Being a mountain guide in Chamonix, France can be as romantic as it sounds, but it’s also hard on the mind and taxing on the body. And romance and fatigue usually don’t go together. So what if your lover is also a guide? Maybe your business partner, too? Meet Miles and Elizabeth Smart. They can get you into some of the hairiest places on the planet. And they share socks.
The late bass player Donald “Duck” Dunn had a great line in Blues Brothers: “If the shit fits, wear it.” Never an image guy and, frankly, a tough fit for jackets, I can abide. Enter this sample Arc’teryx/Gore-Tex piece that I picked up at a press event last year in Chamonix. Made of Gore-Tex Pro throughout, it’s like nothing in the Arc’teryx line. Well, aside from its high-quality construction and anatomical cut.
At its April conclave in Belek, Turkey, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee granted provisional recognition to the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) for the possible inclusion of skimo as an Olympic event: As early as the 2022 Games we could see not just more Spandex and snot but improbably stripped-down AT bindings, backpacks that weigh less than a bra, dental floss harnesses and high-mountain suffering.
Ten hours into the white knuckle, whiteout drive from Jackson Hole to Denver en route to the Crested Butte GORE-TEX Backcountry Basecamp a light came on, accompanied by a discomforting ding. With two kids in tow and 5,000 lbs. of gear in the trailer, that little check-engine icon frayed some already frayed nerves.
If you’ve ever patrolled, chances are you used leather gloves. Once you’ve had a leather glove, nothing else comes close to its fit and function. I got this sample pair of the Black Diamond Patrol back in 2006 or ’07. As a former patroller, I value a glove with a lotta leather. You beat the […]
While the number of resorts offering a guided backcountry experience continues to grow, one program remains unique: At Utah’s Solitude Resort patrollers literally cross the line, doubling as guides in their Backtracks program. It started in 2003 and in early February of that year editor Adam Howard joined line patroller and lead guide Ian Reddell […]
There’s nothing that drives home just how small the backcountry community is more than a tragedy. So when I heard the vague radio report on Sunday morning of Saturday’s catastrophic avalanche that claimed five young men near Loveland, Colo., there was little doubt a text or phone call was soon to follow. By noon, there it […]