The Top Nine of @AdventureDean

Instagram is my favourite social media platform. And I love analytics. So lets look at my most popular Instagram photos of the year. Disclaimer I'm not valuing myself with "likes". As a photographer I'm learning what of my photos attract the most attention on Instagram. Of 82 photos and video they got a total of 1690 likes. An average of just over 20 likes a post (I'm not instafamous and that's okay!).

I got my top nine with as well as the image above.


Standing tall on Ha-ling watching the sun set. up and down in two hours. EFF in eh. #ExploreCanada #ExploreAlberta

A photo posted by Dean W. Thompson (@adventuredean) on

It's funny that 2 of the 9 top photos I didn't actually take, but I did direct them. So I'll take it! This photo of my friend Carolyn and myself from the summer was taken up on top of Ha-Ling in Canmore just at sunset. We made the drive into town right after work, worried that we wouldn't make it back down before dark, but were greeted with a beautiful sunset over the Banff mountains at the summit. Then we proceeded to run back down the mountain.


2015 was the year I really started taking climbing more serious. Getting outside, starting strength training and all that fun stuff. This photo was of Mr. Brando Bolts spotting me on a unknown boulder in Big Choss, Yamnuska was taken from a makeshift tripod. The boulder itself is maybe only a soft v3 or v2 starting with a nice over hang.  


Also from the spring is this photo of some of my co-workers on the north Mt. Baldy scramble. This was such a fun day and a fun climb. We walked out to the mountain from the YMCA camp we were working at. That hike in it's self was a fun trip. All together we spent the whole day on the trail. Great day, great mountain.


Mike going for par yesterday at the Nordic Center. #Diskgolf #Canmore #FallFun

A photo posted by Dean W. Thompson (@adventuredean) on

This is one of my favourites from the top nine. My friend Mike taking a putt out at the Canmore Nordic Centre. I just love how the colours all work together, the framing with the basket and the look on his face of pure concentration! 


Today I hung my feet off the edge of a cliff and thought about stuff. #ExploreCananada #ExploreAlberta #ClimbMountains

A photo posted by Dean W. Thompson (@adventuredean) on

When I took this photo I knew it would be popular. Everybody on the internet likes a nice shot of feet with a view. But really the photo is nothing special. But the day I took it was really nice. It was my first time up Yamnuska and this photo reminds me of that day. 


Another simple photo that's just a little to cliche not to like, but it does represent the work I put into my climbing last year. Sweat and blood. 


That's a thumbs up for my first V5 problem completed! #bouldering #climbing #doubletoehook #bathang

A photo posted by Dean W. Thompson (@adventuredean) on

This is a photo that sums up what I always say about great shitty photos. "A photo doesn't need to be good if it's meaningful. There's nothing great about this photo except the humour of me hanging by my feet upside down. That said it represents my first in gym V5 boulder problem. Maybe people ust like to share in my accomplishments? 


Another fun one. What else can I say. Me failing on a toe hook.


Okay. What can I say about a photo being my most liked when I didn't even take it? Well this is instagram, most people follow you because they like you and want to see what you're up to. So a photo of me on a small milestone (quarter mile pebble?) would be enjoyed. And I appreciate the support I received in this photo.

What's the take away?

I'm not really going to dig deep into this stuff. I'll continue to post the photos of my life, even the technically crap photos. People seem to like them. Other then that, like I said at the start I don't need the "like" to validate me or my work. I do it because I like it. The analytics just interest me.

Thanks for the likes/support through 2015! More to come in the new year.

Zen And The Art of Airplane Food - Part One - An Inquiry Into My Love of Flying

I have been flying a lot more in the past few years and in doing so; I’ve noticed two things. First, people hate to fly. Second, I don’t agree with those people. With this grand realization, I have decided to write a 3 part blog series going over my love of flying and tips to help you do the same. I’m calling it “Zen And The Art of Airplane Food”. Welcome the first instalment.

It might just be an attitude thing. For example, if you can’t relax, hate people, and hate awesome things, sure, I can understand why you hate flying. But for this blog post to have any chance of having a point, I need try and get you to see it from my prospective.

For me flying has become a type of limbo space. Between leaving your everyday life behind and waiting to start a new adventure, I see this time as being completely isolated. Once I’m inside the doors I no longer have a job, obligations, or expectations. I’m cut off from everything, but what is happening to me at that moment. I can have a hard time finding a reason to unplug myself from my phone and the Internet. There’s just a lot of stuff I need to get done, all the time. So when I have a steward yelling at me to put me phone away, I take the suggestion and let my brain reset back to the “in the moment” setting. There are lots of options while in the setting like; flirt with the cuties, watch a movie, write, or do some reading. What I do most is just sit back and think. I like to ponder the greatest questions in my life, such as “how much weight will I save if I cut the tags off all my travel gear” (the answer is enough) and “how many Nomad 7 solar panels will it take to charge my old MacBook Pro”.

Planes are fast, easy, and cheap. The one other form of travel I love as much as flying is travel by train. It maybe easy, but it’s not cheap. It’s not fast either. A train ride will become the trip itself when you spend four days on rails from Toronto to Vancouver. So flying is more of a means to an end and in that regard, its fast and easy travel. If you want or need to be somewhere else far away, travel by plane is the best option. Fast, easy, and cheap.

I can’t forget to mention the view. It may seem like a small reward for getting in a tin can way up in the sky, but it’s also one of a few ways to get that view. So when I’m up there, I make sure to take it all in. I will always fly in the window seat to get the view. My apologies to the people sitting next to me, you’ll find out the annoying way I have a small bladder and restless legs. Your annoyance is a small price to pay for my pleasure. Unless you confront me about it, then I’ll apologize and hold in the next one for the reminder of the flight.

I love flying, the entire process from checking into the airport to arriving at my destination. It might just be a coincidence, but my happy place is flying Pan Am in 1957[1].

[1] Is it weird I based my happy place off old school air travel I’ve only seen in TV and movies? Nah, It’s fine.