Expedition Tales

  • Gear List for Winter Adventures

    snow hiking north cascades

    Winter is coming which means the door is open for many fantastic outdoor activities. If you’re just getting into winter sports it can be a bit intimidating to plan your adventure, so here is a basic list of items that will make you much more comfortable and safe along the way!

    Words and Pictures by Meghan Young. Meghan is an avid outdoorswoman from Washington and a founder of the Pacific Northwest Outdoor Women's Group. You can follow her adventures on instagram @missmeghanyoung. 

    Ten Essentials

    The ten essentials are a must-have for backcountry travel during any season. In the winter this list becomes even more important due to the more severe temperature ranges. Online you will find a few versions of the list, but I like the one created by our friends at The Mountaineers the best.

    1. Navigation (map and compass)
    2. Sun Protection (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and clothing)
    3. Insulation (always bring a variety of layers)
    4. Illumination (headlamp/ flashlight AND extra batteries)
    5. First aid supplies
    6. Fire (butane lighter and waterproof matches)
    7. Repair kit and tools
    8. Nutrition (extra food for one additional day)
    9. Hydration (extra water and a purification method)
    10. Emergency shelter

    Continue reading

  • Arc'teryx Alpha SL Jacket Review

    A waterproof and windproof hardshell is the heart of my outdoor adventure kit. It is a piece of gear that goes on every single trip from a short day hike on my favorite local mountain to week-long backpacks in remote areas. Over the last year I searched for a new favorite hardshell, and I think I finally found it in the Arc’teryx Alpha SL.

    Alpha SL Jacket on Wonderland Trail day hike. Picture by Grace Giordano. Alpha SL Jacket on a Wonderland Trail day hike. Picture by Grace Giordano. Review by Claire Giordano.

    At the end of September I took the jacket on a slew of day hikes and a multi-day backpacking trip. Fall hiking in Washington guarantees a mixed bag of weather, and we got a little bit of everything from rain to cold wind and sunshine. I was happy through it all in the Alpha SL.

    The first thing I noticed about the jacket is how LIGHT it is. The women’s jacket (size M) clocked in at a pleasant 9.3 oz. This shaves significant ounces off the other jackets I usually carry, and I barely noticed the jacket while wearing it. The GORE-TEX® PacLite® fabric is not only light, but is less crinkly and compresses into a stuff sack that came with the jacket. Lightweight and packable, it was a no brainer to take it with me everyday.

    Continue reading

  • Skiing Alaska's Mount Sanford

    A trip report from AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide Jediah Porter.

    Jed Porter skiing perfect pow above the clouds on Alaska’s Mount Sanford. 1000 feet done, 10000 more to go! Photo: Meagan Buck Porter Jed Porter skiing perfect pow above the clouds on Alaska’s Mount Sanford. 1000 feet done, 10000 more to go! Photo: Meagan Buck Porter

    Human adventures are like caribou antlers; born soft and fuzzy with hope. Really, both start as just an idea, deep in one’s DNA. As they take shape, before they even take action, they are gentle and virtually unnoticeable. The promise of their power and prominence is there, but the scratched, hormonal, prideful reality is yet to be revealed.

    For us, the climb and ski of Alaska’s Mount Sanford started as just a tiny, incubating idea in a teenager’s soul. In Wildsnow, the definitive tome on North American ski mountaineering, guru (and now mentor) Lou Dawson mentions the Sheep Glacier route on Mount Sanford as perhaps the ultimate mid-difficulty ski run on a giant peak. I stumbled across that literally 20 years ago, and the idea has simmered since then.

    My wife Meagan and I booked some guiding work in Alaska in the spring of 2016, and looked to tack on a personal adventure. The time was right, the team was right, Mount Sanford was the call.

    Continue reading

  • Store Event: Torre Traverse with Colin Haley and Patagonia

    torre traverse headline image

    Join Patagonia Climbing Ambassador Colin Haley for an evening presentation about his last season in Patagonia. He'll talk about the record-shattering climb he completed with Alex Honnold of the Torre Traverse; a 20 hour, 40 minute traverse of Cerro Standhardt, Punta Herron, Torre Egger, and Cerro Torre.

    Get inspired, drink a cold one, and score a chance to win some swag, including a Patagonia Nano-Air Jacket!

    Doors open at 7:00 PM
    Program begins at 7:30PM

    We expect to reach building capacity, so recommend arriving early!!

  • Suunto Spartan Ultra: First Impressions

    Our Seattle store just received the new Suunto Spartan Ultra watches! Over the last week we sent one out in the field to gather some top-level beta on this new multisport GPS watch from Suunto.  Keep your eyes out over the next few months for more in-depth reviews of specific features. 

    Suunto Spartan Ultra

    Over the last week I got to take Suunto’s Spartan Ultra HR on a few field tests. Here are my initial impressions. Keep your eyes out for subsequent follow-up reviews after I have gotten it on some backpacking trips, tracked data longer, and explored the upcoming software updates.

    Out of the box

    The Spartan looks and feels great. I got my hands on the All-black HR with the steel bezel, and it looks clean, sharp, and streamlined. In the box is a very simplified instruction manual, a connector cable, a HR monitor, and a sticker (I am a sucker for stickers).

    Putting the watch on was a pleasant surprise. The first thing I noticed was how light it felt. As a woman with quite small wrists, I have tried on most GPS watches on the market and disliked the feel of all of them. All of them looked huge on me and would not wrap properly around my wrist; at best they would flop around when I ran, and worst would press on my lower arm bone quite uncomfortably. While the Spartan does look big on me, it is actually comfortable for a long day of hiking. A big part of the comfort for me is the slightly curved back face of the watch and the siliconized straps that hold the watch in place without having to be tightened uncomfortably.

    While the watch is likely too big to be my all-day every-day wearer, I can easily see it meeting this need for someone with larger wrists or someone who is used to a larger device.

    Continue reading

Items 16 to 20 of 85 total

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. ...
  8. 17