TPZ174: Trekking to Everest Base Camp with Russ Hepton

Everest base camp

Trekking to Everest base camp at 5,380 meters is not an easy adventure, but the reward is spending time in the incredible mountain landscapes of the Himalayas.  Russ Hepton began his 2-week trek starting in Kathmandu Nepal.  After an exhilarating 45-minute helicopter flight to Lukla he set out with his guide toward Namche Bazaar at 3,340 meters and spent a day acclimating.  The trek continued toward Dingboche at 4,410 meters and another rest day.  After reaching Everest base camp he attempted a challenging hike toward the top of Kala Patthar which stands at 5,643 meters.  You can learn more at his YouTube channel called The Trail Hunter and his website  Russ Hepton, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

The guide service Russ used: Magic Expedition Trekking and Tours

TPZ173: Trekking Death Valley National Park with Roland Banas

Trekking Death Valley

Death Valley National Park on the California Nevada border is the hottest, driest and lowest of all the US national parks.  It is also the largest National Park in the lower 48 with a diverse environment of sand dunes, salt flats, mountains and valleys.  For three years beginning in 2015, Roland Banas tried and failed 4 times to cross the park solo and unsupported.  In December 2018 he began his 5th attempt.  Starting out with a 85-pound pack of food, water and gear, Roland finally completed the trek in 6 days, 23 hours and 55 minutes covering a distance of 166 miles.  Roland has written about his adventure at  Roland Banas, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ167: Trekking the Gambia River with Chaz Powell

Chaz Powell Gambia River Trek

In January 2019, Chaz Powell and Tim Roberts set off on a 1,120 km trek of the Gambia River from its source in the Fouta Djallon highlands of central Guinea to the coastal city of Banjul in The Gambia.  It was a challenging 46 days through extreme temperatures and harsh landscapes, with constant hunger and dehydration as a companion along with the wildest of animals.  With unending hospitality and kindness from the locals they were able to reach the Atlantic ocean, becoming the first people to document a full source-to-sea trek of the Gambia River.  For this expedition, Chaz partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation, one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations focusing on the protection of African wildlife and wildlands.   You can learn more about Chaz and his adventures at  Chaz Powell, welcome back to the show. 

TPZ159: Trekking to K2 Basecamp with Alison Young

Trek to K2 Basecamp

In the middle of the Karakorum range in Pakistan is a place called Concordia.  It’s where the Baltoro glacier meets the Godwin-Austen glacier.  It’s a place known as the throne room of the mountain gods because it’s surrounded by four 8,000-meter peaks, one of those being K2 the second highest peak in the world.  In 1994 Alison Young found herself in Islamabad visiting her father who was stationed at the US embassy.  Wanting to trek to Concordia, she was able to tag along on an overland journey with a Dutch and German couple.  It was a difficult and hazardous 25-day trek that you can learn more about at  Alison Young, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ157: Thru-hiking the Great Plains Trail with Luke Jordan

Great Plains Trail

The Great Plains Trail is a recently established long distance hiking trail in the US.  It stretches for 2,200 miles from the desert of west Texas to the Montana Canadian border.  It crosses 3 National Parks, 3 National Monuments, 10 National Forests and Grasslands, 5 State High Points, and 15 State Parks.  Luke Jordan spent 85 days on the trail in 2016, becoming the first person to thru-hike it.  You can learn more about the trail at and more about Luke at  Luke previously appeared in episode 30 talking about his thru-hike of the North Country Trail.  Luke Jordan, welcome back to the show.

TPZ155 : Ultralight on the Appalachian Trail with Chip Vachon

Appalachian trail

This summer Adam “Chip” Vachon will depart on a thru-hike of the Appalachian trail, one of the 11 US national scenic trails extending 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine.  He will start at Khatadin on June 1st and head southbound, planning to complete the hike in 70 days.  He will accomplish this by going ultralight and by hiking well after sunset.  This will be his second time on the AT, having completed 800 miles in 2010.  In this episode we talk about what it takes to prepare for an ultralight and fast thru-hike adventure and the plan is to have Chip back on the show after his hike to tell the story of how it went.  Chip Vachon, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

Check out Chip’s website at

TPZ147: Backpacking Iceland with Larry Mishkar

Larry Mishkar backpacked 400 miles across Iceland over 25 days.  He traveled from the southern shore to the northern coast on the volcano route and today he will share with you why Iceland might be the best place for your first international backpacking trip.  You can learn more about Larry at Larry Mishkar, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

Travel resources:
Map of Iceland

TPZ142: Winter Thru-Hiking the Ice Age Trail with Mike Summers

Ice Age Trail Mike Summers

Mike Summers is an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for hiking. In December 2016 he set out westbound to complete the Ice Age Trail in winter. It’s one of the 11 National Scenic Trails and exists entirely in the state of Wisconsin. It took Mike 58 days to thru-hike the 1,077 miles. You can learn more about the Ice Age Trail at and more about Mike at Mike Summers welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ141: Walking the Zambezi River with Chaz Powell

Zambezi River

For over a decade, Chaz Powell has been backpacking in remote places around the world. Starting in August 2016, Chaz began an attempt to walk the length of the Zambezi river starting at the source near Kalene Hills in northwestern Zambia. He walked for nearly 1,300 miles in 97 days through one the most remote parts of the world, most of the time alone and self-supported. The goal was to reach the Indian Ocean, but Chaz fell short by 600 miles due to the dangers of traveling through Mozambique. His main goal is to raise money and awareness for wildlife conservation throughout Africa and to highlight the growing concerns of wildlife crimes across the globe. He is supporting the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and you can learn more about Chaz and his adventures at Chaz Powell, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ130: Sumatra Biodiversity Expedition with Oli Broadhead & Iris Berger

Sumatra expedition
Said, Roy, Oli, Iris

Sumatra is the 6th largest island in the world with just over twice the land area of Great Britain. During the summer of 2016, undergraduate Biology students Oli Broadhead and Iris Berger set out to walk across Sumatra to compare the biodiversity of untouched forests vs. deforested ecosystems. They found their way into an unexplored forest that surrounds the 3080 meter Mount Kurik on which they attempted a first ascent. After leaving the forest they had recorded over 60 species then spent the next 3 weeks walking through rural Sumatra to the coast. Oli previously appeared in episode 114 at and you can learn more about Oli’s adventures at his website Oli Broadhead, welcome back to the show.

Iris Berger’s website link.

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