Simple Tips for Driving and Flying Green

I spend a ton of time driving to and from climbing spots, and flying to and from climbing spots. There are a few simple practices that I have adopted in my travels to help my traveling become a bit greener.

1. Keep my own coffee mug in the car. That way when I stop at Starbucks to get coffee, they can use my mug, and not use their paper cups.

2. Use Google Maps on my cell phone. Almost every cell phone has the ability to either download a Google Maps app or connect to Google Maps. Use your phone to get Google Maps directions to your destination rather that printing out all the directions and maps. It saves a ton of paper!

3. Bring an empty reusable water bottle to the airport. You can’t bring water through security, but you can bring an empty bottle! That way when you get into the terminal, you can fill your bottle up at the water fountain and save having to buy and use a plastic bottle of water at one of the airport stores!

Nothing fancy about it, but every little bit counts!

Happy Adventuring!

Brandon Hensinger

Ascent Adventure Consultants- Bringing Adventure to Life


Reel Rock

We just signed the contract to host the Reel Rock Film Festival this fall in the Triangle area. More details to follow.

Reel Rock

Published in: on April 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Buy Reusable Non-Plastic Bottles

I most definitely think that everyone who is interested even slightly in being Green, and protecting our environment needs to be aware of “Greenwashing”. Not only does the purchasing of reusable bottles like Sigg bottles or the like reduce the amount of plastic in use, but it also cuts down on the need for travel to the store to purchase the bottled water, which leads to less production by these companies of the bottled water. There is a great article that you must read:

Greenwash Watch: “Eco” Bottled Water

I’d be interested in seeing how many people are willing to make the switch to using Sigg Bottles. I will! If you will, please leave a comment that says “YES!” showing your support.

Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 1:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

TAKE ACTION: Obama to Increase Appropriations for Public Land??

Because the past 8 years has left public land managers and forest managers with meager funds to maintain trail management teams, search and rescue teams, and more, there has been limited access to some of the country’s most beautiful and precious outdoor recreation resources, for activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and camping. Understandably so, since without the infrastructure to support this type of land use, the land managers have no choice but to restrict the activities. This is something that the Access Fund specifically targets and works on with these land managers, however the Federal Government has made it extremely difficult because ultimately they are the ones providing the lack of funding.


Barack Obama, along with promoting an excellent energy plan, and making the oil companies use their windfall profits to help consumers, is also planning on increasing appropriations for public land….and therefore will most likely help to give access to many, many areas.

Their administration needs our support to get this done. Please visit Outdoor Alliance and choose to Take Action, and send letters (via the website) to Barack Obama, to help open up access to these public lands.

Along with a better energy management and energy use system, the funds that are going to be provided to these land managers will help conservation of our natural resources, including “roadless areas” that will be protected. This country is taking a turn in the right direction!

Thank you and Happy Climbing

Brandon Hensinger

Ascent Adventure Consultants- Sustainable Rock Climbing in North Carolina

The Government….Becoming Greener?

Today, I posted my first of many blog postings on Whole Travel is a GREAT resource that, per their website “is for researching and booking directly with the world’s best green hotels and resorts. We’ve searched the globe and put our findings into a streamlined site so that you can start and finish your travel planning in one place.”

A few months ago, I read an article about the state of North Carolina allowing mining and development that will greatly impact the state’s streams and wetlands. Many people and organizations protested, but to no avail. It looks like the permits will be granted. Read the info here.

Then, like a breath of fresh air, this morning I read an article on USA Today that was very encouraging. In West Virginia, the EPA has decided to hault all mountaintop coal mining permits so that they can evaluate the projects’ impact on streams and wetlands! They even denied permits that the Army Corps of Engineers was requested to fill streambeds and wetlands with mining waste!

It is great news to see that the wilderness and resources that we love are finally being protected by the government rather than being destroyed. West Virginia is one of the Eastern United States’ best resources for outdoor adventure and wilderness experiences, and it would be sad to see the mountain tops blasted and the streams filled with waste. I think that with the government becoming “greener”, and with the push of eco tourism in the travel industry, we will see our natural resources, and our outdoor adventure opportunities protected and increased over the next several years.

Anyone who is reading this blog should consider becoming part of an organization that lobbies and promotes sustainability and green-living. One of my favorite all around resources is Check it out.

Published in: on March 26, 2009 at 11:12 am  Comments (1)  
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The Importance Of Getting Outside and Climbing, Hiking, and Playing

Today I read an article on about the importance of “playing” during these difficult and stressful financial times. The author, Janice Lloyd, spends time reviewing Stuart Brown’s new book Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul. ( See the article here:

Stuart Brown is a proponent of making sure that everyone, adults especially, take time to “play” and do things that are enjoyable and invigorating for them. Without doing this, it doesn’t just lead to boredom, but rather depression and discontentment.

Getting away from cell phones and computers and enjoying the outdoors is the best way to do this. Of course, leisure activities such as video game playing is still relaxing, but until you take action to get away from all things that can distract you, you won’t truly be refreshed.

I often find that when I get away from all the daily responsibilities and demands of running my company, I come back with a renewed vision and determination for Ascent Adventure Consultants success. Often, it can be easy to think, “There’s no way that I can get away….I will miss opportunities.” However, the opposite is true. If you don’t get away every once in a while, you will miss opportunities because you will get burnt out and discouraged.

This coincides with some of the postings we have done last year: Escaping the Normal Routine of Life

Visit our website today to: Take time to play and enjoy life! We only get one life…so make the most of it! Climb some cliffs, hike some mountains, or whatever else you may enjoy!

Kammerlander establishes extreme trad route

This is amazing: 5.14a Trad Route

I would love to know how he mentally trained to climb this. Too bad there isn’t climbing like this in North Carolina!

Introduction to Alpine Climbing with Ascent Adventure Consultants, in the North Cascades and Mount Baker

Introduction to Alpine Climbing with Ascent Adventure Consultants, in the North Cascades and Mount Baker.

We have officially launched the most exciting and unique program that we have ever offered…check out the Intro to Alpine Climbing Class.

If you have ever dreamed of standing on top of a snow capped peak in a remote setting, or if your skills are just a little rusty Ascent Adventure Consultants has the course to fit your needs.

Choose from four course lengths: 4, 7, 10, or 13 days. Starting with our four-day basic course set on beautiful Mt. Baker in the North Cascades of Washington State. The first three days will be spent learning the skills that you will need to safely climb in a large alpine mountain environment. We will culminate this portion of the course with a summit attempt of Mt. Baker on the fourth day.

At the conclusion of the 4-day section of your trip, you will be ready to head into the heart of the North Cascades and put your new skills to use on some of the most stunning peaks in the lower 48 states. Each 3-day course section will find us attempting a new summit and learning new skills and techniques. If you are unable to do the entire 13-day course in one climbing season you can do part of the course then complete it the following year.

At the completion of our 13-day course you will have the skill to safely get out into the mountains on your own.

Lindsay Fixmer’s Red Rocks Trip Report

Lindsay Fixmer, one of our guides, just returned from a personal climbing trip to Red Rock Canyon, NV. Here is her trip report!

I start all my trips, as I started this past excursion, with a tick list: the ‘must-do’s’ in line with my immediate goals keeping in consideration that the conditions are right: weather, mental and physical preparedness, partner’s agenda, etc.
Since my climbing partner, Karsten, and I are both in ‘training’ mode for AMGA courses and exams and with guiding at the forefront of our minds, our goals and focus reflect these intentions and drive.  We both set out to do as many long routes as our bodies could handle on the trip.  This means all-day routes involving tricky route finding and well over one hour skirts to and from the route: walk-offs, 4th and 5th class approaches, and looking at these from a guiding perspective: risk management and client care.

We found ourselves wearing down the Oak Creek, Pine Creek, and Black Velvet Canyon paths regularly with classic lines such as Nightcrawler to Hourglass Diversion, Community Pillar, Triassic Sands, Hot Fudge Thursday, and being blown off the descent of Black Orpheus with 60 to 70mph winds.  This trip proved to be one of the windiest and coldest Red Rock trips I’ve ever been on: one day Karsten and I (as well as the party above us) were literally blown off Levitation 29.  I will say this: it was probably excellent training for me to have to deal with frozen hands and feet: overcoming uncomfortable (to a certain extent), can only strengthen oneself.

What I really love about longer climbing trips (over 1 week) is the learning process one goes through: and it’s different on each trip because the set-up varies.  Whether in a new area, on new routes, with a different climbing partner, how physically and mentally fit you are, adverse weather conditions… all these factors add in to the equation of what you accomplish and learn in that time.  And the more trips you take, the different areas you see and climb at, and covering vast terrains, you hone your route finding skills, better adapt to changes, better prepare your day’s schedule, strengthen your climbing on-sighting ability, and improve your knowledge and efficiency in a difficult, demanding setting (which I think is imperative with regards to guiding).

The return from the trip is always the hardest part; especially when your climbing partner gets to stay!  Alas, all good things must come to end … right?  Or do they really need to?  I say, no.  This reasoning is why I’ll be back in Vegas at the end of March to get in four more long days of excellent climbing on the bullet sandstone (and not so bullet, depending on what route you choose) of Red Rocks.  Good thing flights to Vegas are cheap!  Forget the gambling, it’s time to rope up again.

Ascent Adventure Consultants: Bringing Adventure to Life!

Published in: on March 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Carbon Footprint of Beer and Wine?

As outdoor enthusiasts, many of us are concerned with our carbon footprints. Have you ever considered what the carbon footprint is of your beverages of choice (beer, wine, etc.)? I read an interesting article at that discussed this very thing. You should read the entire article.

The results surprised me. The footprint of the production of the beer and wine is minimal. However what creates the greatest footprint is how you travel to obtain the beer and wine. Do you drive far to purchase it? Do you purchase beer imported from far away? Then consider purchasing local brews and local wines that can be purchased at nearby grocery stores.

Just an interesting thought!

Published in: on March 13, 2009 at 7:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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