Here & There 12.11.20

New Zealand memories, filming the aurora (from space), and more.

Here & There is a weekly email from Kyle Frost about design, travel, photography, and other stuff. If you’ve been enjoying these updates, please forward it to a friend, or share with your network. If you’re reading it for the first time, consider subscribing (it’s free!).


7 years ago yesterday, I got on a plane headed to New Zealand. I bought my flight on a whim (while waiting for a meeting to start), and it was the first time I would be traveling alone for an extended period of time. Honestly, it was the first time I *really* traveled outside of my comfort zone. I rented a car, spent most of my time camping or staying at hostels, and explored both islands over the next 4 weeks.

While I tend to paint a rosy picture of this experience, it wasn’t without its challenges. It’s exhausting trying to make friends at hostels, and logistics never last past the first day. I started the trip out with one of the worst sunburns I’ve ever had. The Tongariro Alpine Loop felt super short. My Christmas Eve plans to hike in to a hut with hot springs were thwarted by the most water I’ve seen coming out of the sky (aka normal for the west coast of NZ). It was a torrential downpour the entire time I was on the Kepler Track. That said, it was still a fantastic time and a formative experience for me as a traveler.

  • Instead of at hot springs I spent Christmas Eve in Franz Josef, partying in the rain with a bunch of travelers who were also stuck in town.

  • Kepler was wet (and short), but I had a great time pushing through the downpour with two German backpackers (a few hours of moving fast each day through the storm, and a LOT of hours in the hut playing cards)

  • Abel Tasman is incredible (I hiked most of it in a day, North—South). Also had a great time in Nelson.

  • Wanaka is one of my favorite places on earth

  • This was pre “real” mountaineering Kyle, but scrambling up to Mt. Armstrong was a highlight. Getting back to NZ and climbing Mt. Aspiring is a bucket list item.

  • I’d love to get back and explore more of the mountains on the South Island — particularly the Darren Range and more of Fjordland — there is a lifetime of peaks there that see hardly any people because the area is so brutally rugged (but also insanely beautiful).

Photos for posterity: The North Island, and 50 Shades of Green (the South Island)

Light Side Up

This week, a few friends of mine released a short film about filming the aurora borealis from the edge of space. You've probably seen YouTube videos with a similar concept before, although most of these attempts to date have been with small, rugged action cameras like a GoPro — this was shot with a home-baked stabilizing system and an a7S III. I highly recommend watching for a well-told story of creative ideas, roadblocks, perseverance, and payoff.

Watch it on Youtube

Climbing Pico de Orizaba

A few years ago I did a quick mountaineering trip with Austin and Nate (who made the film above) — we spent a few days down in Mexico climbing Pico de Orizaba (18,491’). It was a great trip, although not without its fair share of mishaps and tough decisions. I recently realized I hadn’t really shared much of that trip before so I told a bit of that story in a new Exposure post.

Give it a read

#EveryoneOutside - Resilience

Last week the Outbound released the latest #EveryoneOutside film, featuring Lesford Duncan and Outdoor Outreach — they strive to connect youth with the transformative power of the outdoors and work to foster our industry's next generation of leaders and advocates.


Positive Outlooks

The Obvious Ventures World Positive Report 2020 feels like a breath of fresh air given everything that’s gone on in 2020. It’s chock full of cool technologies, sustainable efforts, and overall a much more positive outlook on life than we’ve been experiencing recently.

Check out the full report here


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