Showing posts with label Mount McKinley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mount McKinley. Show all posts

Sunday, June 9, 2013


I grew up in Washington State on the Puget Sound, so I had plenty of time to watch herons in action. They are large yet delicate creatures, able to plod along in the marsh for hours, always ready to act with precision when the moment called. With those memories in mind, it is only logical that Mammut's expedition pack be called the Heron Pro. This 85+ liter beast is well primed for Denali/Mt. McKinley style expeditioning, as evidenced during the trip I recently guided with Rainier Mountaineering Incorporated on Denali's famed West Buttress. If you're considering a Denali climb or are looking at a winter expedition pack for alpine objectives like the New Hampshire's Presidential Traverse or Maine's Katahdin/Baxter peaks, you'll be interested to hear about this pack. Though it's just now catching on in the American expedition market, it has a lot to offer arctic/winter/high-altitude climbers in terms of carrying capacity complemented by performance design.

Heading up the fixed lines between 14-17K

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Packing the Heron Pro for Alaska/Denali-McKinley

Got out my Heron Pro and put together my pack for Denali today: 3 ropes, 2 full racks, 8 liters of water, and ankle weights. Sound to you like a savvy packing list for heading out onto the Kahiltna Glacier for a month? Me neither. But of course, packing for Denali begins long before the climb, with plenty of training and prep beforehand. This season I'll be guiding both Rainier Mountaineering Incorporated's (RMI) first-ever AlaskanAlpine Seminar and a Denali/McKinley Climb, so I'll have both heavy and light packs on for over a month on the cliffs, couloirs, and glaciers around this proud mountain. And while the ice season with Adventure Spirit Rock+Ice+Alpine provided plenty of training for those steep couloirs, I do need to stretch the legs, fill the lungs, and condition the back a bit for Denali's notoriously beastly loads.

Having recently joined the Mammut team, I'm looking forward to testing and reporting back on how the Heron Pro goes at carrying those beastly loads.  Even in the training phase, as I try to fill it up with everything, the kitchen sink, and the stove, I'm impressed by its seemingly insatiable maw. I'm also liking the rotational carriage system on the waist-belt, tempering sheer brawn with some degree of elegance in movement. I'll be out on the glacier until early June, but I'm looking forward to delivering a full report when I'm back down. In the meantime, wishing everyone a strong start to the climbing season!
Hauling the Heron Pro in Vermont's Green Mountains