Fritz Sperry's new volume of the Front Range books

Nov 13 2016

Rab Muztag E-Vent Jacket Review Summit Daily News

Published by under Gear,Published Writing,Reviews

Another recent review. This is my go to jacket for backpacking. The weight is low and the E-Vent fabric keeps me dry and warm on all the windy days.

Here’s a snippet of the review:

At the end of this past winter season I got my hands on the Rab Muztag jacket, and from spring to summer, it went with me everywhere. It’s still in my daypack for hiking adventures this fall and I’m looking forward to bringing this lightweight piece with me in the winter for those windy, sunny days in the backcountry.

At just under 12 ounces, it’s the perfect fit for the pack and a key element of the layering puzzle. With the amount of wind we see in our zone, having a windproof shell with you in the field is a requisite for comfort and success — not to mention for keeping you out of the hypothermia zone…

Click the link for the rest of the article:

Rab Muztag jacket keeps the wind off your back

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Nov 13 2016

BCA Link Radio Review for Summit Daily

Published by under Gear,Published Writing,Reviews

Stumbled across this article this morning. Somehow it slid though the cracks and I didn’t share it.

One thing I’d like to add to this article is the recent research that was published at ISSW this year.

ISSW2016 WHITE PAPER: UTILIZING COMMON RADIO CHANNELS IN HIGH-USE AVALANCHE TERRAIN

BCA was a sponsor of the study. It brings up an interesting concept that ski area backcountry, off piste and high use area users should consider. If the shit does hit the fan in these zones it would be awesome to be able to communicate with other groups effectively; not just from a rescue assistance perspective but on a start-zone/hangfire avoidance level too.

I’ve been using the BCA Link Radio, a backcountry radio system from BCA, for about two years and have to say they sure help “giterdun.” They are durable, easy to recharge, waterproof and stay powered for days, even in the cold. They also offer some cool features that you might not get in a typical handheld unit. When getting the job done calls for communicating with your team, having a reliable radio at your fingertips sure helps. It beats fumbling around for gear in your backpack or a jacket pocket.

BORN IN THE FIELD

The BCA system is made for the field and integrates pretty seamlessly with any pack. First, charge the unit with the USB charger (same size as a typical Android smartphone charger). This is great, in that you can charge it with your car’s 12-volt or a wall charger; I like to use my Goal Zero solar panel…

The rest of the article is at the link below

High Gear: BCA Link radio system review

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Nov 05 2016

Shades of Winter – Between – Ski Film Review

Published by under Reviews,Videos

The other day I went to the US premiere of Shades of Winter’s new film Between. presented by Spyder Active Wear and Allied Feather & Down. Here are my thoughts…

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Skiing fills your dreams. I’ve known this for a long time. The more you do it the more you want to do it and it begins to border on obsession. You start thinking about objectives and begin to long for that adventure of getting those objectives done. Shades of Winter – Between embodies these sentiments and does it from the perspective of some of the best women skiers in the world while combining beautifully shot footage.

My personal hitlist is extensive, and almost all the zones featured in the movie are on it; from Mauna Kea to Haines to the Matterhorn and New Zealand’s Southern Alps and even Sweden. It was really cool from my perspective to see these talented women go after some of my own goals. Inspiration comes from many sources in life. The lineup is nothing short of just that; truly inspiring. The movie follows Sandra Lahnsteiner as she goes after her personal hitlist. Along the way she hooks up with Olympic Champion Julia Mancuso, big-mountain freeride champions Matilda Rapaport, Nadine Wallner and Janina Kuzma as well as upcoming freeskier Evelina Nilsson and WSL World Champion surfer Carissa Moore. Between them they flow through water in both its states; frozen and liquid. It looks like they all had a blast.

The bonds of the mountains bring people together in ways I haven’t experienced anywhere else in my life. Since the movie features exclusively women one might call this bond sisterhood, I know nothing of this but I do know friendships that are so deeply rooted because they were born in the mountains or forged in adventure. The movie really chronicles those bonds along with deep pow, sweet spines, big airs and beautiful light.

Not all of our endeavors in the mountains succeed. I really appreciate that these women include some of their decision making into the movie. It shows humility and the painful reality of striving for your objectives and the need to always be listening to whether the mountains will allow you to pass. They say if you want to reduce your avalanche risk bring a woman with you into the backcountry. These women show this to be true. However throughout the movie we are reminded that even given the best choices, intentions and experience, the mountains can be truly unforgiving.

I really enjoyed this film and look forward to their next release. I’m inspired by the grace these women bring to the mountains. Strength is beauty and it was awesome seeing that strength on display in such a beautiful production. I feel inspired, now if Colorado could just get some snow…#inspirelikematilda

 

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Sep 09 2016

Summit Daily Column #4: Learn to read Mother Nature’s many faces in the High Country 9/9/2016

The most recent column came out in the paper today. Here’s a snippet and you can follow the link to the rest of it.
Summit Daily Column #4 Autumn

 

The nights are getting cooler and the first snows have fallen. There is a change in the air — the county smells differently than just a few weeks ago. We’re still getting some warm days as of late, but with the arrival of the new season’s gear guides the stoke level is ramping up. What will winter bring this year? Hopefully powder bliss is just around the corner.

Fall is hard for me to truly enjoy. It’s the most aesthetic of our seasons: the flittering aspen’s golden shimmer offers a stark contrast to the greens of Engelmanns and lodgepoles and the reds of alpine soil rich in iron oxide. But, coat the mountains with a frosting of early season snow and it’s hard not to long for what’s to come. Some say fall is the end of the cycle of life that summer sustains. I feel it’s the beginning of what sustains me: a re-emergence of the snowy life. Hopefully it comes sooner than later…

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Aug 21 2016

Summit Daily News – High Gear: ‘A quiver of one’ with the Big Agnes String Ridge 2 tent – 9/18/2016

Published by under Gear,Published Writing,Reviews

Another fun gear review for the Summit Daily News.

This tent is a quiver of one.

I’ve been using the Big Agnes String Ridge 2 tent now for three years and it has stood up to the test. I believe the Steamboat Springs manufacturer categorizes it as a three-and-a-half season tent — the Shield 2 is their four-season, single-walled mountaineering model — but that half season involved a lot of winter camping for me. However, the venting is great, and that makes it perfect for those trips to Fruita for biking. I use this tent year-round, no matter what corner of Colorado I’m in….

Here’s the link for the whole review

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Aug 18 2016

High Gear: Lowe Alpine Diran 65 mountaineering pack review

Published by under Gear,Published Writing,Reviews

The first of many gear reviews for Summit Daily News

Here’s the link to the full reviewIMG_9910

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Aug 15 2016

Summit Daily Column #3: Learn to read Mother Nature’s many faces in the High Country 8/12/2016

Published by under Published Writing

Had another column published in the Summit Daily News

Here’s the link to the whole article

Everybody loves to complain about the weather — the one thing you certainly can’t control. Perhaps this says something about our world: People feel out of control.

In the wilderness, success usually involves having luck with the weather, and being both lucky and smart is even better. If you think about it, the weather is usually responsible for most failures in the backcountry. Being diligent about how the weather develops helps lead to success and safety in all your backcountry endeavors. And, maybe you won’t even end up getting wet….

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Jul 30 2016

Denver7 News KMGH – Backcountry Skiing Coverage – 7/29/2016 – Iceberg Couloir

Published by under Media

Got out for a tour with Cory Reppenhagen a couple week ago and he put together a little story that ran last night on the 10pm news. Thanks for a fun tour Cory, looking forward to getting out again; maybe for some powder next time. Bring on winter please. Oh and the skiing actually happened on 7/19/16 so people get a sense of the coverage.

Click the link below for the video.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/lifestyle/discover-colorado/skier-finds-snow-in-colorado-12-months-out-of-the-year

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Jul 29 2016

Salewa Alp Flow Mid GTX Boot Review

Published by under Gear,Reviews

Salewa GTX Mid Hiking Boot Review


For the bulk of the spring and summer I have lived in these shoes. I love them and they love me back. I decided on this shoe based on a couple of factors. They struck a nice balance between a low-top approach shoe with sticky rubber and a high-top hiking boot designed rugged for backpacking. This shoe is both and the Gore-Tex makes it so much more.

I’m pretty hard on my feet and they are one of my weaknesses. I have metatarsalgia and a neuroma so finding comfy shoes/boots is usually a challenge. I use foot beds pretty much all the time. Pain may be in your head but when the feet hurt everything hurts. Once I got the boots I put my footbeds in them and walked around the city for a while, just short walks at first to get the feet used to them and get the boots used to my feet. The lacing pattern helped set the heel well. After a few weeks the heel cup had molded to my heel enough. The boots were ready for action; and they saw a lot of action. I used them on my fast and light spring days, though I never go that light with all the camera gear I use to document the lines in my books. I used them on my early summer ski backpacking trips as well; they offered plenty of support while carrying upwards of sixty pounds. They were light enough to do both very well.

Let’s start from the ground up; a boot is all about its tread. The bulk of the sole is Vibram rubber. This is really all you need hiking but when the going gets tough it’s nice to have some climbing rubber. This boot has a pad of sticky rubber at the toe. Talus hoping is fun again. I keep my poles at my side and just hop on thru the trickiest terrain with confidence. The toe however doesn’t have reinforcement so care around loose rock should be used. Traction is great in almost all conditions save for loose dry downhills. Perhaps a slightly more aggressive tread pattern would help this.

The upper is a complex beast. At its base is a mash zone reinforced with rubber. This minimizes weight and breathability. The Gore-Tex wrap is awesome and really keeps the water out. However if you happen to post hole a lot and get water in the top, the boots will stay wet a long time; just don’t let the water in from the top. All the riveting survived and the laces even stood up to the test.

I love how a good pair of boots makes getting to your destination and back all the more enjoyable. This isn’t a trail runner and it doesn’t try to be. It is a great boot that blurs the lines between approach shoe and backpacking boot. Which trail should we do next?

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