Elizabeth Hammond: NOLS - Backpack with Satellite Phone Floating Down the River


Manage episode 289441679 series 2882936
By Shawn Stratton. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This week I am thrilled to speak with my friend Elizabeth Hammond Born in California and raised in Washington State, Elizabeth (also Liz or Lizzie!) has led expeditions on land and sea in Mexico, the Western U.S., Alaska, and India.

She sails, backpacks, sea kayaks, and often migrates like whales and birds – spending most of the year with her partner Carlos in Baja Mexico and heading north to Alaska during summers. She has worked in outdoor education since 2005 and in the field since 2008 - with NOLS, Ecology Project International, Baja Expeditions, Big City Mountaineers, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur

This year she is on the deck for post-quarantine trips with Alaska Alpine Adventures.

In this episode:

  • (03:16) Elizabeth shares how California sea lions are rather friendly than dangerous and are extremely gregarious, and form large aggregations when on land. She later jumps on an infamous “sea lion nugget story”, where she took us back to the date of August 2009, exciting us with her trip to a busby island on a rainy summer. She tells us more about her paddling through a successful uneventful crossing, and barging in the territory of sea lions. She further adds our amazing guest Oscar (If you haven’t heard his podcast, now is the time), her dear friend and the designated course leader describing the dominant male sea lions that have the big bumps on the head – while the mammals themselves make their presence known, as the whole groups padded away for their dear lives.
  • (15:30) Going along she tells us what is “FFU on VHF”, in which she mentions how they were sailing on drascombe longboat, with a very fun-loving group of students on the waters of Baja California, where they took a quick trip to a nearby town stocking up on packaged baked cakes, chocolates, chili candy, and brown bubbly sugary soda pop water. And on their way back to the beach, a bunch of fluently British accent students came up with the efficient idea of each vessel having its own independent number – in the behavior of sugar kicking in and wackiness, that turn out to be a memorably happy day.
  • (26:28) Hammond talks about her first 30 days wilderness backpacking course in Alaska, which requires one of the things that they've made sure to add to the instructor's backpacks were as many leopards printed items of fun clothing from the costume banners they can find. Which paid off in the multiple birthday celebrations during the course.
  • (31:43) Moving forward, Elizabeth shares how as one day they were coming down to Burt's Creek, close to the toe of the glacier, they were looking for a good place to cross and in order to do so, they decided to be parted in 3 small groups. Adapting a technique to hold on to one another's backpacks, sort of in a train and then do a step and step coordinated, choreography crossing the stream – which turns out to be the scariest moment of her life.
  • (37:48) Later on, Elizabeth terrifies us with the incident of her co-instructor and one of her students falling into the deep hole while crossing the river that turns into those slow-motion minutes of life, where you see many things flashing before your eyes and imprinting its images forever in your mind.
  • (49:40) She entertains us more with her hilarious funny stories filled with adventure, boat trips, and a great tip to be out in the wilderness.
  • (1:09:00) Elizabeth shares some intriguing stories about her favorite gear, and why is it the chosen one.
  • (1:10:43) Lastly, she tells us her best backcountry costume and how it's accompanied by a statue, and prom dresses – making it all better with a bright red shade of lipstick with a fancy photoshoot.

25 episodes