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Movie Recommendation: Meru


Last night Matt & I went on a movie date to see a film he has been looking forward to for a while: Meru.


Mount Meru is located at the headwaters of the Ganges River in Northern India, with the 21,000 ft Shark’s Fin (a big wall on Mount Meru) seeing the largest number of failed attempts by elite climbing teas than any other Himalayan ascent. A team of three climbers – Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk – made an attempt.

The big thing to recognize about Meru is that it is considered the Anti-Everest. There aren’t hundreds of people making the climb every year, and there are no sherpas to carry your stuff. You carry what you need, and the terrain that they were facing on the Shark’s Fin had so much variety that the amount of gear required is astronomical.

The movie follows several years in the three climbers life, offering insight into their climbing histories, a view of their families, and the day-to-day of three amazing climbers making an amazing attempt.

Conrad Anker in MERU. Courtesy of Music Box Films. Photo by Jimmy Chin.

Conrad Anker in MERU. Courtesy of Music Box Films. Photo by Jimmy Chin.

I’m not going to provide any spoilers, but it was a great film. While climbers will be most likely to love it, it is a great story for anyone who is impressed by the super human feats that people continue to accomplish.

Watch the trailer here.

The movie Meru isn’t available everywhere, only at select theaters. You can visit this link to see where the movie is showing near you. There are several theatres having their opening night tonight, September 11th!

Hiking to Mendenhall Glacier via the West Glacier Trail


The Stews returned to Juneau. Not only is it an amazing city, but the Mendenhall Ice Caves were the true draw for us. Last time we went to Juneau we weren’t able to get to them, so we had planned another trip specifically to go.

The Ice Caves are considered one of the best places in the world to take a ‘selfie’, and we figured living so close, we should check it out. (Ok, I know. A plane ride 1,000 miles isn’t ‘close’, but it is in the same state and I live in Alaska – let me pretend things in my own state are close!)

When we were doing research on how to get to the caves, however, there isn’t much out there. We scoured other blogs and hiking sites to figure out the best approach. Since we had such a tough time figuring it out, we tried to document our trail so others could attempt the same way we did.

This was by no means an easy hike – if you’re not a skilled hiker with some climbing experience, you can get hurt. State Troopers said this where most of their rescues happen, usually because of injuries like broken ankles or falls. Don’t attempt if you’re not good at outdoorsy-ing.

Continue reading “Hiking to Mendenhall Glacier via the West Glacier Trail” »

Californian Getaway, Pt. II – San Diego

I can’t believe that it’s only Tuesday: it feels like we were just in California yesterday!

We had such an amazing time in SoCal with our friends Jason & Erin. On Friday, we had adventures in Temecula Valley wine country. Saturday & Sunday were spent doing the typical beach things: soaking up the sun.

Erin & I woke early (9am) on Saturday and headed down for some breakfast and pool time. We figured we would let the boys sleep in, which they appreciated. If you know Matt, you know waking him on the weekend is like trying to get a bear out of hibernation early. (See what I did there? I made a bear joke, since the bears really are coming out of hibernation here in Alaska! Not funny? Ehh, I’m not known for my hilariousness.)

Once the boys woke up and we packed, we headed south to San Diego. I’m guessing the wildfires were more controlled because it was an absolutely gorgeous day – blue skies and everything!

First stop was Balboa Park. Located just outside of downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is a huge (1,200 acres) urban park filled with museums, gardens, art venues, AND THE ZOO!

Yes, the San Diego Zoo is in Balboa Gardens! Unfortunately, it was $46 per person to get INTO the zoo, and it didn’t make sense to pay so much to go when we would only be there for a few hours. Continue reading “Californian Getaway, Pt. II – San Diego” »

The Stew’s Go To China: Day 2


Sunday, 20 April 2014

After traveling halfway around the world, we finally made it to Beijing!!! We also flew right over Anchorage, making us groan over the fact we had to fly for 7 hours and do a long layover in LA, JUST to go right past our house.


Once we made it through customs, I said hello to my screaming, adoring fans.

Just kidding. A famous Asian pop star was arriving at the same time as us.

Just kidding. A famous Asian pop star was arriving at the same time as us.

Continue reading “The Stew’s Go To China: Day 2” »

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