In February 2022, the British Isles were hit by three consecutive storms, some of the strongest seen in decades. In the days before the storms arrived, we decided to change the plan for our canoeing expedition whilst we were already on our way to Scotland. Instead of paddling the exposed lochs along the west coast, we opted for a more sheltered location. A glen tucked away right in the heart of the highlands. This film showcases the highlights of our journey.
The rugged chaparral of California’s Sespe Wilderness lay hidden under the camouflage of mahogany and sage hues. Nearly a week into her thru-hike on the Condor Trail, Brittany Nielsen surveyed this scraggly landscape. She had already faced a downpour, severe flooding, and hypothermia. Now, she leaned against her pack in the spring sun, scanning the thickets and hoping the trail would emerge like a scrub jay.
“I learned a lesson about being calm while being lost on the trail,” Nielsen says. Earlier, behind on miles and low on her food supply, she had searched for the path in a frenzy, only to find herself exhausted. The trail on the side of Sespe Creek was fiercely overgrown in sections and required strong orienteering skills to navigate.
“When I opened my eyes I was looking at the sky,” Nielsen says, “And up above me—I couldn’t believe it—there was a condor.” She noted the telltale band of white feathers in the shape of a scalene triangle that decorated the bird’s nine-foot wingspan. When the condor drifted out of sight, Nielsen dropped her gaze into the chaparral where, directly in front of her, she discovered a small rock cairn that marked the trail.
Over the course of her 37 days on the hike, Nielsen would lose and gain the trail numerous times as she fought through menacing brush and screamed expletives that no one could hear in the most remote pockets of Los Padres National Forest. She would travel through seven wilderness areas, along the shores of central California, past colonies of elephant seals, and across the ancestral lands of the Chumash, Salinan, Esselen, Tataviam, and Costanoan peoples.
SOURCES: BRYAN CONANT; IUCN REDLIST
Unlike California’s well-established John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails, the Condor Trail is a thru-hiking “route,” meaning its course exists—as a continuous thread of trails and roads and cross-country travel—but that it lacks proper signage and maintenance. While these popular thru-hiking routes receive hundreds of hikers a year, Nielsen took on the Condor Trail alone in 2015. When she finished on June 18th, she was the first thru-hiker to complete it.
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon’s northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The 42° north parallel delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.
“Sunday Morning” takes us among Bighorn sheep along the Salmon River near Riggins, Idaho. Videographer: Hank Heusinkveld.
The bighorn sheep is a species of sheep native to North America. It is named for its large horns. A pair of horns might weigh up to 14 kg; the sheep typically weigh up to 143 kg. Recent genetic testing indicates three distinct subspecies of Ovis canadensis, one of which is endangered: O. c. sierrae.
“When it comes to climate change, scale is essential. We need to be scaling up our work and being really bold and ambitious, and that’s exactly what Cairngorms Connect is.” Find out how Scotland’s largest landscape-scale restoration project is fighting back against climate change in our new film for Cairngorms Connect.
Roughly 18,000 people reside within the 4,528 square kilometre national park. The largest communities are Aviemore, Ballater, Braemar, Grantown-on-Spey, Kingussie, Newtonmore, and Tomintoul. Tourism makes up about 80% of the economy. In 2018, 1.9 million tourism visits were recorded. The majority of visitors are domestic, with 25 per cent coming from elsewhere in the UK, and 21 per cent being from other countries.
Although it is physically separated from the rest of the United States, Alaska is one of the most scenic and fascinating parts of the country. Its seclusion only adds to the beauty and mystery of the 49th state, making it an appealing getaway spot for intrepid travelers and nature lovers. Along with the major cities like Anchorage, it is important to get out and experience the natural wonders and attractions that make Alaska so beloved. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Alaska.
Remote and wild, the Yukon is a river of haunting beauty and dangerous extremes – a place where the ‘call of the wild’ is still strong. In summer, it is a relentless giant, carving its way 2,000 miles across Canada and Alaska. In winter, -50C temperatures transform it into a river of ice.
Home to grizzlies, moose and great runs of salmon, the Yukon lies at the heart of a vast northern wilderness. Bears delay their winter hibernation to fish for a final salmon feast, while the frozen river provides a lifeline for lynx and a race track for intrepid dog sledders. From indigenous hunters to gold-prospectors, musk ox to caribou, the Yukon’s natural riches have long sustained people and animals and continue to do so despite its changing fortunes.
Wyoming is a state in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The 10th largest state by area, it is also the least populous and least densely populated state in the contiguous United States. Wikipedia
“Sunday Morning” takes us among the elk and turkeys at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Videographer: Scot Miller.
Elk are the second-heftiest members of the deer family, after the bigger and darker-haired moose. While there’s really no mixing up those two giant deer, the names are definitely a cause for confusion from an international perspective. In Europe, what North Americans call moose are known as “elk.” The word “moose” is an indigenous North American (likely Algonquin) word, and in New England, early European colonists distinguished between the “black moose”—the moose as we know it today—and the “grey moose,” or elk.