Buyer’s Guide: Ice Axes and Ice Tools

So, you’ve decided to get into winter mountaineering. Forget that you’d benefit exponentially more from snowshoes, trekking poles, a softshell, goggles, a pair of mittens or myriad other essentials – it’s time to get sexy with it. There’s no faster way to decorate your pack and impress your friends than purchasing an ice ax. Choosing yourContinue reading “Buyer’s Guide: Ice Axes and Ice Tools”

Top 5 Colorado Mountain Towns (for Dirtbag Climbers)

One of the biggest perks of pursuing 14ers and 13ers is having an excuse to range far and wide across Colorado. Little towns that even natives haven’t heard of become favorite haunts, complete with their hole-in-the-wall restaurants, obscure festivals, historic sites, quirky attractions, sunny patios and small-batch breweries. When you exit ski country, you enterContinue reading “Top 5 Colorado Mountain Towns (for Dirtbag Climbers)”

10 Things You Need to Know for Hiking in the Snow

Most Coloradans consider “14er season” to be June through September, but such a viewpoint is severely restrictive. The fall, winter and spring months are often the most rewarding times of year in the high country. There’s nothing quite like having a popular summit such as Quandary Peak to yourself, looking out over a sea ofContinue reading “10 Things You Need to Know for Hiking in the Snow”

Getting the Band Back Together (Marble Mountain)

Marble Mountain (13,266′) ROUTE: East Ridge RT DISTANCE: ~7 miles RT GAIN: ~3,500′ RT TIME: ~7.5 hours CLIMBER(S): Dan McCool, Ben Shulman, Jeff Golden I’ve always held the belief that the people with whom you share the trail are the best part about hiking. Lifelong bonds are made in the hills. The common goals, theContinue reading “Getting the Band Back Together (Marble Mountain)”

A Winter Preview on Quandary’s West Ridge

Quandary Peak: West Ridge (Fall 2014) Saturday was one of those times everything just comes together. As of early afternoon Friday, I still had no idea what I wanted to hike over the weekend. I would have loved to make the Fall Gathering in Lake City, but with a three-day trip to Vegas rightContinue reading “A Winter Preview on Quandary’s West Ridge”

A Walk to Remember (Mt. Harvard)

Mt. Harvard – South Slopes RT Distance: 14 miles RT Gain: 4,600′ RT Time: 6.5 hours Climber(s): Jeff (SurfNTurf) Mt. Harvard has crooned its siren song in my direction all summer. Of all the 14ers, it was the one I’d least-recently visited, way back in March 2011. I’d also never seen Horn Fork Basin inContinue reading “A Walk to Remember (Mt. Harvard)”

Mt. Adams: Adams Glacier (Grade III, Steep Snow, AI2)

Mt. Adams: Adams Glacier (June 29 – July 1, 2014) Mt. Adams (12,276’) is known as “Washington’s Forgotten Mountain.” Less than 50 miles from the legendary Mt. Rainier, poor Adams is often lost in the shadow of its larger cousin. It doesn’t help that the standard South Side walk-up route is the Pacific Northwest equivalentContinue reading “Mt. Adams: Adams Glacier (Grade III, Steep Snow, AI2)”

Chasing Ice: A Dress Rehearsal (Longs Peak / The Flying Dutchman)

MOUNTAIN: Longs Peak ROUTE: Flying Dutchman (Steep Snow, WI2) RT GAIN: ~4,100′ RT DISTANCE: ~11 miles RT TIME: 10 hours CLIMBERS: Keegan, Sam, Jeff Sam, Keegan and I had never climbed together as a team. Keegan had a little jaunt to Alaska to worry about, I was recovering from shoulder surgery and #SSSala was alwaysContinue reading “Chasing Ice: A Dress Rehearsal (Longs Peak / The Flying Dutchman)”

Gear Review: First Ascent Alchemist 30L

One thing I’ve never understood about gear reviews: most of them are done by people who just received the product and haven’t put it through any paces. They cut the tags off, try it on, zip and unzip a few zippers and suddenly they’re experts. I get it, the company probably sent you their hotContinue reading “Gear Review: First Ascent Alchemist 30L”

A Week Among the Clouds (Mt. Rainier / Liberty Ridge and Mt. Hood)

INTRODUCTION Liberty Ridge. The classic Grade III/IV snow-and-ice route on the insidious North Face of Mt. Rainier has earned innumerable superlatives; many consider it among the best climbs in the Pacific Northwest. An equal number of others, of course, dismiss it as overrated. Featured in Roper and Steck’s prestigious Fifty Classic Climbs of North America,Continue reading “A Week Among the Clouds (Mt. Rainier / Liberty Ridge and Mt. Hood)”