Sunday School: Climbing Inspirado

Yesterday we gave you a video introduction on the Yosemite Decimal System and some of the key ingredients when it comes to climbing gear. So today’s lesson is to get you in the mood; to give beginners a future look into the world of climbing and where it can take you, literally and figuratively. It won’t be to hard to jot down the mental notes on this short film, it is pretty savage. Enjoy.


Saturday School: Climbing Techniques for Beginners

Ok class, today we will be watching a couple short videos to get your beginner hands in the proverbial chalk. Take notes and listen to what Adam Barczak to say about the Yosemite Decimal System and his rundown on gear. Remember, knowledge is everything and it can save you from serious physical harm. If you’re already an experienced climber, brush up on the basics.

Two Dead in Avalanche in Grand Teton National Park

Friends, family, and industry icons alike mourn the loss of Steve Romeo and Chris Onufer; two key figures in and around the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, whose lives were tragically cut short by a large avalanche on Ranger Peak in Grand Teton National Park earlier this week. Steve Romeo, publisher of a popular blog, Teton AT, and Chris Onufer, recently named Tram Maintenance Manager at Jackson Hole were found by search and rescue crews on March 8th after being reported missing by Onufer’s father. Search and rescue stated┬áRomeo and Onufer’s transceivers were still transmitting while crews looked for them, which expedited rescue efforts.┬áBoth avid back country skiers and adventurers, you can bet their route was carefully planned out and well equipped. But, however well equipped and experienced one may be, sometimes things go wrong. Living a lifestyle that involves taking huge risks to achieve a grand reward must walk hand-in-hand with the fact that anything can happen and that we can never underestimate mother nature. However, this is no reason to stop pushing forward. These two men dedicated their lives to an ideal that inspires us all to do great things.

Steve_Romeo Publisher of Teton AT Blog

Steve Romeo

Chris Onufer Tram Maintanence Manager Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Chris Onufer


Ski Mountaineering Magic

ski mountaineeringTwo years ago I began investing in ski mountaineering equipment with the intent of climbing some of the cascade volcanoes with the benefit of skiing down. However, my ski mountaineering gear has taken me far beyond the summits I originally purchased it to climb. It has become my most common method of travel in the mountains. The main benefits are efficiency of travel and the added fun of skiing. If you travel in the mountains when snow is on the ground, then ski mountaineering gear can open a whole new world of opportunity.

ski mountaineering
The efficiency of travel is greatly increased for a few reasons. When you travel downhill, gravity and ski gear do the work at many times the speed of walking. During cross country travel, skis float on top of snow that otherwise can make travel slow and miserable. When going uphill, heel risers alleviate a great deal of calf strain and climbing skins make each step very predictable. During the spring, this efficiency provides access to wilderness areas like Three Sisters, Steens Mountain, or Crater Rock where most people must wait until the snow melts before they can hike in. This gear also reduces the challenge of long snow covered approaches to isolated summits that notoriously difficult to reach during the winter. Examples include Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, St. Helens, and the Three Sisters.

Another surprise for me is the simple joy of earning turns in the backcountry. While backcountry skiing is available all winter, Oregon and Washington have glaciers and snow fields that can be skied year round. Ski mountaineering equipment can be used just out of bounds at resorts, or deep in the wilderness. Regardless, the focus on mountaineering has pushed the industry to make stronger, lighter, more durable gear than ever before. This versatility allows for any type of skiing desired.
ski mountaineering

Consider these items when purchasing your ski mountaineering gear. The boots need to be comfortable, light, durable, and warm. They must also be flexible when walking, and rigid enough for skiing. This is a tall order so shop around. My current boots, the Dynafit TLT 5 Mountain TF-X, meet all the criteria listed above. Next, climbing skins need to be light and have good grip/glide on snow. My favorite skins are the Colltex Extreme CT40+. Ski bindings need to be very strong and light. I love my new Dynafit Speed Radicals, but multiple options exist. Finally, you need good AT all-mountain skis for every possible snow condition available. Stop by US Outdoor to open up a whole new world of snow covered backcountry travel with new ski mountaineering gear.

Rock Jumping: A Thrill Seekers Sanity

“… adventure, excitement? A Jedi craves not these things.” To this crew of Rock Jumpers, Jedi do not exist. It’s amazing what you can do with the right gear, the right crew, the proper skills, and a complete and total disregard for the drab and mundane lifestyle of a desk jockey. Just beyond Moab, Utah, this band of rock bounding base jumpers take flight in what can only be explained as a product of the human spirit triumphantly squashing the bounds of fear.