Thursday, November 30, 2006

Introduction to Technical Canyoneering.

So you want to start getting into the sport of Canyoneering? Well this month I’d like to give you some info to point you in the right direction. I’ll include links to websites with lots of detailed information about starting in the sport, but this should give you a place to start. I’ve also included a 10 minute compilation of various canyons in Utah to give you an idea of what kinds of canyons you can explore there.



First and foremost is location. In the United States the most popular place for Canyoneering is the Colorado Plateau, an ancient plateau that houses some of the most incredible geologic formations in the world. It is home to famous National Parks like the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Arches and more. About 2/3 of it is located in Utah, 1/3 in Arizona, then small portions in Colorado and New Mexico. If you don’t live near this area it does not mean there are no canyons near you, they just haven’t become as popular as Utah yet. Canyon explorers are finding good canyons in the mountains of California and some of the most amazing canyons seen in the U. S. are being discovered in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia). There are others finding canyons that look really good in the Colorado Rockies.

Once you find your way to whatever area you are interested in you need beta (information on where the canyon is, how many rappels, how difficult, etc…). There are many ways to get beta. Guidebooks, websites, and word of mouth are all good ways. The “bible” of Colorado Plateau canyoneering comes from Michael Kelsey. Another Technical Canyoneering book is Canyoneering 2 – Technical Loop Hikes in Southern Utah which details seven, week long canyoneering trips. Tyler Williams has a book on Canyoneering Arizona which includes many canyons not featured in Kelsey’s “Bible” and Tom Jones has just released a new guidebook on Canyoneering Zion National Park, probably the most famous and popular area for Canyoneering.

There are some really good web sites that include both free and beta for sale. The two most popular for Utah canyons are Tom Jones’ www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah site and Shane Burrows’ pay site http://www.climb-utah.com/. Both include excellent info and Shane’s Climb Utah site includes canyons also not featured in Kelsey’s “Bible”. For the Pacific Northwest there is a fantastic site set up by the pioneers of the sport in that part of the country http://www.canyoneeringnorthwest.hopto.org/. Some day in the future the Pacific Northwest will at least be near Utah in popularity, if it doesn’t surpass it.

Another great way to get beta is word of mouth. Don’t know any canyoneers? Not a problem. The Internet has made it possible for Canyoneers from all over the country to converse about the sport, trade beta, and hear about current conditions. There are some very active online forums that give endless amounts of info. For people interested in Utah there are two major forums that get a LOT of activity and have some VERY experienced guys and gals providing input. They love the sport and spend much of their working day escaping from the grind by reading and responding to posts. A general outdoor forum run in part by Shane Burrows of climb-utah.com called UUTAH will give responses from Shane (goes by iceaxe) and many other experienced guys. Yahoo has a forum run in part by Tom Jones and Steve Ramrus (Ram) two of the most seasoned canyon travelers in the sport (especially Ram, he’s been doing canyons since the 70’s, he goes by adkramoo) that can be found here. The third Utah forum is found at home of the American Canyoneering Association (ACA). This is run by a man named Rich Carlson, also one of the most seasoned people in the sport, he teaches search and rescue teams across the country and has been canyoneering since the 70’s also. If you have ANY gear or technique questions, he is the man to ask and he responds frequently on his forum (he goes by rcwild).

A new yahoo forum for canyoneers in the Pacific Northwest has been created that I’m sure will eventually become more and more popular, but many of the pioneers descending new canyons every summer up there hang out in the forum and would be happy to answer any questions.

OK, so you’ve decided where to go, you know how to get beta and suggestions from experienced guys online. How do you get started? The best way in my opinion is to pony up some cash and take a class, especially if you come from a background that doesn’t include ropework. If you come from a rock climbing background, I still highly suggest you take a course. Many climbers just jump into the sport, but there are many canyoneering specific techniques that are much more efficient and many times safer than what most climbers would do. The most affordable classes I’ve found are given by the American Canyoneering Association, this is where I got my start. Rich Carlson is a fantastic teacher and a wealth of knowledge. Other classes include Zion Adventure Company out of Springdale Ut, etc…

If you don’t want to pony up the money to take a class, then at least find some experienced guys to go with for your first few trips. People can be found on the forums listed above. Be careful though, some people can pose as being experienced but aren’t, most will be upfront about their skill and you can most likely verify their competence with other members of the forum that have been out with them.

Canyoneering is an awesome sport that can be enjoyed by young and old. It’s a great way to add to your enjoyment of the outdoors. For even more information on getting started, check out Tom Jones’ excellent article here:

http://canyoneeringusa.com/utah/intro/tech.php

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How good is the skiing at Alta?

There is a reason that Backcountry.com is based in Park City, Utah rather than Omaha or even San Francisco for that matter. Sure we're a dot com, but we're skiers and snowboarders first.

Here's a little sample of just how good it is right now at Alta, one of our favorite places to ski. This is shot by our friend Adam Barker who runs the v-blog at Ski-SaltLake.com

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Beginners are people too

Rob checking out the breaks at San Onofre


Back in September, I traveled to Orange County for a week long surf trip. I am a complete novice, despite growing up 2 blocks from the ocean, and having a "surf Dad". I figured surfing couldn't possibly be as difficult as everyone claims. After all, I have balance and strength from climbing and skiing, and I swam competitively for years. In fact, I was delighted to paddle out through the waves with ease the first time I got on the board. Catching one of those suckers, however, was an entirely different story. I was quickly overwhelmed by the size and power of the waves, particularly because I was now attached to a large, cumbersome, and frustratingly buoyant object. Most of the tricks I had learned while body surfing were rendered useless by my longboard. During those first few days, my inability to avoid wave crests by duck diving was a constant source of annoyance.

Needless to say, surfing is _not_ easy at first. Compounding matters was the intolerance of "kooks" like me by the more experienced surfers. As I improved enough to actually catch and ride waves, I was often bowled over by more aggressive surfers who appeared to deem me unworthy of the wave. I found myself paddling further and further away from other surfers, only to find some surf stud or another who seemed to relish showing off by how well he could outmaneuver me on the unwanted breaks.

Of course I should have expected all of this- having heard stories of such behavior in surf culture. But experiencing it firsthand was something completely different. As a "chill" climber, I fancied my sport immune to such antics. Not so. My experience in California made me that much more attuned to similar treatment of our own climbing "bumblies". Since the summer I have watched a fair number of instances where new climbers were shunned, ignored, or patronized by the elite.

I am equally guilty- a while ago I found myself saying nothing, and even worse still, considering packing up and leaving, as an inexperienced top roper was endangering himself on a climb. Rather than explain that using the bolt hangars as holds was probably one of the best ways to lose a finger while climbing, my first instinct was to leave before I witnessed a body part hurtling to the ground In the end, I'm ashamed to say that I never attempted to correct the new climber's dangerous habits. This time he survived unhurt, but I can't help but think about how I could have prevented him from possible future injury.

Sure, we've all experienced the frustration of attempting to help someone who is completely unreceptive to suggestions. And of course it isn't your responsibility to keep others safe, but how much effort does it really take to point out a more efficient or safer practice? It's then up to the other person whether they heed your advice. So as a reminder to all of us who have forgotten how perplexing a new sport can be: please show a little compassion- we were all newbs, kooks, or bumblies at one time.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Ski Movie Music

Given that most of the ski movie premiers have come and gone I find myself humming tunes from segments, like the song from Sage's segment in this years TGR film Anomaly Finally someone has organized a nice little site that indexes all the songs by segment.

SkiMovieMusic.com

Each song links you to iTunes to purchase it or you can link to Amazon to purchase the album. Now you can rally this season with your favorite collection of ski film music on your iPod.

Right now they are compiling lists from films going back into the late 90's. If you know of a ski film that they don't have listed, just ping them and they'll get right on it. Made by skiers for skiers - good to know where my $cha-ching$ is going when I buy a song.

Oh yea, and that song from Sage's segment in Anomaly is from Random Rab, and the song is called The Riddle. That one is going on the iPod.

4 comments

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Backcountry.com Customers: Get Avalanche Eductated

We sell a lot of avlanche safety gear. Beacons, probes, shovels, avalungs, etc. People love that we ship it super fast and we get stoked knowing our customers will be skiing/riding powder in the backcountry. But once our customers get the gear does the love stop? Not this season.

Backcountry.com has teamed up with the American Avalanche Institute to offer any Backcountry.com customer 20% off a Level I or Level II avalanche course this winter. Since 1974 the American Avalanche Institute has been educating backcountry skiers, snowboarders and industry professionals. Instructors like Rod Newcomb, Mark Newcomb, and Mike Ruth are well respected as educators and avalanche forecasters throughout the industry.

Check out the details at Backcountry.com and get yourself an education that may save your life!

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He Rode His Bike To The End of the Road

He just kept pedaling along and finally reached Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. hIrSch, who I've followed along since he pushed of from the US/Canadian border some 16 months ago, finally reached the end of the road, literally.

It's been an amazing journey. He was robbed, has slept in the most beautiful as well as the most hum-drum of locations, rode through summer and winter, made it on one bike (a Kona), two tents (we sent him a Mountain Hardware tent), two pairs of Chacos, and who knows how many bike tubes. The continental divide in Colorado, deserts of Mexico, jungles of Central America and more. He's likely seen more in one "trip" than most see in a lifetime.

Think he's crazy? Nah, just committed. Case in point - he's headed to Africa for another bike trip and will start this one in Morocco. I'm sure he'll keep posting on his blog. Check it out.

The iFitiStObeiTsuptOmE blog

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

To Telemark or not to Telemark...

Skiing a mile west of Solitude
For those who haven't started to telemark yet, what are you waiting for?! I caught this guys blog post from France about getting people stoked to "Free the heel & free the mind". The best part of his post is the traditonal alpine skiier coming back with, ‘Fix the heel & fix the problem!’

It takes a couple ski days to get the swing of things, but you won't look back. Hop in a tele clinic at Alta(the details are at the bottom of the page) this winter and give it a try. Solitude is also doing a clinic on the 16th of December, for FREE, just make sure to register.

4 comments

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Calculating the Actions of One

Quick thinking, quick action. In the mountains it can change a life's path, or the paths of many lives.

In the case of the late Pete Schoening the lives that were created as a result of "the belay" are many.

As a freshman in college I found myself all to often "studying" in the area of the campus library that was home to the mountaineering books. 5 to 1 is a likely ratio of the number of climbing books read to textbooks that semester. I remember first reading the story of the 1953 American attempt at climbing K2 in the book K2, The Savage Mountain and being gripped as the tale unfolded.

But like it says in the Climbing Magazine Obituary, Pete should be remembered as a climber first rather than his heroic feat.

But that is a nice lead in to the purpose of this post. The descendents of the men whose lives were spared by Pete's quick thinking, action and technique recently came together to celebrate the lives that are theirs thanks to him. Karen Molenaar Terrell, daughter to Dee Molenaar who was on the expedition, wrote an insightful piece for Newsweek recently. Check it out.

Photo credit to the Seattle Times

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Got Alta Pics?

If you've skied Alta over the past few years and have that oh so sweet picutre of you schralping the gnar head over to AltaCam and submit your photo. They are running an Alta Pic of the Month contest this year and the winner will get fame and glory, in addition to $75 to spend on Backcountry.com.

This photo is of Backcountry.com VP of Marketing Dustin Robertson setting off to ski Alta in the early season before the lifts were running. With the recent snow I'm sure there are plenty of photos out there that are much better than this one. Send them in to the guys at AltaCam.com.

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Mother Nature and Northwest Skiers

I recieved an e-mail from a ski buddy, Nathan Hammond, who is one of a small handful of people I know that feels the same way about skiing as I do. In his e-mail were some photos from Mt. Hood, showing what the White River has done to Highway 35 after the area receieved double digit rainfall in a matter of a few days.

It just so happens that Highway 35 is the main route for Portland, Oregon skiers to access Mount Hood Meadows, Mt. Hood's largest ski area. I figured like a majority of Portland area skiers that he would be livid about the situation, knowing that Meadows is not accessable and may not be for a while.

His response was classic Nate.
Things like this are part of what I love about, skiing, surfing, etc. I get giddy when I manage to steal a few brief moments from what Mother Nature controls, but it is much more impressive so see how little she cares if we are in her way.
Spot on. Dave's Blog - the president of Mount Hood Meadows, was recently updated with some details about what is happening to get the road opened. So far 209 people have chimed in, most of them with positive comments. Check it out.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Brunton Solar Panel 4.4 won't wake the dead, iPod that is

Brunton 4.4 Solar Panel
Solar Panels in the Backcountry? Isn't this a little nerdy? Just imagine though when your cell phone breaks down and you need to make that emergency call.

I borrowed the Brunton 4.4 from the shop to test this thing out on my iPod and cell phone. If something does have a charge it will work great, but if your iPod is just dead, it won't wake it from the dead.

The cloud cover was pretty dense when I was using it and you can actually test what kind of charge your getting with a little button on the side, which was strong at that time.

It isn't the biggest piece of gear in the world either for what it does. It says just over a pound but it felt way lighter. You can plug in a:
  • car charger
  • basic cell phone (the universal phone cord)
  • USB anything
  • and the rechargable battery pack it comes with
I think this would also be sweet for GPS recharging. Check out these guys who got a solar panel to power their tunes.

2 comments

Friday, November 10, 2006

Skiing THE North Face, kinda

I'm speachless, absolutely speachless. Will there ever be a limit to what the Euros will/can do on skis?

Click the image to watch the vid

Skiing the Eiger

I knew if it had anything to do with skiing THE north face (of the Eiger) that The North Face would find a way to be a part of it. World domination is next.

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Backcountry.com Athlete Nate Smith off to Aconcagua

Nate Smith, one of Backcountry.com's sponsored Nate Smith high on Mount Rainier - photo by Michael Buchananathletes will be headed to Aconcagua next month. Yea, so what, just another climber headed off to climb one of the Seven Summits. Right? Not exactly.

Most climbers who head to Aconcagua attempt the mountain with a guide service who employs mules to ferry gear to base camp and beyond. As they climb the mountain they'll set up multiple camps and do gear carries to higher camps before descending to sleep at a lower camp.

Nate is headed to Aconcagua to attempt a solo alpine style climb. Additionally he'll be carrying all of his gear to base camp rather than employ pack mules to do so.

At 20 years old Nate is the youngest guide for Exum Mountain Guides (one of the premier guide services in North America) and has guided Mount Shasta and Mount Rainier for Sierra Wilderness Seminars. He is a junior at the University of Utah.

The UofU Daily Chronicle published an article yesterday about Nate and his up coming climb. Check it out.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Victor Hopkins Could Take Lance

This past summer I bought a road bike. Although I received a bit of hazing from my mountain biking brethren, I thoroughly enjoyed biking this past summer. I even found a few "roadies" to co-mingle with.

One of my favorite aspects of road biking is that I don't have to drive anywhere to bike. Walk out the front door of my house and I'm gone. No trailhead parking, no stepping in dog crap left behind by another trail users, no hike-a-bike. Sure, road biking has it's list of unpleasantness. Gravel, motorists who drive the shoulder, etc. But to just hop on my bike and ride a 60 mile loop bringing me back to home sweet home is a major plus.

After pushing myself through a 125 mile solo ride that included 8K feet of climbing I thought I was pretty darn tough. After reading about Victor Hopkins I realize that I've got a long way to go....like 875 miles.

Victor Hopkins - One tough cyclist
From the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame:


Victor Hopkins was one tough guy. Given up for adoption at the age of one, and his adoptive parents died when he was six he was placed in an orphanage, said his son who accepted the award for him. Hopkins, inducted into the Pre-1945 Competitor Category, peadled his single speed from Davenport, Iowa to Milwaukee'’s Washington Park for the 1924 Midwest Olympic Cycling Trials where he placed 2nd.

He then rode pack home and then another 1000 miles, many of which were over dirt roads, to compete in the National Olympic finals, which he won. This allowed Hopkins to compete in the Paris Olympics that year. Following the Olympics Hopkins competed in more than 70 events in the dangerous world of motorpace racing.

Brings a whole new meaning to the "door to door" ride capability of road cycling.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Colleges Clash in the White Mounatins

About two months ago, Tufts student Ed Warren had a crazy idea: how cool would it be to have an inter-collegiate relay race on the Presidential Ridge in the White Mountains. Less than three weeks later, the first annual Tufts Invitational Presidential Traverse was held.

Presidential Ridge in the White Mountains

On October 14th, eight different collegiate outing clubs showed up, rearing to go. The format of the race was a relay. Each school had three different groups which each hiked their portion of the 21 mile ridge. Each group had to summit every peak (Mt. Jackson, Mt. Pierce, Mt. Eisenhower, Mt. Monroe, Mt. Washington, Mt. Clay, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Madison) and take a group at the top. Each school also had its own support team, which moved vehicles and supported the racers.

The relay race was won by the team from Bates, however Dartmouth student and nordic skier Dakota Blackhorse von Jess covered the course in 7.5 hours, beating everyone (Tufts, Dartmouth, Bates, Colby, MIT, Castleton State, Green Mountain, and Plymouth State) while competing solo. A few of the anchor legs were just getting off the ridge as it was beginning to get Crazy College Racers on the Presidential Ridge in the White Mountainsdark. Results and times for all teams will probably be kept next year, said Warren.

After the race, everyone rolled on over to the Tufts Loj (a cabin owned by the Tufts Outing Club in Woodstock, NH) to enjoy a fabulous post race meal and get to know each other. Finally, a bunch of tired, sweaty, full, and happy racers had to head back to their respective colleges and wait for next year.

Thinking back on the race, Warren had but one comment:

“No one died, therefore it was a great success!”

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Goat Sighting - Exploring Yangshuo in China

This Trip Report comes from Backcountry.com Backcountry.com Goat in Yangshuo, Chinacustomer Keith Mrochek who along with his wife spent a couple of weeks exploring various areas of South/Southwest China. He also took along his Backcountry.com goat sticker (seen on his pack).

Yangshuo is a town located among the Karst limestone formations that stick out of the river valleys and rice patties in the South/Southwest portion of China. It has grown to relative prominence primarily as a result of its role as a tourists' and backpackers' haven. Despite that fact, there were relatively few Westerners around - which was fine with us.

The region surrounding Yangshuo allows for an amazing array of outdoor activities including mountain biking, hiking, rafting, canoeing, caving, rock climbing and general exploring.

The area is so beautiful and captivating that we found ourselves taking so many pictures in and around Yangshuo, including pics of the nearby village/town of Xingping, the Li River and from a biking trip we took around the outskirts of Yangshuo.

(side note - A local girl/guide who took us around the area on bikes - her name was Chen Chu Feng ("Rose") was absolutely great - if anyone is heading to the area and wants her contact info, I'd be happy to provide it).Exploring Yangshuo in China by bike

From the imgaes you can see how the rock climbing in the area would be great - the Karst limestone makes for innumerable great routes. Unfortunately, I had my shoulder surgically put back together a couple of months ago and wasn't able to climb on this trip (which, of course, means that I'll have to return).

We then explored the Longsheng area (which is about 4 hours north of Yangshuo) where the Longji Terraces completely had us in awe. This is located in and around the DaZai and Pingan villages. We spent the night in DaZai and were the only tourists in the village the night we were there. The following morning we went on a 4-5 hour hike with a local woman that took us to Pingan. An interesting cultural aspect is that the local Yao women who cut their hair only do so once in their lives at the age of 18. They wear a big bun on their heads and although it is covered in a
scarf, our hiking guide had about 5 feet of hair that was twirled about her head.Longji Terraces in China

Although Beijing has huge pollution and traffic issues, it makes for a fun town to explore. Though travel writers constantly tell you about the demise of the hutongs (one-story courtyard neighborhoods), there are still significant areas of downtown Beijing that are nothing but hutong alleyways.

Last stop on our trip was the Great Wall. We hiked the portion from Jinshanling to Simatai - a 4-6 hour hike depending on your speed. We would highly recommend heading out to an area like this (about 2 hours from downtown Beijing) rather than just going to the portions of the wall nearest to Beijing where hordes (in this case, not the good kind) of tourists are constantlyKarst limestone formations in Yangshuo, China unloading. We saw only four other hikers during our time on the wall - though we were followed for the majority of the trip by some locals looking to sell us postcards or other souvenirs in exchange for advice on how to maneuver about the wall's more beaten up parts and the pleasure of their company.

We will most certainly visit China again in the near future (and, in fact, are already working on plans for a trip to Tibet next year). One could easily spend months in the areas around Yangshuo.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Rave about the Raven Pro Axe

Black Diamon Raven Axe in the Wasatch
I went and tried out my new Raven Pro by Black Diamond at Solitude.
  • The weight is unbeatable (13.5 Oz.)! For a hundred bucks I will take this thing up Mt. Rainier anyday.
  • The other huge plus is the grip, compared to my 5 yr. old Raven, the handle is so easy to hang on to.
  • And last, the chrome is super sleak.
I guess it is worth buying BD gear with the new logo rather than the old.

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Horny Toad Guarantee - Curing the Ugly Side of You


Well, what are you waiting for? Prove them wrong and get shopping - LINK.

Need an incentive? Send an e-mail to: h o r d e AT backcountry DOT c o m (take out the spaces) with the subject line "UGLY TOAD" before 11/7/06 and I'll give you an extra 10% off Horny Toad stuff.

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Where Were YOUR Skis Made?

Bro Model Skis - $639
Salomon 914 Bindings - $259
Alta-Bird Season Pass - $1399

Knowing your skis are made in the garage of a double wide trailer in a trailer park outside of Reno (which is against the HOA bylaws) instead of one of the gazillion factories in China? - PRICELESS



It doesn't get more core than that. Check out PMGear to get your Bro Models.

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Playing Favorites with Grey Glacier in Patagonia

This Trip Report was written by Emily Weissleder, a Travel Consultant for Detour, The Adventure Travel Marketplace

Although it’s tough to play favorites with all the gorgeous sights I saw in Chilean Patagonia, nothing can compare to the first time I saw Grey Glacier. This glacier is in Torres del Paine National Park and is part of the Patagonian Southern Ice Field. It can be seen from miles away on a clear sunny day. As we trekked our seven miles to get to the glacier, the winds were close to 40mph. I could barely walk straight stepping cautiously, as the wind could easily blow me over as I was carrying a heavy pack on. My cheeks were quivering in the wind as I could barely hear my guide even though he was only five feet in front of me.

As we fought the wind, the glacier was not yet in sight. However we began seeing gorgeous icebergs floating in Lago Grey, each on with its own blue or white tinting, reflecting the suns rays with this indescribable luminous glow. The surrounding mountains and partly cloudy sky made for a picture perfect approach.

A little over half way to our ending point for that day my bilingual guide stopped us. He said he wanted us to be prepared to see one of the most amazing sights in Torres del Paine. So about 100 feet later there it was, still two miles in the distance, but in perfect view from the top of the hill where we stood. Looking straight ahead past the lake was a sea of ice with towering walls and jagged edges. From our vantage of the glacier we could see the front wall and then what seemed like miles of ice behind it. I was so excited to get closer so after I snapped a few shots we continued the trek and ended at the lookout point. Below us tons of icebergs had congregated together close to the shore. Despite the once again roaring winds, I was able to get pretty close and took as many pictures as I could without losing my balance and being blown over. The sounds of the floating icebergs crashing below were like listening to the constant crashing of vehicles at a monster truck rally; so loud and forceful. I stood there for almost an hour, admiring nature’s pure and unspoiled beauty.

I went to Chilean Patagonia in March 2006. It was just the end of summer there so the crowds were dying down but the winds were picking up. I had always wanted to go to Patagonia, but I really had no expectations heading in. I knew I wasn’t going to be climbing huge peaks but I was prepared to trek a little. I found that the “W” – the easier of two popular treks in Torres del Paine National Park – would become my perfect Patagonian adventure.

The “W” is named that way because it is a series of trails linked together that form a W shape and it passes by all of the highlights within Torres del Paine Park. Hiking by huge 12 million year old granite spires that rise to over 10,000 feet, while only at 1500 feet above sea level is truly something else. Not to mention the turquoise blue lakes, amazing wildlife, stunning and prevalent waterfalls, and of course never-ending glaciers. Our trek averaged about five to seven miles per day and took us approximately five days to complete the “W”. We weren’t speedy by all means, taking stops all along the way to try and capture Patagonia’s stunning beauty on film. Of course it’s impossible to ever capture how unique and beautiful Southern Chile is without seeing it for yourself. I opted to join a guided tour so I wouldn’t get lost and end up having to live in a granite cave in the middle of the park. (Note, I did meet a lovely English woman who ended up spending two nights in a cave with some local Chilean climbers, so at least if I did get lost and live in a cave I had a chance of finding some friends!)

Because most of the trails in the park are at a relatively low elevation, the actual hiking was not extremely difficult with elevation gains of a couple 100 feet here and there but no real steep inclines or descents. Around each corner was a sight like out of a magazine; each spot so different than the one prior, and none like anything I had seen in the USA.

The sight of Grey Glacier was truly one of my best memories of my four week adventure to Southern Chile. Those moments are forever inscribed in my memories, and I would recommend an experience like this to anyone who wants to be amazed by this awesome planet we live on.

Mother Nature really thought of everything when she created the jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring and ever impressing land of Patagonia.

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New Ice Gear at the ORP

Ohhhh, Ice Gear from Black DiamondIs everybody ready for the winter? With the recent weather around Salt Lake City, I’ve started to wonder if the snow will be here by the end of the month.

With snow comes ice. With ice comes ice climbing. For all of you in Utah that crave the frozen water world but don’t have the gear, consider checking out the University of Utah’s Outdoor Recreation Program (ORP) where I guide ice climbing trips.

Just in for rental to the student body and public:

Not only is the gear fresh for this season, but the prices are unbeatable. Check out the prices for the above gear and everything else they carry on their rates page.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Shane McConkey's "Plunge to Your Death Camp"

What Do Skiers Do in the Off Season?

Click it and watch the vid.

Shane McConkey pushes the limits off the snow and on the snow. Looking for your next adventure? Go to one of Shane's Death Camps. Don't worry, nobody actually dies. C'mon, do you think I'd actually post death? Sickos.

So if you think you'd like to plunge to your death give Miles D and Shane a shout.

i

5 comments

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Skiing Coombs' run at Jackson Hole

Rightly so, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has named a run after the late Doug Coombs. The run is located above the Gondola lookers left in an area named the Headwall. Apparently Doug really liked to ski this area and lead clients here quite often when guiding.

Ski Press has the info and the image.

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Landing January 2007 - The Ski Journal

Once Frequency hit the magazine rack skiers have been waiting for thier own coffee table quality magazine. It is arriving in January 2007.
www.theskijournal.com

The Ski Journal promo video


Shameless self promotion - Be sure to check out my side bar article about Powder Mountain in the first issue. Hope I don't embarass myself too much. Either way I'm stoked to have my first ski mag publication.

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