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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Guide de Montagne...

Chamonix is such a great place in so many ways.  For one example, literally hundreds of mountain guides live and work here full time.  For others is is just a stop along the yearly pilgrimage to see and work in some of the very special places in the world.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Envers?

Day two was fun.

One of my goals this trip was to ski many of the classic Vallee Blanche routes that I hadn't bothered with previous.  One I didn't intend to ski was the Petite Envers.  Generally it is too crevassed for my likely.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Crochues-Bérard tour Chamonix....

As always the views and mountains here are incredible!
Can you name that classic N. Face?

"Crochues-Bérard was a blast, best I've ever skied it."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Andy Nesbit interview....

Andy">">Andy Nisbet - 2014 Scottish award for excellence mountain culture
from Dave">">Dave MacLeod on Vimeo.">Vimeo.>

Thanks for the link Steve!


Patagonia">">Patagonia: Attempt To Succeed
from Sam">">Sam Van Brempt on Vimeo.">Vimeo.>

Thanks for the suggestion Sam!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Superfeet insoles?

I have spent 30+  years on Superfeet Kork custom insoles in my ski boots.  Was lucky enough today to spend an afternoon with Jeff Gray who is Superfeet's Director of Education and Training.  And what I got was an amazing education in a short amount of time.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Amazing Mtn photos...

Photo courtesy of and stolen from 's blog

If you haven't seen  's blog you should, if for no other reason than the amazing photos.

I was gobsmacked...jaw dropping!

Have fun!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring ski classic


Tacul alpine ice...

Ski Packs? Camp USA 260 and 600, Arcteryx Khamski 38

Truth is I am spoiled ("no chit", some of you must say) because I really do have some amazing gear.  And I get exposed to a lot more that isn't so amazing.   Packs in particular for this discussion. Randy at Cold Cold World has indulged me over the last few years by making what I still think is the best climbing sac I have ever used, let alone seen..  And that opinion includes the newest Arcteryx and Patagonia climbing packs along with the no name stuff floating around the Internet as a "alpine pack".   But sadly, a climbing pack is clearly not a ski pack.   It is close mind you but without the ski attachments and the extra "bag" for touring kit you still only have a climbing sack.  Useful but not idea for my own use. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The ice axe that glows... Bhend


Bhend Metallbau, Grindelwald Switerland
By Bruno Schull


            Who invented the ice axe?  Did shepherds scrambling back and forth between high pastures add crude picks to wooden alpine stocks, or is that just a climbing legend?  How did the long ice axes of the last century evolve into the short technical tools we know today?  I am not a historian, so I can not answer these questions, but I suspect that there are many different interpretations, and that the definitive story remains to be told.  What I can offer is the story of one ice axe, which has been made in largely the same form for over one-hundred-and-forty years, by four generations of the same family.  It’s the story of the ice axe which accompanied climbers on the first ascents of the highest mountain in the world, and the most infamous north face of the Alps.  It’s also a story about craft, an intangible combination of skill, tradition and values, fast disappearing in the modern world.  It’s the story of the Bhend ice axe. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Why decision making is greater than a beacon"

amazing photo courtesy of from the Internet


Why decision making is greater than a beacon...

December 23rd, 2012 by
Interview by Megan Michelson

Editor's note: This is a good read which I totally agree with BTW.

"Drew Tabke has been competing in big-mountain contests for the last eight years. In 2011, (and  again in 2013)  he won the overall title on the Freeskiing World Tour and placed second in 2012 on the Freeride World Tour. When he’s not competing, Tabke spends about 80 percent of his time in the backcountry, notching first ski descents in Washington’s North Cascades or in Chile’s Andes, where he spends three months each summer. Tabke, 28, spoke to us about his thoughts on the state of the backcountry while eating a burger at a pub in Seattle.
What draws you to the backcountry? I don’t like people telling me what to do. In ski areas, you have rules, ski patrol, and so many things that decide what you can and cannot do. In the backcountry, the best experience for me is having an idea of where I want to go and not using a guidebook and not getting too much information and having an authentic adventure. That’s my ideal.
Are there actually places left that haven’t been explored? Sure, in Washington, which is why I moved here from Utah. In Utah, it’s so hard to get somewhere where you can’t see another skin track. But in Washington, you may have a difficult approach, but then you get to a place where you have to figure out where to go, and you see no signs of other humans."

The rest is here:

Scott Toepfer, a member of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, takes depth measurements every 50 feet at the crown of a lethal avalanche near Loveland Pass. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

Read more: Colorado avalanche victims were part of snowboard gathering turned tragic - The Denver Post

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Why not me?"

Dawn patrol proud of her Dynafit, Praxis and Camp!

If you have ever looked at anything on Cold Thistle and wondered. "why not me"?  I am here to ask you, "why not you?"

Much of life is only two things...actually showing up and when in it out.  Take a risk...make a leap of faith.  You never know just how far it might take you!

More on this story in April ;-)