Dec 19 2014

Iceland Article and Photos in GarageGrownGear.com Magazine – “Somewhere Out of a Song”

I’ve agreed to do some writing for GarageGrownGear.com’s Magazine. This is the first of what I hope to be many articles.

Our Iceland trip was pretty fun but the weather there can be a bit of a pain. There is so much terrain to ski on this small island just south of the Arctic Circle. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Here’s the link to the article – http://read.garagegrowngear.com/iceland-ski-touring-photos/

And here’s a few more photos from the Iceland trip

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Dec 19 2014

J-Chute Trees and a Slideshow at Wilderness Sports in Dillon – 12/18/2014

Yesterday was pretty damn fun. We headed up 285 and did some business with the stores in Park County. The headed over the pass to Summit and did some business in Breck. Allison picked up the skis she designed for RMU/REI/Protect Our Winters and then we headed to Frisco to go get in a lap. He headed up the Mt Royal Trail and then to the top of J-Chute. There was good snow along the way and we thought it might provide the goods. There was a lot of recycled powder in there the last time we skied this zone and with the new snow I was expecting a bit of sluffing. Expectations were met and we stayed away from the J-Chute start zone. Sluff management in the trees means not getting fanned into a tree. It’s still thin out there but in the tighter trees the skiing was really good and the pack was more solid below the new accumulation.

Then we headed to the Boatyard for some dinner and some presentation preparations. Gotta love pizza and Breck Bourbon after skiing. After that we headed over to Wilderness Sports in Dillon for my slide show. Thanks to everyone that came out for it. Also a big thanks to Upslope Brewing for providing refreshments. I love talking about skiing and sharing my thoughts on getting it done. The quote that I couldn’t remember was:

“Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.”

Mark Twain

Something to think about when measuring whether you were lucky or good.

If you wanna check out a slideshow here’s the schedule – http://www.giterdunpublishing.com/slideshow-presentation-schedule/

Enjoy the photos

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Dec 12 2014

Loch Vale Rocky Mountain National Park Ice Climbing- 12/4/2014

Published by under Climbing,Ice

Got up for a fun day of climbing in the park last week. Glen it was good to meet you and Eli it was fun as usual. Shot some video this day as well and climbed the Ramp and Crystal Meth.

It’s pretty fun hanging from a rope and playing with the camera. Loving the angles.

Nothing like nice warm weather and no wind. It almost didn’t feel like RMNP ;) The music is by my old friend’s band Xanax 25. Miss you Jaik.

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Dec 03 2014

The Squid WI5 RMNP Ice – 11/22/2014

Published by under Climbing,Ice

Had some fun shooting pics in the sun the other day. Sorry this TR is so late.

We went up for the Squid in the Park. Rowdy line with rowdy wind. Not a bad way to spend the day. Afterwards we hit Bear’s Den. I didn’t even know that was a sport.

Fun learning a different aspect of things.

Cheers

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Nov 12 2014

Alexander’s Chimney RMNP Ice Climbing Fun – 10/31/14

Published by under Climbing,Ice

Halloween is the time for ice climbing in Colorado. Got up for some fun on the flanks of Long’s Peak. Eli Helmuth, whose guidebook to the ice climbing in RMNP I’m publishing and Aaron joined me for some fun climbing in a classic line. We were doing a bunch of rigging and rapping so we only did the first couple pitches. There was also another group on the line. But it was super fun to get out and stretch the legs. Looking forward to many ice sessions with Eli as we start to get a ton of photos for his book. It was basically a training day. New boots and fresh off the couch or desk made for a tough day. My feet still hurt but I learned some things that I need to get the shot.

The ice this season is fat in the Park. But with the new snow choose your line wisely. The new snow came in with high winds so there are plenty of slabs lurking on top of the abundant facets we encountered.

Enjoy the shots.

 

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Aug 23 2014

Big Agnes Shovelhead Hooded Down Jacket

Published by under Gear,Reviews

From mid-March onward I used this jacket a ton. I took it to Iceland and I lived in it while getting lines done for my next book. I love this jacket and want to share with you the reasons why.

First off, I’ll start with what a jacket like this is all about, warmth. There are lots of ways to stay warm when you’re out there in the hills. When you’re pushing yourself and sweating hard on those long days you can really get a chill once you stop moving. I carry extra socks and gloves in case they get wet for just this reason. When your core is soaked, it’s great to have something warm to put on. This jacket covers that call. Managing the sweat is one of the main issues you need to deal with in the hills. This is a comfort, performance and safety issue. The 700 fill water resistant down that this jacket uses dose its job. On the really cold days I even skin in it and just vent so I don’t get too wet. Other days when it’s less cold I wear my soft shell and use the down during change overs or while waiting for a ride at the pass.

In Iceland, just 2 degrees of latitude south of the Arctic Circle, I wore this almost exclusively. It was cold and humid there most days. It was a lot like mid-winter in New England only colder. We camped many nights while over there and the jacket helped me stay comfortable. I am so stoked to have had it with me on the trip.

Through the course of the spring we had some big days and I was really hard on my gear as always. This jacket survived with zero holes. It stood up to rappels and hail. Sleeping in the back of a tent was no problem. 7000 vertical in a day with pack on and off over and over again was no problem for this tough piece of gear. I thank the rip stop nylon shell for this toughness. I also thank it for its ability to keep the wind out.

There are ample pockets that are large enough for lots of snacks or and maps. Pocket placement is good even when you’re wearing a pack and a harness. The hood is nice and warm and really helps keep you warm by insulating the part that most of your body heat, your head.

I recommend this product to everyone that gets out in the hills and pushes their gear and themselves. You can check it out here.

https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Apparel/menshovelheadhoodedjacket

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Aug 13 2014

2014-15 Backcountry Access Stash 40 Pack

Published by under Gear,Reviews

2014-15 Backcountry Access Stash 40 Pack

This spring I spent most of my time in the hills with the BCA Stash 40. I carry around a lot of gear when I ski lines for writing. This spring was all about just that. I use a Nikon D-7000 for shooting lines and usually have a selection of lenses with me along with all the other gear that I bring out with me. The first aid kit is large and I always have a bivy sack after a very cold unplanned night on Blanca a few years ago. I’m not one of those travel light kind of guys. Summer, especially this season after so much vert, is all about recuperating.

I really like the way this pack carries skis in the a-frame position. When you have Dynafits mounted on your skis the strap position is acts like it is lower on the pack and you can run into calf bang while walking or touring. The straps are high enough on the pack to deal with this issue.

This pack has the space to get the job done. I like how there are two large compartments for gear. The front zone is for the rescue and snow gear. I also put my skins in this pocket. There are multiple pockets for storage of your probe and shovel along with a pocket for the BC Link radio system.

The main compartment is where I store all the stuff I need. I’ve carried cameras with extra lenses, ropes and gear, warm clothes, food and a jetboil, extra glasses and hats, a bivy and first aid kit and other essentials, all on the same trip. There’s that much room in this pack. If you get out there and want to be prepared for anything this is a great pack to take with you. It’s even big enough for light overnights. I never did that with it but I could see getting a compressed sleeping bag, sleeping pad and a super light mountaineering tent in it.

Another area of the pack that I like is the axe carry system. This is a great feature that is super easy to use. The clip system isn’t intuitive at first but after you think about it for a second it makes sense as the most efficient way to strap on an ice axe. It also is great in that it shields the pick. There are few things that hurt like stabbing yourself with your ice axe.

In the beginning of the winter I was skiing the 13-14 version of this pack. There were some things I didn’t like about it. The layout of the top pockets for one and the closure on the helmet carry I thought could be improved. The sternum straps also seemed to have some issues. I never mentioned this to them but they knew  and fixed these zones. The top pockets are now better organized. The closure for the helmet cover has been strengthened. The sternum straps on the 14-15 are far superior to the old model.

One thing I would like to see added to the pack are some waist belt carabiner loops. When you have on your harness and are wearing a pack it’s far easier to clip loops on the waist belt than on your harness. The harness tends to get moved around when you load the rope. Having loops on the waist belt would make a lot of sense.

Overall I’m super happy with this pack and look forward to many more days with it out in the hills.

The entire 15-16 Stash Line. Stash 40 on the right.Comfortable ski carryGreat feeling on the backCinchable to stay put while skiingThe helmet holder is great

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Jun 19 2014

Mt Neva 12,814′ Northeast Slopes – Mt Jasper 12,923′ Snow Lion – A Sweet Corn Solo 6/17/2014

Headed up from Edgewater after the alarm went off at 4am. Made it to the 4th of July Trailhead by about 6 and geared up. The headphones went on and it was super fun zoning out while heading up the trail. Made it to Lake Dorothy and soaked in all the views. After snapping some pics of some future project ideas I headed over to the base of Neva’s Northeast Bowl. I threw on the crampons and pulled out the axe and headed up. The snow had frozen nicely that night. At the top I soaked it all in. The last time I was up here I had to run off the mountain due to an incoming thunderstorm. That wasn’t gonna happen today. I switched over to ski mode and dropped into my line. It was sweet making steep turns thru the rocks. The corn was money. I kept following the gravity flow and worked my way around to the basin under Jasper.

From there I switched back over to walking mode and headed for the summit of Jasper. I stayed on talus and rock almost the whole way to the summit. It was fun on the ridge proper as there were a ton of sweet bouldering like moves. Always fun with skis on the back. At the east summit I saw my line. I snapped a pic and made my way over to the higher west summit. I quickly switched over and headed for the descent. The corn was still prime and I skied all the way to middle diamond lake. I walked a short way and lost maybe 100 vertical then put them back on and skied all the way to Boulder Creek. 2500′ of vertical isn’t too shabby for mid June.

The next day we tried to do Navaho but got shut down by the weather moving in. We got back to the bikes just as the hail was beginning to pound and had a frigid ride back to the truck. I’ve included the pics from the aborted day because I think some of them came out cool. Enjoy

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Jun 16 2014

Castle Peak 14,265′ North Face 6/14/2014 – Smooth Snow

So we headed up to the Stevens trailhead looking to get in some lines on Edwards but upon arriving at the trailhead we found less than full lines. So we decided to just head for Aspen and our goal for the next day. We got up at 5am and geared up. After a quick creek crossing in the truck we got the gear ready and made our way up into the alpenglow filled peaks. We made our way up the Montezuma Road and took some snowy short cuts where we could. We were making pretty good time but with all the booting in shoes Allison had some cold feet issues, then some nausea issues. We decided that I’d head up for the summit and she’d wait at the pond and if she started feeling worse she’d head down. Well she started feeling better so up she went.

I summited and took some pics then dropped in. I was stoked to see her coming up the face so after about 700′ of vert I threw the skis back on the pack and headed back up to the summit. So proud of you for not giving up and getting it done. I know how satisfying it is for you to do that.

Then we skied the remainder of the snow and headed to the Snowmass Mammoth Music Fest. Such a nice weekend and stoked on the YetiBeti ticket win by Allison. Gonna keep skiing till the snow stops being so good.

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