Nick Belcaster

Adventure Writer PCT '18 👣 "You won't find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains"

2018 will forever be the year I learned that I really love walking all day for long distances and never want to stop doing that.
Not many men would be up for BC touring the day after 24 hours of international flights. But @chwanders isn't many men... Sneaker pow day today on Herman, found unreactive and thin wind crust on lee aspects that built as the day went on, started to get a little touchy by the end of the day. Tomorrow will be a different story.
Never regret waking up early and making the trip 🤙
Set your own path...
When you got dinner on the line 🎣
#InternationalMountainDay Day, huh? From left to right: ⛰ Mt. Stuart ⛰ Corteo and Black Peaks. ⛰ Sisters Glacier seen from North Twin ⛰ American and Canadian Border Peaks seen from Larrabee ⛰ Three Fingers Peak
I'll wait for the snow down here, thanks.
It's winter, right? I'm typically an advocate for earning your turns, but today was a whole different beast...
Life sure was simple... #traillife
Sometimes our brains don't make the right chemicals. It took me forever to come to terms with that. Even longer to do something about it. Writing this is even an exercise in snuffing out those old ways of thinking for me; why deal with it when you can just John Wayne it. Grit your teeth a bit. But that isn't sustainable. Coming home from the PCT felt like what many in the thruhiking sphere would call a post-trail depression, that for me tumbled and gained steam into some all-too familiar feelings. I felt like I was grieving the loss of an old self for a long time. But now I am new, and now I am coming to accept that there's no shame in not having what your brain needs to be happy. Dopamine is some pretty great stuff to miss out on. I am writing this because others have written it all before, and it helps. Helped me. To put it in terms of chemicals and real tangible things, that makes sense to me, and maybe that might help someone else. Take care of yourselves, people.
Hiking in the dark is like walking in a bubble, your own little sphere of light bobs with every footfall and traverses an emptiness. No up or down, as close as I can imagine to treading about in space, objects just appear in front of you. It's strangely peaceful, if you can get over the fact that other large mammals also enjoy this time. But as we put down our early miles the first deep purple threads of the sunrise are set on the loom of the horizon, followed by dark indigo blues, lighter greens and pale tones of red and maroon, all building a tapestry that stretches the edges of the world. Soon the clouds burn with that dye-heavy orange of a sun about to crest the horizon, and the first rays of light leak out of far off mountain ranges. It feels like a secret you keep with the desert every morning.
You'd never guess he nearly died in a shark attack earlier this day... #mindtherocks
Truthfully, not even the worst on-trail lunch transgression.... not ashamed tho, gotta eat to hike!
I only recently learned the story behind naming Prusik Peak: When Beckey did the first ascent in 1948 he and his partner Art Holben decided to lasso the pinnacle of the summit with some spare 3/8" nylon. Beckey then threw on some prusiks and yarded himself up to the top. Definitely Beckey style...
It's in the air... #winteriscoming
Like a matchstick // Pulling together research and studies today and can't help but notice that California is on fire. Again. In November. Even looking at this photo tastes like smoke.
That, kids, is whatcha call a thruhiker tan! 📷: @junki_pcthiker
Baker Film Fest got me like 🏂
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