WATER | Grand Canyon

A hat tip to Ed Abbey and the magic of water in the desert. Shot in fall of 2018 on a river trip through Grand Canyon National Park.

“Water, water, water….There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide free open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.”

– Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness

HIGH FLOW | 40k CFS at Crystal Rapid

Crystal Rapid roaring back to life during the 2018 High-Flow Experiment in Grand Canyon National Park.

See comparision photos and read the full story at http://www.danransom.com/2018/12/high…

Additional timelapses: Rich Rudow

Music from Musicbed
Outside by The Seige
I’m Gonna Get What’s Mine by Graffiti Ghosts

ARCTIC REFUGE | Margaret Murie’s Testimony Before Congress

Conservationists have won the fight to keep oil drilling out of the Arctic Refuge more than 50 times. But in conservation, you only get to lose once.

Nicknamed the “Grandmother of Conservation,” perhaps no individual has fought harder for the protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge than Margaret Murie.

The voice over from this film comes from portions of a testimony Margaret Murie delivered to Congress on June 4th, 1977 as part of the public hearings for HR39 – the bill that would eventually be signed into law in 1980 as the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

ANILCA expanded the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to 19.2 million acres, and designated 1.5 million acres of the coastal plain as area 1002 (ten oh-two). The 1002 specifically requires an act of Congress before any oil drilling is permitted.

For forty years, the GOP has fought to do exactly that. In late 2017, under the cover of tax reform, Republicans passed a tax bill that included a provision for opening the 1002 to oil drilling. Using a political procedure known as budget reconciliation, this bill passed the Senate with just 51 votes, instead the 60 required to overcome a Democratic filibuster.

Sparked by a desire to experience these wild untouched lands before they are permanently altered by seismic exploration and oil rigs, my friends and I set out to traverse the Refuge by foot and packraft. Our course would cover 180 miles, starting near the Continental Divide deep in the Brooks Range and ending at the Arctic Ocean, in the heart of the Coastal Plain and the 1002.

This is what’s at stake.

Special Thanks:
American Packrafting Association
Alpacka Raft
Moe Witschard
Brad Meiklejohn

And to my partners who shouldered massive loads so I could carry a bunch of camera gear for 13 unsupported days in the backcountry.

Video: Dan Ransom
Voice Over: Eden Bodnar
Music: Lights in the Sky, Caleb Etheridge

One-Trick Pony

The story of a canyoneer, public lands and a totally absurd New Year’s tradition in Bears Ears National Monument.

For the last fifteen years, Steve Ramras and friends have celebrated New Year’s Day in the icy slot canyons of Bears Ears National Monument. On December 4th 2017 President Trump rescinded the National Monument protection for nearly one million acres, including all of White Canyon and its tributaries. Through that lens, Ram looks back on fifteen years of tradition, and why shared experiences are the key to protecting these places for future generations.

Last of the Great Unknown

The Grand Canyon is an immense place, almost unfathomable in scale, and one of the last places in the American West to be explored. John Wesley Powell called it the “Great Unknown,” having no idea what rapids, falls, or canyons awaited him on his first descent of the river in 1869. In the decades since, the Canyon has been a playground for dozens of explorers. River runners, backpackers, routefinders, lithic hunters, and peakbaggers have all laid claim to the Canyon’s iconic landmarks, often seeking out the prestigious “firsts.” While many significant points of interest were being explored, there was one feature that was left almost entirely ignored: the Canyon’s innumerable technical slots.
Deep within this vast wilderness are secret and intimate tributaries rarely visited by man, hiding some of the Canyon’s most remarkable features. The barrier to entry is steep. To explore them, one must have a knowledge of backpacking, packrafting, rappeling, anchor building, and off-trail navigation. The Last of the Great Unknown is the story of these slots, the canyoneers who systematically explored their drainages, and the secrets hidden deep within their walls.

Chums | Adventure Bound Stories: Unguided

When these young fly fishing guides connect to discover the Red Castle Lakes in Utah’s wilderness, they uncover some truths about the fish these lakes hold.

The North Face – Summit Series Ice Project Pack

The North Face launched the new Ice Project pack with Backcountry.com. As part of the launch, we spent a day ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon with Conrad Anker, and learned exactly how Conrad designed the perfect ice-cragging pack.

Poe – Of Pits and Pendulums

The legend precedes this canyon. With only a handful of known descents, limited beta, complex logistics, and extremely remote access, it is certainly one of the plateau’s premier wilderness slot canyons.
In true wilderness ethic, our team set out to document a descent, applying various low-impact techniques developed over the course of year’s of canyoneering experience.