Amy LeVasseur

Exploring the World

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Ladies – 13 Essentials for an Overnighter in the Outdoors

Yes, we girls can do anything men can, and we are not afraid to admit we also like a little comfort here and there. I am not ashamed to say that everything listed below is always in my pack when hiking or trekking, as far as I’m concerned these are essentials.

Now, if you are a man and you are going hiking with a woman then pay attention, if your female companion didn’t bring some of the items below you may well score some serious brownie points whipping one of these things out of your pack at an opportune moment, the timing will be your choice, I can’t do everything for you. Continue reading

Diamox – Why you Should Always Carry it on High Altitude Trips

So you’re going to spend some time at high altitude, climbing mountains or trekking, don’t forget to pack your Diamox before you leave home, it can save your life. Below are a few simple Q&A’s that should give you some perspective.

Q: What is considered High Altitude?

A: Medicine recognizes that high altitudes above 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) start to affect humans, as altitude increases atmospheric pressure decreases, which affects humans by reducing the partial pressure of pure oxygen. Extreme altitudes above 5,500–6,000 meters (18,000–20,000 ft) cannot be permanently tolerated. Although most people don’t experience and altitude related problems until about 3000 meters. Continue reading

5 off-the-beaten-path things to do in Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia is such a beautiful Canadian city to visit, as you land in Vancouver you will see beautiful coastal mountains cupping a modern city of glass, only it seems people are always doing the same things when they are here. They visit Stanley Park, the seawall, shop on Robson Street and peruse the Art Gallery. There are many other things that Vancouver has to offer that I can’t help but share from a locals perspective, these are more interesting and less touristy that the ones mentioned above. 

1.

High Tea and the Fairmont Vancouver

Why? why not is the question. Who doesn’t want to sit in a beatuful lounge in Vancouver’s Oldest Hotel and eat a delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes, scones and a choice of tea.

2.

UBC  Museum of Anthropologyubc_moa

Forget the Art Gallery on Robson Street, it’s fine but you’ll like the UBC Museum of Anthropology much better. The beauty of the building alone makes it worth a visit.

3.

BCMC TrailThis Grouse Grind trail is often referred to as natures stair master

Everyone in Vancouver seems to flock to the Grouse Grind, it’s usually quite busy so why not try the BCMC trail which runs almost concurrently with the Grind, it’s a bit easier and there is virtually no traffic going up.

4.

Sunshine Coastsunshine_coast_hwy

Explore the Sunshine Coast by car. You get to drive though some quaint villages on the coast all the way up to Desolation Sound.  Starting at Vancouver the drive takes less than 5 hours and you get to take 2 ferries!

5.

Cleveland Damcleveland_dam

It’s a pretty low key tourist attraction, most visitors to Vancouver go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge instead. The Cleveland Dam is not advertised as a tourist attraction but is definitely worth seeing if you would like to avoid the crowds at the suspension bridge.

Tea House Trekking in Nepal – What to Expect

sinuwa_teahouse_annapurna1

What is a Tea House?

A Teahouse is defined as a combination of guest house, restaurant, and a social hang out. The Tea House is also the family home and usually the families sole income comes from trekkers passing though and stopping for tea (usually black tea with lots of sugar), or staying the night. Most of the time trekkers will stay in a different part of the building then the family. In Nepal expect the walls of your room to be constructed from a few pieces of plywood. There is enough privacy and security (locks for room doors) but if the person in the room next to you snores you are going to hear it. Some Tea Houses are solid and made from rocks and filler, these are a bit nicer, but most of the time still have the plywood walls.

What is Tea House Trekking?

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard about Tea House trekking was a Continue reading

Solo Trekking in Nepal Outlawed

dsc01938

Just as I eased into my cold bowl of cereal this morning, I read a quite surprising post from the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal website.

The TAAN have just announced that all tourists will require a Guide or Porter to accompany them on any trek in Nepal from September 2012.

According to the post this stems from a rise in missing or murdered trekkers over recent years, namely the recent murder of a Belgian trekker in the Langtang National Park.

Continue reading

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