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In November 2016, I boarded the Pangaea, a 35m long expeditionary sailing vessel, and documented a seven week journey from Cape Town, South Africa down to Antarctica and then up to Perth, Australia.

Our objective was to drop @mikehornexplorer off so that he could embark on a solo, self-supported crossing of the southernmost continent at its widest point.

After dropping Mike off, we spent more than three weeks at sea, on a crossing that spanned more than 7,200 kilometers. During that time, we did not see land, another vessel, or any sign of life, except for the occasional seabird.

The entire expedition felt totally desolate to me, but my experience paled in comparison to Mike's journey through the bottom of the earth - the beginning of which is shown here. He would complete his crossing, the first of its kind, in 57 days.

Where is the most desolate place that you have been?

@passionpassport #PPWilderness
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Jan 17, 2018 4:51 AM (UTC)
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I've always loved reading, but a couple of years ago I realized that I only read when I was at home - which wasn't very often. Then my mom got me an @amazonkindle and all of that changed. Now, I probably read about 20-30 books a year.

Some of my favorites have been "The Alchemist," "Shantaram," "The Mountain's Shadow," "Push" by @tommycaldwell, "Last of His Kind" by David Roberts, and everything by Douglas E. Richard's.

What are some of your favorite books? Lemme know in the comments!

#kindle #reading
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Jan 15, 2018 11:37 PM (UTC)
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My desire to learn how to backcountry ski came not from an manic drive to get face shots while shredding the pow pow, but rather from an insatiable longing to efficiently explore the Alpine in its wildest, most vast state: winter.

Thanks @thealpinelife / @peakguides for showing me the San Juans aka "Switzerland of America." I finally discovered where Colorado hides its Rocky Mountains.

When was the last time that you learned something new?
#ChasingWinter #Ouray
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Jan 13, 2018 4:35 PM (UTC)
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Four years ago, "Gear for Good" started commenting on my weekend warrior photos; I checked the notifications from my cubicle in the office where I worked.

It was @rpiip, on behalf of a yet-to-be-launched brand called @cotopaxi. I couldn't tell what they were based on the Hawaii vacation photos and candid whiteboard shots posted to their feed, but Anders said they were a new gear brand - and that he was stoked on what I was doing.

I didn't think much of it at the moment, other than the fact that it was pretty cool that this random guy saw something in me and was captivated by the stories that I had begun to share. And then he wanted to send me some gear.

Soon after, Anders sent me a Nepal 65L pack, at a time when the Himalayas only existed in my imagination. Then I sent him some pictures of me hiking with it. So the relationship between @cotopaxi and I began.

In the years since, many dreams have become realities. We've taught photo workshops to kids in Nepal. We've shot catalogs in Alaska. We've launched campaigns that took the world by storm.

We've learned to climb trad in Red Rock; learned to ski in Utah; learned to climb ice in Colorado. We've tested gear in Chamonix. We've gone on expeditions to Greenland, Alberta, and Antarctica. We've climbed classic peaks and first ascents alike.

We've ran the Dolomites and to catch flights. Missed a few. Ridden motorcycles through Vietnam. Chased waterfalls in Taiwan. Explored Africa. Asia. Australia. Antarctica. Europe. And at home. It's been a wild ride.

Thank you, @cotopaxi.

You gave me the belief in myself that I was trying so hard to find - at the time when I needed it most. I will be forever grateful that you took that risk on me - and for the many opportunities to grow together that followed. The last four years have been unfathomably incredible.

I may no longer be an official ambassador now, but I will always admire what you stand for, and the people who built the foundation upon which you stand. "Do Good" is a mantra we all should live by.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. I don't know what that new beginning is yet, but I'm sure that it too, will be a wild ride. #AdventureOn
Whenever I go to Chamonix, I consult my good friend and world-class alpine guide @jeffbanksmountainguide on where to go and what to do. Though he's an American and works in Crested Butte, he spends most of each year in the Alps, specifically Chamonix - the birthplace and epicenter of Alpine Climbing.

Last September, a lot of the classic routes on the Vallée Blanche (located behind that ridgeline in the background) were out of condition, so Jeff recommended that @taylormichaelburk, @hayoui, @chadofutah, and I head up to the "middle mountains" on the Brevant side. He guaranteed some multi-pitch, alpine sport climbing and that we'd see Ibex.

Jeff prescribes to the technique of "under promise; over deliver." The rock climbing was excellent; we didn't just see Ibex, we saw more than a dozen Ibex - including this guy here, keeping watch over the trail.

What's the coolest animal you've seen in the wild? #chamonix #alpine
I've always loved teaching. The sharing of knowledge, and the insight that one gains for oneself while sharing, is an incredible, powerful thing - and the affects are amplified infinitely so when the mentee is receptive to learning, and implements that newfound knowledge with passion and precision.

I think that one of the reasons why I love mentoring, is that I have had such incredible mentors throughout my life; these mentors, in all different fields, have made all of the difference in my life. As such, I strive to pass on what I have learned too, so that in some small way, I can contribute to the elevation of our species - even if it's just planting a seed in a person who is ready to grow.

When @taylormichaelburk and @hayoui agreed to meet me in Chamonix last autumn, I was pretty stoked - but that level elevated an exponential amount when I saw how receptive they were to learning and growth; and they took to the Alpine in an unforgettable way, diving head first into the fray.

It has been exciting watching them both grow as climbers in the short months since; I can't wait until the mountains unite us again.
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Jan 11, 2018 6:09 AM (UTC)
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@priya_mareedu doesn't really like the cold. She says that she's not designed for it. I promised her that whenever we go to the mountains, which I love so dearly, that I'd make sure she stays warm.

Priya sees how much the mountains mean to me, and so she braves the cold and goes, and finds fulfillment in them too.

She does love the beach, on the other hand. I, however, can't stand the sand. Seeing the fulfillment that she gets from facing her fears and learning how to swim in the ocean makes it worth going for me, though.

I always considered myself to be "unlovable" or" not worth the effort" because I am a lot to handle and can be a major pain in the ass.

For one, I'm stubborn as hell; that tended to be a deal breaker in relationships past. With Priya, however, there's room for it though, because that stubbornness ultimately helps her grow. When she climbed her first route; upon reaching five feet above the ground, she cried, "I want to come down!" Twenty minutes later, she finally did, after topping out, and I'd never seen someone so fulfilled from experiencing personal growth. She jumped on me and wouldn't let go until her pulse slowed down. That's when I fell for her hard.

She challenges me too. For someone who makes their living from communicating, I have a hard time communicating, but Priya is patient with me and always breaks through. I'm better because of her.

We like to joke that we've only met three times, but it's true. Each time though, we have both grown so much together; I can't wait to move to New Zealand with her in three short weeks and begin something new.
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Jan 10, 2018 6:31 PM (UTC)

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The Italian Dolomites are one of the most striking mountain ranges in the entire world; thanks to an extensive trail and via ferrata system, it's possible to go almost anywhere within them.

In September, @oreyspear and I trekked the Alta Via No. 2, a rugged, 100-mile long route through the heart of them. The experience felt familiar in many ways for me, but for Orey, it was totally new, and he was challenged every day in every way.

I just finished editing the first vlog from our trip, check it out! Link in my profile. #CelebrateDiscomfort #FlightOfTheDolomites

Director + Shooter + Editor // @chrisbrinleejr
Music // @lanleyc
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Jan 9, 2018 3:50 PM (UTC)
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About a year ago, we landed in Perth, Australia, after seven weeks at sea, including a little jaunt down to Antarctica.

Those seven weeks were some of the most difficult of my life, not because of any great external challenges, but rather because of the ones that I faced within myself, brought to light through loneliness and the sharp confines of not being a sailor on an expeditionary boat.

There I was, on an adventure that I had dreamed about for years, sailing to Antarctica for WORK, but I could barely bring up my camera to shoot. I found myself sleeping as much as possible, simply to pass the time. Exercise, was all but impossible with the tight quarters, lack of land, and unfathomable storms.

Setting foot again on land was the greatest relief; within a couple of weeks, my spirits returned to "normal." Looking back now, it seems like it was only a blip on the radar of time.

Upon my arrival at home, my friends and family asked me about the trip; my only response was "I'm glad that I went, but I'd never do it again." What I didn't realize at the time was that the experience I gained on that boat - carrying on (though, lethargically more often than not) during the lull and staying strong during a storm - would allow me to face the lulls and storms of life with greater insight. There would be a lot of storms in 2017.

What was an experience that you struggled with? What did you learn from it after? Let me know in the comments. #CelebrateDiscomfort
I got a little taste of it while backcountry skiing yesterday, but I still feel like I'm waiting for winter to arrive.

Missing cold days like this one in Alberta, after @lanleyc, @poorlyplannedproductions, the "Legendary Paul Chiddle," and I camped out on the Icefield Parkway when a blizzard shut the entire road down while we were out on a little mission (which ultimately was also characterized by us spending dozens of hours snowbound in tiny tents.) Hoping to get at least a few good days like this in before heading down to a place where summer is in full swing.

Is it snowing where you're at?

@bigagnes_ #SleepInTheDirt (or the snow)
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Jan 5, 2018 3:52 PM (UTC)
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I can't help but daydream about my favorite place - yet I can't stop fantasizing about places that I have never been. I guess the mountains have a way of capturing the spirit within.

Where do you want to go this year? I want to know. Tell me in the comments! #2018
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Jan 4, 2018 4:21 PM (UTC)
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It's a new year and that means new adventures. What do you want to do in 2018? I want to know! Let's hear it in the comments.

I want to climb my first north faces (or south, since many will be in New Zealand!) #2018 #CelebrateDiscomfort
My year began on a boat. About six weeks earlier; and after a couple of days aboard, I learned that I didn't really like boats. But that boat provided me with the opportunity to learn from and be around one of the people who I find most inspiring. It also provided me with perspective. I love the life I lead and the work I do; and getting the opportunity to sail to Antarctica was a dream come true, but I had never been so depressed as I was aboard that boat. So the year began.

A few months later, I did a big ski traverse, climbed a 700'-high frozen waterfall, and traversed a seven mile-long, incredibly rugged ridgeline that had never been done. That month was the epitome of what I designed my life to be - and my best friend and I were together every step of the way. Then we almost died after setting off an avalanche on descent. @lanleyc and I stuck together and made it down. So our lives continued.

Immediately afterwards I was in the Alps - quite possibly my favorite place in the world, but my heart was heavy and my mind ill. Yet I could not sit still. Around that time, I realized that I needed some stability in my life. Something to satisfy the needs of "home." Then I met @priya_mareedu, who was that and so much more. So our relationship began.

With my closest family and friends, I saw engagements, marriage, and kids. New paths in life; and new endeavors to begin. Then on Halloween, my dad committed suicide at the age of 54. So his life did end.

Priya took this portrait of me today in the mountains - surrounded by beauty as we both battled the wind, a metaphor; certainly foreshadowing for our new lives in New Zealand, which we are so excited to begin.

As each of us looks ahead towards our new beginnings, remember this: we can't control what life sends our way, but we can control how we react to it. Life isn't easy, but tomorrow is a brand new day 🙏🏼 📷: @priya_mareedu #newyear #2018 #CelebrateDiscomfort
After 85 days in Asia, I'm back in the Rockies for a bit and could not be more excited for moments like this.

Since I ventured into the mountains for the first time in 2014, I have desired to climb them. Backpacking came first; mountaineering came quickly after that. Then I started rock climbing and the pieces of the Alpinist puzzle began to come together, but an important one was still missing: ice climbing.

In January 2017, @japhrodite.36 took me out for a @coloradomountainschool course and I immediately became enamored with every part of ascending frozen water.

After the course, I top-roped a bunch in Colorado before heading to Alberta, where @lanleyc and I were put to the test while following @yamnuskamtnadv's "Legendary Paul Chiddle" up the Sorcerer. The 700' super-ultra-mega-classic (haha) line blew my mind and I've been fantasizing about ice climbing ever since.

One of my big goals for this season is to get enough laps in that I can start leading ice; according to @realwillgadd, that's a couple of hundred - so I've definitely got my work cut out for me. That being said, this is the last big puzzle piece to unlock the type of Alpinism that I aspire to do.

What do you want to do in the coming year?

#celebratediscomfort #2018
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Dec 30, 2017 4:25 AM (UTC)
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As 2017 comes to a close, so too will my telling of this chapter of Searching for Scale.

Thank you for following along with this journey through the Himalaya. It has been a pleasure to share it with you.

Thanks to our sponsors: @gnarbox @cotopaxi @revo, we couldn't have brought this project to life without their support.

We'll be sharing more stories next year with the launch of our film by @justinowensby, but for now, I'll reflect on the past year, leading up to the new one. #SearchingForScale
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Dec 25, 2017 3:44 PM (UTC)
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I used to sit in a cubicle, and every day was the same. Then I broke out of it, and everything changed.

It'll be glorious, I thought. To blow around like the wind; and so I reveled in the freedom that I found from traveling on a whim. Cities, countries, continents - they all began to blend; I began to discover the blissful adventure that I had dreamed of for years and years on end.

Then my first Thanksgiving came; and it hit me like a ton of bricks. My spirits fell. I missed home so badly, but a pizza did the trick. That same Christmas was even worse, so I wandered the streets looking for meaning; like a lost boy, playing his part so well-rehearsed.

With each holiday spent away from home, the idea of both became more vague. So I gave into the numbness and continued to chase the dream that always seemed to elude me, though I seemed to live it out so well.

Year after year; with so many holidays spent alone, I told myself, "home is where I make it: whether that's the streets of Bangkok, an evergreen forest, or in the frozen depths of hell." But the truth for me, as I have learned so well, is that home is not defined by a place: as comfortable and familiar - or as foreign as it may be feel.

Home, and by extension the holidays for me, have come to be defined by the company I keep, rather than a static place or a day of the week.

This holiday season I've found myself immersed in a plethora of strange places, yet again, but the loneliness is no longer there. Instead, I've been surrounded by some of the people who I love the most; for that, I give many thanks. 📷: @thehilaryann #SearchingForScale

@sirchrisbrinleejr is not alone.
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Dec 24, 2017 2:55 PM (UTC)
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I don't climb for the views, but they're certainly a perk. Why do you go outside?
@cotopaxi #AdventureOn #SearchingForScale
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Dec 22, 2017 4:24 PM (UTC)
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"It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile."
- Inspirational quotes that need to go away 📷: @thehilaryann #SearchingForScale
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Dec 22, 2017 6:19 AM (UTC)
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"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
- Inspirational quotes that need to go away 📷: @thehilaryann #SearchingForScale
User Image chrisbrinleejr Posted: Dec 21, 2017 3:24 PM (UTC)
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"It's not the number of breaths we take, but the number of moments that take our breath away."
- Inspirational quotes that need to go away 📷: @thehilaryann #SearchingForScale