Explorer Spotlight: Stephen Bellrichard

Name: Stephen Bellrichard | Age: 23 | Location: Bellingham, WA

What’s your day job?
MBA student at Western Washington University and Purchasing Agent at Zodiac Aerospace.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
Skiing, hiking, backpacking, photography, downhill biking, and having fun.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
The unique freedom to explore new places and escape your everyday surroundings. I was very fortunate to grow up in family that enjoyed hiking, camping, skiing, and the great outdoors.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
Hiking Oyster Dome never disappoints. It’s close to home, an easy hike, and has rewarding views of Puget Sound. Oyster Dome is a great hike to take first-timers on, and it often gets people stoked on the idea of becoming more outdoorsy. There is also small cave system to explore that not many people know about. Beer… You can’t go wrong at any of the five Bellingham Breweries! (Boundary Bay, Aslan, Kulshan, Chuckanut, and Wander Brewing).

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
In addition to the Ten Essentials, I bring my Canon 5D Mark III, a crystal ball, Black Diamond Storm Headlamp, and Icetrekkers. Sometimes I bring random items that people don’t expect to make things interesting. (Bottle of champagne, inflatables, a kite, etc.)

What’s your favorite trail snack?
Clif Bar, Beef jerky, PB&J, string cheese.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
When hitting the road solo, I often find myself listening to a 2hr mix by Matt Lange. It probably has over 200 plays at this point haha. When I’m with other people I usually let them play whatever they want.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/or, the funniest?
Last summer while descending Mt. Baker, a huge Serac broke loose above the climbing route and came within 100ft of me and my climber partner.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
Adventure: There are just too many fun people to adventure with. To name a few: I’ve really enjoyed adventuring with Kyle Coxon, Shaw Lowry, Brennan Frost, Tyler Arnestad, and Caleb Ralston. These guys are game for almost anything, they are willing to wake up early, and they don’t complain when things get tough.

Inspiration: Michael Matti, Scott Kranz, Andy Best, Beau Ramsey, Callum Snape, Jacob Moon, and every Explorer on The Outbound.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
The Columbia River Gorge, British Columbia, and the Olympic Peninsula are a few of my favorite zones. There are so many cool places to explore within those regions, but never enough time!

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
Iceland is my number one, followed closely by Banff. I’m also itching to visit Arches National Park, Zion National Park, and New Zealand. This summer I’ll be in Europe for 45 days, and I’m most stoked to check out the fjords in Norway.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
Picking my most memorable photo is hard, because so many adventures have been a blast. So by default, here is a self-portrait from a recent trip to Brandywine Falls. This was my third time visiting the falls, but only my first time reaching the base of the waterfall. In order to reach the sandbar under the falls, I attempted to cross the river channel by laying a log across it. This method was very successful on the way to the sandbar, but unfortunately the log got swept away before I could return. Needless to say, I got pretty wet on my way back. Standing under the waterfall and observing its true power was definitely worth the wet hike back to the car.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
Explore life. Adventures won’t always find you.

Check out more of Stephen's adventures here.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.