The Chilean Traverse - The Plan.

I know I've been quiet. I'm working on this huge upcoming project. Here's a quick update!

In February 2018, I was searching for my next big mountain after a few exhilarating treks in China where I climbed my first above 6,000m peaks. I wanted to go for my first 7,000m peak. Naturally, I turned to the Himalayas but for some reason it didn't feel right.  In my search for the next project, I ran across an image from NASA of Llullaillaco that stayed with me and I decided that I would instead head down to Chile. 

NASA - Llullaillaco from space.

NASA - Llullaillaco from space.

Llullaillaco is the tallest archeological site in the world. It's a volcano that sits between Argentina and Chile in the Atacama desert with an incredibly fun name to say as fast as possible. A few hours in the depths of Google, I was sold on Chile. I would climb Llullaillaco before the year was over.I

I knew I'd graduate from UCLA in the summer and I decided I'd do a once in a lifetime trek around this climb. I decided to try to merge my skills in scientific research, mountaineering and photography into a single job position. Bringing 3 differently skills together into a position that doesn't really exist is tough and it has proven very difficult to sell to those who sponsor this type of trips. But I do believe traveling could be done in more meaningful and useful ways. I've never been unemployed. I've always has a job in physics since I was 17 years old. For the first time in my life I will be unemployed and freelancing as I attempt to make this new job a reality.  

 I pitched the idea to the Access Collective campaign ( ). This is group of Nat Geo photographers, athletes, models and all sorts of traveling talents which I've been lucky enough to be a part of.  This group is all about meaningful travel with the help of  'soft' branding. The trips and stories are not built around the brand. Instead the brands partake in more meaningful endeavors that go further than "bucket list box checking" trips.  We are now working on the biggest trek I've yet to do both physically and mentally. 

 The itinerary is a work in progress but I will be traversing Chile starting in the desert of San Pedro de Atacama, climbing Aconcagua and heading down to Patagonia. I'll be there for 4 months bringing photographic content, science articles in conservation and virtual reality experiences! 

Here's a draft of the itinerary:

Chilean traverse itinerary plan

Chilean traverse itinerary plan

Currently, I am working in finding sponsorships and science research. We're still in much need of help. Any recommendations or contacts will be greatly appreciated! 

 I'll try to keep you more updated. Much love,


PS: I'm sorry I deleted all the comment sections. There's a weird stalker that has been harrasing me so we can't have nice things. :)

SoCal's Hiking group

SoCal hiking group


For years I’ve been training and doing mountaineering on my own. I am a female solo traveler and photographer. You can learn about me on my Instagram( @eylenepirez). Most people I meet in Los Angeles do not realize how good we have it in SoCal. Southern California is blessed with hundreds and hundreds of miles of trails. We have peaks that go above 14,000feet. We have the Sierras, an incredible mountain range, only a quick drive away. We have the Pacific Ocean. We have perfect weather. It really is heaven.

It’s hard to start trekking and backpacking. The fear of traveling alone into the wild is common but something that can be easily overcome with some guidance and good friends. The time has come to share my knowledge and encourage people to opt outside. The new Arc’teryx La Brea store will be helping out with gear clinics and awareness of this group. How incredibly lucky are we?!

The program consists of hikes of different difficulties. It is meant to create a tight community by including all levels of fitness. For the month of March, I’ve chosen easy hikes that can be used to start building your endurance and hiking knowledge. Social hiking is the perfect way to make new friends. April will start picking up more fun hikes and we will have gear clinics to prep us for more difficult challenges. The month of May will include more difficult hikes and will end with a weekend backpacking trip in the Sierras! I have made an effort to pick hikes that don’t require permits or easy to get permits. I tried to pick dog friendly hikes because who would want to have an adventure without the dog? If you have any comments or suggestions, let me know!

The next set of hikes will be planned as we get closer to it.

Here’s the FB group. Spread the word and come meet like-minded outdoorsy people while exploring what southern California has to offer. RSVP to the hikes on the FB group so we can have an idea of what to expect.


Mishe Mokwa to Tri-Peaks and Sandstone Peak.


A local classic in the Santa Monica Mountains with incredible ocean views of the Pacific ocean. This hike is best during sunset. It’s an easy hike and good introduction to hiking in SoCal.



Date: Sunday, March 18th, 2018

Difficulty: Easy.

Distance: 7 miles.

Elevation Gain: 1646 feet.

Max. Elevation: 3,111 feet.

Duration: 3-5 hours.

Meeting Time: 3pm.

Meeting Location: On the corner of Yerba Buena and PCH, you'll find the Neptune's Net restaurant; just look for the motorcycles, you can't miss it. Take Yerba Buena up past the Circle X Ranch. A dirt parking lot is on your left after rounding a bend. Skip this lot and park at the next one you see (on the right).

What to bring: DOGS, Water, flashlight, friends and family.

Trail Info:


Bridge to Nowhere via East Fork Trail


This is an easy hike that starts working on your mileage in the San Gabriel Mountains.



Date: Sunday, March 25th, 2018

Difficulty: Easy.

Distance: 9 miles.

Elevation Gain: 1181 feet.

Max. Elevation: 3,111 feet.

Duration: 4-5 hours.

Meeting Time: 8am.

Meeting Location: Coyote Flat parking lot.

What to bring: DOGS, Water, flashlight, friends and family.

Trail Info:


Mount Wilson via Chantry Flats


This is my go-to local hike and a great place to train and trail run for those who love that. Located in the Sierra Madre and ending at the historical Mount Wilson observatory.



Date: Sunday, April 14th, 2018

Difficulty: Moderate.

Distance: 14 miles.

Elevation Gain: 4475 feet

Max. Elevation: 5710 feet.

Duration: 6-8 hours.

Meeting Time: 8am.

Meeting Location: At the store of the Chantry Flats parking lot.

What to bring: DOGS, Water, food, friends and family, Adventure Pass (can also be purchased at the store)

Trail Info:



Mount Baden Powell


It is the time to go higher! This is also a good taste of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) legendary switchbacks.



Date: Sunday, April 22th, 2018

Difficulty: Moderate.

Distance: 8.99 miles.

Elevation Gain: 2788 feet

Max. Elevation: 9400 feet.

Duration: 5 hours.

Meeting Time: 9am. (Gives you time to get there. I recommend carpooling. WE can meet at the Arc’teryx La Brea store)

Meeting Location: Vincent Gap trailhead.

What to bring: DOGS, Water, food, friends and family, Adventure Pass.

Trail Info:




San Bernardino peak via Angelus Oaks

Alright, now we are really getting that leg burn. Climb on!



Date: Sunday, May 6th, 2018.

Difficulty: Difficult.

Distance: 15.7 miles.

Elevation Gain: 4625 feet.

Max. Elevation: 10649 feet.

Duration: 10 hours.

Meeting Time: 8am

Meeting Location: Angeles Oaks Trailhead Parking.

What to bring: Permit, Water, food, Adventure Pass, flashlight.

Permits are free, and can be obtained from the San Bernardino National Forest Mill Creek Ranger Station in Mentone, 34701 Mill Creek Road or you can fax the permit request form to (909) 794-1125.

Trail Info:


CHALLENGE: Backpacking Cirque Peak via the new Army approach + Alabama Hills camping.

First challenge hike! Time to test your gear and get that leg burn. This is a gorgeous glaciated peak with lakes near Mt. Whitney and other massive peaks. Come play in the Sierras!

Tentative Plan:

Meet in Alabama Hills on Friday night and camp there. It’s free and perhaps one of the greatest spots in SoCal!

Watch the epic sunrise move across Mt. Whitney the next morning from your tent.

Stock up on food and supplies in Lone Pine and drive the 20 miles into Horseshoe Meadows.

From here we will hike towards Chicken Spring Lake via the Cottonwood Pass. Saturday night, we will set up camp near Chicken Spring Lake.

Wake up on Sunday at 5am and summit Cirque Peak. We’ll be back in Lone Pine in the afternoon of Sunday.




Date: May 18th- 20nd, 2018. Friday- Sunday.

Difficulty: Difficult. Scramble. Backcountry camping. We will teach you about gear and set up. Don’t worry too much.

Distance: 20.9 miles.

Elevation Gain: 4300 feet

Max. Elevation: 12900 feet.

Duration: 2 days.

Meeting Time: Open arrival time on Friday or 7am on Saturday.

Meeting Location: Alabama Hills in Lone Pine.

What to bring: Backpacking gear list will be released once we are closer to understanding the trail conditions and expected weather.

Trail Info:




Alabama Hills, California.

Alabama Hills, California.