Showing posts with label El Cap Helmet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label El Cap Helmet. Show all posts

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, January 6, 2014

Changing seasons in the Rockies

Running from Crested Butte to Aspen, CO on a late summer day
Photo © Doug Shepherd
It's been a hectic late summer and fall season so far.  First off, my wife and I moved from Los Alamos, NM to Denver, CO in August and I have been trying to take advantage of living at the base of the Colorado Rockies as much as possible.  The weekend after moving, I joined good friends for a 40ish mile run from Crested Butte to Aspen, CO.  We passed through some beautiful scenery and paid way too much for pizza and beer at the end of the day in Aspen.  The next week, my friend Phil Wortmann talked me into "running" Kiener's Route on Longs Peak, a classic mountaineering route that traces up the edge of the Diamond face.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things: Granite, Cracks and Innovative Gear

After the second wettest June since records started being kept in 1895, the weather has finally started drying out in the East. That means FULL days of climbing again- not squeezing in as much as possible between storms and downpours! I returned to Cannon Cliff in NH to climb Vertigo, a climb I had been rained off of about 5 years ago. This route is a classic, full of history! As Mark Synnott put it in an article for Climbing Magazine, "Vertigo climbs a 400-foot granite buttress reminiscent of Yosemite or Squamish."

First Ascent:-July/1971. Mike Peloquin starting the Half Moon Crack belayed by John Bragg. Photo Paul Ross from

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Emperor Face

"Everything is training and nothing is training" - Josh Wharton

The Emperor Face, Mt Robson
©Doug Shepherd
Many peaks hold a mystical quality to me, steeped in climbing history, in stories of joy and sorrow.  My friends and I have been extremely lucky to add our own stories to a few peaks around the world from Alaska to Patagonia, becoming part of the rich tapestry of climbing lore.  Success or failure, while important to our egos, did not define our experiences in tracing out both the known and unknown.  It is this idea that draws me to alpine climbing, knowing that our own particular experiences are both a unique exploration into our abilities as climbers and part of a larger narrative of both those that have come before and those that are yet to come.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Summer Mountain Adventure Training Camp

I didn't travel out of the Northeast in April.  It was a strange feeling after being on the move all winter.  Although climbing was kept to the local crags, I did accomplish a lot-- I hired 10 new summer camp staff members and put some final details on the summer camp that I run, SumMAT Camp (which stands for SUMmer Mountain Adventure Training) through Petra Cliffs Climbing Center in Burlington, VT.  For the record, I tried to drop the T and change the name last year to Summa Camp, but met resistance. A little Bahston flair, what do you think?

Evan climbing in Acadia National Park, Maine, during an 11-day expedition