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Category: Blog

Windshells 101

Imagine climbing 5,000 vertical feet in a day during mid-summer covered in bubble wrap. Sounds hot and sweaty, right? That is essentially what it’s like trying to hike in a waterproof shell – loads of condensation and excessive heat retention. Thus, the need for a truly breathable active layer. Wind resistant, water resistant, and breathable, […]

The Notebook: Baker or Rainier?

Welcome to The Notebook, where we will have guest writers presenting special features based on their fields of expertise, covering topics from mountaineering to adventure travel and everything in between. By Peter Potterfield As the author of Selected Climbs in the Cascades, both volumes 1 and 2, I get emails daily from adventurers coming to […]

Knots and Hitches: The Clove Hitch

The following is the second in a series of “how-to” videos on the major knots and hitches we use in the mountains. Stay tuned for more videos on knots like the figure-8, ring bend- and hitches like the Munter & Prusik! The clove hitch is a simple, essential, quickly tied, adjustable, strong alpine wunder-knot! This […]

What is a Buff®?

Yak above base camp

What is this “Buff®” that’s listed on all of your gear lists? Why do I need one? Do I need one? What about bandanas? The Buff® 101 First created in 1991, the Buff® is a 20 x 9.5 inch tube of stretchy fabric designed to help you cover your head, neck, and face in the […]

Tents for Mountaineering

Brendan gives us a quick introduction to the different styles of tents often used for mountaineering. From ultra-light bivy style single-wall shelters, to lightweight double-wall 4-season tents, to expedition-ready double walled dome bunkers, each style has a specific designed use. Stay tuned for in-depth looks at each of these varieties!  

What are Glacier Glasses?

We are often asked why we specifically require “Glacier Glasses” on our climbs, rather than regular sports sunglasses. The answer to this questions is best understood with a bit of background knowledge regarding the effects of a high altitude snowy environment on the solar radiation to which you are exposed. Altitude and Solar Radiation Lots […]

Down Insulation 101

Finding the right insulated jacket for a particular trip can be overwhelming – there are many aspects to consider, including different construction styles, weights, and fabrics. Here, we break down the fundamental properties of down insulation so that you can better navigate the options and come prepared for your next mountain adventure. Why Down Keeps […]

Knot’s & Hitches: The Double Fisherman’s bend

The following is the second in a series of “how-to” videos on the major knots and hitches we use in the mountains. Stay tuned for more videos on knots like the figure-8, ring bend- and hitches like the Munter & Prusik!   The Double Fisherman’s bend is a simple knot used to join two ends […]

Approach Shoes 101

Trekkers enjoying the comfort of approach shoes en-route to Aconcagua Base Camp.

Footwear for Comfort & Efficiency In the climbing & mountaineering industry, we refer to “approach shoes” in two distinct ways: Approach Shoes (for Rock Climbers) “A ‘climber’s sneaker’ designed with stiff edges, sticky climbing rubber, and a “climbing toe”. Ideal for efficient travel in 3rd, 4th, and low 5th class rocky terrain.” Approach shoes allow […]

Prescription Glasses & Contacts

Introduction to Prescription Vision in the Backcountry It’s important to be able to see in the mountains. For safety and for enjoyment, many of us need prescription glasses or contacts to be able to see! For good reason, newer adventurers are often nervous to take fragile glasses & contacts into the mountains. This nervousness is […]

ALPINE ASCENTS BLOG

  • camp chef pesto

    Camp Chef: Pesto Couscous

    Welcome to our recurring series- Camp Chef! In this series of posts, we will discuss cooking in the backcountry and highlight some of our favorite recipes to use in a variety of situations. We will focus on simple, easy, and nutritious recipes that have proven delicious in the mountain environment, and offer related tips & […]

  • Food Planning for Mountaineering, Part I: Strategy

    By Mike Hawkins 10 days x 3,000 calories per day = 150 Clif Bars or 60 PB&J sandwiches Planning and packing food for long trips in the backcountry can be challenging and time consuming – but the last thing you want is to eat energy bars for 6 days straight. Climbers need to consider several […]

  • Single Wall Tents – Condensation Factories

    Most tent manufacturers these days offer a superlight, two pound (or less!) tent. These tents are simple to setup, occupy a very small footprint, and again – weigh in at about or under two pounds. When choosing a tent, it’s easy to focus on those factors and arrive at the conclusion that a single-walled shelter […]

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