Browsing Tag

mountaineering

Warning signs on the trail are there for a reason - mostly

Prepare for the worst, enjoy the best: A few words on adventuring safely…

Travel Talk

I write about trails, mountain climbs and other adventures. While it should be pretty obvious, let me perfectly clear: these are all inherently risky things to do. Under the best conditions, on the perfect day, and with all the right planning, things can still go wrong — very wrong.  If you want to be totally safe, stick to the photos. That’s not to be an alarmist or try and scare you out of an adventure, I’m just being honest. In…

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Unknown climber heading up Mount Shasta in Snow

Trail Guide: Hiking to Mount Shasta’s Horse Camp & Lake Helen (~6 miles / 3,500′ / 5-7 hours)

Trail Guides

Located at 10,400, Lake Helen is probably best known as a mid-point & camp on the climb up Mount Shasta but even if a summit is not on the list for today, making the nearly 3,500′ trek up is a great adventure — and way to train for a climb to come. Of course before I really begin to share this tale / part of the climb / intro to mountain day hike, it’s worth explaining that reaching Lake Helen…

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Exit Glacier from the Harding Icefield Trail

Trail Guide: Hiking to Alaska’s Exit Glacier & Harding Icefield (8.2 miles / 3500′ / 6+ hours)

Trail Guides

Long before I reached the last marker post, the Harding Icefield Trail at Exit Glacier had earned a place as one of my top 5-day hikes ever. That may not mean much if this is your first time visiting my blog but after climbing glacier filled slopes on Mount Rainier, exploring the floor of the Grand Canyon, and ascending the cables to the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome, I may not have been everywhere, but I’ve seen enough to know…

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Life is good from inside the EV 2 tent

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear’s 4-Season EV2 Tent

Gear Reviews

Much as I love light & fast, one day adventures that let me sleep off the climb in a real bed, there’s a lot to be said for longer adventures and certainly for nights under the stars. Of course when it comes to alpine climbing, a night under the stars can be a serious undertaking and a downright freezing one at that. So, when I set out to buy a tent for winter style adventures, finding something solid but also…

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Climbing the Coleman in the early morning

Trail Guide: Climbing Mount Baker via the Colemen-Deming Route (11 miles / 7,000′ / 1-2 days)

Trail Guides

Rising to a height of 10,781′, Mount Baker clocks in as Washington’s third highest peak behind Rainier and Adams (4th if you count Little Tahoma). While the fairly modest elevation makes it easy to discount Baker, there is nothing tame, small, or otherwise modest about this mountain. With ten large glaciers concentrated around the upper slopes and the record for the most snowfall in a single season, Baker is an incredible sight to behold and an amazing mountain to climb.…

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Grivel G12 Crampons in the Snow

Gear Review: Grivel’s G12 Crampons for General Mountaineering – Updated 2018

Gear Reviews

Review updated February 2018. Since I first got into alpine climbing a few years ago I’ve been the proud owner and frequent user of Black Diamond’s Sabertooth crampons and have rented similar sets along the way. However, a few seasons of climbing on mixed terrain routes in the Cascades have taken their toll on my Sabertooths so for the 2017 season, I opted to spoil myself and picked up a pair of Grivel’s classic G12 crampons as my “sharps” for steeper ice & snow routes I…

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Variant 37 Pack with Ice Tools

Gear Review: One Year with Osprey’s Variant 37 Climbing / Mountaineering Backpack

Gear Reviews

The quest for the perfect alpine backpack is like chasing the Holy Grail, that is to say, good freaking luck. It’s just about impossible to argue for any one pack as a clear winter as pretty much every reliable option on the market has its own set of pro, it’s own negative drawbacks and that’s before you even consider the specifics of the climb! In early 2016 I signed up as a volunteer on Mount St. Helens and quickly realized that between the dozen climbs…

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Ice Climbing Telluride

Frozen Waterfalls: An Amazing Adventure Learning to Ice Climb in Telluride, Colorado

Outdoor Adventures

Despite scaling a number of alpine peaks and owning plenty of ice axes and crampons, I’ve never had the chance to to climb a frozen waterfall or any serious vertical ice for that matter. So, when a friend from last year’s Canada adventure invited me along on her Southwestern USA road trip this winter with plans to stop at Colorado’s world famous Ouray ice park, I was immediately in. Setting out from Denver towards the mountains to the west, we…

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Ice Axe on Helens

So You Want To Climb Your First Alpine Mountain?!

Outdoor Adventures

It’s only been a few years since I summited my first alpine peak myself and I still vividly remember the trepidation I had pulling into the parking lot that morning. My “climbing buddy” was a stranger, I had never visited the mountain I was about to climb before and I only had a day of mountaineering school and a partial climb to know what I was doing. Within an hour I was taping up blisters on both feet, not long after my buddy…

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Mount Rainier from Tolmie Peak

Trail Guide: Hiking to Mount Rainier’s Tolmie Peak (6.6 miles / 1,500′ / 3-4 hours hours)

Trail Guides

With nearly 240,000 acres of land in its borders there is so much to explore at Mount Rainier National Park and so many ways into the park lands that you could make a dozen visits and barely even cross the same road twice. Tucked in the far less frequented Northwest corner of the park, Tolmie Peak and its 84 yearold Fire Lookout is certainly a popular destination for nearby Seattle locals or visitors but on a scale many leagues short of Paradise…

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