Andrew Terrill

The outdoor diary of a writer, photographer, and wilderness wanderer


cloud sea sunset hohturli pass switzerland alps 01 june 1993

A Return To Hohtürli

ON THE SECOND day of June, 1993, I fell down a mountain. It nearly killed me. On the twentieth day of August, 1994, I went back. Happily, this second visit went better. There were no finger nails lost, you’ll be glad to know. No cartwheeling down glaciers. But there were tears, and not only from

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camp auroa borealis colorado may 10 2024

Is this real life? Is this fantasy?

ON THURSDAY LAST week I saw mention on social media that a powerful solar storm was about to begin. Potentially, it would be so powerful that a consequence of it – the aurora borealis – would be observable at far lower latitudes than usual. But I quickly discounted it. The chances of seeing the northern

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igloo winter colorado

Connections, Love, and an Igloo

AMONGST THE MANY trips I’ve taken this past winter eight of them have been to the same location, to a wild spot often overlooked: a forested ridge that rises above a broad pass. Returning to this place again and again has been a joy. In fact, going back has felt more joyful each time, like

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sunrise above the clouds colorado - 21 april 2024

The More You Go The Luckier You Get

LAST WEEKEND’S PLANNED night in the mountains almost fell through at the very last moment. The aim had been to return to an igloo I built months ago (an igloo I’ll blog about in due course) but a change in family circumstances just as I was preparing to leave home meant I’d have to return

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north table waterfalls and rainbows - 21 march 2024

Seize the Moment

THE WATERFALL DIDN’T last long. A day and a half, then it was done. It was a quick flood formed by the rapid thawing of two-feet of snow. It spilled over the edge of the typically desert-dry mesa; a temporary rush of water that cascaded downward, scattering sunlight with diamond flashes as it fell, spreading

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Lake Magog and Mount Assiniboine July 14 - Copyright Chris Townsend

High Summer – an update

I THOUGHT IT was high time I shared an update on Chris Townsend’s book, High Summer, to be republished this summer through my imprint, the Enchanted Rock Press. (Launch date to be confirmed, but watch this space!) Chris has been sorting through the 3,000 or so slides that he took during the journey, digitising a

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kinder scout heather

On Ode to Kinder Scout

A FEW WEEKS AGO I had the great pleasure of talking with author Sarah Lister for her ‘Wild About Kinder’ podcast: HERE. This podcast focuses on one of Britain’s most treasured mountains, Kinder Scout, a unique mountain in a multitude of ways. For various reasons, I enjoyed taking part in this podcast more than any

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cornice - golden cliffs - 15 march 2024

A Small Mountain Made Big

THE MOUNTAIN THAT sweeps upwards above my Colorado home is pretty small as mountains go. In fact, arguably, to call it a mountain is to stretch the definition of what a mountain is. For one thing, it only rises a thousand feet from the valley floor to the highest point – hardly a big altitude

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Bull moose in willows Guanella Pass Colorado 24 July 2023

A Moose Encounter

  I’VE BEEN FORTUNATE to have experienced a number of wildlife encounters this year. Arguably the most memorable occurred in late July right at the end of a short weekend’s backpacking. I’d camped in a rugged away-from-it spot and was heading back to one of Colorado’s busiest mountain trails: the Mount Bierstadt Trail. The only

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winter camp glowing tent mountains evening 9 November 2023

Night & Day

THE SUN DISAPPEARED behind the mountain at three twenty-seven in the afternoon. Prior to that, the day had been gloriously benign. There’d been warmth to bask in. Sunlight had dazzled off fresh snow. The ice that had built up inside my tent during the previous night had completely thawed away. Thermals had been removed, sleeves

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guanella pass 20 October 2023

A Blue Sky Autumn

AUTUMN IN COLORADO’S high country is often the sunniest time of year. This autumn was no exception. It began at dawn on September 16th, the first day that the closest fourteener to Denver bore its new ‘Blue Sky’ name. After five days of clouds, rain, sleet and snow the sun finally climbed into a sky

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Scott Gomer Creek Fall Colors 22 Sept 2023

A Walk Into Solitude

A FEW PHOTOS from a walk on Friday: a saunter away from Guanella Pass into solitude. The walk’s aim was to start from Guanella Pass (often an exceptionally busy place), wander south to the far-less visited Geneva Mountain, then head back north up the center of the broad valley of Scott Gomer Creek. The delights

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Mount Blue Sky summit Colorado

A ‘First Ascent’ of Mount blue Sky

OVER THE PAST twenty years I’ve enjoyed some truly special moments on and around the mountain now known as Mount Blue Sky. But few of the many previous visits were more special or more meaningful than Saturday’s. This wasn’t only another walk to a treasured place… it was also a celebration. As readers of this

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Sunrise Mount Blue Sky Colorado august 16

Mount Blue Sky – a mountain renamed

IT HAPPENED LAST Friday – at roughly 3 p.m. on September 15th: the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (the federal board within the U.S. Department of Interior which has the final say on the renaming of all natural features on public lands) voted to rename the closest fourteener to Denver. The mountain that probably went

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Sunrise mist Mount Evans Mount Blue Sky Mount Spalding 27 Aug 2023

A Cauldron of Swirling Cloud

IF YOU VISIT the same wild place often enough your perception of it will inevitably change. On a first visit, its essential characteristics and nature might seem clear – and possibly even ‘fixed’. After all, you’ve just seen and experienced it as it is. How could it ever be anything else? But after a fifth

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view east across denver front range foothills and the plains from the summit of mount blue sky Colorado 6 July 2023

A Tale of Two Summits

TWO WEEKENDS AGO I travelled up the same mountain twice, doing it two days apart. Both visits began before dawn, both visits provided incredible scenic drama, and both took me to the summit. But only one of the two ‘meant’ anything. Only one will last in my memory. The mountain that I visited is a

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Mission Wall Clear Creek Canyon photo Andrew Terrill

To climb or not to climb

I HAVEN’T WRITTEN about this before, but I love to climb. I really do – I love to climb… but I’m definitely not a climber! I love the gymnastic exercise of climbing – the simple movement of it, the problem solving, the succeeding in physical challenges that often at first seem all but impossible –

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sunset Chicago Creek Valley colorado 2nd july 2023

A Snatched Night in the Hills

‘ESCAPING’ INTO THE HILLS is not always easy. Perhaps you know what I mean? In a life that has responsibilities and commitments the hills often end up taking second place. Work, family and other practical realities can all-too-easily get in the way. And for good reasons of course – taking care of others is important.

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A Swift Change

I WAS ONLY AWAY from ‘my’ mountains for two and a half weeks, but during that time the snowpack in the high country forests has all but vanished. Right before leaving for a family visit at sea level I experienced gruelling travel and a snowstorm camp… but on my return I’ve come back to summer-like

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hells hole old bristlecone pines may 21 2023

Twice into Hell…

BACK IN EARLY APRIL, and again last weekend, I snowshoed into a spacious mountain bowl, the fabulously, poetically but often inaccurately named Hell’s Hole. Of course, it wasn’t hellish for me in any way – although some people might have considered it to be! For one thing, travel on both occasions was truly, truly gruelling.

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Hells Hole and Gray Wolf Mountain May 12 2023


DESPITE TRANSPORT CHALLENGES and family commitments I managed to squeeze in another brief foray into the hills over Friday night. In the dampness, the fresh snow and the wandering mists of what is turning into an exceptionally wet May here in Colorado, the outing was absolutely delicious. The heady forest scents, the roughness of being

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winter wild camping with tent and figure looking at view in snow with clearing storm clouds over rocky mountains in colorado

The Most Spectacular Single Night Camp I’ve Ever Had…

TODAY, ON MAY 11, 2023, the rain here in Golden, Colorado is fabulously determined. It’s been cascading from the sky since late last night; the creeks are running high and are stained brown with earth; trails are muddy and gushing; the soil is saturated, with puddles spreading ever-wider; hilltops are lost within mist and sodden

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morning light on mount evans mount blue sky 23 april 2023

A Welcome Return to Winter

JOURNEYS ARE BETTER when they don’t go as expected, when surprises lie around the corners, when plans go awry. And so are the seasons – or so I think – better when they don’t unfurl as they ‘should’, better when they slip from one to another and then back again in a way that makes

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bighorn sheep females grazing on wild mountain slope colorado rockies april 11 2023

An Early Onset of Spring

EARLIER THIS WEEK I went for a spur-of-the-moment run/walk up Rogers Peak in the Mount Evans Wilderness – although hopefully the area will one day become the Blue Sky Wilderness instead. It’s a wilderness area that I’ve spent a fair amount of time in so far this year, and all for a new project, a

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igloo colorado winter mountains

My First Igloo Trip

MY IGLOO CAMPS last month set me thinking about my first igloo adventure. It took place in January 2016, in Rocky Mountain National Park, and it wasn’t only memorable for the igloo but also for whom I went with: the one and only Igloo Ed! I originally shared these photos and captions on social media

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igloo in forest with spindrift march 27 2023

Igloo in the Spindrift

MARCH SEEMS TO have become ‘igloo month’ for me, and this year was no exception. Building a shelter from snow (ie, being an adult but playing like a child) and then sleeping in it is a hard-to-beat mountain pleasure – and it’s a pleasure that’s made even greater when shared with friends new to the

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004 mountaineer and spindrift on mount bierstadt with sawtooth ridge in winter colorado

A Breezy Day Out on Mount Bierstadt

FOR THE PAST few weeks (well, months) I’ve been meaning to share an update on the status of my books, on a whole bunch of outdoor adventures, on life, and most of all on two exciting new book projects that I’ve been working on… but I haven’t quite managed to get to it – as

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sunset in the Norwegian Arctic

On Sacred Ground – in Colour

FOLLOWING ON FROM a blog post I made back in November, 2021 ( The Earth Beneath My Feet – in Colour ) I thought it was about time I added a similar post for On Sacred Ground. Consider it an extra to the book… for those that have read it. If you haven’t read it

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Mount Evans Mount Blue Sky Colorado in winter snow

A Rare Opportunity

RISING WEST OF Denver, Colorado, like a giant wave is an iconic fourteen-thousand foot mountain that millions of people stare up to every day. (When they remember to look up, that is, and when clear skies allow it.) This mountain is a reminder to everyone below that there is more to life than concrete, commerce,

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Murray Lake Camp Sunset Gray Wolf Evans and Bierstadt 10-15-22

One Night, But So Much More

SINGLE NIGHT OUTINGS might not provide the immersive depth of multi-month trips, but then again… For various reasons – mostly because of the area’s well-known popularity – I’d never before walked to Colorado’s Front Range lakes of Silver Dollar or Murray Lake, despite them being so close to home. But finally a spur-of-the-moment decision changed

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On Sacred Ground Publishing The Book

On Sacred Ground is Now Available!

ON SACRED GROUND is finally available! It can be found on Amazon as a paperback, an ebook and a hardcover (with extra photos!) For UK readers the book is here And in the US, here     It’s no exaggeration to say that creating On Sacred Ground has been ‘a journey’. This book, like The

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on sacred ground book cover copyright andrew terrill

On Sacred Ground – an early review

ON SACRED GROUND is now only four days from being published. I’ve been waiting a long time to launch this book, and I know that there are readers who have been waiting a long time to read it – so, thank you for your patience!     If you haven’t read The Earth beneath My

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morning coffee andrew terrill colorado front range september 11 2022

Slowing down time

TIME STOPS FOR no one. But there ARE ways to slow it down. Or, to borrow from what I’ve written in On Sacred Ground: “Time runs at a different pace in nature. Attention narrows to the immediate environment, and expands to fully encompass it. There’s less room for outside distractions. For me, this makes every

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summer camp at sunset colorado front range june 13 2022

A Brief Update

TWO MONTHS HAVE passed since my last blog – an update is probably well overdue! On Sacred Ground is pretty much finished. The book has been fully written, edited, typeset, proofed, and proofed again, and I finally have the first sample copies in hand. Getting this far has taken an epic amount of work, although

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evening light across colorado front range foothills

A Few Photos

RECENT DAYS HAVE been full. Walking, camping, running, climbing, working, playing, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, presenting, learning, singing, sleeping, laughing; alone and in company: with family, friends, with strangers. Yes, full. Too full to have made time to pen any well-considered blogs! Over the last three weeks I’ve spent plenty of time on foot, several more

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andrew terrill in camp colorado march 2022

And then the snowdrift tried to eat me!

THE EVENING IN CAMP at 11,600 feet was undeniably peaceful, and deeply, deeply soothing. From the shoulder of the mountain, I watched day transition into night. It was a gentle ‘letting go’ of brightness and urgency, almost like a sigh, or a long-held breath being released, and it was made all the more peaceful by

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snowstorm mount galbraith golden colorado

The winter-spring seesaw

CHANGE IS THE only guarantee, stability is but a fleeting illusion. Few things illustrate this more clearly then the annual winter-spring-winter-spring seesaw that takes place here in Colorado’s Front Range foothills. Last week, temperatures soared. The sun shone with soul-caressing warmth. I strode across hills and open space watching the land emerge from its covering

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high winds and spindrift chaos canyon rocky mountain national park


FOLLOWING ON FROM last week’s igloo blog I thought I’d share a few extra photos from the weekend in Rocky Mountain National Park. As these images hint, it was memorably windy! (For the full story, please see the previous blog.)  

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igloo ed and andrew terrill outside igloos in moonlight colorado


EARLY LAST WEEK a backpacker made a comment on a social media group page that stuck with me. ‘I can’t wait for camping season,’ they wrote. ‘Does anyone think April is too early to start?’ Of course, several people chimed straight in, boastfully claiming that there is only one season for camping – all year.

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winter camping sunrise colorado

People Are Amazing

NORMALLY, I’M EXTREMELY organised when it comes to backpacking – especially winter backpacking. But I just demonstrated the opposite – I forgot the bloody matches, again, exactly as I forgot them last June. Ironically, I forgot them upon the same mountain. I realised my mistake at the trailhead this time, not once I reached camp.

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frost beneath golden cliffs

On Foot Every Day

    FOR ME, GETTING out on foot into nature is a priority. I’m certain that I could manage just fine if I didn’t have frequent contact with wild places, but I’m profoundly glad that I don’t have to test this theory to find out if it’s true! I’ve made it a priority because nature

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Moonlit camp jan 8 2022

On Sacred Ground – a progress report

MY SECOND BOOK – On Sacred Ground – is coming along well. In fact, it’s almost done. The manuscript is fully written, and, aside from a few extra passages, it has been professionally edited. Alex Roddie, my editor, returned the manuscript to me shortly before Christmas. Since then, I’ve been working through his edits obsessively.

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sunrise seen from mountain bivvy january 3 2022

A Welcome Snow

WINTER HAS FINALLY arrived in Colorado’s Front Range. And not before time. In truth, a day earlier would have been better. You may have seen the news: the wind-fueled wild fires on December 30th that torched over 1,000 homes and businesses south of Boulder. I saw the smoke from my home twelve miles to the

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cloud sea sunset from the hohturli pass switzerland alps

The Earth Beneath My Feet – Prologue

PROLOGUE: AN ALPINE BOUNCE The Bernese Oberland, Switzerland   ON THE SECOND day of June, 1993, I fell down a mountain. It was a spectacularly unpleasant thing to do. As an experience it isn’t something I’d recommend, but for the way it changed my approach to life I remain eternally grateful. The accident took place

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the dolomotes sunset September 1997

The Earth Beneath My Feet – in colour

A FAIR NUMBER of people have now asked me: “Why isn’t The Earth Beneath My Feet in colour?” It’s a reasonable question, and one I completely understand. I’ve only ever read genuine curiosity in it – never criticism. I usually answer by saying: “I wish it was!” After all, the wild Europe I walked across

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wild camp in indian peaks wilderness colorado

Going slow on The High Lonesome Loop

OVER THE LAST month and a half I’ve been lost in the wild – well, lost in writing about the wild! I’ve been deeply engaged in an epic reworking of On Sacred Ground, taking all the feedback I’ve received from my incredible beta readers and fully developing and articulating all the book’s themes. I’ve been

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the farthest shore book cover

Book Review: The Farthest Shore

A book that goes one step farther – a rare book of honesty and insight.  The Farthest Shore by Alex Roddie is a rare book. It is rare for several reasons, partly for the journey it describes – a challenging adventure attempted at a challenging time of year – but mostly for its honesty, its

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morning coffee in camp above mountain tarn colorado

The Importance of Beta Readers

  BACK IN JUNE, I forwarded the manuscript of my second book, On Sacred Ground, to six trusted friends. Their task was to read it and provide honest critical feedback, with a focus on picking up sections that were slow, redundant, or simply didn’t make sense. I asked them to comment without holding back, to

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Crepuscular Rays and shadow bands at sunset in colorado


I FELT AS THOUGH I was in my early twenties again as I charged along the trail, expanding my lungs and my horizons, feeling excited by each twist and turn, by everything that lay ahead: the night in camp, the quietness, the simplicity and adventure, and by the season – most of all by the

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Winter evening sunset in the Austrian Alps December 4 1997

Early Praise for ‘The Earth Beneath My Feet’

The Earth Beneath My Feet hasn’t been out for long, but it has received some great early reviews. If you are still on the fence, uncertain whether or not the book is worth your time, please see the reviews and endorsements below. And if you have read the book already – please DO let me

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sunrise through the colorado pine forest

Some idiot forgot the bloody matches!

SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT decisions can often be the best decisions we make. Throwing caution to the wind, acting on a whim, jumping upon an opportunity when it presents itself – what could be more adventurous, more freeing? The alternative – planning every detail minutely – can ruin a perfectly good adventure. Life is better when spontaneity is

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sunset at the Jersey shore august 2021

Book Review – The Nature Fix by Florence Williams

OVER THE PAST TWO MONTHS I’ve been slowly reading an absolutely brilliant book: The Nature Fix – Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative. Within its pages, Florence Williams explores the many ways nature benefits us cognitively, psychologically, physically and physiologically, doing so through immersive visits into natural environments around the world and

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rock towers and storm clouds colorado

Bad Weather – a celebration

THE FORECAST MIGHT have been off-putting. The scientists up at NOAA were predicting severe thunderstorms in the mountains, not as a possibility but as an absolute certainty. Lightning was likely, torrential rain extremely probable, and even flash floods were on the cards. From the look of it, rain was going to be falling from the

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Book Review: Along the Divide by Chris Townsend

An enjoyable, fascinating and thought-provoking read by an author who truly knows his subject. I love going for long walks, as followers of my blog surely know by now! I especially love walks that last for weeks or months and follow routes few others have followed. But when I can’t go myself I love reading

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I wouldn’t change a thing

I SHARE MY LIFE with Joan, my wife. She is an extraordinary person. Warm-hearted and tolerant. She is the adult in the partnership, competent at dealing with life’s complexities in a considered and practical way. Without Joan there probably wouldn’t be a roof over my family’s head or funds for clothes and food. Well, not

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sunbeams over forested mountains Colorado

Cloud Watching

I SPENT MUCH of last week cloud watching, lazy chap that I am. From a remote vantage point beneath Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains I spent five days doing little but watching clouds form, drift about, and then fade away. To some people, such a pastime probably sounds dull in the extreme. But to me

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sunrise across the colorado front range foothills near lyons

Gratitude, Not Discomfort

IN LAST WEEK’S BLOG I mentioned backpacking discomforts. I commented on how photos of backpacking trips seldom show them. I suggested that backpacking photos lie because of it. I was thinking about it again during this week’s outing, a single overnight trip in the Colorado foothills with good friend, Igloo Ed. The discomforts of backpacking

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andrew terrill sitting on hillside in rocky mountains

My Photos Lie

THE PHOTOS LIE – especially mine. Or so I have suddenly realized as I look back at the photos of my most recent walk (a two-night tour through Colorado’s James Peak Wilderness). I mean, the images do show some truth. They show places that really exist and conditions as they really were. But they also

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winter wild camping with tent and figure looking at view in snow with clearing storm clouds over rocky mountains in colorado

The Perfect ‘Spring’ Camp

A MONTH AGO, on May 11, I set out for a short overnight trip. It was to become one of the most unforgettable ‘spring’ camps I’ve ever made. Conditions were cold and wet down in Golden, and up in the mountains snow was still piling up. In fact, the snowpack was as deep as it

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watching the mountain view in colorado at sunset alpenglow two figures arm over shoulder

The Laughter Camp

I FINALLY SHARED a mountain night with one of my offspring this last weekend. Pretty late in the year, but goodness was it worth the wait! My approach to getting my children into the outdoors has always been gentle – to not force it. We’ve all seen parents dragging reluctant kids on walks, which never

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andrew terrill backpacker camping under tarp in the rain

A Momentous Weekend

SATURDAY WAS A BIG DAY for me. After 30 years of dreaming about publishing a book, and after many years of writing one, re-writing it, and then re-writing it again, my book was finally ready to publish. Originally, I’d chosen May 1 as the day it would happen, a symbolic date – the date that

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sunrise over the great plains seen from rocky mountains colorado

No lunar eclipse. But no complaints!

THE FORECAST LAST night was too good to resist: clear skies, little wind, mild temperatures, a full moon, and shortly before sunrise a lunar eclipse… sleeping indoors with all that on offer would contravene everything I believe in! The only argument against heading out for my 20th mountain night of the year was the extravagant

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sunbeams across a fjord in arctic norway rays of light

A Journey Worth Taking

I’VE BEEN ON a journey. And what a journey it has been! It’s been long, for one thing. And challenging. And full of unexpected twists and turns. It’s taken me to places I never expected to visit. It’s led to discoveries, to growth, to moments of joy. And goodness, but also to moments of frustration,

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gran sasso d italia corne grande sunrise from summit july 21 1997 apennines italy

The ‘Other’ Italy

MY LAST BLOG was all about The ‘Other’ Places, and so this week I thought I’d follow up with a few photos from The Other Italy – the wild side of Italy that most visitors miss… To simplify things, I’ve limited the photos to just one region of Italy – the Abruzzo region in the

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small waterfall and creek in rocky valley with forest in the colorado wilderness

The ‘Other’ Places

TWENTY-FOUR YEARS ago today I stood alone in an Italy that very few people know. I was three days into my 18-month walk across Europe, and surrounding me were mountains that were far wilder than I’d expected, and far harder to cross than I wanted. It was a bit of a shock. The location was

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close up of rocks and ice with icicles in mountain creek winter

Nature Before Work

  IT’S NOT EASY running a new independent publishing imprint dedicated to wild nature when wild nature itself calls. Talk about distractions! There are a thousand and one details I ought to be taking care of to make certain that The Earth Beneath My Feet doesn’t sink without a trace when I launch it on

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winter cabin colorado andrew terrill

To Vegas with Igloo Ed

WINTER HAS RETURNED to the foothills of Colorado’s Front Range, as it so often does this time of year. Mid April? Spring? Hah! With flakes wafting down and cold nipping at one’s exposed digits you’d barely know it. Which made it the perfect time to share a night in the hills with Igloo Ed. Igloo Ed is

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watching the sun rise high on a mountain

The Fifty-Two Night Quest

Or, The Unexpected Benefits of Sleeping Without a Tent. ONE OF MY goals this year (aside from successfully publishing The Earth Beneath My Feet) is to sleep out at least fifty-two times. That’s once every week on average. Fifty-two mountain nights. As quests go, it should be easy, right? Once upon a time it would

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a cabin by a creek in colorado at night

A Cabin Beside A Creek

The location wasn’t anywhere well known or especially scenic. It was merely a rustic little cabin perched beside a modest little brook, a tumbling watercourse similar to many thousands right across Colorado. At first glance it looked like ‘just another mountain stream splashing across a few ordinary gray rocks‘. Nothing special. And technically, that was

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appalachian lean to cabin shelter in moonlit winter forest in snow in golden gate canyon state park colorado

Exclusive accommodation

IT WAS A fairly typical spring week along Colorado’s Front Range: snow one day, warmth the next; clear one moment, cloudy the next. As winter ebbed into spring and then slipped back into winter each day brought something new. For a wanderer on foot, it was just about perfect.   Despite a busy week I

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downtown golden welcome arch during march snowstorm 2021

The Storm That Wasn’t In A Hurry

I’M A LITTLE LATE with this blog… but that’s okay: the snowstorm it covers was a little late too. Storm ‘Xylia’ (and who else dislikes the naming of regular weather systems as though they are hurricanes?) trundled through seven days ago, dropping almost two feet of snow on Golden – but for a while it

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how to camp in the cold winter camping skills

How to stay warm in the cold. Ten Winter Camping Tips.

TWO WEEKEND’S AGO I camped at 11,200 feet high in the Colorado wilderness. To say the February night was cold would be an understatement. Sure, it wasn’t Himalayan or polar cold, but the minus five Fahrenheit (minus twenty Celsius) I recorded INSIDE my tent wasn’t tropical either! For me, it teetered right on the edge

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tent glowing at night during winter camp in snow in colorado near mount evans wilderness

It’s not the photo that counts

I WAS ON assignment this week… well, on speculative assignment. A photographer friend kindly suggested my name to a prominent Colorado magazine. They were looking for photos to illustrate a ‘how to’ feature on winter camping and wondered if I had any. Sure I did – plenty. Far too many perhaps. Snow camping shots from

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winter view of continental divide between Apache Peak and Shoshoni Peak near brainard lake indian peaks wilderness colorado

A Brainard Lake sigh

ON THE WAY back from my recent quinzhee stay I meandered by Brainard Lake. In summer the location can be horrendously busy and the atmosphere far from wild, but on Sunday February 14, with the temperature at minus twelve Fahrenheit (minus twenty-four Celsius), and snow burying the land, and no one else about, it wasn’t

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Igloo or Quinzhee? A snow shelter comparison.

THE FORECAST was irresistible. It called for snow, arrival of an Arctic airmass, and with it the coldest temperatures of winter so far. Overnight lows were forecast to plummet to -13 Fahrenheit, -25 Celsius, which was impressively frigid, or even life-threatening, under certain circumstances. But as I saw it, perfect conditions for my fifth night

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Morning Mist

I DIDN’T PLAN another blog post this week, but this morning’s atmospheric mists were too irresistible not to photograph, and seeing that I now have photographs, I figured I may as well share them! I’m tempted to write about the morning as well – but I’ll resist that, and let the photos and simple captions

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Finding Flavio

ENCOUNTERS WITH STRANGERS in the mountains can be truly extraordinary. Such meetings are often more intense and meaningful than encounters back in ‘real life’. Here’s a story about one that took place decades ago – along with the heart-warming follow that occurred just last week. As you may know (if you’ve visited my website before)

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Going Slow

A short walk on North Table Mountain, February 2, 2021. IT’S NOW BEEN ELEVEN DAYS since I danced a little jig on a loose trail to avoid an out of control dog and badly sprained my ankle. But at last I have some good news: I can finally walk without crutches. But there’s bad news

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Places I Love #1

Golden Cliffs, North Table Mountain, Golden, Colorado I’VE BEEN FEELING considerable sympathy for the many people I know back in Britain who are currently stuck in lockdown. For that reason, I decided to sprain my ankle on Friday and put myself in a comparable situation – stuck at home unable to reach the hills. How’s

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Time Travel Is Possible

Time travel is possible. Yes, it really is! Don’t believe me? Okay, well, consider this… I escaped for another night out this weekend – up in the James Peak Wilderness beneath the Continental Divide. The forecast called for strong winds and up to three inches of snow, so I packed a tent, figuring I’d need

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A Fleeting Gift

JANUARY 10TH was the first morning of the year that felt like a real winter morning. For sure, it wasn’t close to as cold as January can be, and the single inch of snow was hardly midwinter deep, but for the first time in 2021 the foothills above Golden were white, and for the first

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Character building adventures #1

WHAT A WEEK! One could despair, very easily. But honestly – what would that achieve? Or one could head outdoors… The year’s second night out took place a modest six-mile walk from home. I’ve been outdoors every day of the year so far, loping in shorts over sun-kissed hills, but finally on the year’s ninth

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New Year 2021 – a quick night out

JANUARY 1ST, and what better way to start the New Year than a quick night out beneath the stars? I mean, what could be better than sleeping outside without a tent, on a summit, in midwinter, in the snow, alone? Would a soft bed be better? Four solid walls? Heating? A warm body to snuggle

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Back home

JUNE 21, 2020 I grew up NOT with the earth beneath my feet but with pavement, concrete, and carpet. Carpet: Hah! Not a surface fit for human feet! Suburban London was home and it offered few surfaces that were wild or untrammeled. Not that I knew anything about wild surfaces… or cared. How could I

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