#doom

tag

Iceland’s “Forgotten Coast Route” Part Two: Chris Burkard’s Daily Journals

Reportage

Iceland’s “Forgotten Coast Route” Part Two: Chris Burkard’s Daily Journals

The Forgotten Coast Route starts in the small eastern Iceland town of Djúpivogur and traverses 300 miles over mostly continuous beaches, spits, ocean islands, and sandbars, to the town of Thorlakshofn. Using a combination of fatbikes and packrafts Chris Burkard, Steve “Doom” Fassbender, and Cameron Lawson navigated a portion of Iceland’s coast seldom seen. With over 40 river crossings and covering some of the windiest and weather-riddled parts of Iceland’s coastlines, the route presented serious challenges for the team.

Below are a series of daily, first-hand accounts of the expedition. These daily journals are based on interviews with Chris Burkard and written by trip photographer Ryan Hill.

Iceland’s “Forgotten Coast Route” Part One: Chris Burkard’s Preparations

Reportage

Iceland’s “Forgotten Coast Route” Part One: Chris Burkard’s Preparations

Iceland’s South Coast is one of the island’s most visited zones, but its beaches are seldom seen. It sounds like an audacious claim, but with 49 rivers strewn across the island’s southern beaches, this famous stretch boasts hundreds of miles of rarely explored coastline, with access being its biggest challenge. The goal of Chris Burkard’s “Forgotten Coast” trip is to link them all in one route, using a combination of fatbikes, to travel across its black sands and pack-rafts, to cross the rivers that break up these stretches of sand.

Push, Paddle, Pedal: Solo Packrafting with Lizzy Scully of Four Corners Guides

Reportage

Push, Paddle, Pedal: Solo Packrafting with Lizzy Scully of Four Corners Guides

I love being alone all day, deep in remote and wild areas, reliant only on myself to move through the landscape, over difficult terrain, and in bad weather. I enjoy utilizing the various ultralight backcountry travel skills I’ve gleaned since my early twenties. And I feel immense joy when I can be efficient and accomplish goals. I’m also really afraid of the dark. Not so much of wild animals, but rather of wild weirdos who wander the woods and kill innocent middle-aged women. I know. Super unlikely. But I never sleep much at night while on solo adventures.

Mostly I have backpacked alone or solo aid climbed big walls. But I stopped climbing after a gnarly accident where a friend fell 100 feet and nearly died. I also quit backpacking because the annoying arthritic autoimmune disease I suffer from incapacitates me if I hike more than a few miles with weight on my back. Luckily a few years ago I discovered the horizontal world of multi-sport adventure travel.

Maine: America’s New Fatbiking Biking Mecca?

Reportage

Maine: America’s New Fatbiking Biking Mecca?

My friend Seth Levy, an obsessive bicyclist of the most masochistic variety, relentlessly tried to get me to fatbike with him when I lived in Maine in the mid-2010s.

“But I don’t like being cold, and I’m not a cyclist,” I explained. Maine’s long winters were glum, wet, and frigid. I preferred being in front of my wood-burning stove. And improved weather meant rock climbing.

Ignoring me, he enthused that I could ride fat-tire bikes all year round.

“Fatbikes open up so much more terrain for winter AND summer,” he explained. Yes, Maine has long winters, but also long springs “filled with mud, wet rocks and sloppy dirt roads,” perfect for a fatbike, not to mention great terrain to ride in the summer (aka “black fly season”).

“I’m not a skilled mountain biker, but I can do things with a fatbike I didn’t know were possible,” he added. “A steep hillside covered with roots and rocks becomes something you can ride up with a fatbike. Plus it’s such a new sport. Nobody is good at it!”

Radar

The Bikeraft Guide: The Ultimate How-To Guide, History Of and Wild Adventure Stories About Bikerafting

Remember all those wild Reportage reports from bikerafting in Colorado and Utah with Four Courners Guides we’ve posted over the years? Well, Doom and Lizzy have launched a fantastic project born from those endeavors and more:

“We launched the IndieGoGo Campaign December 21st (soft, unofficial for all our fans and followers). You can start pre-ordering the book now through January 29! What is The Bikeraft Guide? It’s a community multi-media storytelling project that will ultimately result in a comprehensive book on bikerafting. It will be the definitive guide on the sport, and includes a comprehensive history section, “The Pirates of Bikerafting” Anthology (a collection of stories from 15 of the world’s best bikerafters) and a how-to section, mostly by Steve “Doom” Fassbinder, but also including interviews with various experts. It will also have a safety section by the “packraft safety guy” and author of the Packraft Handbook, Luc Mehl, a repairs section by Alpacka Raft repairs manager, Ben Phillips, and a Positive Impact Ethos section contributed by Bikepacking Roots.

In addition, this project includes our new The Bikeraft Guide Podcast, and short films in the The Bikeraft Guide enewsletter, on the IndieGoGo Campaign page, on @TheBikeraftGuide Instagram page and on the Four Corners Guides blog.

Our goal with the IndieGoGo Campaign is to raise $20-$30K through pre-sales of the book and “Perks” donated by our sponsors. This will pay for printing, distribution, contributors and editing. We’re really relying on you – aspiring bikerafters and people who love great adventure stories – to help us make this dream a reality.”

Head to the IndieGoGo to support this project!

Wayward Duck Decoys and a Few Dingdongs: Bikerafting the San Juan River

Reportage

Wayward Duck Decoys and a Few Dingdongs: Bikerafting the San Juan River

Last Fall when planning my trip to Colorado for a beta-trip with Lizzy Scully and Steve “Doom” Fassbinder of Four Corners Guides bikepacking in the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park, they invited me to double down for the week and do a bike rafting trip near Kayenta, AZ on the Navajo Nation. If you are like me and have literally spent hours pouring over maps and cryptic hints trying to decipher some of Doom’s trips then the obvious answer to being invited on a bikerafting trip with Dr. Doom himself was a no-fucking-brainer. I just had to prep myself to not be too star-struck.