The climb will not be televised!

I bought a GoPro last summer for a specific project. It has been rarely used since. Nothing against the GoPro – it’s a tremendous camera – but using it changes the context of things.

Climbing is one of a vanishing number of modern situations where you can feel free of cameras and expectations. Your buddy might bust out the phone for a quick photo at the belay, but in general the nature of the activity prevents obsessive documentation. All the really great climbing photos are taken by a third party, usually planned well in advance.

We brought the GoPro out on a recent outing in RMNP thinking we might capture some really badass mountaineering footage.

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Armchair Travel: Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Armchair Traveler is my series about places I have no personal experience with. Usually, it’s just a piece of content someone else produced that I find fascinating and think my audience would also enjoy!

If you spend a lot of time on the Internet, you probably recognize Drew Scanlon as this guy with the weird blinks:

For about a month in 2017, this GIF was a super popular meme. Almost unavoidable on social media. Which was weird for me, since I recognized Drew from Giant Bomb, a video game site where I used to be a frequent contributor. We used to chat in the IRC.

But times change, and Drew doesn’t work there, and I don’t think about video games much anymore (read an essay about that, here).

When he’s not moonlighting as an Internet meme, Drew produces a series of travel videos, called Cloth Map. He recently visited the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine, and documented the strange experience of visiting a place most of us have only ever seen in computer games.

See the 30-minute video below:

You can support Cloth Map on Patreon.