Team Mammut

Friday, March 23, 2018

Backyard Dispatch // Part 1

It started innocently, as I watched rain fall in the valley in February in Jackson, WY thinking that it shouldn’t be raining in the middle of winter. When the wheels starting turning about my impact and the ease at which we many of us can fly across the world when we don’t like the weather in our towns, I personally wanted to make a choice to change.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Guides for Glaciers: Mountain Guides and Mountain Enthusiasts on the Front Lines of Climate Change

Located in the most popular alpine arena in the North Cascades--Boston Basin--the Quien Sabe Glacier is rapidly diminishing.
National Geographic writes that "Guides are portals to the outdoor world."  Mountain guides are portals to the glacial world and today they are on the front lines of climate change, threatened both economically and physically by changes in the mountain environment.  Through their daily connection to glaciers and their interactions with client-climbers, guides are uniquely positioned to communicate about climate change in mountain environments and to take a lead in creating a healthy future for both mountain guides and all mountain enthusiasts.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Reflections in the Ice

Gazing into the lens of past ice seasons and considering what is in store.
Photo credit: Alysse Anton
Last year was likely the best season of my ice life. I enjoyed such a stellar season, both in terms of guiding and in terms of personal climbing that it prompts me to lean back, shake out, and ponder why—after all, it's much less the climbing that I seek in the ice, than the lens on life that this translucent and ephemeral substance provides me. So, taking my tools out of the closet and strapping on crampons for this season's ice, it'd be wise to reflect upon why. After all, the mind is a muscle—as vital to effective ice climbing as calves and triceps. So, as the leaves wither and we await first ice, as I do my lock-offs, calf raises, and tricep extensions to prepare my body for another season of ice, it's also wise to pay heed to the brain that this body carries around. Reflecting on last season, here's a couple of concepts that highlight the learning that stretched my brain muscle last season:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Locker vom Hocker: A Foray into Legend

All good stories contain legendary characters and this one is no different.

Once upon time there were two influences in the world of climbing known as Kurt Albert and Wolfgang Gullich, unique to the times they pushed the limits of possibility. Influenced by the style of climbing going on in Saxony, Germany, Albert ushered in a new era of climbing in his home region of the Frankenjura known as Rotpunkt (point of red). He would paint a red X on a fixed pin so that he could avoid using it for a foot- or handhold. Once he was able to free climb (using only his hands and feet to advance upwards) the entire route, he would put a red dot at the base of the route. This was the origin of the free climbing movement that led to the development of sport climbing in the following decade.
Climbing the classics of the Frankenjura

Friday, September 29, 2017

Bow Valley Sport Guidebook - Second Edition

The second edition of our popular title, Bow Valley Sport, has just been released and is available on our website, The Bow Valley is arguably the best climbing area in Canada for summer conditions and the vast limestone cliffs provide superb face climbing at every level. All the best areas are found in this book, including pocket-infested 5.8s at Grassi Lakes, immaculate 5.10 quartzite face climbs at Lake Louise and physical 5.12-5.13 overhangs at the The Lookout. Round this out with some superb multi-pitch sport climbing and you've got a great vacation on your hands. But don't just come to the Bow Valley for the climbing. Enjoy wildlife viewing, alpine hiking and refreshing swims in one of Canada's most gorgeous mountain environments!

Irene Tos on Stepping Stone (5.13b) at The Lookout. Photo: Greg Tos.

Friday, June 16, 2017

When The Best Plan is No Plan for Climbing in the Alps Pregnant

About this last time last year, my husband Steve and I began planning an epic, albeit ambitious, trip: two weeks in France and Switzerland, with objectives to climb Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, and the Eiger (plus Mönch and Jungfrau, why not, while we were in the area!). We had been training together with the Mountain Tactical Institute's "Alpine Rock Climbing Training Program," and we were feeling good, strong, ready! Those weighted step-ups, sandbag get-ups and DW Specials were worth the suffering!

The whole plan was sketched out, including a backup climbing order if the weather didn't line up, I had all of the phone numbers to begin reserving space in the mountain huts... and then... we found out I was pregnant.