Backcountry Boiler

Backcountry Boiler, and it's big brother, the Storm Kettle

The Backcountry Boiler is an updated version of a very old design, often referred to as a Storm Kettle, Chimney Kettle, Shepherd’s Kettle, or a Kelly Kettle.  A chimney kettle consists of two parts, a bowl where you build a small fire, and an upper portion that is a chimney surrounded by a hollow vessel where… Continue reading Backcountry Boiler

Climbing Knives

Left to Right: Baladeo, Trango, Petzl, Spyderco Dragonfly, Spyderco Clip-it

It’s good to have a knife with you when you’re climbing.   I use a knife for making V-Threads, cutting away old rap tat, cutting slings, and various other tasks. I keep a knife in the pocket of my Tufa chalk bag, so I’ve always got a knife with me if I’m carrying my chalk… Continue reading Climbing Knives

The Greatest Chalk Bag Ever Made (Tufa Climbing Houdini Chalk Bag)

Tufa Houdini and the kit it carries.

Chalk bags are a pretty generic piece of climbing gear.  It’s hard to get excited about a chalk bag.  They are really just a bag that holds chalk.  Arcteryx came up with a fancy twisting mechanism for keeping the chalk from spilling with their “Aperture” chalk bag, but other than that innovation, chalk bags haven’t… Continue reading The Greatest Chalk Bag Ever Made (Tufa Climbing Houdini Chalk Bag)

The North Face Ice Project Pack

Some folk built like this, some folk built like that But the way I’m built, Don’t you call me fat Because I’m built for comfort, I ain’t built for speed But I got everything, oh, that a good girl need Howlin Wolf:  Built for Comfort The North Ice Project is definitely a pack that is… Continue reading The North Face Ice Project Pack

Alaska!!! Ham & Eggs on the Moose’s Tooth

Food and supplies for our Moose's Tooth Climb

In 2014, I had a trip to Alaska planned, to climb the Ham & Eggs route on the Moose’s Tooth.  However, icefall closed down the glacier landing access, and the trip got cancelled. I scheduled another trip to Moose’s Tooth for May of 2015, and kept my fingers crossed, hoping for good conditions. The trip… Continue reading Alaska!!! Ham & Eggs on the Moose’s Tooth

Backcountry Skiing in the Sawtooth Range

 Guided Hut to Hut skiing in Idaho’s Sawtooth Range with Sun Valley Trekking March 16-20, 2015 For the past few seasons, I’ve done a multi-day backcountry ski trip with a group of friends.   So far, we’ve done a traverse of the Teton Crest traverse, a Sierra trip from Mammoth to Lee Vining Canyon, and a… Continue reading Backcountry Skiing in the Sawtooth Range

Winter Climbing Gear Update: Petzl and Salewa Ice Screws

Ice Screws: Salewa Quick Screw and Petzl Laser Speed Light The winter of 2014-15 was something of a disappointment for those of us living in the Mountain West.  Temperatures were warm.  Precipitation was scarce, and often fell in the form of rain instead of snow.  Here in Utah, the ice climbing season was short and… Continue reading Winter Climbing Gear Update: Petzl and Salewa Ice Screws

Suluk 46 TiCa Ice Tool

The Suluk 46 TiCa ice axe weighs 4.9 ounces with a 55cm shaft.  (Yes, that’s 4.9 ounces, as in less than 5 ounces.) Suluk 46 website HERE. It is not UIAA approved, and is not suitable for technical ice climbing, but after some use, I have concluded that this is a terrific axe for snow… Continue reading Suluk 46 TiCa Ice Tool

Petzl Laser Speed Light Ice Screws: First Impressions

Petzl Laser Speed Light on right, E-Climb Klau on the left

I recently bought some of the new Petzl Laser Speed Light ice screws.  The Speed Light screw is one of two screws on the market that is constructed with aluminum.  (The other aluminum screw is the E-Climb Klau screw which I reviewed previously HERE.) I have not yet had a chance to thoroughly test the… Continue reading Petzl Laser Speed Light Ice Screws: First Impressions

Mount Helen, Tower 1 Gully

Google Earth Image of Mount Helen's Tower 1 Gully

September 25-27, 2014 Tower 1 Gully on Mount Helen is considered the premier alpine ice climb in Wyoming’s Wind River Range.  It’s a long, moderate alpine ice route that has been on my hit list for a while.  Opportunities for climbing ice in the fall are not that common in my area of the country,… Continue reading Mount Helen, Tower 1 Gully