MSR Trail Shot Water Filter Review

One of the easiest ways to lighten your pack weight is by reducing the amount of water you carry. If you’re carrying a lot of water for a whole day, but passing sources and not using them, you’re wasting an opportunity to save weight, travel faster, and move more comfortably. If you prefer to filter your mountain water, the MSR Trail …

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Running the Glacier Haute Route

The idea to run the Glacier Haute Route evolved in about a two minute conversation with our Run the Alps Switzerland book partner, Kim Strom. Driving to Arolla for a run, we spotted the expanse of glaciers at the end of the valley that surround Mont Collon. Seeing them reminded me of 2013 when we hiked the Glacier Haute Route. …

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The Salomon X Alp 23 is the Perfect Backpack

Hiking the Oberaarhorn

I admit, I have a pack fetish. I dream of being given the chance to design my own perfect pack, a vision which includes the very best bits and pieces of all the countless packs I’ve used in the last 20 years. More importantly, it would not include all the many design blunders I’ve seen. Why am I so into packs? …

Climbing the Dent Blanche Regular Route South Ridge

Climbing Dent Blanche

Climbers prefer either a beautiful line or an inspiring overall objective. You don’t always get both. In the case of the 4357 meter Dent Blanche, you get a perfect combination of a classic ridge climb on a stunning big mountain, with solid rock. As far as moderate classic routes on the 4000 meter peaks of the Swiss Alps go, this is one …

The Trail Running Athlete Photographer Balance

For twenty years, I’ve been both an athlete and professional photographer. The ten years prior to becoming a photographer, I was a full time athlete, keeping busy as a rock climber and road bike racer. When I became a photographer, my two worlds merged. Then, together with my wife Janine, we made a career out of this lifestyle. My “I” …

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You did not run there! We ran there!

I recently came across the social media hash tag #youdidnotsleepthere. In case you haven’t seen it, it’s a feed of nothing but photos being called out as bullshit. I see this stuff all the time, we all do. It drives me crazy. To see a kayak on a lake in the Alps with views of the Matterhorn is beautiful. But …

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Announcing our Run the Alps Trail Running Book Project

I distinctly remember finding myself at a Swiss mountain hut with an early generation Salomon running vest and hydration hose. It had taken me more than a few runs to get up the nerve to actually wear the thing where I might be seen. France was one thing, Switzerland was another. Going to a hut with it was not part of the plan, but …

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Losing Ueli Steck

Ueli Steck

I’ve lost one of my closest friends. Since the moment I heard the news, and watched as it shattered the worlds of so many people, I have been trying to make sense of many things. This man was a friend, a husband, a son, and a hero. It turns out that his influence, globally, was even bigger than what he achieved. …

For a Few Meters More at the Ortler Ski Tour

skiing the Gran Zebru, Ortler ski tour

The Ortler Ski Tour Two guys wearing nothing but spandex shorts, ski boots, and packs full of gear saunter down to the parking lot. Spaghetti western extras with holstered ice axes and dangling ski crampons. An upsurge of dust follows. Our gang is just arriving to start a week of touring in Italy’s Ortler range, and conditions look dry. We …

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The Balfrin Traverse, a Perfect Introduction to the Alps

This route doesn’t seem to have an official name, but we’ve long called it the Balfrin Traverse. It was recommended to us way back in 2003 by the guiding couple extraordinaire, Cosley Houston. It is the perfect Alps alpine traverse introduction combining different skills for going into the big mountains, but without difficulty, technical skills, or many objective hazards. It is simply …

Climbing the Oberaarhorn

climbing the Oberaarhorn

As part of our Way Up project in the summer of 2016, we climbed the central Swiss Alps Oberaarhorn, 3630 meters, from the Oberaarsee near Grimsel Pass. This is an absolute classic easy alpine summit, with great views of the Berner Oberland’s highest peak, the Finsteraarhorn, a hut for overnight or lunch, and what interested us most, all types of terrain, …

Skiing the Bishorn

skiing the 4000er Bishorn

  Ski Touring an Alps 4000 Meter Peak The Bishorn is one of the Alps “easiest” 4000 meter peaks. However, this doesn’t make it easy. While it has no technical difficulties beyond walking, it does have the occasional crevasse, and the last 30 meters to the true summit can get icy. But what makes it “not easy” is that skiing the Bishorn is …

The Wetterhorn, Mittelhorn and Rosenhorn Ski Mountaineering Tour

Climbing the Wetterhorn's normal route

A friend referred to this as the “Horny Tour”. Starting from Rosenlaui, between Meiringen and Grindelwald, it’s a ski mountaineering tour that links up ascents of the Wetterhorn (3692 meters), Mittelhorn (3703 meters) and Rosenhorn (3688 meters). In the world of ski mountaineering, this one has a bit more mountaineering than ski. In fact, word has it that it’s an endurance exam …

Ski Touring in Bulgaria’s Pirin Mountains

Knowing absolutely nothing about Bulgaria made it the logical place to go. A few clicks on Google’s search results revealed it had good looking mountains, huts, multi-day tour options, ski culture, and best of all, it’s cheap and a short plane ride into a new world. Once we made our decision it was time to figure out exactly what to do, …

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Ski Touring in Crete, Greece

When I think of Greece I think of the nicest, warmest people imaginable, great food, sunny days, island life, and in my case – warm limestone and lots of sport climbing. I don’t think of ski touring when I think of Greece. But, in February, I found myself locking into my bindings at the start of a three day ski tour …

Skimo for the Mountain Runner

Pascal Egli, one of Switzerland’s top Skyrunners, explains how he uses SkiMo for big winter days.   A mountain runner in love with skimo For me, skimo is the pendant to winter mountain running! As a true mountain lover I don’t quit the mountains in winter and start running only on the road. Climbing mostly the same mountains as I …

Me Ski Pretty One Day

A woman ski mountaineering, or skimo training, in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland.

I’m cautious to admit that I don’t love to downhill ski. I don’t though. I’m from the flat plains of middle America where skiing doesn’t fit the topography or the culture. And so, I didn’t grow up a skier. I moved to France with no mountain experience. I didn’t speak the language, couldn’t admire the local cuisine (being vegan), and …

How I fight the cycling winter blues with skimo

Ski randonee racers training in the Italian Dolomites

In winter, cyclists either get fat or undergo a training regime that sounds like torture. They ride outside in absolutely miserable conditions; and when they can feel their fingers again, they post epic pictures on social media and pretend that they had a fantastic time. Sometimes, they go to the gym and look ridiculous as they try to lift weights with …

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Essential SkiMo Gear

Skimo Gear

What’s inside my skimo pack? The beauty of skimo is that it really is like going for a run. You can go alone, you can get an intense workout in with little time, and you really don’t need much gear. But, you do need the right gear, and you need to understand what that is and if it’s right for …

What is SkiMo?

Ski mountaineering in the Swiss Alps

SkiMo Explained Uphill skiing? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Who skis up? According to a recent article at Outside online, skimo is one of North America’s hottest winter sports. Apparently lots of people are pointing their skis uphill. After ten years living in the Alps, skimo is now a regular part of what I do each winter. It’s completely normal to go for a ski …