I am an outdoorsman and explorer. Growing up in Nova Scotia, this consisted of carrying a fishing rod in the spring and summer and staying near water, while in the fall and winter I'd carry a shotgun for small game. It was never about fishing or hunting, it was about being outdoors. I also collected rocks (amethyst, agate, and other crystals) and had collections of animal skulls, wasp nests, and antlers. I still find almost everything about nature fascinating.
When I followed school and work out west, I adapted my hobbies to fit my new surroundings. I now do a ton of hiking, scrambling, fishing, backpacking, and snowshoeing. I want to get a packraft and canoe too. I still love learning about what I see, whether that is flowers, tracks, or poop, and like solving little mysteries about the natural world. I do it all because that's who I am – an outdoorsman. I'm not a peak bagger, I just hike up peaks because the top is a logical stopping point. When I go fishing, I stop at the lake. I'm not a hiker, scrambler, or snowshoer either; those are just activities I currently enjoy while outdoors. I choose trips for the conditions, my mood, and a variety of inexact measures, but it's all designed to get me outdoors.
About this website:
While this website has evolved over time, its core purpose has never changed: It's a journal of my adventures, for me and my close friends and family. Just like any other journal, I do this to reflect on my life and so that I can go back and relive my adventures and dream about the future. In a way it has also captured my evolution as an outdoorsman and photographer, and it's nice to look back and see how far I've come.
When I first started hiking in the Rockies I used the photo albums and trip reports of others to supplement the guidebook directions, and so I felt it made sense to make my journal public. In time its popularity grew to the point that I was being recognized on trails, and overall I've very much enjoyed sharing my adventures with the world.
Quite a lot has changed in the past couple years though. Whereas it once appeared most outdoorspeople were there to experience and connect with the natural world – motivations that breed a deep respect for conservation – many now seem to believe the world is there to be exploited for their own amusement. Conservation and leave-no-trace principles have taken a backseat to an egomaniacal sense of entitlement. Hike any official trail near Calgary and you'll easily see hundreds of people overcrowding the trail instead of driving past the full parking lot to their backup plan. The damage and unsustainability is readily apparent to anyone who cares about more than just themselves. Simply put, the content of this website was never meant for these types.
There isn't a lot I can do to stop the destruction, but what I can do is to stop posting public reports on areas that haven't yet been overrun. So that is what I have done. These albums still exist for my family and friends, but they're now password-protected. I don't like this one bit as I know I'm blocking these reports from wonderful people too, but with no useful way to vet the public (Zenfolio is limited in its access options), I see no alternative and I dislike this less than the thought of contributing to the destruction of another alpine oasis.
If you'd like to contact me, I can be reached at mclay1234[at]gmail.com, or you can follow my public posts on Facebook by clicking the Follow button on my profile.