Man & Woman Downhill Skiing

Man & Woman Downhill Skiing

We all know the names: Vail, Breck­en­ridge, Park City, and Big Sky. While these ski resorts are indeed epic, some­times you just want a more per­son­al, tucked-away, local expe­ri­ence with­out sac­ri­fic­ing excep­tion­al ter­rain. If this sounds like your MO this ski sea­son, or in ski sea­sons to come, read on!

Eldo­ra Moun­tain Resort, Colorado 
Locat­ed near the funky town of Ned­er­land, Col­orado just 20 min­utes west of Boul­der, Eldo­ra Moun­tain Resort is a local favorite and is under­go­ing some seri­ous upgrades and rebrand­ing. From its new high-speed lift, Alpen­glow, to its effer­ves­cent pres­ence on social media (#closer­toy­ou), this fam­i­ly-friend­ly resort is cer­tain­ly attempt­ing to attract some big atten­tion. With excel­lent begin­ner and inter­me­di­ate ter­rain for kids, or adults who are brave enough to learn, and more advanced ter­rain that includes tight tree ski­ing and steeps that are sure to please, Eldo­ra is per­fect for any­one who desires a no-frills, all thrills, sol­id moun­tain experience.

Monarch Moun­tain Resort, Colorado
Locat­ed between Sal­i­da and Gun­ni­son, Col­orado at the apex of wind­ing and scenic Monarch Pass, Monarch Moun­tain is a tru­ly unique expe­ri­ence. Two ter­rain parks and over 50 trails ensure that there’s plen­ty of space to shred. How­ev­er, this mountain’s crown jew­el is Mirk­wood: 130 acres of extreme dou­ble black dia­mond ter­rain with trees for days. If you’re look­ing for a place to hang your hat after a long day on the slopes, the Monarch Moun­tain Lodge is locat­ed just 3 miles from the resort and boasts a free shut­tle to the mountain.

Grand Targhee Moun­tain Resort, Wyoming
The beau­ti­ful and under­rat­ed Grand Targhee Moun­tain Resort near Alta, Wyoming doesn’t just offer ski­ing. Snow­shoe­ing, Nordic Tour­ing, and dog sled rides are also pop­u­lar on the hill. Per­haps the most notable fea­ture of the hill is Grand Targhee’s tree ski­ing which allows skiers to dip into stash­es of untracked pow­der. There are also 1,000 ski­able acres reserved for cat ski­ing which means you’ll be able to ditch the peo­ple and get into the back­coun­try with ease.

Teton Range viewed from Grand Targhee

White­fish Ski Resort, Montana
Sit­u­at­ed near Glac­i­er Nation­al Park, White­fish Ski Resort used to boast a ski-bum vibe. Now it’s now shift­ing into a more ele­gant, yet still local ski hill with new eater­ies and brew­eries pop­ping up to enter­tain town­ies and tourists alike. Well-known for being fam­i­ly friend­ly, this resort boasts over 3,000 ski­able acres which are plen­ty for the kids and rip­ping adults who want to go explore. Afford­able lodg­ing and min­i­mal crowds make this an excel­lent place for a fam­i­ly getaway

Soli­tude Moun­tain, Utah
True to its name, this qui­et and afford­able moun­tain offers a no-frills expe­ri­ence for peo­ple whose pri­or­i­ty is to ski excel­lent ter­rain. Peri­od. The bowl ski­ing is par­tic­u­lar­ly excep­tion­al with Hon­ey­comb Canyon offer­ing some of the best turns and panoram­ic bowl ski­ing in Utah. For those who do want a lit­tle “frill” in their life, Soli­tude Vil­lage offers excep­tion­al din­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties and is a great place to retire for an apres-ski bev­er­age after a day of hit­ting it hard. The Soli­tude com­mu­ni­ty is invit­ing, laid back, and there’s no doubt that the locals will out ski you all the live­long day. Locat­ed just 30 miles from Salt Lake City, this is an acces­si­ble moun­tain for vis­i­tors who pre­fer to be close to a city and airport.


Col­orado is known for its jagged land­scape and thou­sands of peaks, but not all of them require tech­ni­cal climb­ing skills. Scram­bling is the art of tra­vers­ing ter­rain that’s too steep to hike but not steep enough to require climb­ing equip­ment. It’s a hybrid of the two. Some of the clas­sic Col­orado scram­bling routes fall into a Class 3 and Class 4 rank­ing, indi­cat­ing that they are safe with­out a rope or a full rack of rock protection.

Mt. Alice, Rocky Moun­tain Nation­al Park
When the mass­es head to Rocky Moun­tain Nation­al Park, they head for Longs Peak. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it is often dan­ger­ous­ly overcrowded.

But at the heart of the Con­ti­nen­tal Divide is Mt. Alice, a fine yet over­looked 13er, which fea­tures excit­ing exposed Class 3 climb­ing between Alice and Neigh­bor­ing Chiefs Head. Set deep in the west­ern reach­es of the park, climbers start in Wild Basin and make their way up to Alice’s dra­mat­ic pyra­mi­dal face. Start from Lion Lakes, work­ing up Hour­glass Ridge for a thrilling tra­verse to a less­er-known sum­mit offer­ing soli­tude and vistas.

flatironsThe Flatirons, Boulder
One of the Front Range’s clas­sic climb­ing spots, these angled sand­stone for­ma­tions are tex­tured enough for excel­lent grip and fun-sus­tained climbing.

Locat­ed just min­utes from res­i­den­tial Boul­der, the Flatirons offer an easy approach with just enough length to make it a local favorite for after-work climbs. The Sec­ond Flat­iron, the low­est angle of the three, fea­tures one Class 5 move with a high Class 4 the rest of the way up. Its most noto­ri­ous move involves a sec­tion known as the “Leap of Faith.”

From the top of the Sec­ond, which over­looks Boul­der and Den­ver, it’s a short trail hike down to the base. The First and Third Flatirons are steep­er, with more sus­tained low Class 5 climb­ing. With run-out pro­tec­tion and great grip, they make for fun rope-free ascents with the option of free-rap­pels from the summit.

kelso ridgeKel­so Ridge, Tor­reys Peak
Grays and Tor­reys peaks are two of the most pop­u­lar 14ers in the Front Range, with prox­im­i­ty to Den­ver and Boul­der, plus a rel­a­tive­ly easy yet crowd­ed hike to their summits.

Tor­reys Peak is rife with hik­ers, but it offers a less trav­eled and thrilling line to the sum­mit. The Kel­so Ridge tra­vers­es sec­tions of Class 3 and 4 scram­blings, with a short, stout exposed knife edge. Start by fol­low­ing the main hik­ing trail then turn­ing about a mile in onto a side trail that pass­es a his­toric min­ing cab­in. From here, the low­er sec­tions are fraught with boul­ders and rocky tow­ers as climbers steadi­ly ascend the rudi­men­ta­ry path.

The ridge requires route-find­ing skills, as some sec­tions can be deceiv­ing­ly chal­leng­ing but can be bypassed. The excit­ing crux of the route is known as the “Knife Edge,” a short, thin and blocky tra­verse right before the sum­mit. From here, climbers take a short scram­ble to sum­mit Tor­reys Peak. Those want­i­ng a longer adven­ture can cross over and sum­mit Grays Peak then come down the stan­dard route, or detour via Kel­so Mountain.

Mount BierstadtSaw­tooth Ridge, Mt. Bier­stadt / Mt. Evans
The Saw­tooth Ridge is a Front Range Clas­sic, con­nect­ing two 14ers, Mt. Bier­stadt and Mt. Evans, via a thrilling low Class 3 scram­ble for half a mile. While the ridge may be scram­bled, either way, the most com­mon route starts by sum­mit­ing Mt. Bier­stadt (14,065 feet) and drop­ping down on to the ridge direct­ly from the summit.

The trail starts by tra­vers­ing a sprawl­ing talus field and regain­ing the ridge via a series of gen­darmes and boul­ders. This is where the real fun starts as climbers fol­low trails on thin ledges and climb­ing short walls while bounc­ing back and forth to either side of the ridge. Fol­low­ing the cairns mark­ing the trail, the route alter­nates between Class 1, 2 and before end­ing on a grassy tun­dra access­ing Mt. Evans (14,265 feet).

With a total ele­va­tion change of 4,675 feet, the route is short and steep, but it makes for a spec­tac­u­lar intro­duc­tion to ridge scram­bling in Colorado.

Lone Eagle Peak, Indi­an Peaks Wilderness
Lone Eagle Peak is one of Colorado’s most breath­tak­ing moun­tains thanks to its point­ed sum­mit ris­ing dra­mat­i­cal­ly above the Indi­an Peaks land­scape. And it alter­nates between Class 3 and 4. Route find­ing skills are essen­tial, as it is easy to take a wrong turn into Class 5 territory.

Start­ing from Crater Lake, the cairn-marked route ascends ramps of up to Class 3 climb­ing. It then fol­lows a series of ridges and notch­es while keep­ing the sum­mit in sight. This leads to an extreme­ly exposed, Class 4 tra­verse across the sum­mit ridge to a mag­nif­i­cent point­ed pin­na­cle. Lone Eagle Peak is tru­ly Col­orado scram­bling at its best.

Clos­ing Thoughts
While scram­bles may not be tech­ni­cal climbs, remem­ber to use extreme cau­tion and wear a pro­tec­tive hel­met and stur­dy boots. Don’t go it alone, and always be aware of haz­ards includ­ing adverse weath­er and rock­fall. Be safe out there!

©istockphoto/MilosStankovicSki sea­son is in full swing—which means the moun­tain pass­es are get­ting flood­ed with snow­board­ers and skiers alike. Whether you’re a first-time tuber or an ultra-expe­ri­enced back­coun­try shred­der, make it a habit to keep these six things in your car every time you head for the hills.

Emer­gency Con­tact Information 
It’s not enough to just have the impor­tant con­tact num­bers stored on your phone—they should be writ­ten down on paper, too. Make a list of your emer­gency con­tact infor­ma­tion, your AAA num­ber (if you have it), any rel­e­vant med­ical issues or aller­gies, and your insur­ance details, then seal it in an enve­lope. Label the enve­lope clear­ly, then keep it in your glove box in a Ziplock bag.

A Source of Light
This could be a head­lamp, a lantern, or a flashlight—just make sure to pack at least one extra set of bat­ter­ies. (“I hate being able to see so clear­ly,” said no one ever.) Dur­ing the dark­er win­ter months, con­sid­er stash­ing a des­ig­nat­ed head­lamp in your glove box with a cou­ple of extra sets of AAA’s. (And remem­ber: any time you’re head­ing into the back­coun­try, it’s worth bring­ing a light source, no mat­ter what time you’re plan­ning to return.)

A First Aid Kit
Just do it. Make sure you include the nor­mal sup­plies (Band-Aids, over-the-counter med­ica­tions, ath­let­ic tape, Steri-strips, etc) in case of the nor­mal bumps and bruis­es, and per­son­al pro­tec­tive equip­ment (latex gloves, a sur­gi­cal mask, and a face shield for CPR) in case you’re the first respon­der after some­body else goes off the road in icy con­di­tions. If any­body in the car has med­ical con­di­tions that require spe­cial tools or med­ica­tions to man­age, car­ry a back­up sup­ply. Be sure to stock up on hand warm­ers for chilled extrem­i­ties, blis­ter sup­plies for skiers who might be break­ing in new boots, and a space blanket.

Warm Lay­ers
At the end of the day, it doesn’t mat­ter whether you car­ry an extra blan­ket, a spare sleep­ing bag, or just a cou­ple of lay­ers of cloth­ing and jackets—just make sure you’ve got enough insu­la­tion to keep every­body in the car warm in case of an expect­ed night on the side of the road. When you’re cal­cu­lat­ing what to pack, con­sid­er the num­ber of peo­ple (and pets) in the car, the aver­age day and night­time tem­per­a­tures in and around your des­ti­na­tion, and what kinds of insu­lat­ing lay­ers your pas­sen­gers will already have with them. It might sound like overkill, but there’s no cost to toss­ing an extra lay­er or two into the trunk—and if those lay­ers could be the dif­fer­ence between an incon­ve­nience and an emergency.

A Shov­el
While you might not want to lug around a full-sized snow shov­el, there are lots of portable options that fit nice­ly in the trunk of a car. Look for a mod­el with a tele­scop­ing or extend­able han­dle, which gives bet­ter lever­age if you need to dig out your ride.

A Long-Han­dled Ice Scraper
Because when you get back to your car at the end of a day on the slopes, scrap­ing the ice off your wind­shield with your Cost­co card isn’t that awesome.

©istockphoto/Martin DimitrovWe all know how impor­tant it is to stay hydrat­ed when we’re work­ing hard—but it’s espe­cial­ly vital in winter’s cold, dry air. Check out these sim­ple tips for keep­ing your body hap­py and healthy dur­ing all of your moun­tain exploits.

Choose The Right Ves­sel (Or Two)
When you’re pack­ing for your next adven­ture, don’t assume that one size fits all when it comes to water bot­tles. There are a vari­ety of fac­tors to con­sid­er. How often will you be able to refill your water sup­plies? Will you be drink­ing on the go, or stop­ping to sip along­side the trail? What kinds of tem­per­a­tures will you be in? Will you want warm bev­er­ages or cool liq­uids, or some com­bi­na­tion of both? How con­cerned are you about weight? To per­fect your sys­tem, con­sid­er some com­bi­na­tion of water bot­tles, insu­lat­ed mugs/thermoses, hydra­tion blad­ders, and reser­voirs. Just be sure to clean them thor­ough­ly when you’re done, and let dry com­plete­ly between uses.

Sip Con­sis­tent­ly
Experts agree that chug­ging isn’t effec­tive; to stay well-hydrat­ed, the best approach is to sip small amounts of liq­uid slow­ly and con­sis­tent­ly through­out the day. And you don’t have to lim­it your­self to water: soup, oral rehy­drat­ing solu­tions (like Gatorade, which con­tain elec­trolytes), juice, herbal teas, and car­bon­at­ed soda water are all great ways to get more flu­ids into your sys­tem. Just be care­ful with ener­gy drinks, caf­feinat­ed tea, cof­fee, and alco­hol, which are all diuretics—meaning they’ll make you pee out more flu­id that you’re gain­ing. Healthy bod­ies can usu­al­ly get salt and oth­er impor­tant nutri­ents from nor­mal food, but if you want to use elec­trolyte replace­ments, be sure to test them out before any big adventures.

Watch For Signs of Dehydration 
Most peo­ple know that check­ing the col­or of your urine is a good indi­ca­tor of dehydration—clear or light yel­low is fine, but any­thing dark yel­low or orange is a warn­ing sign. But there are oth­er symp­toms to watch for, too. A headache, mus­cle cramps, dry skin or chapped lips, light­head­ed­ness, or inex­plic­a­bly low ener­gy can all point toward a lack of mois­ture in your body. Still won­der­ing? Try this test: light­ly pinch the skin on the back of your hand, then release. Hydrat­ed skin will smooth out imme­di­ate­ly, while dehy­drat­ed skin will take longer to return to normal.

Con­sid­er Cold and Altitude
The air tends to be extra dry at alti­tude, mak­ing it sur­pris­ing­ly easy to get dehy­drat­ed quick­ly. Breath­ing cold air can mask symp­toms of thirst, mak­ing it hard­er to remem­ber to sip liq­uids con­sis­tent­ly. And when your body feels cold, it’s hard to talk your­self into chug­ging ice-cold water. It’s the per­fect storm—and it’s dou­bly dan­ger­ous because the symp­toms of mild dehy­dra­tion are very sim­i­lar to those of Acute Moun­tain Sick­ness, or AMS, which can hap­pen any­where above 8,000 feet. AMS isn’t imme­di­ate­ly dan­ger­ous, but fail­ure to rec­og­nize the symp­toms can lead to increased alti­tude issues, includ­ed high alti­tude pul­monary ede­ma (HAPE) and high alti­tude cere­bral ede­ma (HACE), which are both life-threat­en­ing illnesses.


©istockphoto/tdub303For many coun­tries, moun­tains rep­re­sent iden­ti­ty. From the Alps, to the Himalayas, the Rock­ies, and the Andes, the moun­tains rep­re­sent icon­ic land­scapes that define not only a place, but also its sport­ing achieve­ments and the cul­tures that reside between them. Moun­tain muse­ums serve not only as a tes­ta­ment to the con­querors that dared to climb and stand upon sum­mits, but also to paint a por­trait of a unique envi­ron­ment, filled with rare flo­ra and mys­te­ri­ous wildlife.

To under­stand the moun­tains isn’t just to see them as tow­ers of rock and ice, but to see how their exis­tence shapes the peo­ple and cul­tures that grow with­in them. These are some of the world’s muse­ums ded­i­cat­ed to moun­tains, moun­taineers and moun­tain culture.

Inter­na­tion­al Moun­tain Muse­um – Pokhara, Nepal1
With a soar­ing triple atri­um, rem­i­nis­cent of a moun­tain­ous sky­line and the Anna­pur­na Range ris­ing in the back­ground, the Inter­na­tion­al Moun­tain Muse­um of Pokhara, Nepal cel­e­brates the Himalayas in sport, wildlife, and cul­ture. Set in a large, airy space, the muse­um divides into three gal­leries: Moun­tain, for geog­ra­phy, Moun­tain Peo­ple, for the cul­tures that thrive with­in and Moun­tain Activ­i­ties, the one ded­i­cat­ed to Himalayan climbing.

The Moun­tain Gallery dis­plays infor­ma­tion and pho­tographs on each of the world’s 14 8,000-meter peaks from Nepal and Tibet to Pak­istan. With rock sam­ples, plant life and wildlife repli­cas, the muse­um describes the cre­ation and geol­o­gy of the Himalayas, formed when the Indi­an and Eurasian plates col­lid­ed, thrust­ing the land upward into the famed peaks known today. The gallery also dis­plays col­lec­tions of rare Himalayan but­ter­flies, high alti­tude flora—including the rhodo­den­dron, Nepal’s nation­al flower—and a fas­ci­nat­ing look at a snow leop­ard, made famous by Peter Matthiessen’s book.

The Moun­tain Peo­ple Gallery is ded­i­cat­ed to the indige­nous cul­tures from the Andes to the Alps and the Himalayas who depend on the moun­tains as a source of life and how it affects their way of being. A large swath of the gallery is devot­ed to the Sher­pa, orig­i­nal­ly horse­men and traders who descend­ed from Tibet, who reside across the Khum­bu. Besides their famed work as guides and porters, the Sher­pas pro­duced inno­v­a­tive tech­niques to farm at high alti­tude, built resilient vil­lages out of the mate­ri­als they found in the high hills and used the moun­tains as a major part of their folk­lore and song, seen from the many musi­cal instru­ments on dis­play. There’s also an exhib­it on the lore of the Yeti.

The Moun­tain Activ­i­ties Gallery cel­e­brates Himalayan moun­taineer­ing, dis­play­ing his­tor­i­cal equip­ment from the first ascents of the 8,000-meter peaks such as Mau­rice Herzog’s land­mark climb of Anna­pur­na in 1950, Lino Lacedel­li and Water Bonatti’s con­tro­ver­sial first ascent of K2 in 1954—a moun­tain that was not sum­mit­ed again until 1977—and Hillary and Norgay’s con­quest of Ever­est. The gallery traces moun­taineer­ing from its prim­i­tive begin­ning, fea­tur­ing a col­lec­tion of ice axes, cram­pons, stoves, sleep­ing bags and down wear from the 1920s to the mod­ern attire of the ear­ly 2000s.

While most of the col­lec­tion her­alds achieve­ment, a small sec­tion just beyond the glass cas­es pro­vides a jar­ring con­trast. Heaps of rope, oxy­gen can­is­ters and cook­ing tanks take up almost an entire room. The exhib­it rep­re­sents a col­lec­tion of trash left by expe­di­tions on Ever­est over a course of three sea­sons. It’s a stark and human­iz­ing reminder of the human effect on the moun­tains and the impor­tance of pre­serv­ing the pris­tine environment.

Brad­ford Wash­burn Amer­i­can Moun­taineer­ing Muse­um – Gold­en, Colorado2
Brad­ford Wash­burn was an Amer­i­can moun­taineer, car­tog­ra­ph­er, artist and pho­tog­ra­ph­er who first sur­veyed Alaska’s moun­tains by air and cre­at­ed maps of peaks such as Denali and Ever­est. After Washburn’s pass­ing in 2007, the Amer­i­can Alpine Club and the Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Soci­ety ded­i­cat­ed a muse­um of moun­taineer­ing and climb­ing to his name, hous­ing col­lec­tions of relics, maps and pho­tographs that tell the sto­ry of Amer­i­can moun­taineer­ing both in North Amer­i­ca and abroad. Set around a mod­el of Ever­est, the muse­um, while mod­est in size, dis­plays how moun­taineer­ing was a part of Amer­i­can cul­ture, from first ascents in Alas­ka and the Himalayas to a sec­tion ded­i­cat­ed to the 10th Moun­tain Divi­sion, the famed infantry who fought across the alpine ter­rain of Italy and Aus­tria in World War II.

Among one of the museum’s most cher­ished trea­sures is a sim­ple antique wood­en ice axe that belonged to Amer­i­can moun­taineer Pete Schoe­ing, who used it in an act of hero­ism known as ‘The Belay.’ In 1953, on the heels of the first con­quest of Ever­est, Schoe­ing and his team attempt­ed the first ascent of K2 but were trapped in a storm at 7,260-meters (25,000 ft.). With one of his team mem­bers suf­fer­ing from a pul­monary embolism, Schoe­ing and his group, all roped togeth­er, began to descend in the midst of the storm. Sud­den­ly, one of the climbers, George Irv­ing Bell, slipped on an ice sheet and pulled five oth­er climbers down with him. Schoe­ing, who had been belay­ing the group, quick­ly took his ice axe and jammed it into a boul­der, arrest­ing the fall of the entire group and sav­ing the lives of five men. Schoeing’s actions earned him an award for hero­ism in moun­taineer­ing and the nam­ing of Schoe­ing Peak in the Ellsworth Moun­tains of Antarctica.

Along with the muse­um, the Amer­i­can Alpine Club main­tains a vast library of over 20,000 books, maps, films, pho­tographs, archiv­ing guide­books, hand-writ­ten route maps and doc­u­ments of moun­tain cul­ture and explo­ration. The muse­um and library also hosts lec­tures, screen­ings and social events for the Col­orado climb­ing community.

The Mess­ner Moun­tain Muse­um – South Tyrol, Italy3
Ital­ian moun­taineer Rein­hold Mess­ner entered his­to­ry as the first per­son to climb the world’s 14 8,000-meter peaks, and he has ded­i­cat­ed his life to the preser­va­tion and edu­ca­tion of moun­tain explo­ration and cul­ture. The Mess­ner Moun­tain Muse­um is not one but six sep­a­rate muse­ums across South Tyrol in Italy, each ded­i­cat­ed to a sep­a­rate aspect of the moun­tains. Set against the dra­mat­ic Dolomites, the Mess­ner Muse­um serves not only as a gallery of Reinhold’s pas­sions, but also a forum to share ideas, spur inno­va­tion and con­ser­va­tion and respon­si­bly pro­mote the sports of climb­ing and mountaineering.

The first muse­um, set in an unre­stored medieval cas­tle in Fir­mi­an, is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of moun­tain art and its sig­nif­i­cance in rela­tion to the his­to­ry of moun­taineer­ing and alpin­ism. A large seat­ed Bud­dha looks off to one side rep­re­sent­ing the Himalayas, while an Inuk­suk rep­re­sents the indige­nous peo­ple of British Colum­bia and Alas­ka. As vis­i­tors descend an under­ground stair­case, they delve into a nat­ur­al gallery carved inside the moun­tain, where they are grant­ed with sweep­ing panora­mas of the Dolomites and an artis­tic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the moun­tains told in var­i­ous medi­ums includ­ing paint­ings, pho­tographs, and sculpture.

The Dolomites branch, known as ‘The Muse­um In the Clouds’ is ded­i­cat­ed to the sto­ry of tra­di­tion­al rock climb­ing in the Ital­ian Alps. The muse­um is built to resem­ble a church, with 20 naves that doc­u­ment the his­to­ry of climb­ing rock in the Dolomites, fea­tur­ing antique pro­tec­tion devices, hand drawn jour­nals of routes detail­ing first ascents, ropes, boots and cloth­ing from the first rock climbers to the mod­ern alpin­ists of today.

Set in Juval Cas­tle, which dates to 1278, the third muse­um rep­re­sents moun­tain myth and spir­i­tu­al­i­ty. While a large por­tion is ded­i­cat­ed to Tibetan and Bud­dhist iconog­ra­phy such as maps, masks, and prayer wheels, the muse­um fair­ly rep­re­sents all moun­tain­ous spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, such as the rev­er­ence of Ayers Rock to Aus­tralian Abo­rig­i­nals, Mt. Fuji’s rev­er­ence in Japan and the impor­tance of the moun­tains to North Amer­i­can tribes.

The muse­um at Ripa (Tibetan for ‘Moun­tain Man’) is a fas­ci­nat­ing ‘Liv­ing Muse­um’ that pro­motes the exchange of dia­logue, ideas, and cul­ture between moun­tain peo­ples, giv­ing them the abil­i­ty to share ideas with the local Dolomite com­mu­ni­ty. Mess­ner has pre­vi­ous­ly invit­ed groups from Tibet, Mon­go­lia and North and South Amer­i­ca to spend the sum­mer exchang­ing cul­tur­al ideas in a wel­com­ing and open forum.

The Ortles branch is devot­ed to glac­i­ers and ice, from Alas­ka to Antarc­ti­ca and the Himalayas. The muse­um is sit­u­at­ed direct­ly under a glac­i­er that guests can walk direct­ly into, while arti­facts, pho­tos, and film tell the sto­ry of cold explo­ration from ice climb­ing to the cross­ing of the poles. Along­side the wall, sev­er­al alcoves por­tray 13 dif­fer­ent moun­taineer­ing sto­ries, includ­ing some from Mess­ner himself.

The final muse­um, which opened less than a year ago in Coro­nes, is devot­ed to the pure sport of moun­taineer­ing, rock climb­ing and explo­ration of the Dolomites. Messner’s aim with his final muse­um is to explore the har­mo­nious rela­tion­ship between ath­lete and moun­tain. The col­lec­tion is still under­go­ing place­ment, but it serves as a tes­ta­ment to Rein­hold Messner’s true passion.


While these muse­ums are cen­ters to the his­to­ry and rev­er­ence of the moun­tains for many cul­tures, there are small pock­ets of region­al col­lec­tions ded­i­cat­ed to the explo­ration of a par­tic­u­lar area.

Boul­der, Colorado’s Nep­tune Moun­taineer­ing has a small muse­um tucked in its store, with arti­facts from antique skis to pitons and his­tor­i­cal moun­taineer­ing equip­ment set in a fas­ci­nat­ing collection.

In the town of Ash­ford, at the foot of Mt. Rainier, the Whit­tak­er Bunkhouse hous­es a small col­lec­tion in their café ded­i­cat­ed to the exploits of Lou and Jim Whit­tak­er, one of America’s most revered climb­ing fam­i­lies includ­ing pho­tographs, ice axes, and oxy­gen tanks from their many expe­di­tions. Moun­taineer­ing is a sport steeped in his­to­ry and cul­ture as it is in ath­leti­cism. In a rapid­ly chang­ing cli­mate, the moun­tain muse­ums help pre­serve cul­ture, his­to­ry, and the pur­suit of free­dom in the high hills.

©istockphoto/ HABesen

©istockphoto/ HABesenThey don’t call it the Out­door Recre­ation­al Cap­i­tal of Cana­da for nothing!

Squamish, British Colum­bia is nes­tled between two world-renowned destinations—the city of Van­cou­ver to the south and the moun­tain resort town of Whistler to the north—but it’s a wor­thy des­ti­na­tion in its own right, espe­cial­ly for those who love all things outdoors.

With the ocean and moun­tains with­in a stone’s throw, the oppor­tu­ni­ty for out­door adven­ture in Squamish is prac­ti­cal­ly end­less. Here are sev­en rea­sons that Squamish will get any outdoor-lover’s heart fluttering.

Rock Climb­ing
Men­tion Squamish to a rock climb­ing enthu­si­ast, and there’s a good chance they may start salivating.

Squamish, with its extreme­ly acces­si­ble gran­ite cliffs and bluffs, is a world-famous des­ti­na­tion for rock climb­ing. The crown jew­el is the gran­ite mono­lith known as the Stawa­mus Chief, tow­er­ing over the town and offer­ing fan­tas­tic views of Howe Sound. You can’t miss it from the Sea to Sky high­way; keep your eyes open for the small dots (that would be climbers) scal­ing up the face.

Moun­tain Biking
With its mild cli­mate, Squamish’s many mean­der­ing moun­tain bik­ing trails are most­ly clear through­out the entire year. The trails are prac­ti­cal­ly end­less, and there are options for all lev­els of moun­tain bik­ers, although with the pres­ence of the moun­tains, expect a few leg-burn­ing climbs through mag­nif­i­cent old-growth rainforests.

Squamish may not be the ski­ing mec­ca that is Whistler (at least not yet; a ski resort for Squamish is in the ear­ly stages of plan­ning), but back­coun­try enthu­si­asts know that there are plen­ty of epic pow­der stash­es to be found in Squamish. If you’re will­ing to hike for it, there is some excel­lent ski­ing and split­board­ing to be enjoyed in near­by moun­tains, you just have to know where to look.


The best part about hik­ing in Squamish is that you’re typ­i­cal­ly reward­ed with some mind-blow­ing views. Steep climbs up the local moun­tains almost always result in epic vis­tas up top (save for a fog­gy day, but those views can be eeri­ly cool too). Trails are easy to get to, espe­cial­ly if you head up the Sea to Sky Gon­do­la, which offers access to a huge vari­ety of ter­rain and has options for var­i­ous hik­ing abil­i­ty levels.

Trail Run­ning
Squamish’s trails aren’t just for hik­ing and moun­tain bik­ing; just slip on a pair of trail run­ning shoes, and you’ll get to expe­ri­ence the local trails in a whole new way. The trail run­ning com­mu­ni­ty is con­tin­u­ous­ly grow­ing, and local races (includ­ing the Loop the Lakes Trail Run and the Sea to Sky Scram­ble Trail Run) offer the per­fect chal­lenge for locals and vis­i­tors alike.

Wind Surf­ing
What do you get when you mix the Pacif­ic Ocean with some seri­ous wind? You get the ulti­mate des­ti­na­tion for wind­surf­ing. Nature has craft­ed the per­fect con­di­tions for wind­surf­ing enthu­si­asts, and Squamish has recent­ly announced that it will be expand­ing its water­front to accom­mo­date two new wind­surf­ing beach­es. The best just keeps get­ting better.

Howe Sound offers some incred­i­ble sea kayak­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, not to men­tion some killer views and plen­ty of wildlife spot­ting poten­tial (think bald eagles, seals, por­pois­es and the occa­sion­al whale). The new Sea to Sky Marine Trail includes wilder­ness camp­sites scat­tered around the coasts and var­i­ous islands of Howe Sound; sim­ply hop in your kayak and choose your own route for a killer kayak­ing trip.

When peo­ple think of surf­ing in the Unit­ed States usu­al­ly the first thing that comes to mind are the long-clean breaks of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia or the beau­ti­ful bar­rel­ing waves over Hawai­ian reefs. In recent years, surf­ing has been gain­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty in unex­pect­ed loca­tions, specif­i­cal­ly moun­tain towns of the Amer­i­can West. When rapid­ly flow­ing riv­er water clash­es with rocks stand­ing waves are cre­at­ed, pro­vid­ing surfers with a play­ground far from any ocean.

This short film pro­vides a glimpse of the emerg­ing riv­er surf­ing cul­ture spread­ing across U.S. moun­tain towns. Grab your surf­board and head for the hills!

If you’re into time-lapse videos, this is eas­i­ly one of the best ones on moun­tains out there. It slows the world down enough to glimpse beyond our own per­spec­tive. It gives us a frame of mind in which won­der dom­i­nates. Watch the stars spill across tran­quil alpine tarns. Watch weath­er roll across the peaks, linger, and dis­si­pate beneath the ris­ing sun. This is your chance to step into the per­spec­tive of a tree or a moun­tain for just a moment and watch the world go by in all its beauty. 

julbo-goggles-featured2The Jul­bo The Wom­en’s Eclipse gog­gle is designed for the seri­ous ski­er or board­er who wants to kick it up a notch. Sized specif­i­cal­ly to fit a fem­i­nine pro­file, and shaped to be lux­u­ri­ous­ly com­fort­able, the sleek frame sub­tly wraps the con­tours of the face to pro­vide you with just the right amount of protection.

Jul­bo has been pio­neer­ing inno­v­a­tive lens tech­nol­o­gy for moun­taineers since 1888, and the Zebra lens fea­tured in the Eclipse is their crown­ing achieve­ment. It seam­less­ly adapts to chang­ing light in a mat­ter of sec­onds, offer­ing you the best vision pos­si­ble with­out the need to ever change out lens­es. Fur­ther­more, you’ll ben­e­fit from a fog-free ride thanks to well placed air vents and a laser per­me­at­ed anti-fog coating.

So next time you wake up to a fore­cast of cloudy with a chance of meat­balls, reach for your Eclipse and know that you’ll have what­ev­er moth­er nature throws your way secure­ly and com­fort­ably han­dled, all while look­ing good too. 

Shop Snow Goggles

The folks at Clymb head­quar­ters rel­ish the out­door oppor­tu­ni­ties that abound in and around our quirky lit­tle city. Even though we like to com­plain about the rain, we know that the cli­mate is a key con­trib­u­tor to the nat­ur­al land­scapes, flo­ra, and fau­na that we love. We take pride in our city.

Our Beloved Sandy
Our Beloved Sandy

One of our favorite haunts is Sandy Ridge, a stun­ning sys­tem of moun­tain bike trails tucked into the canopy of trees that lies just beneath the majesty of Mt. Hood, Ore­gon’s tallest moun­tain. A 45-minute dri­ve from town will have you at the trail­head. From there, you’ll be huff­ing and puff­ing up For­est Ser­vice roads then hoot­ing and hol­ler­ing as you careen down miles of ultra-flowy sin­gle­track trail.

Stand­ing around the water cool­er after a well-spent week­end on Sandy Ridge, employ­ees exhib­it a gleam in our eyes and a twinge in our low­er backs. Many of us help devel­op local trails as well as ride them. We’ve chocked up as many hours han­dling a Pulas­ki as we have sit­ting in the sad­dle. So nat­u­ral­ly, we were stoked when the phil­an­throp­i­cal bicy­cling brand Bell Hel­mets announced an excit­ing new initiative.

Sun­light through the trees.

Part­ner­ing with IMBA (Inter­na­tion­al Moun­tain Bicy­cling Asso­ci­a­tion), Bell Hel­mets has estab­lished a new social-media-based fund­ing pro­gram called BELL BUILT that aims to give back to the next gen­er­a­tion of rid­ers through $100K in grants.  This mon­ey will help to main­tain three exist­ing trail sys­tems through­out the coun­try. Twelve areas have been cho­sen for con­sid­er­a­tion, and you can click on each one indi­vid­u­al­ly through Bel­l’s Face­book page to learn more. You can then vote on your favorite option, and you’ll be entered into a sweep­stakes where you can win hel­mets, appar­el, and even an all-expens­es paid cycling adven­ture. Vot­ing ends April 12, 2013.

Clymb employee Sarah enjoying an early season ride.
Clymb employ­ee Sarah enjoy­ing an ear­ly sea­son ride.

Here’s the kick­er. Our beloved Sandy Ridge just so hap­pens to be on that list. So click through to vote on your favorite area for a good cause, and if you hap­pen to be a PNW local or just don’t quite know which trail to vote for, maybe you could show Sandy a lit­tle love. Every option on this list is a great choice, and we’d like to encour­age you to vote so you can get out­side and enjoy the places you love.


If you like read­ing about trail devel­op­ment and the great things that are hap­pen­ing with­in moun­tain bik­ing com­mu­ni­ties, have a look at our local North­west Trail Alliance web­site here.


The pol­i­tics of nam­ing moun­tains can get con­tentious. Con­sid­er the moun­tain we now know as Mount Ever­est. Before we arrived at that eponym — named for a Welsh sur­vey­or — the moun­tain at 27°59′17″N 86°55′31″E was known var­i­ous­ly as Kangchen­jun­ga, Dhaula­giri, Peak b, Peak XV, Deo­dung­ha, Chomol­ung­ma and Sheng­mu Feng. Con­tin­ue read­ing