Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Oh la!" Chamonix

Erin Smart on the Arête des Cosmiques with the glaciers of Mont Blanc in the background.
Photo: David Moscowitz

“Erin, it’s supposed to be hard, it's a hard climb. As you get better, it remains hard, the only difference is you are able to get up it.” My friend Mike told me this at the beginning of my climbing season this summer. Surprisingly simple to some, yet I had always believed that natural born climbers had an easy time on harder grades. Probably because they just make it look so easy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wildcat Romp- I Got Rocks... Lots of Rocks

Gotta love the polka-dot shirt! and Mammut MTR pack
After a few weeks since my Wildcat Romp 50k, I have been starting solid training again and really feeling like the Cole I knew last fall. I had chosen this race because I was looking for something that would be a late summer race and get myself a race test before my big races this fall. I always like to have my most critical races scheduled for the fall as cooler weather seems to suit me well.

I had the interest in running an ultra in NJ, my home state to see how that would go. Well, here is the story.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Three's company in the mountains?


Approaching the North Buttress of Begguya (Mt. Hunter)
 ©Doug Shepherd
Climbing with three has it's appeals.  Splitting the work with an extra person, more warmth while cuddling, and general camaraderie. That said, I've been known to repeatedly say "I hate climbing in the mountains with three" and turn down climbing trips, especially on technical alpine routes.  My reasoning for this comes from many failed climbs with three people, due to general slowness, stuck ropes, difficult communication, and even a lack of stoke!

However, I've recently had a break-through, efficiently climbing large routes with a team of three.  Part of this is finding the right partners and part of it is due to finally figuring out the right gear and tactics for efficient movement with three people.  Keep reading for my take on making it work in the mountains with three.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mile 18


David and I have been spending a lot of time with our friend, Sander, south of Big Timber, Montana in the Beartooth Mountains. Though a handful of people had "brushed" a few problems here and there, most of these rocks were untouched until this summer.

Sander made an awesome movie about the weeks we've had here so far this season.
Christine

Christine making easy work of High Noon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Rainspeed climbing jacket?

Big bang from a small package... The MTR 201 Rainspeed jacket is designed for trail running but it's at the top of my list for rain protection plus it only weighs an unbelievable 210g.  Being an alpine climber, I obsess about weight and functionality with all of my Mammut products.



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mountain Lake Alpine - Squamish, BC


With the opening of the new Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, alpine adventures have suddenly become far more accessible. However, with improved access comes increased traffic and Sky Pilot, the prominent alpine peak just south of town, has likely seen more ascents this year than in the last 10 combined. Looking to escape the crowds and the summer heat in the valley, we decided to check out Mountain Lake, a beautiful yet tough-to-access zone on the south side of Sky Pilot, far from the burger-eating crowds at the top of the gondola.