Backpacker Radio #156 | The Virtual Sherpa on Peak Bagging 13ers and 14ers, Responsibly Promoting Trails, and Video Guiding

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio, presented by The Trek, brought to you by RTIC, we are joined by Mickey aka The Virtual Sherpa. The Virtual Sherpa runs a successful website and Youtube channel dedicated to sharing tips, trail overviews, and more from some of his favorite trails around Colorado and the greater Southwest. We chat about what some of the most underrated 13,000 ft peaks are in Colorado, and why they might be even better than many of the state’s 14ers, some of his favorite hikes without hoards of people, his philosophy on gatekeeping and responsibly promoting trails, and much more.

We wrap the show with a backpacking trip in Zion National Park that deserves to be on your bucket list, a Q&A touching on a range of subjects including but not limited to good hiking spots for late fall, what life is like with a budding toddler, the scent of tent sex, and more.

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Interview with Mickey aka “Virtual Sherpa”

Time stamps & Questions

00:04:40 – QOTD: At what age do people start consuming more Tums than Starbursts?

00:09:19 – Introducing Mickey aka “Virtual Sherpa”

00:09:37 – Mickey’s Shit Story

00:12:42 – Tell us your backpacking and peak bagging resume.

00:14:30 – Discussion about trail and ultrarunning.

00:15:33 – What’s harder, training for an Ironman or training for a 100-mile run?

00:19:29 – How fast are you?

00:20:55 – Give us some background on how the website started. 

00:22:39 – Tell us about your preference with 14ers versus 13ers.

00:24:32 – Tell us why you loved living in Chicago if you hate people.

00:26:20 – Tell us about the 13er you did over Memorial Day?

00:27:15 – Fuck Mary Kill: peak bagging, CT section hikes/backpacking, trail running

00:28:40 – Tell us about the evolution of the website and Youtube channel.

00:31:32 – How do you feel about the conflict between exposing trails via the internet and avoiding people while hiking?

00:34:23 – Why does someone need to work hard to find a spot?

00:35:50 – Discussion about keeping spots secret, public land, and gatekeeping.

00:41:22 – How would you describe your audience and what are the most common questions you get?

00:44:10 – What are your top 3 favorite 14ers and top 3 least favorite 14ers?

00:46:58 – What are your favorite and least favorite 13ers?

00:48:35 – What are your top 3 secret spots?

00:51:20 – Discussion about fear and anxiety about the mountains.

00:53:19 – Do you have a preference between the blog or the Youtube channel?

00:55:52 – Have you asked your friend why there’s a story before every recipe?

00:57:21 – What is a border-crossing expedition?

00:58:43 – Do you have any highlights from exploring Utah?

01:02:23 – Discussion about National Parks, crowds, and timing hikes.

01:07:34 – Discussion about Canyonlands.

01:09:13 – What are your big 3 for a typical backpacking trip?

01:12:22 – What’s your typical camera setup?

01:14:40 – Tell us about your dog, taking your dog on adventures, and tips for hiking with dogs.

01:20:34 – Anything else do you want to share?

01:22:14 – Thank you!

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