Congrats, team! For more on our story see link in my bio. *^ Repost from @cristinamittermeier HUGE news! In March 2017 I joined a @NatGeo expedition team in Antarctica, led by my partner @PaulNicklen, to create a film that we hoped would inspire people to help us protect the #Antarctic Peninsula. "Polar Obsession 360" a VR film, takes you on an epic adventure across raging seas and into a world where you come face to face with one of Antarctica's most charismatic creatures: a 1,000 pound leopard seal. Just this past spring, Polar Obsession won the 2019 People’s Choice Award, Webby Award for VR & 360 Video, and one Honoree mention from @thewebbyawards. Today, I am beyond excited to tell you that Polar Obsession has been nominated for the News and Documentary Emmy Awards in the Outstanding New Approaches: Documentary category. Congratulations to the entire team for their #EmmyNomination! . @blackdotfilmsvr, @Ladzinski Ignacio Ferrando Margelí and Frederic Lilien Shane Moore @PattersonImages @RodolfoWerner @CraigWelch, @Ianvaso, @Andy_Mann, #DionPoncet #JuliettePoncet Max Solomon and Malvina Martin from Black Dot who shot/produced/edited, Matt Zymet, Gabbi Ewing, Kaite Mullin
Another day, another training #trailrun among the wildflowers in the Lizard Range in British Columbia. Here, @pcat works her way down our morning route. So spectacular here, but still not used to running with bear spray. #grizzlybear #instarunners #trailrunners #runnersofinstagram #mountainrunning #trailrunning
Starting the day out right: early morning run on mountain trails in the Canadian Rockies. (#YoBear #YoBear ) I could do this all day—if, you know, I was stronger. And faster. Pretty damn amazing. #runnersofinstagram #trailrunners #trailrunning #runnersofig #runningmotivation #grizzlycountry
Elk River, eastern British Columbia.
The Amazon rainforest: enormous, hot, sticky, mesmerizing, intimidating, hot, and sticky. It was unexpected and wonderful and exhausting and unlike any place I have been. It got under my skin. Sometimes literally. The Amazon can be itchy. It can sting. Sometimes it has fangs. And I loved it. Welcome to the jungle. #onassignment for @natgeo and @insidenatgeo in #amazonrainforest #amazonriver #amazon #brazil #rionegro 1. Amazonian motmot, which woke us every morning at 5:30, caught in a mist net by ornithologists studying avian populations. 2. Ocelot track near camp. Camera traps showed jaguars and pumas also were frequent visitors. 3. Vine break. 4. Four-foot earthworm found among the leaves. 5. Communicating with spider monkeys and screaming pihas 6. View of #rainforest canopy from 30-meter research tower. 7. Sunrise in a clearing. 8. Me, excited and nervous (pit vipers, you know). Also sweaty. 9. Rio Negro swallowing forest at the tag end of rainy season. 10. Tarantula wasp with a stinger as long as a sewing needle. Seeing that thing fly? Every bit as freaky as it sounds.
Hard to fathom what’s before me: the largest black water river on earth; one of the largest tributaries of the planet’s most massive river system; the gateway to the world’s most significant rainforest, which in turn is home to one-third of the planet’s known species. Behold the Rio Negro, not far from the “Meeting of the Waters,” my first view—ever—of the mighty #AmazonRiver and the #amazonrainforest #onassignment in #brazil for @NatGeo with @insidenatgeo
All the peaks we cannot see. After a quick solo hike to 7,000 feet in the #japanesealps I reached #happopond, a tiny pool just below the wickedly beautiful summits of #chubusangakunationalpark — or so I presume. The rare break in the clouds offered just enough of a glimpse to see how much I was missing. Ah well. Perhaps rainy season wasn’t the best time for alpine travel? #somanymountainssolittletime #climbersofinstagram #trailrunning #alpinelakes #mountainsinclouds #mountainrain
After 10 days of immersion in Japanese culture, my 10-year-old daughter and I took a two-hour break to just hang around and play some ball in the spider’s web—basically a Japan version of Flying Circus, only outdoors and at the base of an empty ski resort in Hakuba. She easily translated all the rules for me (including a warning from the host that old dudes can get hurt if they aren’t careful. And it was good. Photo by @jen.e.langston, who was safely on the ground 40 feet below. #circus #outdoorfun #hakuba #japan # mountainsforever #japanesealps #nipponalps
How to ditch bad lovers, friends, bosses, colleagues. This Shinto shrine outside the Yasaka temple is dedicated to eradicating bad relationships. A visitor simply writes down the name of the person from whom they wish to be free, then crawls through the gap below. It is, as you can see, *extremely* popular. #japan
Bamboo forest, #Kyoto, Japan, July 1, 2019. Or, setting for Japanese reimagining of “Miller’s Crossing.” “Look into your heart, Tommy. Don’t make me die out here in the woods like a dumb animal!” #millerscrossing #coenbrothers #bambooforest #japan #woods
No outdoor shoes allowed in Edie’s Japanese school so we had to quickly find some dad slippers at the mall in Tokyo. Phew. Ready! #tokyo
You can see why it was the only choice, yes? #tokyo #japanesewhiskey
Sometimes the mountain lets you in. This week we circled the caldera on Japan’s signature summit, 12,389-foot Mount Fuji, and the clouds a thousand meters down opened enough for us to see shimmers off the five lakes below—a reminder of how rare a moment this was. Four of us, all Seattle dads, had arrived in Japan w/our kids for a class trip hoping to slip away from the heat and lights of Tokyo. We wanted to #climb the almost perfectly symmetrical volcanic wonder that has inspired writers and artists and mystics and religious pilgrims for millennia. But we had only one day, and the official start of the climbing season (when enough snow has typically melted out to make it easy to climb w/out ice axes) was weeks away. The forecasts had been, frankly, horrible, with heavy rain and dangerous gusts for days on end. (Fuji is usually socked in for much of June.) But there was one exception—a single, brief, shining window w/clear skies and no wind, and it just happened to coincide w/ours. So we rose at 4 a.m. from Shinjuku w/our packs and made the trek to the fifth station and were on the climber’s trail by 7:30. The mid-mountain huts where most climbers eat and spend at least one night during their journey weren’t yet open for the year, and the typically congested Yoshida Trail was all-but empty, save for work crews doing trail maintenance and hut operators airing out sleeping mats. Few people are ever lucky enough to get to climb this #UNESCO heritage site—let alone in a single day with no crowds and clear skies. Thank you Japan and #MountFuji—and Vincent, Phil, and Brian. What a day, #fuji #japan #mountaineering #runningmotivation #hilltraining #climbersofinstagram #runnersofinstagram
View from 500 meters above Tokyo. #skytree #japan
Because mountain sunsets are always better. It’s only been a month, but still I’ve missed you, Methow Valley. Thanks for the welcome. #northcascades #mountaintime #citybreak #trailrunning
So the 10-year-old no longer wants a dog. Are there leash laws for cows in Seattle? #northcascades #bigskycountry
Nothing quite like hitting Washington Pass at the tail end of the golden hour. #mountainsforever
Happy World Oceans Day. Here’s a reminder to myself (and anyone who may be listening) of the biggest reason to double down on improving the marine world: our kids are counting on us. This is my 10 year old, about six years ago, letting go with a full body roar as she waded into the Atlantic. This image always makes me think she is unconsciously living out some private “Where the Wild Things Are” fantasy. Or, maybe, the father and writer in me merge when I see it, and I suddenly just start reliving my own clumsy Shel Silverstein-wannabe thoughts. Regardless, her exhilarating, unprompted burst of joy at this moment is something I will never forget. The second picture, taken the same weekend, was equally surprising—a reminder that many of us ultimately find and express our identities in nature, generally, and the seas in particular. And that future—for the oceans, but also for us—is being written in the sands right now. Let’s not waste the opportunity. #worldoceansday2019 #marinelife #saveourseas #pristineseas #sealife #coastlife #oceans
Sky over Dulles. 5 a.m. Heading home.
When the sports doc says no running for two weeks, a good first question is: does hiking count as running? Luckily in this case the answer is no. So, of course, we started our wkd by sneaking off and topping out on Mount Si before the children were even awake. C’mon, who doesn’t like a nice 5 am start? #trainingday #runningmotivation #trailrunning #speedhiking
Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. Key Peninsula, 2019.
Kevin, Paul and Leah, cursing me for talking them into #rainshadowrunning #sunmountain25k after climbing 1,100 feet in barely a mile right out of the gate. It didn’t make them happier to learn at the starting line that our 3,000 feet of uphill running covered a new route that was actually 17 miles. But, wow: the wildflowers were everywhere. #trailsforever #mountainrunning #instarunner #runnersofinstagram 2) Tom and @goldsmith7041 working through pre-race jitters while Leah gawks at the glorious landscape; 3) the top of the monster hill, looking north across the #Methow; 4) @chrisasolomon and I after running; 5) walking past the lovely @springcreeker ranch; 6) all but two of our team of runners; 7) @sgreenes10 about 2 hours and 41 minutes before coming in second among men over 40; 8) Paul and I about to cross back into the woods at mile 7, after about 1,700 feet of climbing. #running #runner #trailrunner
Seven miles in w/10 more to go—and 1,700 feet of climbing behind us with nearly 1,300 feet of hills still ahead—and feeling surprisingly good. What an incredible day for my favorite spring mountain trail run. The #NorthCascades weather was perfect, all 10 members of our running group finished (two in the top 20), and the body didn’t fail me. Took me exactly as long as last year, even though this time I stopped to wait and photograph friends, and the course, normally a 25k, turned out to be 17 miles. (Organizers informed us of the, er, extension 30 seconds before the start, which added a nice little bit of extra spice.) So I’m getting faster. Just slowly. But I’ll take it. Pic by @jen.e.langston
Hitting the road tonight for some semi-regular spring training foolishness in the #northcascades. Looks to be cold and damp, and I can’t wait. Mountains. Trails. Suffering. May our uphills be faster than expected, our bear encounters no closer than several hundred yards, and our finish times fast enough that the beer isn’t gone when we stumble across the line. #sunmountain #rainshadowrunning #trailrunning #runningmotivation #runnersofinstagram #instarunner #instarunners #sunmountain25k #mountainrunning
Two fifth graders, a decent drum kit, and one fake Ned Schneebly swinging the axe with his totally kick-ass band. What a great way to spend a May evening. #theaterkids #broadwaymusicals #schoolofrock
My 10-year-old daughter just came in second place among elementary students in a statewide essay-writing contest. Her idea: How placing more emphasis on educating girls in India could help them fight climate change. So don’t come at me with hopelessness. I ain’t buying it. #climatechange #childrenarethefuture
Rolling through the Great Rift Valley in 2016, heading for Addis Ababa and home after nearly a month in a tent. We dropped almost two miles in elevation in a few hours of driving, plunging from the cool air of the mountains into wicked heat, the world of the camel caravan. #tbt #onassignment for @natgeo #africa
Turns out you *can* carbo load for a 15-mile run with IPAs and mint juleps—as long as you add in some delicious rice noodles. (Thanks, @pcat!) Finished the last long training run before #rainshadowrunning #sunmountain #trailrace today with four of our nine teammates (and started just a fifth was bringing his run home). Our 2,000-foot climb today puts me at nearly 25,000 feet of uphill running since training started. Gonna have to be enough. #trailrunning
Congrats, all. Terrific news. Videos from our November @natgeo Antarctica story just won three Webby Awards. Nice work. * Repost from @sealegacy using @Repost - Photograph by @PaulNicklen // It’s no secret that we’re a little polar obsessed here at SeaLegacy - and apparently so are you! Thanks to your votes, “Polar Obsession” received THREE Webby Awards: People’s Voice for VR: Cinematic or Pre-rendered, People’s Voice for 360-Video and Honoree for Best Narrative Experience. HUGE congratulations to @PaulNicklen and the @NatGeo crew! “Polar Obsession” takes you on an epic adventure across raging seas and into a dreamlike land where you come face to face with one of Antarctica’s most charismatic creatures: a 1,000-pound leopard seal. More images from the expedition were published as a story by @craigwelch in the November 2018 Issue of National Geographic Magazine. @thewebbyawards, @ladzinski @craigwelch, @CristinaMittermeier, @andy_mann, @ignacioferrando360, @pattersonimages, Frederic Lilien, Shane Moore #PolarObsession @natgeo #webbyawards
1) View from my pre-rewriting morning run. Better than the laptop screen I’ll be wrestling with the rest of the day. 2) The face you make when you squint into sunrise while realizing you’re only halfway through your Golden Gardens hill repeats. Sigh. I love #running—on other days. #trailrunning #whyrunanywhereelse
SoundOn. Happy #EarthDay. Just pledging to do better by our little orb. Join me? 1) Olive Ridley sea turtles coming to shore during a mass nesting event in Costa Rica. Shot while #onassignment for @natgeo 2) Crabeater seals doing their thing in Lemaire Channel, #AntarcticPeninsula 3) Michael Wald howls at a wolf while @katieorlinsky looks on, near the headwaters of the Alatna River in Alaska’s #BrooksRange 4) Penguins head off toward the setting sun outside Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica 5) My motivation: my daughter, roaring at the sea after her aunt’s wedding in 2012. 6) Rainbow at sunset after midnight along the Kolyma River in the Russian Far East.
Dug out this 35-year-old relic for @pattersonimages tonight. All original. Just missing the nose tether. Hard to think of too many things I’ve owned longer. Thinking it’ll look good in an old board museum—or on our basement wall. #mountainsarecalling #vintageboards #gobigorgohome
Finally training in earnest now for our first trail race of the season w/some long slow hill work. Seeing the #bostonmarathon winner was from Ethiopia (go Worknesh Degefa!) got me thinking again about my best/worst high-elevation run ever, which was 1) here, in 2016, at 12,000 feet in the highlands of Ethiopia. On the plus side: I got to run at dawn along cliffs overlooking the Great Rift Valley as gelada monkeys awakened from their nightly slumber. Even had a moment to snap this pic. The downside: it was just under four miles, which, at more than two miles above sea level, was enough that my searing lungs still almost killed me. 2) That, of course, reminded me of the team of #marathon and #ultra runners we’d seen a few weeks earlier on our drive up to the highlands. At sunrise at 8,000 feet, about 30 miles outside Addis Ababa, @jtkerby and I saw these men and women racing along the highway, their legs and lungs pumping before the sweltering sun baked the arid landscape like a blistering flamethrower. This guy was cruising, far ahead of his pals, barely working up a sweat while knocking out what looked to be 6 minute miles. It was so cool to see, even if it did force me to confront the fact that *he* was absolutely a runner while I was participating in some lesser, slower, more graceless outdoor activity. #notreallyrunning #ultratrailrunner #runningmotivation #trailrunning #mountainrunning
She started studying koala bear pregnancy but it was after applying what she knew to sea turtles that @cammiekoala freaked out. Cammie, shown here catching sea turtles in a bay near San Diego, was part of a team w/ @turtlejensen that figured out using hormone sampling that female green 🐢 on the Pacific’s largest nesting ground now outnumber males 116 to 1. “I can’t deny it: seeing those results scared the crap out of me,” she said. That’s because sea turtle sex is determined by the temperature of sand where eggs hatch and climate change is making everything hotter. Considering all that we do to sea turtles—catching them in nets, hitting them with boats, turning shells into jewelry, swiping eggs for the black market—this was one more thing they didn’t need. But Cammie is a hopeful sort. “I think (sea) turtles, out of all the other species, might actually have a pretty good shot.” They just need a little help. See my short story out today on @natgeo’s website and look for a better, bigger one later this year. #seaturtles #marineturtles #leatherbackseaturtle #loggerhead #saveourseas #sealegacy #marinelife
Trailrunners: We get in more miles before 9 a.m. than...well...people who run in the afternoon or sleep in on Sundays. In honor of #barkleymarathons we did our own decidedly #notbarkley—14.5 miles w/a meager 2,000 feet of gain. (Which doesn’t explain why my 10-year-old asked, “Why are you the only one who looks tired?” A fair point.) Here’s to Barkley 2034! Perhaps we can be ready by then. #mountainrunning #trailsforever #timetogetbacktowriting #trailrunning #getoutthere #bm100 #running #runmountains #grandridge
Finishing draft one on a (slightly) overdue project on (but not about 🙃) #worldhappinessday and daydreaming about where I’d rather be. Answer: here. This is my then 9-year-old daughter, last summer, not long after she pulled off a near-perfect backcast and dropped a small caddis emerger on one of my favorite sections of stream—the S curves along the Gibbon River in #yellowstonenationalpark. What a glorious evening that was. #wyoming #flyfishing #cutthroat #getoutside photo by @jen.e.langston
Sunset in Cape Town, South Africa, where the light at day’s end is unlike anything I’d seen before. #sunset #sky_brilliance #latergram
Sometimes, my job is hard. On rare occasions, it’s really hard. But compared to being a @natgeo photographer, it’s a walk in the park. What does it take to shoot with the best? Read on. Having worked alongside @paulnicklen, I can attest: What he and his colleagues do is tremendous—and tremendously difficult. They just make it *look* easy. * Repost from @paulnicklen - I truly love and appreciate all of the comments that I get on my social media but this one always gives me a chuckle. “I want to travel the world like you and capture snaps and work for National Geographic. What type of camera should I get”? It is very difficult to convey what it means to shoot at the level of National Geographic or @sealegacy. It is like saying, hey, I want to play in the NFL, what type of shoes should I buy? It is about perseverance, patience and passion. Could you live in this tent that is falling apart for 2 months with two other smelly guys, waiting out blizzard after blizzard, on sea ice that is constantly breaking up and forcing you to move camp. Once, we had to move camp four times in one day or else we would drift to sea. All of this is in hopes of getting a few good hours of shooting each month. It is a waiting game and at times you feel like you are going crazy. How many weeks, days and months of being wet, cold, miserable, hungry and tired are you willing to go before getting a good picture? It has nothing to do with what camera you are using and it has everything to do with how much you are willing to suck it up, lead and encourage your small team and to chase your vision and achieve your desired outcome by ultimately telling an important and powerful story. When people tell me that they want to join me and swim with narwhals for example, well I lived like this for six seasons before having one great day of shooting on the 6th year. That is the job. There is the dream and then there is the reality. If you want it then you have to fight for it, work for it, get knocked down constantly, get up and go at it again. I fail about 97% of the time. Imagine any other job in the world with that rate of failure. #livingthedream #nature #adventure #explore #photography
My 10 year old doesn’t like to just think of something and draw it—at least not yet. But when she comes across something in a book that fascinates her, she’ll look at it for an hour and then sit down and try to recreate it. These are her latest. Both were hand-drawn copies, not traced. Proud pop looks forward to seeing what she can do when she eventually lets her imagination roam. Keep it up kiddo.
When a nap in the sun in Washington’s North Cascades alongside snowguineapiglet is what the moment requires. #tb to three years ago today in the Methow Valley, another great trip w/friends—this one immediately upon returning from a month of work in Ethiopia.
Anyone in Seattle interested in conservation, wildlife or photography, should get out tomorrow night or Tuesday night (Feb 25-26) and see photographer and filmmaker @filipe_deandrade , host of “Untamed,” in his terrific @natgeo live show at Benaroya Hall. Took my daughter and a friend to today’s matinee and we all had a ball. He had 2,000 people rolling in the aisles. And his focus on women in science really made our girls pay attention. I got to work with Filipe in Costa Rica on a story about sea turtles for @natgeo, where we witnessed this arribada—tens of thousands of olive ridleys coming ashore at once to mate. I still remember his random but regular outbursts: “Isn’t this just amazing?!?” And it was. What a talented and wildly exuberant voice for nature and conservation. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss it. Then make a point to go see the magnificent @thomaspeschak in April. You won’t regret either decision. These shows are out of sight.
Why did it take four hours to hike three miles on Cape Horn Island, the last real splash of land off the tip of South America? Here’s a hint: that’s my head and my big-ass pack, poking through what appeared at first blush to be solid ground. Hahaha, nope. That would have been too easy. * Repost from @brian.buma — Although it looks fairly pleasant, @craigwelch face suggests otherwise. Our first creek crossing. Despite appearances, he has just climbed down a ravine through a tree, over a deep creek, and is now climbing out of a 10 foot hole... to push up into the usual gale. Unpleasant walking on a beautiful island. W/ @iantehphotography #onassignment for @natgeo @insidenatgeo
Mountains from the sky. Over the Beagle Channel, headed north toward the Strait of Magellan. Southern mountains? Yeah they’re ok. ⛰ 🏔 w/ @brian.buma @iantehphotography
Pretty magical even from afar. Behold the Dientes de Navarino, a massif south of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego billed as the world’s southernmost trek. With a rough trail covering about 40 kilometers and 6,000 feet of elevation over three or four lovely mountain passes, it’s part Brooks Range and part Tetons. (This shot reminds me of views of the Grand from the west along the road above Alta, Wyoming.) Taken #onassignment in #Chile for @natgeo @insidenatgeo with @iantehphotography @brian.buma #mountainsforever #naturephotography #southernhemispheresummer
Psst, photogs: Now’s your chance. ** Repost from @paulnicklen — A huge congratulations to @NatGeo for reaching 100 million followers. Being on assignment for the past 19 years has been an incredible journey. It is demanding, exhilarating, and rewarding to be part of a team that tackles the hard issues and shares both the beauty and plight of our planet. A single photo or article can give a voice to those who aren’t normally heard. Transport someone to places they never dreamed of seeing. Spark an emotional connection that can change people’s behaviours and perceptions. To celebrate this major milestone, National Geographic is hosting a photo contest. You have 24 hours to submit your most Nat Geo-esque images, using the hashtag #NatGeo100Contest in the caption. Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of 10 National Geographic photographers. The top 10 photos will be featured on @NatGeo's Instagram account and the grand prize winner will win a trip to Tanzania.
When waiting for your flight home in a place like southern Chile, best to avoid the lounge and instead hit the local sights, in this case The Dientes de Navarino massif. (P.S. Best attempted where flights run only every other day.) #onassignment w/the most excellent @iantehphotography (directly behind me), expedition leader and scientist extraordinaire @brian.buma (in black), and humble workhorse John Henry, toxicologist and chief safety officer (titles not related). Laughing at us from behind a rock: @katelyn.sheehan . For @natgeo @insidenatgeo earlier this month. (P.S. yes, @iantehphotography I tried to work the distracting sky, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Still just a writer w/a phone.)
Happy #WhaleDay He named her Digit after Dian Fossey’s favorite silverback, forgetting how that ended. Now the baby sperm whale was dying. He tried everything, but was losing hope. Then, the unexpected. See link in my bio for our hopeful @natgeo tale about the mysteries of the deep. ** Repost from @stevedeneef — A family unit of Sperm whales travels through the waters of Dominica. These incredible animals form lifelong relationships, pass on family traditions and have their own dialect. There's still so much to learn about these complex and interesting mammals. Follow the The Dominica Sperm Whale Project to learn more about these whales. Shot on assignment for @natgeo #whale #dominica #spermwhale #aerial @natgeoimagecollection