Pained and Pampered in Chamonix

Story And Photos By Chris Garren In Colorado, I wake every day to a scenic mountain panorama. Still, my jaw dropped when I first saw the Alps in Chamonix. Endless peaks shot up from crevassed glaciers and sunny hills. Mont Blanc was a commanding presence above the valley. A climber’s dreamscape! Drinking questionable amounts of coffee to get the better of my jet lag, I gazed at routes I’d been reading about for years. I was in the heart of the alpine climbing world; the stage for legendary first ascents and home to the best long, moderate routes anywhere. Once a pursuit strictly for the elegantly clad upper class, climbing is now written into the DNA of Chamonix. Gear shops, huts, cable cars — a vast infrastructure supports vertical endeavors….

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Second Ascents: The McNerthney Pillar

Photos and Story by Ben Kunz On July 20th, 2013, Tim Halder, Joe Sambataro and I completed the second ascent of the McNerthney Pillar on the north face of Mount Waddington in British Columbia’s Coast Range. This prodigious rock pillar was climbed by the Northwest’s own McNerthney brothers, Pat and Dan McNerthney, back in 1986. Despite the appeal of this beautiful rock pillar and “providing far and away the most powerful climbing line of this face of Waddington”, it had yet to see a repeat ascent. Climbing a big, steep route like the McNerthney Pillar was a huge undertaking for the three of us. Despite forays into the other Great Ranges (Peru, Alaska, Alps, Himalaya), none of us had climbed such a technical, once-touched line on such a colossal mountain…

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Overview: MSR MicroRocket

Backpacking season is in full swing and when your goal is to be fast and light, look no farther than the MSR MicroRocket. This stove improves upon the already fast and light MSR PocketRocket by adding features and cutting weight; making it the smallest and lightest stove in our line.  

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MSR Backcountry Cafe: Bread in the Backcountry

In this week of CampCookingTV, Tim and Christine Conners demonstrate how to make bread in the backcountry. By preparing the ingredients at home and having the right equipment in your pack, it is easy to whip up this recipe on the trail. For hundreds of mouth-watering camp recipes be sure to  check out Tim and Christine Conners’ bestselling series of books. You can find more information on their website, http://www.lipsmackincampin.com.

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Deep water Soloing & Standup Paddling In Texas

By Dave Costello A border patrol agent in army fatigues is riffling through my drybag, awkwardly straddling the three 12’ 6” rental standup paddleboards (SUPs) hanging out the back of our short-bed pickup. The nearest water is at the U.S.-Mexico border 30 miles away on Lake Amistad. A five-year drought has left the reservoir on the Rio Grande nearly bone-dry. The nearest surfable waves are 300 miles away in the Gulf of Mexico. I can’t blame him for thinking that three dudes with boards in the middle of the desert look a little suspicious. We do. But we’re not after waves. We’re looking for rock. I’d been tipped off that the climbing in the Lower Pecos River Canyon was first rate, and mostly untouched, since it could only be accessed…

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Climbing Mystery Mountain: Mt. Waddington

  Mount Waddington is almost a nightmare in its grim inaccessibility, draped with plumes of huge, crumbling ice-feathers. -Don Munday Don and Phyllis Munday first set their eyes on the 13,186 ft. peak in 1925 from Mount Arrowsmith, on Vancouver Island. Dubbed as “Mystery Mountain,” Mt. Waddington’s very existence was questioned before it was initially explored by the couple that same year. Though they made several attempts to climb the mountain and reached its lower northwest summit in 1928, the first ascent was made over ten years later by Fritz Wiessner and Bill House via the South Face in 1936. The climb to the summit and back to base camp took over 23 hours. Grateful for good climbing conditions, the team followed a left branch of the couloir and reached a snow patch…

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Overview: HyperFlow Microfilter

The combination of compact size, design features, and tool free maintenance make the Hyperflow Microfilter a great choice for trips of any length. Here are some tips for getting the best performance out of this lightweight and easy to pack filter.

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Shoutout: Adventure Appetites

If you are ever sitting by the campfire wondering why you aren’t eating something better, you should check out Adventure Appetites. Founded in 2012 by Dan Oberlatz & Aaron Fetter, Adventure Appetites’ goal is to create pre-packaged gourmet meals that are easy to prepare and delicious to eat. Having been guides and adventurers themselves, they know how good it feels to eat real cuisine after enjoying the outdoors all day. Hear what else they have to say here:

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The ultimate Road Trip: Life with Katrin and Lars Schneider

Katrin and Lars Schneider are living a life most of us envy—for more than ten years, they have been traveling, exploring and working together all around the world. Their photography and writing showcases a great variety of outdoor pursuits from backpacking, kayaking, freeriding, ski touring and snowshoeing, to mountain biking, yoga, trail running and bike touring. Take a look at their blog, and get inspired to take your own journey. Lars and Katrin gave us an inside look on what life is really like on the ultimate road trip:          

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