Author Archive

Mont Blanc above the clouds.

I just got down from a great Mont Blanc summit trip and despite a relatively unfavorable weather forecast, once our team reached 3200m we were above the clouds and basking in the sunlight. A truly great ascent! High above the clouds and the Aiguille du Midi Anyone that dismisses a Mont Blanc ascent as simply...

San Juan ski short

I’m not usually one for season cross-contamination, but this video is a quick reminder of how special the Colorado winter can be. [vimeo 5056784] “Shot and edited in the winter of 2009 in collaboration with the Telluride Visitors Center, Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, Telluride Ski Resort and Telluride Mountainfilm in hopes of giving viewers...

take your dog to work day

June 26th is “take your dog to work day” and unfortunately for Louis and I, he is neither here in Chamonix nor do I have any trips booked tomorrow… I know he will be working hard at harassing marmots and doing his thing in CO. From takeyourdog.com “First celebrated in 1999, Take Your Dog To...

Alpine Rock without the Hassle!

The past few days I’ve climbed some excellent alpine rock routes in the Aiguilles Rouge with nothing more than a 50m rope and a rack of quickdraws! This morning we didn’t start the “approach” (riding the Brevent cable car) until after 11am and still managed to climb 10 pitches of spectacular alpine rock. My partner...

Piolet Fomo: mountain axe comparo

Having piolet FOMO (fear of missing out)? Tired of using your old-too long-battle-axe of a piolet? These days there are many great options for the semi-technical do it all piolet that it is hard not to lust after the newest axe on the market. Over the past few weeks I’ve had a chance to use...

IFMGA Aspirant Guide

Yesterday marked the end of the seemingly endless 12 days of the American Mountain Guides Association’s Advanced Alpine Guides Course and Aspirant Exam. After the kilometers of shortroping, shortpitching, and everything in between- I am now certified as an IFMGA Aspirant Guide. Those of you who are familiar with this process will note that this...

Chamonix Randomness

More than halfway through the AMGA Advanced Alpine Guide’s Course on the early morning telepherique I learn that “it’s not nice to make the local guides get in before you!”… There is etiquette and manners and then their is the mountain guide hierarchy here in the chamonix valley. As an aspiring IFMG/UIAGM Aspirant Guide I’m...

Petzl Trigrest

If you geek-out hard about alpine climbing gear, you will have noted that many manufacturers have begun to develop handy, moveable, pinky or trigger rests for Mountaineering axes. Some of the more popular axes with this feature are the Grivel air tech evo (equipped with the “slider”) and the Petzl Aztarex. The consensus has been...

Cham training

“Watch this guy, this is a very good technique”, said in heavily accented English during my first alpine route in Chamonix. I was halfway up the route Arete des Cosmiques “mock-guiding” a friend through a technical transition, when a group of Dutch mountain guide trainees caught up with us. Despite the initial praise from their...