Hi, I'm Kevin.  I'm a triathlete and mountaineer, among other things.   This is where I get to share my adventures with you.  

 

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Mountaineering

"Enlightenment isn't found with a full stomach, or on a soft pillow" - Conrad Anker

May 1, 2018

After having compared a number of down suits on the market, I decided on the Marmot 8000m Suit.  It has an excellent combination of features that puts it above most other suits on the market.  Marmot really put a lot of thought into making the suit simple and user friendly, all while keeping it lightweight and minimal.  

Marmot uses Primaloft in the calves and back panel to help keep those areas warm wh...

February 20, 2018

So, you've committed to a climb of Mt. Rainier, now you've got to get in shape if you want to have any chance of making the summit. 

Where to begin?

First things first, let's look at what you'll be expected to do during the climb:

  • Hike up 5,000 vertical feet to Camp Muir in under 5 hours with a 40lb. pack

  • Rest for 6-8 hours at Camp Muir

  • Climb 4,400 vertical feet to the summit in under 5 hours with a 20lb....

January 15, 2018

Climbing Mt. Rainier requires a lot of gear.  There's really no way to go 'ultralight' in the same way you can with backpacking.  But by choosing quality, lightweight gear, you can keep your pack weight low and yet still be adequately prepared for any situation you might encounter while on the mountain.  Making the right gear choices will increase your chances of success, and more importantly, your safety.  Making poor choices...

December 28, 2017

There are many reasons why you might choose to climb solo.  Finding reliable climbing partners can be hard, plus it allows you to practice over and over and doesn't require you to spend any of your time belaying.  For these reason, and others, I chose to do most of my ice climbing via a solo toprope method.  These systems can be relatively safe, as long as you use the right tools in the right ways.  There are numerous methods...

December 18, 2017

When it comes to general mountaineering, there are really two options when it comes to crampons: 10-points and 12-points.  When you're first starting out, it can be hard to know which one will be best, and unless you've done a lot of research, the difference certainly isn't always clear at first glance.  I bought my first pair of crampons when I registered for a guided climb of Mt. Rainier.  I didn't put a lot of research into...

November 28, 2017

Still deciding what to get someone for Christmas?  Or maybe you need some last minute ideas to add to your list.  

1.  Black Diamond Swift Ice Axe - $190

With a T-rating and an adjustable pinky rest, this piolet can take you to places no other piolet can.  Capable of ice and mixed climbing in addition to self arrest, this ice axe is sure to be along for the ride on all of your climbing adventures.  

2.  Aqua Sphere Caye...

November 15, 2017

Earlier this year Eddie Bauer released the a new down jacket called the Evertherm.  Instead of standard down fill, it uses a manufactured sheet of material made from real down clusters.  They claim that it is even warmer than their standard down jacket - the Downlight - yet without any of the bulk associated with typical down jackets.  So naturally, when I saw one in the store, I had to check it out....

August 10, 2017

After two years of getting shut out on Rainier (route conditions in 2015 and weather in 2016), we were really hoping to make the summit this year.  Plus, the past two years we had a team of 4, this time around we had a big team...a very big team.  We had 12 people on our team - the maximum team size allowed on Mt. Rainier.  Out team consisted of people with a wide range of mountaineering skills and abilities - some with no cli...

July 18, 2017

Even with my Rainier climb only a week away, I wanted to squeeze in another climb this summer.  I decided on Mt. Hood as I had never done it and it would take less time to climb than Mt. Adams.  The weather looked great and the route was supposed to be in good shape, so I got off work early and headed south.  My plan was to start climbing Friday night and get about halfway up, then sleep in my tent and start early the next mor...

June 6, 2017

With the rising trend of ski mountaineering, gear manufacturers have been clamoring to create ultralight harnesses specifically suited to this light-and-fast style of climbing.  In 2016 Petzl introduced a whole line of gear aimed at the skimo market, including a harness that weighs a mere 5.3oz. (150 grams).  Meanwhile, Edelrid put the rest of the market to shame when they introduced the Loopo Light, weighing an astonishing  2...

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