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Pace

Lake Powell is a bit of a paradox; it’s a crystal-clear ocean of bath water surrounded by an endless expanse of fiery red sandstone. But nature didn’t make it that way, and Glen Canyon Dam stands as a monolithic testament to what men can do with an infinite amount of concrete. I did get a melancholy vibe when I stopped playing and thought of the shaded canyon bottoms and Native American sites lost beneath the surface, but it’s hard to not be seduced by the place all the same. With 2,000 miles of coastline and nearly 100 side canyons, Powell [...]

Griffin Post

Chamonix, or Cham (pronounced “Sham” if you’re an American), is to skiing what Fenway Park is to baseball. There’s no ski area in the world that has the high profile of Chamonix, and for good reason: the terrain, town and general vibe of the valley is completely different from anything else in the world of winter sports. It’s beautiful, it’s extreme, and it’s a melting pot of cultures from around the ski world. Individually, any of these elements would make Chamonix worth the visit, but it’s the combination of factors that make the north side of Mont Blanc something truly [...]

Pace

For a few short months each summer, alpine landscapes are changed from frozen wastes of rock and ice to idyllic grassy meadows—it’s pure mountain magic. When hot temps chase you from the city, these alpine paradises are the undisputed bee’s knees for summer backpacking. But as we were reminded when visiting Priord Lake in the High Uinta Wilderness, the alpine is still a harsh place that requires good gear (daily thunderstorms and hordes of mosquitos are often par for the course); lucky for us, we had some of the best. Osprey Packs Atmos 50 Backpack The Osprey packs we took [...]

Arc'teryx

“Few things combine simplicity and complexity so thoroughly as a zipper.” ZIPPER: An Exploration in Novelty, is a book by Robert Friedel which explores the amazing 100-year history of the zipper, that most ordinary of novel technologies with which we interact daily. It’s compelling reading, believe it or not, and reveals much about the culture and values of twentieth century America. Where ZIPPER ends off, however, is where we begin – with the invention of the WaterTight™ zipper. “People will tell you an idea is bad, even when it’s a good idea.” Fortunately, Mike Blenkarn isn’t one to give up [...]

Andrew Bisharat

Sport climbers fall a lot, and as a result, they wear out their ropes quicker than other types of climbers (who don’t fall multiple times a day). Typically what happens is that ropes will wear out in one particular spot: about three to five feet away from the end of the rope that you are tied into. Why? Because this is the spot on the rope that gets raked across a carabiner gate as a fallen climber winches him- or herself back up to the quickdraw. The rope rakes across the carabiner gate as you pull yourself back up and [...]

Pace

The thought of a mosh pit scares me to death, and even being packed in a crowd like sardines makes me anxious, but I’m growing rather fond of outdoor concert venues. Beyond seeing great musicians, there are a couple reasons why I like these things. First, you can spread out a big blanket with all of your concert gear and lay claim to a healthy-sized personal space. Second, (and this is huge because I hate shelling out 17 bones at a concessions tent for a single beer and a stale pretzel) you can bring in your own food and booze. [...]

Omar Muhyar

Today’s digital reliance on GPS navigation has all but relegated compass and map use to hardcore outdoor enthusiasts, orienteering clubs, and geography buffs. Using your cell phone’s GPS is fast and effective if you’re within cell range or you cache (download) maps for offline use. Better yet, bringing a GPS receiver that’s compatible with the Russian GLONASS system offers even faster location pinpointing and better overall accuracy, thanks to its additional 24 satellites. That being said, both cell phones and GPS receivers rely on technology that’s subject to failure,  whether you forget to charge a battery or inevitably drop your [...]

John Tribbia

The day my Thule Chariot CX1 jogging stroller was delivered to the door, the first thought that came to my head was “freedom.” No, not the kind of freedom you feel when you are wearing nothing but a bathrobe. I’m speaking about the kind of freedom John Steinbeck writes about in his travelogue Travels with Charley: In Search of America, his account of a 1960 road trip around the United States with his French standard poodle. In it, he describes the freedom to explore and learn about your surroundings, the freedom to travel the open road and choose your own [...]

Andrew Whiteford

Pedaling away from home after work ride, I bust through a quick mental checklist. Helmet, shoes, gloves: on. Water, tools, snacks: yes. GoPro: check. Bear spray: affirmative. Wait, what? GoPro? Why bother carrying that around on a quick evening ride? Why, simply to share and relive the awesome moments! From my own fun and frequent outings last summer, I present a montage from some of the trails around Jackson Hole. Let it prompt you to enjoy your own adventures, and make the trip to Jackson and ride these trails yourself! To help facilitate your explorations, I’d like to present a [...]

Andrew Bisharat

Few sport-climbing areas are surrounded by as much myth, mystique and ill-repute as Rifle Mountain Park in Rifle, Colorado. Rifle is often called the prototypical sport-climbing “scene,” replete with perma-draws, bro-brahs, radsters, spray lords, sandbags, grade-boasting, grade-debating, down-grading and more beta-beta-beta than a Greek fraternity. The truth is, many of those impressions and stereotypes are actually true. But once you can get past the scenesters, you will find not only a warm, genuine, friendly community of devoted sport climbers, but arguably the highest-quality concentration of varied 5.13 rock climbing in the world. Yes, there are plenty of other good routes [...]

Chloe Woodruff

TJ and I have been on the road for three weeks with our dog, Maja. We’ve got two weekends left in our big five-race road trip and Maja is about to become an international traveler as we’re bringing her along to Canada for the World Cup in Mt. Sainte-Anne. It was a very long three stretch with some hiccups along the way, but two National Championship medals, multiple podiums and a couple of wins is a great few weeks of racing for the team.  WORS Cup Pro XCT Our five-week stint of racing started in Portage, Wisconsin at the WORS [...]

Andrew McLean

My first experience with a center pole tent left me running through the sagebrush in the black of night with my three other tent-mates, all of us in our bare feet and underwear.  It was not a good first impression, and it took me a decade to forgive and forget before I finally saw the light. Center pole tents, also known as single-pole tents, and more commonly called megamids, mids or pyramids, have been around since the cave man and are one of the oldest designs out there. In theory, they are only two parts – a pole and the [...]

Shannan Hansen

I am a trail runner, a yoga teacher, and a single mother. I am not sure which of these causes me the most joy or the most suffering. They each have their moments, I suppose. Today I am choosing the joy and suffering of running nine miles in the mountains. I feel tired, tight, and satisfied. As a yogi, I understand the intense effect running has on the body and I value the importance of stretching to keep my joints and muscles in balance. At the end of a long run my soul is soothed, and I take a moment to [...]

dena eaton

If you’re searching the Internet for training advice, you’ll find more than just a few words of wisdom about how to get faster. The consensus: to get faster you have to go harder. Because even though LSD (long slow distance) definitely has its place—especially when it comes to ultra events—it won’t make you faster, you’ll just suffer less. But how do you know how hard to go? That is where heart rate training comes in. What is a Heart Rate Zone? Your heart rate is an objective indicator of how hard your workout is. Whether you are training for that [...]

Andrew Bisharat

The La Sportiva Miura is an high-performance, do-it-all, “quiver-of-one” climbing shoe that edges really well, but isn’t the most soft or sensitive shoe, especially during its long break-in period. The Miura, aka the “Bananas” as they are affectionally called by aficionados, is built for all angles and rock types. It’s comfort, support and unique, speedy lacing system make this classic shoe appropriate for all types of climbing. Tech Specs Profile Shape: Minimal Downturn Asymmetrical Curvature: High Closure Style: Speed Lacing System UpperFabric: Leather Lined: Yes Sole:  4mm Vibram XS Edge Construction: High tensioned slingshot rand Weight of Size 38: 8.43oz [...]

Lexi Dowdall

Backcountry.com’s online community encompasses a passionate group of wanderers, adventurers, Gearheads, and athletes. Get the rundown on the raddest happenings within the community in You Are Backcountry, your connection to the best product reviews, photos, and videos submitted and uploaded by our athletes, our employees … and you! In this installment of You Are Backcountry we’ve compiled the best community-submitted images of climbing. Climb on! Few things are as exhiliarating as bagging a noteworthy summit. Krista H. and some equally bold women manage to up the ante on the Grand Central Couloir of the Nokhu Crags, in Colorado. “What I love most about [...]

Andrew Bisharat

Europe, the birthplace of climbing, has amazing limestone sport climbing and incredible mountains for mountaineering and alpinism. But what the Lower 48 lack in steep limestone cliff bands and soaring mountain ranges like the Alps, we more than make up for with the best trad cragging in the world. We have Yosemite. We have Eldo. We have Indian Creek and the Utah desert. And we have the Gunks. We would have Squamish, too, if it weren’t for the pesky detail that Squamish is actually located just north of our border in Canada (fortunately, border crossings are pretty mellow, eh?). To [...]

Jason True

Given my experience in Haines, Alaska in April of 2013, it may have seemed crazy to start planning a return almost as soon as I got back. But as time goes by, you forget the struggles (four days of dumping snow that required eight hours of shoveling a day) and think about the amazing terrain you experienced (or merely saw from a distance); returning has a way of consuming your thoughts. Of course, there’s a lot of planning involved–but that’s part of the fun, at least for me.  I got a couple partners interested in the idea and started scheming. [...]

Kim Havell

Part I Our plane crossed the Arctic Ocean and dipped down towards the Davis Strait. Banking a sweeping right turn towards the short runway, cut between big cliffs and ocean, we got our first glimpse of the minimalist oceanside town of Sisimuit, Greenland. Sisimuit, and most of Greenland, is north of the 60-degree line that traditionally defines the northern polar region. The ruby-red Air Greenland turboprop plane halted at the house-sized airport and, from our seats, we had a window view of five couloirs straight down to the water. The ski terrain and conditions looked promising. Greenland is an autonomous [...]

Jason Sager

Heading up to Missoula from Utah for the next race on the Pro Mountain Bike Cross-Country Tour , we were equal parts nervous and excited to see first-hand what the buzz was all about at the Marshall Mountain course. There was the famous “A-Line” jump, the rowdy crowds, and the summer solstice buzz and requisite parties that Missoula is known for. After an almost seven-week break since our last major domestic cross-country event, we all wondered who would be on top of their game. The last time the top North American women had lined up together was for the Whiskey [...]

Alex Blackmer

Plenty of serious things can ruin a backpacking trip—starvation, hypothermia, brain aneurysms, bears—but nothing seemingly small can blow up a backcountry mission quite like blisters. Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to stop them, but if you start thinking about taking care of your feet the same way you do meal planning and packing, you’ll be way more likely to make it through your next backpacking trip with paws intact and spirits high. Prevention Blisters are caused by warmth, moisture, and friction. When you walk, your feet rub in your boots, and the outermost skin slides over the inner layers. Introduce [...]

Micah Lewkowitz

The West Buttress route on Denali is a strenuous and time-intensive climb.  Climbers need to be in top physical shape, and have both the mental fortitude and organizational skills that enable them to stay on top of things in the challenging high-altitude mountain environment. They also need to have all the right gear. This summer, I will be guiding two climbs on Denali and have put together a summary of the equipment I will be taking with me (excluding group items and personal food). Climbing Equipment Lightweight Harness You’ll want a mountaineering harness with adjustable leg loops to accommodate your different [...]

Andrew Bisharat

If you’re going to be a rock climber, you don’t necessarily need to know how to tie your shoes (as long as you wear Velcro slippers), but there are seven essential knots you’ll want to know. There are dozens of knots that might be worth learning as a climber, but for the most part, you can get up and down any climb on Earth with just these basic, essential knots—The Figure-8 Retraced, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch, Munter Hitch, Double Fisherman’s, Prusik and Euro Death Knot. Know them, learn them, and practice them until you can tie them in your sleep. [...]

Andrew Bisharat

If you’re going to be a rock climber, you don’t necessarily need to know how to tie your shoes (as long as you wear Velcro slippers), but there are seven essential knots you’ll want to know. There are dozens of knots that might be worth learning as a climber, but for the most part, you can get up and down any climb on Earth with just these basic, essential knots—The Figure-8 Retraced, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch, Munter Hitch, Double Fisherman’s, Prusik and Euro Death Knot. Know them, learn them, and practice them until you can tie them in your sleep. [...]