Entries in ski mountaineering (35)


Spring Powder and New Zones

Skiing in the Front Range of South Central Alaska's Chugach mountains is an acquired taste. In the middle of summer when the mountains are mostly snow free they look like hills and inspire little hope for skiing adventure. But throw some snow on them and suddenly their intricate features and deceptively large scale start to show.

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Mt. Blanc du Tacul

Pat and I had time for one more outing before he had to leave to guide a client on the Ortler Tour in Italy. Both of us had designs on summiting Mt. Blanc and thought that doing the classic traverse would be the way to go. This route starts at the top of the Midi and hits the tops of Mt. Blanc du Tacul, Mt. Maudit and, finally, the MB. This covers significant linear distance as well as the obvious vertical.

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Col du Cristaux

Col du Cristaux is in the far left cornerI came to Chamonix 3 weeks ago with a calm mind and no firm objectives. Over the years I’ve learned that the quickest way to a humbling beatdown is to show up at a new area with all guns blazing. Sure, the truly gifted and unfathomably talented (think Alex Honnold climbing anywhere in the world) can get away with it but most of us need to wade in from the shallow end.

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Chugach Magic

Yep, it's as big as it looks. The bottom 200' is obscured by a rock band in the foregroundThere's no hiding the fact that this winter has been somewhat grim in Alaska. We've been high and dry and occasionally oddly warm during the last couple of months. We knew the drought would end eventually and it did in grand fashion this past week. Not all the local ranges got snow, however, and, in my opinion, the Front Range and Western Chugach faired the best. I sampled both offerings this week.

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The Name Has Changed

Anyone paying attention when they come here will notice a new name on the banner and a few new images. Over the next few days, the domain name switch will be complete and this site will be officially be Skimo Life. You'll still be able to get here using the old name. That name has a certain amount of weight in the Google world and I don't want to lose what I have. But I'll be building an internet presence with the new one.

When I first started the site years ago, Get Stronger, Go Longer reflected the content and the direction. I'm still a physiology geek but since I'm competing less and exploring more the content of the blog has shifted. Hence, the name change. I always feel odd telling people the name of the site because it doesn't immediately reveal my overall direction of late. I hope the new name represents better what I'm writing about these days.

Content will continue to revolve around ski moutaineering including gear, trip reports and training. Off season pieces will likely center around mountain running which is the summer distraction for many alpinists and ski mountaineers. Internet users will still come to the site based on specific searches they're performing and hopefully the banner name won't distract or confuse visitors. Ultimately, I hope the transition will be a smooth one.

Thanks for reading. - Brian