La Sportiva

Climbing the Midi-Plan Traverse

My partner was sick yesterday so I went out on a solo mission and wanted to see some new terrain. Not knowing exactly what I was going to get into I packed my Deuter Speed Lite 20 and took off for the Aiguille du Midi. After leaving the Midi I could see the Aiguille du Plan and it seemed the obvious choice for an outing but I knew nothing about the route. In my Speed Lite 20 pack I brought a 7.5mm tag line if I needed to rappel, a half liter of water, one GU, my Petzl Altitude harness, my Reverso, Sarken crampons, a sling and locking carabiner, and my La Sportiva Hail Jacket. So I was definitely...

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2016 Ice Fest Tour

I just ended my ice fest tour for the year. I was able to attend and teach clinics at the Ouray Ice Festival, Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival, and the Michigan Ice Festival. All have there unique qualities and different styles, vibes, and even the ice feels different in all three areas. Here are some of the cool parts of each and recommendations for those thinking of going. Ouray Ice Fest was held January 14th - 17th and most activities take place within walking distance of the center of Ouray. This fest hosts many clinics, gear demos, and slide shows from some of the top alpinists...

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Deuter Guide Lite 32 Review

The Deuter Guide Lite 32 With summer season in full swing here at Fox Mountain Guides we are putting gear to the test. One piece of gear that our guides use daily is the Deuter Guide Lite 32+. This pack is a lighter version of the guide series packs due to the ripstop nylon and Duratex Lite fabrics that are used. This makes it a great pack to save weight for bigger climbs as well as keep your knees healthy all season long. I have personally put the pack to the test this season on the rock as well as skiing some volcanoes in the Northwest. The pack has held up exceptionally well and seems...

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Sliding on Volcanos

As I delve into my final AMGA discipline, I am finding the beauty of carrying boards to the top of the mountains, the descent! It is some feeling when you get to the top of peaks and know you only have a few hours and you will be back at the car when all the other climbers have a knee banging descent. But it is also about experiencing the alpine environment in a different way. Sliding across endless fields of glaciers, taking routes because they present a steeper slope, managing terrain that I would typically brush off and sliding over cracks I would typically want a rope on. Experiencing the “flow”...

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Ice Climbing Looking Glass Falls

The climb that I did [Saturday, Feb. 21], was Looking Glass Falls, one of the classic falls of the Pisgah National Forest with many visitors every year. I pass the falls frequently, as most of the climbing guiding and instruction I do is on Looking Glass Rock, so I am always yearning to climb it. Rarely do we have temperatures like we have had in the last week that enable waterfalls with as much flow volume as Looking Glass to freeze. We have had some of these temps in the past few years but, due to the nature of my job and traveling to far off places, I wasn’t able to catch the falls “in...

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Life, on the road, in my house…

  In 2011 I moved out of my Subaru and into a Toyota Tacoma Double cab truck with a Four Wheel camper. The Subaru was great, but eventually you kinda want a bed. I was spending 50 to 80 nights a year in my car and was doing this in every season as well as needed off road capabilities for those long approach desert rock climbs. I had a look around for what the best options were, Sprinters, Sportsmobiles and truck campers and came to the conclusion that 4 wheel drive is a must and it had to be an everyday driver. What fit the bill, the Four Wheel camper on a Double Cab, Long Bed Toyota...

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La Sportiva Swing Sandal “review”

The perfect summer approach shoe I just got done testing out one of the best summer approach shoes I have ever worn. The La Sportiva Swing offers exceptional comfort. Your feet feel free in them, and the leather is placed perfectly to allow maximum breath-ability. This helps keep the odor down and also helps keep your feet dry, which is important since they are not GoreTex. The bottoms have FriXion rubber, which the website says is “for everything.” I couldn’t agree more: they hook up on the sandy, muddy, and rocky approaches and still handle smears on the overhanging rock. They have a great...

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Footwear Choices in the Alps

As I got ready for the Alps I inquired to some friends who were already there as to what boots would be appropriate for the conditions this season. There has been quite bad weather and much more snow than is typical has fallen this summer. Most of the recommendations I received were that the “red boots” would be too cold and I should instead go with a Batura to stay warm. Having recently upgraded from the Trango GTX to the Trango Cube, I really wanted to try the boot out, so I brought both. On our first afternoon up the Aiguille du Midi we did a small glacier stroll over to the Cosmiques...

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Ice Climbing: “A Leader’s Game”

Ice climbing is one of the essential tools for alpine climbing. Moving efficiently across mixed and ice terrain is a must to be efficient in the mountains. Ice climbing as a sport itself has exploded over the past ten years. There are now “ice fests” all across the country, and many folks attend these, take clinics, and try out all the new exciting gear.   This year in New Hampshire, I helped run the first ever Advanced Ice course that Fox Mountain Guides has offered, with the main focus on leading ice. In this course we talk about the seriousness of the leads and how ice climbing...

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AMGA Doug Parker and Roger Baxter-Jones Memorial Scholarship

I received the Doug Parker and Roger Baxter-Jones Memorial Scholarship for my Alpine Guides exam and here is the video that I put together for it!    

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Spain… in pictures.

Click on each picture to enlarge. For more info and the story click here: http://www.foxmountainguides.com/about/the-guides-blog/entry/the-white-coast                                                                                                   ...

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La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX

My time in New Hampshire is fading fast as Fox Mountain Guides NH Ice trip comes to an end. This year we have seen quite the swing in temperatures from 51°F to -10°F. I have been in my La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX every day for work or play! This year I have had two different clients on this trip alone buy the Batura 2.0 and be way psyched on them. I have had all three generations of the boot, and the Batura 2.0 GTX is the ringer! It weighs in significantly lighter than its predecessor at 1.8 pounds total. As we all know pounds off our feet in the mountains make the summits that much sweeter! Even...

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Sizing for Climbing Shoes

"What size climbing shoes should I get?" "How should my climbing shoes fit?" "How do you size your approach shoes?" These are common questions about the sizing and fit of climbing shoes that I hear all the time. I put together a video answering some of these questions. Remember, climbing is supposed to be fun; pain isn't fun. Buy shoes that fit and feel good, and you WILL climb harder!  

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The Solution

I have been climbing in the Red River Gorge for the last few days and have been noticing the humidity rising with the warmer temps. This equates to slimy holds, slick feet, and well... not sending. The solution: La Sportiva Solutions. Though marketed as a bouldering shoe, the Solution's sticky rubber wants to hold you onto the wall whether you are 10 feet off the ground or 50. I had worked a few 5.12s and was not having any luck fighting the pump on  the steep overhaning sandstone that the Red so readily throws in your face. So I threw on a pair of Solutions and onsited the very next climb. Today...

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