ends in Reykjavik.
6. Lava Tubes!!!
Magnificent tunnels created by the underground flow of lava from erupting volcanos. Iceland has plenty of them to explore! During my dig of Google, I found this info about the Surtshellir Lava Tube.
Hope you found this info useful. I will be digging deeper in the coming months and intend to share as much as I find. Also, keep your eyes open for a post about our plans for the trip coming soon!
Today’s Photo: The Sky Is Falling
This past Autumn, I got a chance to play with my camera on the roof top of a building in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. It seems like I picked quite the good day to head up there. The clouds were dramatic, the sky golden, and the temperatures, fair. It really changes perspective when you get to see your home town from a new angle! Hope to get up there while a storm is moving in perhaps
This weekend, while working on a ski film project, and while shooting some events at a local ski resort, I ran into this fellow. Quite an interesting way to keep one’s face warm if you ask me, but there is no doubt it is doing a fine job. This was taken during a slalom race competition.
Posted by Patrick Gensel - February 12, 2013 - State Parks
Walking in a Frozen Land
It was a chilly New Year day in Northeast Pennsylvania, and we were geared up for a winter hike. Ricketts Glen State Park is one of those special places in Pennsylvania that I try and make it to at least once or twice a winter to take in the splendor of frozen waterfalls. Also, it makes for a great little adventure close to home since crampons and ice axes are recommended for travel along the falls trail .
Posted by Patrick Gensel - February 9, 2013 - Adventure
2013 has roared in like a lion in terms of me being quite the busy man. Mostly good busy though. I have been working quite intently with my good friend Jason on a ski film project tentatively titled ”Heaven’s Rejects”. It is a short film about the work that goes into running a ski resort in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States. Though with Nemo just finishing it’s pounding drive through the area, maybe the snow making part isn’t something that they need to worry about, but I digress.
Main Wall Collective as Jason and I like to call it is the creative group we have assembled to produce active lifestyle video productions under. We began work on the project back in November of last year, and hope to have a final product for the world to see by April. You can check out our latest teaser here, or head over to mainwallcollective.com to follow the project.
Besides the ski film project, I have been hard at play, snowboarding and ice climbing. Unfortunately I haven’t been doing much travel, but I am hoping that changes soon as I am looking to head to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada in May to do some backcountry camping and photography. Unless of course, you have a better suggestion as to where I should go
Well, that is all for now, I am making a conscious effort to be more active on this blog, and as usually, here is a photo:
Before The Freefall
During one of our weekend shooting sessions for the Main Wall Collective project we are working on, we decided to head to the local Airport to get a flight over the resort we are shooting at. It was our lucky day and we were able to get a flight. Turns out, we had a unique passenger with us on that flight, it was Don Kellner, world record holder for most sky dives(over 40,000). He was tagging along so he could jump out of the plane and add another record breaking jump to his tally.
Posted by Patrick Gensel - November 2, 2012 - Tips
There is no doubt that air travel can be a hassle, but combine the equipment needed for traditional rock climbing, and you may be ready to pull your hair out. That is why I put this video together to outline exactly what I travel with when I fly to a climbing destination.
The run down:
Usually for my checked bag, I use a large Cabela’s duffel bag, which offers plenty of room for what I need. Then within that duffle, goes everything I plan to check:
Backpack for climbing gear
Personal Hygiene Items
If you are planning a cross country trip and are looking for help with what to pack, feel free to email me: Patrick at Adventuretravelbuzz.com.
Posted by Patrick Gensel - October 23, 2012 - Photography
With the weather getting more and more chilly, the leaves beginning to fall off the trees after their outburst of color, and the coming holiday season, I am starting to get the itch for snow. So in an attempt to alleviate this itch slightly, I dug through photos from last winter and came across this one.
My friend Sabrina had come in from NYC, and we decided to do some winter camping. We headed to the nearby Pinchot trail and began a hike into the woods. After a pretty mild, snowless summer, we were greeted and pleasantly surprised by the quickly falling snow. Within twenty minutes there was half an inch of beautiful fresh snow. We later reached our camping spot, the snow had stopped, but it was silent as ever out, and a bit chilly. What are some of your favorite winter memories?
Everytime I travel to take photographs, I always hope to get that one photo that makes the whole trip worth it, the one that makes every cent spent to get there, worth the money. That one photo that I look at and go “Wow, that is cool!” Well this photo from my recent trip to New York City was exactly that photo.
I had been telling myself for quite some time that I was going to pay the $25 and go up to the observation deck on the Empire State Building. Partially because I had never seen New York from that perspective, and partially because I wanted to take some photos of the architecture from above. I love black and white architecture and cityscape photographs. The contrast does such an excellent job of defining all the intricacies of the city, and there is something a bit beautifully chaotic about the lines and shapes. Geometry at its finest. Hope you enjoy!
Posted by Patrick Gensel - October 18, 2012 - Gear
So you find yourself more and more falling in love with this travel and adventure thing eh? I know how you feel, it’s pretty addictive! You say say you want to start capturing more memories from these trips, well that makes sense, and actually, you should be doing that already! But with all the endless options out there, how do you settle on the perfect camera for you?
Honestly, there is no hard and fast rules or science here, it really boils down to what you want to do, where you are willing to compromise, and how much cash you are willing to spend. There are no shortage of options, So I will dive right into the few different types of cameras, and give and example of each. Prepare to be wowed!
Price Range: $50-$600
These cameras are probably where most of you will feel the most comfortable, or at the very least, you will be most familiar with these types of cameras. Point-and-shoot cameras are typically pretty compact, and can be stowed away easily. Now with that said, point-and-shoot cameras come in a variety of shapes and sizes and range in price from around $100 bucks all the way up to damn near a thousand dollars, perhaps even more.
The target goal with point-and-shoot camera is to offer the end user the quickest and easiest way to take a picture without any nonsense to worry about. That’s not to say some point and shoot cameras don’t offer you some manual control, but usually the focus is a streamlined and automated experience. If your focus is more on capturing memories rather than composing artistic photos, then perhaps a point-and-shoot would suit you well.
Mirrorless cameras are kinda the new kids on the block. These cameras have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their compact size and versatility. These cameras take their name from the lack of a mirror which is commonplace in the Digital SLR world. The lack of a mirror allows for a more compact size camera, but takes away the ability to have an optical viewfinder like with a DSLR. For this reason, most mirrorless cameras rely on the LCD screen or a digital viewfinder for composing shots. With many mirrorless systems, you are able to swap out lenses just like you would on a digital SLR. Many travel photographers and other professional photographers have begun to experiment with the flexibility of this new and exciting format.
Many of these cameras, such as the Olympus Pen E-PL1 offer the compact size of a point-and-shoot, but still offer many of the features found in DSLR.
Price Range: $550-$6000+
DSLR, or digital single lens reflex, is the type of camera most often made synonymous with professional photographers. These cameras offer a lot of choices as far as features, lenses and accessories go. Modeled after the professional 35 millimeter film cameras of years gone by, DSLR cameras use a swing away mirror to allow the photographer to see directly through the lens allowing for accurate compositions. When the shutter is triggered, the mirror swings away, exposing the sensor to light and creating your image.
DSLR technology has come a long way in the past few years, and the development of live view technology has made video possible on DSLR cameras. Due to the various lenses available for most DSLR cameras, they are often a great choice for those travelers who intend to shoot lots of high quality video but also want to shoot photos as well. The other types of cameras do offer this flexibility as well, but as of right now the quality of the video on a DSLR camera is unmatched in my opinion.
Most travelers who travel primarily for the sake of taking photos for artistic or professional reasons use this type of camera. Most professionals or serious amateurs are drawn to DSLR cameras because their image sensor is usually much bigger than the other types. This allows for less digital noise when shooting in low light or higher ISO(sensitivity to light) and overall better image quality.
If you were looking to dive into this facet of photography on a budget, I personally would recommend something like the Canon T4I. It is affordable (relatively speaking) and is capable of shooting great photos and video. In addition to what I just mention, this camera opens up the entire line of EF and EF-S lenses giving you endless possibilities.
Wearable/Action Sports Camera
Price Range: $199-$399
If you are in any way interested or involved in action sports or the outdoors, then you probably have heard of GoPro. Over the past few years, they have practically set the standard for what a wearable camera should be. Waterproof, shockproof, easy to mount anywhere and still provide quality images are all important aspects of these types of cameras.
Most wearable cameras offer still photography, multi-shot burst, video, and some even offer a built in time lapse mode. These cameras are great for those of us whose travels may take us to less than forgiving environments, or those of us who like to live on the edge. Though these cameras can be used as a stand alone camera, the lack of a lcd screen makes it a bit tough to frame up shots, and I suggest using this type of camera as supplement to other types.
Some notable Wearable cameras include the Contour and the GoPro Hero and it just so happens that GoPro announced their Hero3 yesterday. you can check out the deets on that over here.
Help!!! What Should I Do?
As I mentioned earlier, the type of camera you chose is going to be a combination of your intentions, budget, and personal taste. Consider and compromise with these factors and that should point you in the right direction, but if you still find yourself lost, or just want to bounce some ideas off me, feel free to leave a comment, or email (Patrick At adventuretravelbuzz.com) and i’ll be glad to help you out. Good luck and happy travels!
Posted by Patrick Gensel - October 17, 2012 - Gear
This one caught me as a bit of a surprise. GoPro, the leader in cameras for extreme sports just announced the third incarnation of their wildly popular HERO camera, simply called the HERO3.
The specs for this thing is off the chart. Boasting features like built in wifi, an f/2.8 6-element lens, better low light preformance, and 4k video resolution. All this on a 400 dollar camera. The Hero3 will be available in three different offerings, “White”($199), “Silver”($299), and the cream of the crop, “Black”($399).
The three new cameras feature built in wifi, a new housing that takes cues from the recently release flat lens dive housing, and a smaller, lighter form factor. The built in wifi will interface with the newly released IOS and Android app allowing remote framing of shots and control of the camera. The Black model will include a wifi remote, resembling a keyless entry remote for the car. This will allow you to control many aspects of the Hero3 remotely.
The Silver and White versions, while still a step ahead of the popular HERO2, Have slower burst modes, 11mp @ 10fps and 5mp @ 3fps and both models are limited to 30fps while shooting at 1080p.
The model here that is likely to have everyones attention right now is the “Black” model. With features like 1080p video at 60fps and 4k resolution, this is likely to be the heavy hitter of the bunch. With a price like $399 it’s hard not to wonder what kind of magic the GoPro team is using.
All I can say is that this was a pretty awesome surprise, and I can’t wait to check this out when it becomes available next month. Check out more of the Juicy specs over at GoPro.com