chrisbrinleejr chrisbrinleejr

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Chris Brinlee Jr  Storyteller | #CelebrateDiscomfort Creator | @wearecontentmachine Currently: 🏔️ Alberta 🏔️

There are two types of unknown as related to adventure: there's the literal unknown - stepping foot into a place where no one has been before, or where no information exists; there's the psychological unknown - which involves pushing one's self beyond the comfort zone and to #CelebrateDiscomfort .

Today, it's becoming more and more difficult to experience the first type of unknown, as more and more places on the planet are being explored. As such, we seek to fulfill the second type of unknown: exploring the unknown self. This method of exploration provides almost limitless opportunities for personal growth and should not be underestimated. These moments represent the crowning achievements of our lives, as we push ourselves beyond where we thought was possible in the realm of our own existence.

Every once in a while, however, the opportunity to explore the literal unknown presents itself. These opportunities can take months or even years to plan and execute; they almost always result in an exploration of the psychological unknown - while providing the opportunity to increase the world's collective knowledge, by filling in a grey area on the map (though with today's satellite imagery, the "grey area" is more relevant to information than overhead imagery.) Many people dedicate their lives to these pursuits - to exploring the literal unknowns. As an adventurer, it has never been enough to explore my own heights and depths; I have always aspired to discover the literal unknown. Now, an opportunity to realize that desire has presented itself and I have been inspired to take action and execute those pursuits.

Today, @lanleyc and I will embark on a journey to discover both of those unknowns: to shed light on a vacuum of information, and to #CelebrateDiscomfort as we attempt the first documented traverse of a Canadian Rockies ridgeline. This is what we live for.

@cotopaxi @travelalberta @wearecontentmachine

A few weeks ago, @lanleyc and I held a contest; we asked entrants to share how they #CelebrateDiscomfort . The grand prize winner would get the opportunity to join us on an adventure in Alberta. We received over 1500 entries; Christian and I read each one. Many inspired and moved us, but one story stood out in particular.

@casey.orion joined us for that adventure in Alberta; this is a preview of how it went down. Want to see more? Check out the full video - link in my profile.

@cotopaxi @travelalberta @salewa @revo @66audio @gopro @powerbar @wearecontentmachine @backpackerspantry #SteppingOut

@lanleyc and I have climbed a lot together since we first met in September. In fact, it's safe to say that I've climbed more with him than anyone else in my short but varied adventure career. The thing is, whenever we have climbed together, we've always swapped leads (except that time we both got sandbagged on the Aguille du Midi in Chamonix the day after we met for the first time, when Christian led every pitch and I French Freed the entire route which was way above my pay grade.) That wasn't the case yesterday, however, on our very first multi-pitch ice climb with mountain machine Paul Chiddle from @yamnuskamtnadv. We both followed Paul up the four pitch, 210m, WI 5, world-class ice route called "The Sorcerer." The climbing was incredible - unlike anything that I've ever done, but one of the coolest parts about the experience was getting to climb next to Christian.

Cheering each other on when the climbing got steep (and it got real steep,) helping each other out during sticky situations (and there were a couple,) chatting during belays, and popping off shots like this one while we both climbed a fully vertical route was pretty special. So stoked to experience climbing in a totally new way. And, I'm so stoked for what's to come.

Tomorrow, we embark on a journey into the unknown, as we attempt to complete the first traverse of a stunning ridgeline in Alberta. Curious as to what we're getting up to? What gear we're going to use? How we've researched and planned the trip? Today at 5pm MST we're doing a live video to talk about all that and more. Tune in and hang out!

@wearecontentmachine #CelebrateDiscomfort

The Sorcerer: Heralded by many as one of the best ice climbs in the world. 210m (nearly 700') of perfect, vertical waterfall ice is nestled deep within the Ghost Canyon - an arena that is as hauntingly quiet as its name implies.

Today, @lanleyc and I climbed it - while led by "Chiseled Chiddle," @yamnuskamtnadv's program director and all-around mountain machine.

The Sorcerer would be both Christian's and my first multi-pitch ice climb; it would not disappoint: to ascend it's grade 5 frozen watery walls, we would need to conjure magic; conjure we did.

@travelalberta #explorealberta @wearecontentmachine #CelebrateDiscomfort

While en route to Big Bend for a kayaking trip; just after returning from the Alps, I got an email from @gopro. The subject line read "Surfing and Reindeer Hunting in the Aleutian Islands." My reaction was ecstatic; knowing that I was about to lose service for the week (and that the trip was in two weeks) my response was immediate.

The proper response for those types of invitations is always "Most Definitely Yes." The only problem was that I was due to set sail for Antarctica from Cape Town, South Africa with @mikehornexplorer on November 15th; I was due in port on the 11th. The Aleutians trip was from November 1-11; the two destinations could literally not be further apart: four days, six flights, and over 11,000 miles.

A quick (pleading) email to and @annikahorn got me permission to show up late to SA (just in time.) I was off to Alaska.

Upon arrival in Anchorage I met surfers @a_gray and @anthony_walsh_, along with their team of filmmakers @nateleenc, @benweiland, and @nuttynulty. A small charter flight later and we were in one of the most remote and remarkable places on earth.

The film from the trip is finally live, along with a perspective piece by me on The Inside Line. Check them out; prepare to be inspired. Link in my profile.

@lanleyc established a new WI5 route for ants: Burly Beard may only be one pitch, and it's not always in condition, but it goes hard when it is.


Here's another photo of another person skiing into the Great White Room. If it looks the same as my last few posts, you're not wrong - in a lot of ways, it feels the same for me too.

Though @lanleyc and I (and on this trip the #SteppingOut contest winner and totally awesome dude @casey.orion) have had near endless opportunities to #CelebrateDiscomfort over the last couple of weeks, it's all been blending together as we've skied into the white abyss through white-outs, snow storms, and cold gusty days.

While experiencing these great expanses of nothingness, it can be hard to distinguish between landmarks - both of the physical world and of the mental state. It's a metaphor for life, in a lot of ways and the way to tackle it is the same: Keep your head down and keep pushing through. Details will appear and you'll come out of the storm eventually.

@cotopaxi #AdventureOn @wearecontentmachine #SteppingOut

Last week, @lanleyc and I embarked on Alberta’s famed Wapta Traverse - which is said to be one of the most remarkably beautiful ski tours in all of North America.

This photo was taken just minutes after our departure; it's the most visibility that we had on the entire trip. Though we didn't see much along the way, the conditions made for one EPIC chance to #CelebrateDiscomfort . Wanna see what we experienced? Check out Stepping Out: Episode 2. Link in my profile.

@cotopaxi @travelalberta @dynafit @wearecontentmachine

For the last two weeks, it seems like all @lanleyc and I have seen is the White Room: four days of white-out on the Wapta Traverse. Three days of white-out and dozens of accompanying avalanches on a failed ski expedition of Mount Castleguard. Multiple blizzards driven through from Montana, BC, and allllll over Alberta.

Winter is in full-force here, with EXTREME avalanche conditions at all levels throughout today, so we're giving our bodies and spirits a much needed respite before hitting it hard again.

Stay posted for more stories, vlogs, and pictures from the last couple of weeks as we Fire Up the Content Machine in Canmore all weekend!

Speaking of Canmore - we'll be at Tavern 1883 tonight at 8pm if you want to stop by and #CelebrateDiscomfort through chats about adventure, travel, and anything else!

@cotopaxi @travelalberta @wearecontentmachine
📷: @lanleyc

@mikehornexplorer knows what it means to #CelebrateDiscomfort , more than anyone else in the entire world. Proof: he's the first person to cross Antarctica, solo & unsupported, across its widest point.

Check out the feature story on him in @redbulletin, which I shot photos for on his #pole2pole expedition at the end of last year. Link in my profile.

Wanna witness the birth of a skier? @lanleyc went from zero to hero over the course of one week, in preparation for taking on Alberta’s famed Wapta Traverse.

We just created our first vlog, called Stepping Out, that highlights the process - as well as our roadtrip from Colorado to Canada. Go give it a watch; leave comments! We plan on doing more - many more - and all the feedback is appreciated. There are also some @jerryoftheday worthy moments, so it's worth watching for that alone. Link in my profile.

@cotopaxi @travelalberta @wearecontentmachine #CelebrateDiscomfort

This sums up @lanleyc's and my experience on the Wapta Traverse in a single frame: cold, snowy, windy white-out.

We had heard that the Wapta was considered to be the most beautiful mountain traverse in North America, but after spending four days on it, we wouldn't know any better - but what it lacked in views (thanks to the weather) it made up for with opportunities to #CelebrateDiscomfort .

@dynafit @wearecontentmachine #SteppingOut

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