expertvagabond expertvagabond

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Matthew Karsten  Adventure travel blogger & photographer. Dreamer. Currently: #California 🇺🇸 Travel & Photo Tips ⇣

Every year I like to challenge myself, and push my comfort zone a bit. I decided to try some winter mountaineering in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains! 🏔

So I climbed Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the continental United States at 14,505 ft (4421 m) over the course of two days via the “mountaineer’s route.” It was a tough, but exhilarating experience.

To help fuel my adventure, I brought along new Jack Link’s Beef Steak Strips (@jacklinksjerky) made with 100% beef for a quick & tasty boost of protein when my energy was running low.

What are you doing to #RaiseTheSteaks and challenge yourself this year? Tag me in your post and I’ll share some of my favorites! #sponsored

We spent a night along the shores of Lake Eyasi, a large salt lake in the fertile Great Rift Valley of Tanzania. 🇹🇿

The area feels very different than the hot, dry grasslands we’ve been traveling through up until that point. It’s wet and tropical, with large palm trees full of squawking birds.

I climbed up to a high viewpoint to watch the sun set over a mostly-dry lake. During the wet season, it can actually get pretty deep and attracts groups of wading hippos cooling off in the salty water.

Just published a photo essay from Tanzania on my blog, use the link in my bio to check it out!

Bathrooms around the world: Russia Edition 🚽😆

St. Basil’s Cathedral in #Moscow has to be one of the coolest looking buildings ever! Happy I finally got to see it.

PS: Despite all the media hype surrounding #Russia lately, I felt totally welcome there. Remember that a country’s government is not always representative of its people. 👍🏼

This fine automobile is the Russian UAZ-452. Known as the “loaf” because it looks like a loaf of bread. 🍞

The perfect way to get around a rugged place like Kamchatka with 4x4.

Who wants to go for a spin? 🖐🏼

Day 6 of our Kamchatka winter expedition was spent at the base of a 10,000 ft active volcano called Ichinskaya.

In indigenous Even shamanism, the volcano spirit plucks 5 whales out of the ocean, one on each finger, and cooks them inside the volcano, causing it to smoke.

Apparently no whales were being barbecued today! 🐳🌋
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#kamchatka #even #Russia #volcano #optoutside #snowmobiling #redpantstour

I love getting up early in the morning for colorful sunrise light! This is a remote mountain cabin used by Even reindeer herders in the mountains of Kamchatka, Russia.
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We pitched tents behind a snow-drift next door, and based ourselves here for two nights to learn how the Even live way out here.
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#kamchatka #Russia #sunrise_madness #wildernessculture #mountainman #even #esso

Meet my new friend Snow White! She’s one of 1200 reindeer we met the other day here in the wilds of Kamchatka, Russia.
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They live off grass growing below the snowpack, roaming free across a vast landscape with their nomadic Even herders keeping them safe until it’s time for culling some for meat & hides, as they have for thousands of years.
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#kamchatka #reindeer #winterwonderland #Russia #Even

Craziest day ever. Traveled 60km over one of Kamchatka’s icy high plateaus. Battling 60mph winds. -39F wind chill.
We were forced to evacuate back to the village of Esso for a night, as we wouldn’t have made it to the next reindeer camp before dark.

Really impressed with everyone on our team. This was hardcore, and way more difficult than we were expecting.
Time to break out the vodka! 🍾
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Follow along with the rest of our Russia adventure via satellite text updates on my Facebook page @expertvagabond ————————
#kamchatka #Russia #snowmobiling #winterexpedition

Welcome to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia! 🇷🇺
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Kamchatka’s largest city is surrounded by epic volcanoes.
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#kamchatka #volcano #adventuretime #Russia #sunsets #bluehour #russia_pics

Off on a new adventure! Tomorrow I leave for Russia, leading a photo expedition into the snowy wilds of Kamchatka. I’ll try to post a few updates, but much of the trip is off-the-grid.
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For now, here’s a shot from Joshua Tree National Park in CA. 🌵
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#VisitCalifornia #JoshuaTree #adventureawaits #desertlife

Hunting wild orchids in the misty tree canopy of Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica. 🌳🌺
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#costarica🇨🇷 #monteverde #puravida #cloudforest #bridges_of_instagram

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