Hydration Part 1: Insulated Water Bottles

Insulated Water Bottles

An insulated water bottle can be a great piece of equipment for winter outdoor activities. Depending on temperatures and what sort of bottle you’ve got, you can keep your water from freezing or enjoy a hot drink. I will usually take an insulated bottle with me when I’m backcountry skiing or ice climbing. Sipping hot… Continue reading Hydration Part 1: Insulated Water Bottles

First Aid, Repair, and Emergency Survival Kit

First aid/emergency kit, with contents labeled.

Over the years, my first aid kit has morphed, getting bigger or smaller depending on my level of optimism.  I’ve carried big kits with everything plus the kitchen sink, and minimalist kits consisting of a few aspirin and a roll of tape. After decades of fluctuation, I’ve finally settled on a largish kit (at least by climber standards.)… Continue reading First Aid, Repair, and Emergency Survival Kit

Climbing Communication and Commands

Communication is key when your partner is out of sight.

Go to a climbing crag anywhere in the United States, and you’ll hear a chorus of climbers yelling, “On Belay’” “Belay Off’” “Take’” “Climbing,” “Climb On,” etc.  These communications work fine on a short route, with no wind, where you can easily see and hear your partner.  However, on a long route, where wind and… Continue reading Climbing Communication and Commands

Hiring a Guide

My guide and friend, Franco Obert, of the Chamonix Guide Company

A rope joins two beings who have only one life; the guide for some hours ties himself to an unknown man who is going to become a friend.  When two men share the best and the worst, they are no longer strangers.    The guide does not climb for himself; he opens the gates of… Continue reading Hiring a Guide