I love going to spectacular wilderness regions whether on land or underwater. In North America there are many beautiful and pristine mountains, deserts, lakes, rivers, and coastlines. The second largest barrier reef in the world runs along the eastern coast of Central America - a scuba divers paradise.
The more people who see images from these regions the more effectively we can protect them. These are places that are ours to explore, experience, preserve, and enjoy.
A primary motivation is to be able to create large image prints, panoramas (single row or column), or composites (multiple rows and columns), which are difficult to do. Images large enough that when viewed hanging on the wall you almost feel like "You Are There". Panoramas are complex and time consuming to create; HDR panoramas are even more difficult. Some panoramas may include as many as 15-30 images composited together to create a single final image. Shooting RAW + panoramas + HDR requires a lot of post processing.
I primarily shoot single image landscapes and multi-image panoramas with a wide angle zoom lens, but also use a telephoto zoom for more detailed images, and a macro lens for the most detailed study of a single subject. Using a blend of all three allows showing the full range of images from small detailed macro subjects, to huge multi-image panoramas.
The physical rigor of backpacking and backcountry skiing is wonderful but demanding. It requires year round physical conditioning. On a week long backpack I'm typically carrying 50-60 lbs. including 10-13 lbs. of photography gear. On a backcountry ski trip to Yellowstone I was breaking trail by myself through 3 feet of fresh snow while skiing with a 60 lb pack. Super Slo-Mo Baby!
Gravity is your friend
Gravity makes you strong