Merinoholics

My COVID Experience

Here in Alaska, we are fairly isolated, which means that the chances of contracting Covid are quite small compared to crowded cities. 

Nonetheless, on the first week of December, a friend of ours got sick and tested positive.

Caring for the Outdoors

In the past few weeks, I’ve made a radical change and I am standing by it.

I decided to stop posting pictures of my trips on Instagram.

I know it is quite a serious decision but it is one that I feel good about.

How I Changed The Way I Train
By Martin Bril I used to think that I was in good shape. I could hike up a mountain quickly and spend hours post-holing in the deep snow of mid-winter. But the thing is, I could because I would push...
Benign Peak, Chugach Mountains
As an avid peakbagger, there is nothing more appealing than a list of peaks. Between the “Seven Summits”, the “128 Ultras”, or the “50 US high points”, there is a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment checking each new one...
Mt. Rainier
A few months back, I picked up a copy of "Life on the Edge" by Jim Whittaker. Mt. Rainier is a centerpiece of the first few chapters, which got me curious about the mountain itself. After doing a bit of research, I concluded that it could be a good challenge at this point in my uphill habits.
When is it too Late to be Active?
At a young age, I wasn’t really into sports. In fact, I couldn’t do much physical activity because of asthma and other health issues. Any moderate exercise would have me gasp for air, like a heavy smoker. Gym class was...
Peakbagging in Alaska
Peakbagging - “An activity in which hikers, climbers and mountaineers attempt to reach a collection of summits, published in the form of a list.” I got into peakbagging almost 3 years ago. At first I would just hike up mountains...
Dealing with Fear to Move Forward
4 years ago, on a beautiful summer day, I hiked up my first mountain in Alaska. It wasn’t easy, but very rewarding and so I decided to do it again. Before I knew it, I was purchasing an old ice...
The Ideal Adventure Partner
It might sound silly to someone who spends most of their time on well-beaten paths, but for some of us, coming across the right adventure partner can be as difficult as finding the right life partner. There are a lot of things to take into account in order to create the right chemistry and make sure that everybody comes home safe and sound. (Keep in mind that the factors mentioned below only stem from personal experiences and opinions, and are in no way intended to undermine or invalidate other criteria or experiences.)
A New Friendship on Lark Mountain
By Martin Bril I met Tim through one of my wife’s long time friends. At the time, I had no idea that we would end up climbing mountains together. I was planning to catch a few silver salmons during the...
Foods For The Trail
Should I pack a full lunch, or just a couple snacks? Sweet or salty? How much is too much? What foods are best? Those are only a few of the questions that come to mind when prepping for a (long)...
Hiking Pioneer Peak
Since I moved to Alaska in the winter of 2012, the mountains have been calling me. I became an outdoor enthusiast fairly quickly and soon found myself on a quest to step beyond the tree line and seek the pristine...
Letting Go
There are many reasons for which I love the outdoors. Taking a break from daily life and spending time alone are obvious ones. But there is also something much more important to me: letting go. I tend to worry a...
Nature's Cold Challenge
Winters in the mountains are usually pretty quiet. Most of the wildlife has either traveled to warmer climates or gone into hibernation, the sap of the trees and bushes made its way down to the roots until the temperature rises again in the spring. The layer of snow that covers everything dampens all sounds and creates a feeling of stillness and peacefulness. 
Tough on Nature, Soft on Skin
Since I was a kid, I’ve always had a sensitive skin. I couldn’t go to the swimming pool without developing a rash from the chlorinated water. I went through spouts of eczema and allergic reactions most of my life. I...