Meet the Explorer: Sean Walther

I met Sean through my younger brother Zane, and also while out and about in the community. He was raised in a town that borders my hometown to the North. I was always interested in the free way he went about and his stories of exploration and adventure. As my brother and his group of friends are growing up, exploring and travel started to become a favorite activity for the group, and Sean was right there in the thick of it. Happy to see Sean and the group enjoying the wild lands and experiencing what our Earth has to offer, it is truly amazing out there! Take it away, Sean.

Short Biography

To get started my name is Sean Walther and I am a 21 year old college student at WVU that loves to explore. Being born and raised in Vienna, West Virginia I would always find myself outdoors. I have a beautiful girlfriend Julia who is my camping partner. We share the same love and passion for the outdoors that fuels our adventures. In my free time I enjoy mountain biking, longboarding, snowboarding, and just spending my time outside! I have explored all of West Virginia and just last week I returned from my second out West expedition.

What do you do for a living, how did you end up in that field? 

I am a full time college student in the business school at West Virginia University. After school I tend to be working at Kroger in order to get the bills paid and to fund new adventures!!

When did you first start enjoying the outdoors?

I’ve always had a connection with the outdoors starting out with an early age. Being brought up in Scouting really gave me a lot of opportunities that others my age didn’t have. About every other weekend I would find myself camping with my troop. I am so glad my parents put me into Boy Scouts, I wish every boy had the amazing experience I did.

What is your favorite place to explore? 

Oh gosh, favorite place to explore would have to be Utah, southwest Utah to be exact. There is just so much to do in the area for example Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, and of course Lake Powell! You could spend weeks in that area and still not see everything!

How many of the 50 United States have you visited? Favorite?

I have been to 22 states. Colorado and Utah have to be my favorite.

How many countries, where? 

Unfortunately I have never left the country, but I do plan on visiting Iceland in the future. It seems like a good destination to plan my first overseas trip.

Best hike you have ever had? 

Best hike for me has to be the Narrows in Zion National Park. The Narrows is the most wonderful, beautiful, and exiting hike in the entire world. You walk down the Virgin River in the bottom of a slot canyon. The canyon walls on each side of you are 300-400 feet tall. I highly recommend to rent the cayoneer hydro boots and hiking staff at the visitor center for this hike. Water depth on this hike can range from 1 foot deep to 5. This hike is a very dangerous hike, even more dangerous than ANGELS  landing. When it rains, flash floods occur instantly. At the trail head there is a sign for the percentage of rain that could occur that day. If there is any percentage of rain at all, please do not risk it. 

Essential items for summer hikes/winter hikes in your opinion.

When camping, especially on a long term trip you have to be prepared for ANYTHING weather wise. In mid May, Julia and I left for Colorado, Utah, Arizona. With it being May and temps well into the 90’s, we really expected warm weather with the exception to the desert getting a little cold a night as we all know…well we drive up to Denver and we see 3 inches of snow on the ground, we DID NOT pack snow gear what so ever. So it is very important to pack for ALL weather conditions when venturing out West in MAY-JUNE.  We ran into snow 3 times on the trip including in Nebraska where we ran into 10 inches of snow. Fortunately, we were able to avoid the cold weather in Southern Colorado and Utah. One day we would be driving through a snow storm, and the next day we would be in a campground swimming pool.

Most comical hike/adventure story? 

One time while camping outside of Telluride I had a pretty funny thing happen. My friend Aaron I were camping and he would carry around his clothes in a black trash bag. Well after dinner one night I discarded my scraps and drink in the trash bag at our campsite. Little did I know I accidentally had put all my scraps in Aaron’s clothes bag that just happen to be near the picnic table. He wasn’t mad but we all sure got a good laugh from it.

Scariest hike/adventure story?

This is probably a common response but the scariest hike I have ever been was Angels Landing in Zion National Park. The week I went, the park was very busy which made hiking on skinny trails pretty dangerous. Rigorous switch backs lead you to a very small trail. On the left side of the trail is the cliff wall with a chain, and the right side of the trail is about a 2000 foot drop off. And let me tell you the trail is about 2 feet wide so you have to watch your footing. The amount of people on the trail is not monitored with makes it more dangerous. Each year a handful of people fall off Angels, a couple times my clumsy self slipped but I was able to catch my footing.

Upcoming trips planned?

Like I said earlier I just returned from my out West trip. Starting in West Virginia the following are locations we stopped at: Denver, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park,  Moab, Arches National Park, Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, and Salt Lake City.

Favorite outdoors gear/lifestyle companies? Any local? 

My favorite outdoor gear company has to be Coleman! So much outdoor gear/ lifestyle companies are just so expensive now a days but Coleman has always stayed affordable. When my gear isn’t Coleman it tends to be Ozark Trail.

What does conservation mean to you? 

Conservation is very important! It is the reason we can go explore all of the places we do. We need to preserve the environment so everyone can enjoy it for many years to come.

What can we do to make sure our parks and wild lands stay clean and pure forever? 

Back to Boy Scouts, a saying we had was to “Leave No Trace”. If you are camping, you need to leave the campsite better than it was looking before you arrived. With this mentality we an have a clean environment outdoors for all of us to enjoy.

Sean, thank you so much for your insight, funny stories and love for the great outdoors. I look forward to learning of any more stories and even getting out West with you sometime. Keep up the good work and school and best wishes in life!

Follow my tracks: @Gtcarden

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