A Year of Stoke and Appreciation

 

Two climbers joking around before the final pitch of the Aiguille Dibona, Ecrins National Park, France

Pushing the limits of the stokeometer

ALPSinsight’s first year has been a great one! We set out with huge motivation to stoke others, built a site we are proud of, developed a good size following on social media, and now know that we have positively influenced a lot of people to do things in the Alps. Based on how many emails we received over the summer from people seeking info, and following up on their experiences – we are confident the site, and what we set out to do, worked.

We’d like to take a moment to not just thank all of our followers, you, but to say thanks and show our own support to all the many brands that we work with. We’re not just ALPSinsight, we’re also PatitucciPhoto, and we do a lot of photo work for some great companies. What we’re doing here at ALPSinsight has caught their eye as well. Their support of our effort is hugely appreciated and without this involvement, we couldn’t do what we do. And without great gear, life in the mountains wouldn’t be so smooth. This is the best of the bunch.

Dynafit

Dynafit is famous for ski gear, especially their revolutionary pin binding that changed ski touring. Their ski mountaineering gear is hugely innovative and all about being super light and performance oriented. Now, they are also making some of the best performance trail and mountain running gear out there using designs and innovation from the ski mountaineering world. The results are perfect for trail runners, especially those wanting to take running to bigger mountains.

On the summit of the Oberaarhorn, 3631 meters, Switzerland

Dynafit’s mountain running gear played a big role in this summer’s Way Up project – the exact terrain these products are made for.

Trail running the Hardergrat, a long ridge connecting Interlaken to Brienz, Switzerland

Dynafit summer kit on the famous Hardergrat.

Osprey Packs

Osprey Packs are widely known as the most comfortable packs on the market. When you spend 300+ days a year in the mountains, you spend a lot of time with a pack on your back. Bad packs are not an option for us.

A trekker hiking up rocks against a dramatic sky and clouds with distant views of big Himalayan peaks, Tibet

Janine used the Osprey Variant for 5 weeks in the Himalaya, a perfect combination for trekking or alpine climbing.

Two ski tourers on their way up the Mittaghorn during a ski tour of the Berner Oberland, Switzerland

Osprey’s ski packs in action in the Berner Oberland, with humans attached to them.

Lowa Footwear

We can’t run everywhere in the mountains… Lowa is our hiking and mountain boot partner.

A woman trekker hiking in cold, snowy weather near Shishapangma, Tibet

Janine headed for Shishapangma’s advance basecamp in perfect photo conditions for her Lowa mountain boots.

Hydrapak

In my opinion, water bottles are out for mountain sports. It’s all about soft flasks and Hydrapak makes the best ones out there. Soft flasks take up less room, are ultralight, don’t slosh, and you can carry several of them instead of one big bottle – spreading them about in a way that makes sense. It’s been great to see performance clothing brands finally starting to incorporate soft flask sleeves into their clothing – something ski mountaineers discovered ages ago. Try them! More info from our own review.

Trail running the Lauterbrunnen to Kandersteg tour, Switzerland.

Hydrapak soft flasks. Stick them in your chest pockets, jacket pockets, in your pack, whatever. When you are out of water they disappear.

Trail Butter

We’ve been getting special deliveries from Trail Butter via friends traveling to Europe. When we share, I’ve never seen an energy food product get loved so much. It’s been fun hearing stories from European friends of how they are now getting their own deliveries from the US. Trail Butter – please come to Europe! 50 gallon drums would be a good start.

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Me, about to be mugged for my Trail Butter.

ChiaCharge

The guys at ChiaCharge are making an all natural energy bar that is a bit too tasty. Do not even think of putting these in the same category as any other energy bar. Think fine European bakery products, in your pocket.

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It was all I could do to not eat every ChiaCharge bar before The Way Up project. They are just too good with coffee, but even better on the fourth summit of a traverse.

Goal Zero

Goal Zero has been a brand we 100% rely on to do our work. From the solar office in Himalayan basecamps, to powerful pocket batteries that can be quickly charged from small solar panels in the field. This stuff is perfectly made for mountain people. More info from our own Goal Zero review.

Two people at a basecamp during a Himalayan trek using solar panels to power their technology, including a laptop computer. Tibet.

For 5 weeks this was our home and office at Shishapangma. Goal Zero powered all the electronics for 6 people – perfectly.

Using a solar panel inside the Finsteraarhorn Hut to charge a phone and camera, during a ski tour of the Berner Oberland, Switzerland.

In the Alps, don’t rely on being able to charge any of your electronics at huts – do rely on Goal Zero.

Katadyn

The Katadyn BeFree filter was an incredible addition to our gear kit this year. Rather than carry a huge amount of water, I carried this tiny filter on a Hydrapak soft flask and filled up from natural sources as I needed water. The weight savings is huge when you are putting in big days. More info from our review.

A woman trail runner stops at a mountain creek to fill her water bottle and drink. Val Verzasca, Switzerland

Fast water run through – get it!? Stop and drink with the Katadyn BeFree filter.

Grindelwald and the Jungfrau Region

Both the town of Grindelwald and the Jungfrau Region have been key supporters as well, with the goal being – keep Dan & Janine in the mountains making photos and stories. The content we create has been influential in people’s experiences when visiting the Alps. We can’t ask for any bigger reward.

Gravel biking above Grindelwald, Switzerland with the Wetterhorn in the background.

Of all the incredible places in the Alps, there is truly one place that stands out, and where we decided to call home – the Jungfrau Region.

The Hotel Bellevue at Kleine Scheidegg on a snowy morning with the Wetterhorn in the background. Grindelwald, Switzerland

Kleine Scheidegg, above Grindelwald, waking up to a fall dusting of snow.

Friends!

The best support of all is what we get from our own friends, whether it be joining us for trips as models, or simply pushing us to do more in the mountains. We are incredibly fortunate to work in the outdoor industry family, and live in a hugely supportive mountain sport community. There is no way to get everyone in here – you know who you are – thanks! Let’s do it all over again next year! Special thanks to our friends, and partners in this, Run the Alps and Grand Tours Project.

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Ueli Steck, David Göttler and me – rating some long forgotten subject with a thumbs sideways. Maybe it was the 5 weeks of ceaseless snow at Shishapangma?

Two runners laughing while running downhill on the Piz Lunghin above Maloja, Switzerland after an early winter snow storm.

Pascal Egli and Kim Strom making me laugh with custom hashtag comments on the fly… yes, inside joke.

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Six days of ski touring in the Berner Oberland in this weather had us all a bit grumpy, thankfully Brendan Leonard of Semi-Rad was along to remind us to keep laughing.

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To all the many friends we met along the way this year!

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Janine and Simon Duverney eating out before the good light starts. Simon is a key part of what we do for all our work – and he’s a brilliant climber and mountain guide at AltiPlanet

Finally… Janine Patitucci

As the communicator on the team, our followers have come to know my voice. But everyone needs to know that like any strong team, there is a rock in the background. That would be my wife and partner in everything I/we do, Janine. If you’d like to hear her voice, follow along at @janinepatitucci

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Now, tell us your story – why are you following us? What sorts of interest do you have in the Alps and what can we do to provide info? Please leave a comment here – thanks!

Dan & Janine Patitucci

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