andrea | πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ | wandress

Maker of memories. Teller of stories. Married to the mountains.

http://andreaference.com/

  • posts793

I have been getting a lot of questions recently in regards to where I will be watching the Total Solar Eclipse. I have never been one to do the expected so instead of viewing it from the mainland...#royalcaribbean invited me onboard the #oasisoftheseas to witness the eclipse from the middle of Saragossa Sea and I can not wait! #comeseek #sponsored
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πŸ“· - @dennisstever

199πŸ’¬

Since being home my days have largely been filled with mountain research - studying topographical maps, searching hiking routes, refreshing the @parks.canada & @alberta_parks advisories pages and (especially with the wildfires) obsessively checking weather reports. It is the less glamorous but often most important part of my alpine adventures and I have over the years grown to love it. I don’t deny that the iconic drive-up spots are spectacular (there are reasons that roads were built to Moraine, Peyto and Louise) - but spending the day on the scree pitch of an unnamed peak with nobody but @ryanclennett and a group of six older mountain men who joke about re-naming mountains and reminisce on their days of multi-pitch climbing and near death adventures… for me, it is worth every minute (or hour… or day…) of tracking over lines on maps and googling places I didn’t even know that I should be dreaming of.
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πŸ“· - @ryanclennett

108πŸ’¬

There is a special kind of happiness that I have found in sharing my favourite places with people that I love. Last autumn I flew down to Denver for a long weekend and on a whim sent a message to an account that I had been following for years, not expecting a reply at all I was elated when not only did I get a reply but @maisymoon and I met up and went on one of her favourite hikes in RMNP. So last week when she sent me a message that she was on the Canadian side of the Rockies I was finally able to return the favour - and so we spent hours drinking coffee and catching up over a smokey sunset from one of my favourite views in Kananaskis.
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πŸ“· - @ryanclennett

190πŸ’¬

I truly believe that life is meant for good friends and great adventures. I don’t know how it was the most logical course of action but somehow my trip to Slovenia this summer started with a road trip to Seattle. The flight from Calgary to Seattle is just shy of two hours but instead of doing that we picked three days of climbing mountains and finding alpine lakes in the Canadian Rockies followed by a twelve hour drive and a backpacking trip in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness (oh and I should mention that during all of this I had completely lost my voice and was so sick I thought I was going to die). I don’t know how it took me this long to visit Washington but another trip is already in the books with some of the most wonderful of friends and beautiful alpine lakes to jump in…
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πŸ“· - @michaelmatti

112πŸ’¬

I took a little bit of a spill last night on my hike. And as I looked down at my shins in yoga this afternoon I could not help but laugh, my body is covered in bumps, bruises, scratches and scars all in various stages of healing. For a second it brought me back to a time in my life when I would have looked at my legs disgusted unable to see past these β€œflaws”. But instead it makes me smile reminding me of how they got that way. The (maybe too frequent) times that I get lost and turned around and end up bushwalking my way back to civilization, the boulder that scraped my shin as I hugged it for dear life on a ridge I never imagined I would have the ability to traverse or the tumble (and the hundreds of tumbles before) that occurred last night running down from a beautiful sunset hike with some of the most inspiring friends. I could not imagine trading even one of these memories for pristine shinbones, and so it makes me wonder how many things in our lives we see as damaged or flawed will one day evolve into a reminder our most cherished memories.
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πŸ“· - @michaelmatti

361πŸ’¬

This weekend I ventured out of the busy parks and into my old stomping grounds. As @lucas_really and I sat and ate our lunch, children took turns daring one another to jump off of waterfalls while their parents set up lunch along the riverbed. It makes me sad that this was refreshing, that seeing a place where parents feel comfortable only loosely monitoring their children, where graffiti and garbage aren’t rampant, is abnormal to me.
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To paraphrase @radgirlscollective : We live in a culture where boundless information is at our fingertips; where the desire to explore more and explore everything is very real. But is full disclosure always necessary? As our impact on Instagram grows, I am becoming more aware of how I am – and social media as a whole is – impacting the environment. When a natural location gains a sudden increase in visitors, this poses a threat to the environment, areas known only to wildlife not too long ago may not be set up (ie. garbage cans, maintained trails) to handle the number of people visiting. Often new visitors may not follow the LNT principles, turning the spots that were once pristine into inconvenient garbage dumps.

135πŸ’¬

Home. I think I have always had a strong sense of curiosity. The road behind me in this image is the Highwood Pass - it's the highest paved road in Canada and closed over half of the year. I was raised on the other side of the closure(the south side) in a house with big windows situated halfway up a hill that looked straight into the summits. When I was young I would sit in my front room and imagine mountaintops and valleys untouched by man. As I get older I am slowly knocking off those ranges from my to-do list (and humbly accepting that I was not in fact the first) but it has given me an appreciation for the place where I grew up. I've spend the past few months playing on Islands and peaks around the world but tonight I head home... to 'my' mountains.
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πŸ“· - @ryanclennett

170πŸ’¬

Safety. It's something that I don't think about often but I am asked about almost daily. I often find myself lost and alone in the backcountry - wandering around and being reminded of how I became 'that day hiker' with a 35lb bag of emergency gear. I feel safe in nature (don't get me wrong, a rustling outside of my tent makes me pull my sleeping bag over my eyes still) - there is something familiar about the wilderness for me. But last week I didn't feel safe, I had spent months planning a trip to Lofoten and invested a lot of time and money into the adventure. I was so excited, but in spending a few days of preparation with my travel partner I didn't feel safe. I was uncomfortable with this person and my gut screamed not to go and I made a very difficult last minute decision to pull myself from the trip - after a little panic I was on a plane (or four) to one of the places that I consider home. And so I find myself sitting on the beach on Maui catching up with old friends. I had a lot of questions about this detour and here it is - trust your gut. If you don't feel safe don't do something, be it a trip with someone you aren't sure about, that ridge walk that makes your legs turn to jelly... or a solo backpacking trip you're not (yet) ready for.

158πŸ’¬

It's crazy the way that things happen. This was taken last week on a last minute unplanned road trip with @jess.wandering @michaelmatti and @itsbigben - every morning we woke up hours before the sunrise to the sound of rain falling. Soggy and groggy we got in the car and headed for the alps. Our last morning we arrived at the parking area and were doubtful we would see the sun at all, we hiked and hiked and the more we hiked the thinner the fog became and eventually the rain stopped and we were treated to alpine views I had only dreamt of.
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πŸ“· - @michaelmatti

221πŸ’¬

I don't think anyone would mistake me for an easy going person. I enjoy having plans (even if I don't want to be the one who makes them) but in this little 'walkabout' of sorts I think that the universe is trying to change that. Between a week with no voice filled with travel and important phone calls, last minute road trips with friends across Europe, the most illogical flight paths and now my dream trip falling through my fingers. I have learned to take a deep breath, acknowledge that life isn't always as clean as we want it to be, and shift focus. The flight I am about to hop on is nearly the exact opposite side of the world from where I thought I would be headed today. Any guesses where I'm off to?
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πŸ“· - @michaelmatti

272πŸ’¬

I have a soft spot for high alpine passes. Hiking them, cycling them, driving them you name it. When @michaelmatti pulled up the route for the Vrőič Pass - a maze of switchbacks to the highest alpine pass in Slovenia I was sold. Little did I know that with age has also brought a little bit of car sickness. Thankfully Michael had a midway 'viewpoint' that ended up being a very steep and unrelenting vertical hike up the side of the mountain. We ended at this lookout and nothing says 'you've made it' like a local Slovenian man with no shirt on and a cigarette in hand. He explained to us that this was his favourite hike in Triglav and we could see why, views of peaks in every direction, a pristine view of switchbacks heading up the pass and tiny cabins littered throughout the tree line (and not to mention we were the first non-Slovenians in the summit registrar) I am torn between holding onto this gem for myself and sharing it with everyone.
#ifeelslovenia @feelslovenia
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πŸ“· - @michaelmatti

113πŸ’¬

Each morning in Slovenia stared the same way... my alarm would ring at an ungodly hour before sunrise, I would roll out of bed, brush my teeth (and sometime hair), put on my clothes and meet up with @michaelmatti to drive to the base of a mountain. We would hike up in the dark and cross our fingers for the sunrise to create something magic. This morning was no exception, I always try to manage my expectations at iconic spots such as this and somehow photos never do them justice. An island just big enough to hold a church in the middle of a lake with a castle overlooking it all...the only thing that could have made this morning better is if the castle were to deliver 5am cream cake and coffee.
#ifeelslovenia @feelslovenia
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πŸ“· - @michaelmatti

251πŸ’¬

I thought that I was cheating by taking the summer gondola up the mountain...now I realize that maybe Europe just has it right. We took a gondola (and then a chairlift) partway up the mountain and hit summit before 8am leaving an entire day to explore the seemingly endless network of alpine trails, ridges and summits.
#ifeelslovenia @feelslovenia
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πŸ“· - @michaelmatti

142πŸ’¬

We touched down in Slovenia on our first night just as the final bit of sun dipped below the horizon. This left us blindly maneuvering up the first of many narrow and winding alpine roads to an off-season ski resort where we were met with a warm welcome, our first traditional meal and a finger pointing into the darkness toward the summit of the mountain. After a short rest we made our push for the summit - I don't know if it was the lack of sleep (and caffeine) or the company of good friends with too much to catch up on but @jess.wandering and I popped over the ridge to the summit hardly realizing the distance we had covered. The sun flooded over the peaks and I stopped in my tracks realizing this was the first of many times this place would take my breath away.
#ifeelslovenia @feelslovenia
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πŸ“· - @itsbigben

67πŸ’¬

I came to Slovenia with no expectations (aside from the image of a lake with an island burned into my mind). I am half way through my time here and with every bend in the road I find pieces of all of my favourite places. From coastal towns reminiscent of southern France to rolling hillside vineyards rivaling Tuscany, villages tucked away in the alpines that bring me back to western Austria, gorges that belong in the PNW and even mountains that must have been stolen from my back yard. @feelslovenia #ifeelslovenia #sp
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πŸ“· - @michaelmatti

144πŸ’¬

Recognizing the fragility of Lake O'Hara's alpine environment and the importance of ensuring its preservation, Parks Canada has limited summer access. So at 2:30am a mixture of old friends, new friends and strangers from the internet met in the parking lot for Lake O'Hara sleep deprived and holding our breath for a beautiful sunrise. We hiked the 11km long road to the lakeside and watched the sun slowly light up the sky. As the clouds changed from pink to white we made or way up the side of the mountain and jaws dropped as this view came into sight. That moment, right there, is what it is all about. Being able to watch the vistas of my backyard light up the faces of friends who have seen every corner of the earth (and the wannabe park warden in me forcing them to understand the fragile ecosystem of the area and the reasons why hammocks in the woods, trampling on moss and random campfires are so destructive) - it makes me appreciate how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful piece of the world.
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πŸ“· - @michaelmatti

232πŸ’¬

Happy 150th birthday to my favourite country on earth. We sometimes say 'eh' and always remember the 'u' in honour, colour and neighbour. We're known for our beautiful mountains, dreamy alpine lakes, vast wilderness, maple flavoured everything and saying sorry for just being so darn sorry... thank you for bringing necessaries into my life including peanut butter, Nanaimo bars, plexiglass, butter tarts, poutine and of course ice hockey. Happy Canada Day to the place that makes leaving home to see the world break my heart a little bit every time. 150 never looked so good. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
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In the most Canadian of fashion - a canoe ride around @emeraldlakelodge with my @hudsonsbay colours in tact. #crmrshare #seizetherockies #canada150
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πŸ“· - @michaelmatti

181πŸ’¬

I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. -G. M. Trevelyan
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After years of suffering with spinal cord injuries and heart issues I have a hard time finding words as true as these. Exercise has been both my medicine as well as my religion for years. A few days ago I was as able to show @ryanclennett my favourite summit(if you were watching my story you know the unstable ground, terrifying chute crossing and windy ridge it took to get here), seeing his face burst into sheer awe as he crested over the ridgeline reminded me, in that instant, of why I have worked so hard to get to where I am.
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πŸ“· - @ryanclennett

195πŸ’¬

Nearly a decade ago I sat outside of a coffee shop in downtown Calgary when an older man sat down beside me and started to tell me all about numbers. He asked my birthday and I told him, he thought for maybe a second before confidently telling me how old I was to the day. I did a quick calculation in my head and he was right (or within what I deemed a reasonable ballpark). We chatted for maybe an hour and then he abruptly stood up and left but not before asking my email. I hesitantly scribbled it into his ledger and that was the first and last conversation I had with him. His name is Dale - and this morning I woke up to an email from him congratulating me on my 10,000th day alive. I spent this special day packing, running errands and thinking about all of the people and places I have been fortunate enough to meet in those 10,000 day. This photo was taken in the middle of my 9,999th sunrise - I woke up at 1:45am on less than two hours of sleep to climb a mountain and make awful coffee in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I'm looking forward to what the next 10,000 days bring.

182πŸ’¬

I've spent the past few weeks checking in on some of my favourite places in the (Canadian) Rockies...the wildflowers in Kananaskis, the slowly defrosting alpine tarns along the Icefield Parkway, the snowmelt in the Highwood Pass...and of course the colors of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake slowly filling in. An evening trip out to summit Devil's Thumb on one of these checks for 'sunset' was filled with postholing though groin deep snow, thick grey skies and some alternative route finding...but seeing the first signs of summer poke through has made the added challenges in each of these adventures more than worth it. Happy #summersolstice everyone. β € β €
πŸ“· - @ryanclennett

110πŸ’¬

The little girl just could not sleep
Because her thoughts were way too deep
Her mind had gone out for a stroll
And fallen down a rabbit hole.
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It's Sunday evening and I don't remember the last time I was this sleep deprived. Slowly preparing myself for another trip by spending as many moments as possible in my happy place...right here, in the mountains with too many snacks and good humans.
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πŸ“· - @ryanclennett

134πŸ’¬

For anyone who has ever hiked with me this is a pretty typical sight, over-caffeinated and rambling on about my dreams of conquering every peak, planning routes and listing off unnecessary alpine facts... all the while blocking the view for @beckylynnsim's photo of the sun wishing a good morning to the mountains.
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πŸ“· - @beckylynnsim

136πŸ’¬

I am happy out here. Messy hair, dirty feet and wild water on my skin. Out here with the wild things; this is where I belong.
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πŸ“· - @ryanclennett

202πŸ’¬

When my alarm woke me up at 1:30am and I rolled out of bed to a sky filed with clouds I wasn't sure that we had made the right decision heading to Moraine Lake for sunrise. As the sky warmed and the sun began to shine we left the lakeside and began our ascent. The conversation flowed as the rocks fell beneath our feet (thank goodness for climbing helmets) and eventually we found ourselves here, atop the Tower of Babel on a perfect morning sipping hot chocolate and watching the clouds dance around the sky. I sent a photo to my view to my mom after abruptly ending a conversation the evening before in hopes of an early night in bed, her reply perfectly summed up the morning - "worth it."
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πŸ“· - @beckylynnsim

186πŸ’¬

Happy World Oceans Day! // Growing up in the mountains I was always intrigued by the free and wild nature of the ocean. I would read books and look at images-and somehow could not wrap my head around it's complexity (if I am being honest I still can't) but the more time I spend in the ocean the more I feel it's properties rubbing off on me. This day we were supposed to go on a guided snorkeling excursion but as soon as I hit the water all I wanted to do was swim. I spent hours going back and forth between sand bars and the boat, around in circles alternating between soaking in the sun at the surface and pretending I was a badass free diver. They may not be my home but if small steps like remembering to use reusable straws and shopping bags can help save the ocean ecosystem I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't want to do their part.
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🚁 - @dennisstever
🏝 - @banyantreevabbinfaruofficial

62πŸ’¬

To me, a rich and satisfying life means one full of contrast. Give me sleep ins. And soft rains. Coffee shops and conversation. But also adrenaline and adventure. And drunken bellows to the stars. I am determined to embrace this extravagant life for all that it has to offer. // Beau Taplin
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I used to have anxiety every weekend that I would spend in the city. Going for brunch with my girlfriends, binge watching Netflix, afternoon walks with coffee and (finally) catching up on laundry and groceries seemed like a waste of time. Today, for the first time in a few years, I truly enjoyed my 'city' day - the weather was perfect and I rolled out of bed at 4:30am - meditated, hit a yoga class, had a nap, went for a bike ride, stocked my fridge for tomorrow when I am finished juicing...and I'm currently in bed binge watching one of my guilty pleasures. As guilty as my TV show of choice may be I don't feel an ounce of guilt for my activities today - I know I will be well rested for tomorrow's bright and early scramble. I may finally finding balance of passion for the outdoors and my need for self-care.
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πŸ“· - @ryanclennett

149πŸ’¬

The time will pass anyway, you can either spend it creating the life you want or spend it living the life you don't want. The choice is yours..
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I've been on the road for two months and home a week now, I still don't think that it has really sunk in. That on Monday I won't wake up, put on a dress and heels and head to the office. Over the last week I have hugged friends, drank way too much coffee and spent almost enough time on the tops of mountains. Yesterday I ran into my (former) coworkers on the side of a mountain - in leaving I was worried that I would lose the friendships that I had built there over the years. But it was evident I didn't, we laughed and got caught up on life, love, work and everything in between. The happiness she had for me in my 'new' life was refreshing. The leap to take some time for myself and see the world wasn't without risk, but it also allowed me to have a really fantastic reward.
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πŸ“·- @ryanclennett

204πŸ’¬

My last sunset in Vancouver was spent here. A few hours before this moment I was sitting having coffee in Kitslano when I received a text from @joelschat inviting me on a hike. The details were vague and it required me to (literally) run across the city to change and pack my bag. Joel picked me up armed with a Tacofino burrito and I knew in that moment that it would be a night to remember. We left the city, found the trailhead and made our way up a short but unrelenting trail to meet up with the rest of our crew. After helping them set up camp the sun crept lower in the sky and the light warmed before disappearing. We stayed up at this lookout far later than anticipated and even that didn't feel long enough. I used to post a lot about what I'm working on within myself. Right now I'm trying to say 'yes' more (not quite Yes Man level) to adventures that make me a little nervous and really excited. What are you guys working on these days?
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πŸ“·- @joelschat

109πŸ’¬

She loved the sea. She liked the sharp salty smell of the air, and the vastness of the horizons bounded only by a vault of azure sky above. It made her feel small, but free as well.
George R.R. Martin
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I decided to ease myself back into "real life" with a retreat to Vancouver Island after my month around the world. I sat by the ocean watching the waves crash against the shore allowing my adventures to soak in. β € β €
πŸ“·- @michaelmatti

108πŸ’¬

After over a month on boats and plans and trains and driving countless hours in cars I found myself standing on the edge looking at the end. My last night. I was exhausted and excited and unsure of how I should feel about heading home. It was in a moment of 'now what' that my phone lit up and I was invited on a last minute adventure. We hiked to this spot overlooking Howe Sound and watched the sun disappear and then watched a little bit longer. In those hours I laughed until my eyes filled with tears and my stomach ached, we shared stories and made our own. To everyone and everything that made that night exactly the magic I needed....thank you. β € β €
πŸ“·- @braedin

120πŸ’¬