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Wonderland Trail hike planning? I've reduced the rental price of my original project (Hiking the Wonderland Trail DVD), now available as Video On Demand for any device or computer, temporarily to only $1.99!

Wednesday
Apr092014

Undercurrent: Enchanted Valley Chalet on the Edge

On April 7th, 2014, I hiked into Olympic National Park's Enchanted Valley to enjoy excellent weather in a snow free hike and check out the teetering Enchanted Valley Chalet. There has been much chatter online about the fate of the chalet, as the Quinault River has altered course and undercut the chalet's foundation, as well as eradicating large swaths of the valley meadow. The landscape has changed markedly since my last visit 16 years ago. As of this writing the fate of the chalet is yet to be decided. Let nature take it's course and allow the structure to eventually slip into the river? Or hire a professional house mover to relocate the structure further from the encroaching Quinault. This was a long but rewarding day with views of elk and bear along with the green infused scenery.

 

 

 

 

Monday
Mar312014

Good deals on The Clymb

You'll notice I don't have advertising on this site, I don't like the visual clutter for the viewer and it's not worth the few cents per month to collect advertising revenue. However, I've been using The Clymb online store for over a year and have done some amazing deals. Outdoor gear can be expensive and finding savings is always a plus. My most recent purchase was for a set of randonee skis, advertised on another online site on sale for $650....my price, $234 delivered. They are even the 2013/2014 model. Outdoor Research soft shell jacket, list $225, my price $70. Or how about the Ultraclamp I bought from Rhino Camera Gear for $29.99...I just picked up 2 more from The Clymb for $7.95 each. The Clymb sells outdoor gear for many sports including biking, hiking, skiing, climbing and running, to name a few. My daughter just picked up a dress and sandals, items that are still selling for full price elsewhere, for more than half off retail.

Help support Williswall! Click on any of these links and I get a bonus with your first order, but it doesn't cost you anything. WARNING: saving on The Clymb may become addictive.

Wednesday
Mar262014

The 7 Continents

A recent trip to Brazil made me realize that that was the last place to complete visits to the 7 continents. Here's a pictoral reminiscence of the places I've visited over the years, some surely never to be repeated.

A continental tour

Thursday
Mar132014

Watch out for Beyond...Clothing, that is!

Beyond Clothing: stitched in the StatesIn my quest to find gear that is manufactured in the US, the most elusive part of the job is clothing. However, there is a new/old company about to enter the outdoor retail scene based in Seattle, WA. Beyond Clothing essentially has a leg up on your typical start up: they have been making clothing for the military for a number of years.

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Thursday
Feb272014

Rhino Camera Gear mounts

I am constantly looking for different ways to use helmet cams, and this usually means having multiple options for mounting them. I purchased a few items from Pacific Northwest local Rhino Camera Gear (rhinocameragear.com) and tested them on a recent biking trip (view here), notably the "Moose Neck" and the "Pro Pole 20." I received my items within 3 days and the quality is excellent. I especially like the promise of using the flexible Moose Neck to position cameras in odd ways. Another thumbs up for a local US manufacturer.

Thursday
Jan232014

Enlightened Equipment Enigma 50 degree quilt

Enlightened Equipment Enigma 50I've been looking for a specialized fastpacking sleep solution for a couple of years. I've talked to Ben (Goosefeet) and Joe (ZPacks) about custom work, but solutions always bordered on the weights of the lightest bags, and I have a 1 pound bag already. I just didn't need yet another sleeping bag or quilt that simply saved me a few ounces over what I already have.

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Friday
Dec272013

Packing Cameras: Part II

custom front pack full of camera gearThis is an update to my original post on packing cameras. I had such good luck with my smaller custom front pack from ZPacks and the insert that I made that I decided to do a second one. I had Joe make me a totally custom front pack out of cuben hybrid with the addition of two side pockets (for water bottles) and a mesh front pocket. The size of this front pack is ideal, I have just enough forward visibility that the pack does not interfere with foot placement (at least for any trails I have been on) and the attachment system is the same as my other front pack so I can mix and match.

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Friday
Dec272013

Black Rock Gear: Foldback Mitts/Original Hat

Black Rock Gear Foldback MittsOne of the great things about the cottage gear industry is I just keep finding great companies. This usually comes about through reading blogs like this or through other online sites. I especially like it when I find a company that is locally based (Seattle area) and today we have a winner: Black Rock Gear. This company's reputation is based on meticulous sewing, great customer service and winning products. I have to wholeheartedly agree on all counts.

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Thursday
Nov072013

Willis Wall Snippets: 2013

I didn't have any big projects planned for this year so spent more time on photography than in the past. However, I did always have a helmet cam or two along so I did video when the mood struck. Notably, the light was perfect when skiing Whistler's Blackcomb glacier this year and there were moments when I was glad I took the shot. Ski, bike, hike; enjoy the Willis Wall Snippets for 2013, and get out there!

Monday
Nov042013

The Williswall Quiver: Shelter/Sleep

The following is from an email from reader Leif:

I've been following your posts on several Forums and here at your blog.  I've been especially intrigued by the B4 combination and the underlying concept of using multi-use gear as a part of an UL solution.  I have not seen any updates for this last 2013 season, so I thought I'd drop you a line.  If you don't mind taking a few minutes, would you respond to these questions?
1. Now that you have some testing done, do you still like the B4 solution?  If not, what is taking it's place?
2. Here's my understanding of your B4 system... B4 + 3/4 Cuben bivey + Zpacks Cuben Poncho.  At one point I think I saw you using a Feathered Friends Wren Nano with some kind of partial down bag for lower body insulation.  Do I remember that correctly?  I'm not sure if that matters... more what I'd like to know here is what are you using now for an insulating layer while sleeping?  A bag?

Long story short, I'd like to know what you're using now and (if possible) how I can buy / make the same solution for myself.

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