observations on gear, adventure, and the world

More Google Reader Stardom

So I started training hard this week, over did the lack of sleep thing, ignored a spike in non-training stress, and pr0mptly crashed. My movescount from last week looks like fun though. Two days of climbing two days on skis and two days on the bike with some runs on the feet. Nice!

I’ve got some moderately cool stuff to post but I’ve a boat full of stuff that is REALLY COOL that other folks have put up that I’d like to get off my chest!

First, I’ve been telling everyone that the biggest binding you need is the Dynafit FT 12 and a TLT Mountain Boot, exhibit A:

Well… unless you ski like this:

Untitled from lindsey vonn on Vimeo.

Which odds are you don’t.

On that note, Seth Morrison, feature length on Hulu:
http://www.hulu.com/embed/y3ZNZRjycQeXhr8WrQBYjw

And a little something from Sweetgrass/Patagonia:

If you’re looking for a podcast, then start here (clipped from the Cleanest Line):

Dirtbag Diaries: The Cowboy and the Maiden

Saddle up for another episode of The Dirtbag Diaries. Host Fitz Cahall sets the stage for today’s podcast:

In September 2008, Chad Kellogg and climbing partner Dylan Johnson stood atop 6250-meter Siguniang in Western China after completing the 10,000-foot-long SW Ridge. It was a mind-bending ascent through a massive big wall, a razor edge ridge and high altitude ice climbing. The two friends endured days without water and several sleepless nights. Dylan lost 30 pounds over the course of their ascent. If that sounds epic, it pales in comparison to what Kellogg went through to even return to the mountain that had filled his thoughts for years. During a prior trip, Chad was called home after his wife Lara died in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge. Four months later, he was diagnosed with cancer. Summits fade, routes disappear into alpinists’ memory, but occasionally mountains extend back into life on level ground. Sometimes we don’t just want to climb a mountain. We need to.

Listen to The Cowboy and the Maiden
(mp3 – 32:17 – right-click to download)

For more on the music from this episode or to share a story of your own, head over to www.dirtbagdiaries.com. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with Fitz via Facebook and Twitter.

[With thanks to the Dirtbag Nation for supporting and spreading word about the Diaries.]

Brian “Get Stronger, Go Longer” Harder and a partner just completed a “Race style push on the Middle Teton for time. I’ve said it before but this is just the sort of adventure that really captures my imagination. I race and train in large measure because I want to do this sort of effort. I test my self against men so that I can prove myself against mountains. To be fair I also need to work my ass off to keep up with the Girl, especially now that she’s training with Plan7.

I’ve had several good backcountry partners doubt my obsession with light/fast travel, they argue that you are loosing some of the experience when you run in 13hrs what you could walk in 5 days. And they are right, the experience is changed, but you can also fit some huge adventure into a weekend/afternoon/lunch break at that pace. Ultimately, I prove my point by referencing a VERY small survey of folks who have tried to climb the Grand Teton. My brother-in-law did the full-pack-snail  (bring everything you need and lug it up there) and got turned around because the weather went bad, while Mr. Harder and his boys do laps on the thing. If you bring less you can go faster, you need less time, there are fewer variables, and if you do need to bail you can move faster on the down too. So light and fast, in my book makes more objectives possible too… also I know VERY little about getting up the Grand.

Speaking of light and fast it’s Skimo racing where these techniques really get developed and refined – racing in a slightly controlled environment helps you move faster and cover more ground all the time. I’ve Skimo raced once and I’m already at least eight times faster in my transitions and skinning.

Nice pics and context from one of the Wasatch’s pioneers of the fast and light:

ISMF European Championships from SLC Samurai by Jared

That’s a bunch of Europeans crushing it, while mountaineering is a well established part of sporting culture in the old country, here in the US it is just beginning to grow. Team Crested Butte is trying to change that.

They have a YouTube (I generally eschew all things YouTubey) series that is worth your attentions!

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