Committed to America’s Big Trails

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Partners with the Pacific Crest Trail Association & the Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
Thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Photo courtesy of @ilubbgatos

This February, we partnered with the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC), key organizations that support two of the “Big Three” thru hiking/backpacking trails. Why? Because we are committed to getting you—the passionate outdoor adventurer—into the mountains and onto the trails where you can achieve your most optimal self. Our goal with these partnerships is to ensure these iconic and inspirational trails are preserved, protected and enjoyed by all types of hikers for decades to come.

PCTA-logoWith 11,000+ members and donors, the PCTA empowers more than 1800 volunteers to work 96,500 hours on hundreds of projects. A major partner of the US Forest Service, this nonprofit advocates for hikers, thru hikers and backpackers, responds to and manages wildfires and other closures, responds to threats on the trail (logging, illegal trespass and development proposals), and acquires land and easements to further enhance the trail. Discover the trail.

updated_CDTCThough smaller and newer, the CDTC fills an important niche, empowering those who love the Continental Divide Trail through community engagement, stewardship and trail outreach and education. With a goal to build strong community of volunteers, enthusiasts and supporters who want to see the CDT completed and protected, they’ve constructed 9.3 miles of new trail and mobilized 194 volunteers to work nearly 15,000 hours. Join the CDTC.

Together, these two organizations successfully mobilize tens of thousands of donors, members and volunteers to protect and preserve two of America’s most iconic trail systems. But creating better, strong trail systems requires teamwork, partnerships and collaboration. We hope that by joining their communities that we can help raise awareness of the important work they do.

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Gear For The Grand: Ideas for Winter Canyon Country Hikes

Elyssa Shalla and Matt Jenkins just completed a thru hike below the rim of the Grand Canyon.
Rangers Elyssa Shalla and Matt Jenkins just completed a thru hike below the rim of the Grand Canyon. They used a full Hyperlite Mountain Gear set up, including the black 3400 Southwest.

Photos & text by Matt Jenkins

Spectacular ledge camp across from Granite Park, Grand Canyon, Ariz.
Spectacular ledge camp across from Granite Park, Grand Canyon, Ariz.

A winter thru hike of the Grand Canyon from the Grand Wash Cliffs to Lees Ferry encompasses a vast range of climates and terrain over the course of an approximately 50-60 day walk. Between mid-December and early-February we walked a primarily off-trail, seldom travelled, rugged, and mostly waterless route below the north rim. We got hammered by multi-day snowstorms and experienced extended periods of frigid, icy weather. We traversed steep canyon slopes covered with talus and cacti, riparian areas choked with tamarisk, and an uncountable number of cliff bands. There were no “give-me’s” in the Grand and its relentless terrain required the lightest gear that could withstand two months of demanding use. Read the rest of the article & check out gear weight charts.

10 Pack Giveaway: And The Winners Are…

Congrats…

Congratulations to the winners of the 10-Pack Giveaway! We’re so psyched to announce the winners on this special day because it’s also the day we are launching the total rebrand of our company–new logo, website and messaging. After six years of rapid growth, we knew we needed to focus in on what was really important to you, our customer—the core group of passionate, goal-oriented adventurers who use our gear hard and rely upon it even harder. And what better way to celebrate our customers than by giving ten free packs away.

How we chose…

We had a hard time choosing from the over 1100 entries we received, but we got a lot of help from voters. We chose the winners from the top 40 most voted-on entries. However, we did find numerous super inspiring entries throughout, which we will share in the upcoming days. We tried to choose a mix of different kinds of people, genders, adventures, scenic photos and awesome, interesting stories. Thanks for participating, and welcome to the new Hyperlite Mountain Gear.

And the winners are…

OK, this was our favorite entry, too. Way to go, Alex! Please keep us posted on your next adventures. "This is Alex, he is headed up the KRT in the White Mountains. Alex has successfully summited 67 mountains, Red Lined 487 miles of trails within the Whites in 2015, moving on to 2016 he will finish his NH 4000 footer list, the 52 WAV list, work on the Redlining List and thru hike the NPT and the VT LT. Currently he carries a osprey day pack, because it is lighter than others out there, our choices are limited as far as ULT for children. Alex has plans to design his own UL pack made just for children that are badass adventurers and a companion (Mom) pack to work with it. Alex has his own facebook page called The Unschooled Tramper and is now beginning to write up trip reports of all hikes. 2017 Alex has plans to hike the trail we live along, the AT. Please consider (us) Alex, because he has a lifetime of adventure ahead of him, he needs an UL pack for real. PS I'd Love one as well. Shanti (Mom)"
OK, this was our favorite entry, too. And with more than 1000 votes, we couldn’t possibly say no. Way to go, Alex! Please keep us posted on your next adventures. “This is Alex, he is headed up the KRT in the White Mountains. Alex has successfully summited 67 mountains, Red Lined 487 miles of trails within the Whites in 2015, moving on to 2016 he will finish his NH 4000 footer list, the 52 WAV list, work on the Redlining List and thru hike the NPT and the VT LT. Currently he carries a osprey day pack, because it is lighter than others out there, our choices are limited as far as ULT for children. Alex has plans to design his own UL pack made just for children that are badass adventurers and a companion (Mom) pack to work with it. Alex has his own facebook page called The Unschooled Tramper and is now beginning to write up trip reports of all hikes. 2017 Alex has plans to hike the trail we live along, the AT. Please consider (us) Alex, because he has a lifetime of adventure ahead of him, he needs an UL pack for real. PS I’d Love one as well. Shanti (Mom)”

Check out the other 9 winning entries now.

Lightweight Recipes for Hikers & Backpackers, Part Two

Angela VanWiemeersch, Angelo Angelilli making coffee at camp beneath the Incredible Hulk, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Calif. Photo by Brian Threlkeld
Angela VanWiemeersch, Angelo Angelilli making coffee at camp beneath the Incredible Hulk, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Calif. Photo by Brian Threlkeld

Matt Jenkins and Elyssa Shalla, backcountry rangers at Grand Canyon, have been exploring the southwestern deserts together since they met in 2008. After living and traveling extensively abroad, the couple’s next adventure will combine many of the backcountry routes near their home on the Coconino Plateau into one, extended, mostly trail-less adventure. Their plan, a winter thru hike of ‘The Canyon’ from the Grand Wash Cliffs to Lees Ferry, will take place over the 2015-16 El Nino season. The raison de etre for their long walk centers around a quest to reduce their belongings, live a simpler lifestyle, and better know the vast wilderness that lies in their backyard. As rangers, they constantly seek ways to share their passion and enthusiasm for traveling lightly and efficiently through wild places. This series of articles Hyperlite Mountain Gear follows Matt and Elyssa as they outline winter travel tips and lightweight recipes for thru hikes and long backpacking adventures. This week’s recipe focuses on high fat levels so you can better be prepared for snowy conditions.

During high-output, overnight, winter backcountry adventures people often need to increase their fat intake to meet the additional demands of travelling through snow and sleeping in frigid conditions. Compared to a typical three-season, high-carb menu, this menu significantly increases the ratio of fat to carbohydrates by incorporating large portions of summer sausage and macadamia nuts, two calorie dense backcountry foods. Vegetarians, vegans and die-hard ultralight enthusiasts can easily modify this menu by increasing the amount of nuts or nut butters, which typically have even more calories per ounce.

Calories: 4090
Calories/oz: 121
Weight (oz): 34
Price/day: ~$17.00
Fat (g): 250
Carbs (g): 348
Protein (g): 124 Read More

10 Pack Giveaway

Spanish Explorer Ceci Buil Becomes Ambassador, Presents in Portland Feb 2

Ceci Buil Slide & Video Presentation on Ice & Big Wall Climbing @ the Salt Pump Climbing Gym, Scarborough, Maine, Tuesday, Feb. 2

Ceci-ice-climbing
It’s a cold winter morning in the Cajon del Maipo Valley, and Cecilia Buil and her partner, Anna Toretta, are on their way to do what will be the first ascent of the ice climb, La Gioconda. The sun rises, the sky turns from orange to blue, and the only noise they hear is the sliding of their skis over the snow. Buil remembers this moment perfectly. It, and others like it, drive her to put up new routes on rock, snow and ice in the wildest high places in the world, and they inspire her to always give everything she’s got. “If I go climbing, the summit is not the only thing that makes me feel good; it’s the entire experience, to have made an effort and to given it my all,” she says. “The same applies to the rest of my life—to be in the moment and to live everything deeply.”

Hyperlite Mountain Gear recently invited well-known Spanish explorer Cecilia Buil to join its ambassador team. A world-renowned big wall and ice climber, Buil has put up first ascents (sometimes by herself!) of walls in Pakistan, Mexico and Greenland that are thousands of feet high, along with ice climbs from South America to Europe. Buil will be visiting the Northeast for three weeks to guide for Hyperlite Mountain Gear at the 2016 Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest from February 5-7. She will also be giving a slide & video presentation at the Salt Pump Climbing Company on February 2nd at 7:30p.m. Buil will show various videos, including one of her ascent of La Gioconda, a 500-foot route on Cerro Marmolego (20,039′) that she tried five times before accomplishing it with Italian climber, Anna Toretta. You can read more about the ascent here, or come to her show on February 2!

 

Cuben Fiber Renamed, Price Changes & Dyneema® Fabrics

082015_DyneemaOptimized---Mike-Tumbledown
Weighing in on the Acquisition

There’s been recent buzz on the Web regarding DSM Dyneema’s 2015 acquisition of Cubic Technologies, name changes to the material it produces, formerly known as Cuben Fiber, and the future of this technological advancement. As one of the leading outdoor gear manufacturers backing this technology, we thought it appropriate to weigh in, share some insight and better explain this technology.

Overview
DSM Dyneema acquired U.S. manufacturer, Cubic Technologies, May 2015. DSM is a large, global, Dutch company active in the health, nutrition and material sciences industries, and is also the inventor and manufacturer of the Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMwPE) fibers branded as Dyneema®. Read more…

Ultralight Winter Backpacking Strategies: The Big 3

Photo by Bayard Russell. Winter camping in Alaska.
Photo by Bayard Russell. Winter camping in Alaska.

Text by Matt Jenkins & Elyssa Shalla

 Matt Jenkins and Elyssa Shalla, backcountry rangers at Grand Canyon, have been exploring the southwestern deserts together since they met in 2008. After living and traveling extensively abroad, the couple’s next adventure will combine many of the backcountry routes near their home on the Coconino Plateau into one, extended, mostly trail-less adventure. Their plan, a winter thru hike of ‘The Canyon’ from the Grand Wash Cliffs to Lees Ferry, will take place over the 2015-16 El Nino season. The raison de etre for their long walk centers around a quest to reduce their belongings, live a simpler lifestyle, and better know the vast wilderness that lies in their backyard. As rangers, they constantly seek ways to share their passion and enthusiasm for traveling lightly and efficiently through wild places. In this article, the pair explore ideas that will help winter backpackers and thru hikers lighten their load and allow them to have more fun in the wilderness. 

Whether planning a big arctic expedition or travelling through canyon country during the winter, couples and teams must evaluate every piece of gear for its purpose, efficiency and weight. Common questions and concerns are: what are you bringing, should I bring one too and who gets to schlep this heavy thing around!? In this post, we will briefly discuss our approach to one system of the “Big Three”– our winter sleep system. In addition we will elaborate on the advantages of sharing and optimizing technical gear. Read more…

Dyneema® Ice Pack Wins Alpinist “Mountain Standards” Award

Mountain-Standards-badge.-for-web
Buy the pack here!

Prestigious climbing magazine reviews our 2400 Dyneema® Ice Pack

Following closely on the heals of winning Kokatat’s Sassy Award celebrating American manufacturing (check out photos), the prestigious climbing and mountaineering publication, The Alpinist, just awarded our 2400 Dyneema® Ice Pack its “Mountain Standards” Award, which highlights a high-quality piece of gear that earns five stars from reviewers.

“This was the first time that I climbed with Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s Dyneema 2400 Ice Pack. As I unpacked my dry tent and clothes, it was not the first time I was thankful to use the Ice Pack. Its 40L capacity carried camping and climbing gear for my three-day alpine trip through forest, over moraines and glaciers and in the high-elevation tempest.” –American Mountain Guide Andrew Councell

Read more…

2016 Ouray Ice Festival Preview

Angela Van Wiemeersch competing in the 2015 Ouray Ice Fest comp.
Angela Van Wiemeersch competing in the 2015 Ouray Ice Fest comp. “Van Stein” uses our 2400 Dyneema® Ice Pack.

The Ouray Ice Festival in Ouray, Colo, starts this week (January 14 to 17). The focus of the 21st annual festival will be women in ice climbing, with an all female lineup of presenters including Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ambassador Angela Van Wiemeersch. During the day at the Ouray Ice Park there are comps, clinics and seminars hosted by top tier climbers, plus gear expos, slide shows, dancing, food and lots of beer drinking (after climbing, of course). This festival is the largest of it’s kind in North America, and we’re proud to be attending for our second year. Keep your eye out for our tent, and be sure to swing by to demo some of our gear (make sure you get your gear card). Also, sign up for clinics with our ambassadors: Jayson Simons-Jones, Ryan Vachon, Scott Adamson and Janette Heung. Click here to see pics.

Dyneema® Fabric & The Ultralight Movement


A silent revolution is changing the outdoor industry. Some call it “the Ultralight movement.” New, extremely light and durable backpacks, tents and tarps, sleeping bags and clothing have been available for a few years now. These products have been winning editors awards from outdoor blogs, as well as being raved about by early adopters. Ultralight gear is radically changing the hiking and climbing experience. This is the first in a series of videos by The Dyneema® Project. It focuses on entrepreneurs of the Ultralight movement, including Hyperlite Mountain Gear CEO Mike St. Pierre. The Ultralight movement is fueled by Dyneema® Flexible Composites, a revolutionary strong and lightweight fabric formerly known as Cuben Fiber. It’s also fueled by innovative companies such as Hyperlite Mountain Gear, that build durable, lightweight, minimalist, design-driven gear.

 

 

Beau Fredlund Backcountry Ski Photos, Cooke City, Mont.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ambassador Beau Fredlund takes spectacular photos from his home turf, the backcountry around Cooke City, Mont. Beau ski tours extensively (often using his favorite backpack, the 4400 Porter Pack). 

Photos by Beau Fredlund

Outside Cooke City, Mont. with skis and the Porter Pack. 
The mountains of Montana.

 

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ambassadors are the team of elite athletes, guides and adventurers who help test and refine our gear.  They also send us some spectacular pics and stories from their expeditions and adventures with our gear.  And they remind us that outside it the place to be, and light and fast is the way to attack it!

 

The Best Of 2015

We took our blog in a new direction this year, adding more “how to” articles and posts on what going light or ultralight really means, among other things. We hear loud and clear that you want to learn how to lighten your load. These are the top ten most-read articles of 2015. They range from tips on how to pack or cook lightweight food in the backcountry to how living with less allows you to experience more. Enjoy these articles, plus some of the most popular photos we published this year!

Photo of the High Uintas Wilderness by Neil Provo
Photo of the High Uintas Wilderness by Neil Provo

The Top 5…

Mike St. Pierre carefully planned his food for this extreme Grand Canyon thru hike.Stripped Down: Food Prep & Recipes for Ultralight Thru Hike Adventures 
In order to get ready for a 16-day expedition below the rim of the Grand Canyon, Hyperlite Mountain Gear CEO Mike St. Pierre carefully planned out his meals. He needed light, compact, nutrient-rich food that would be easy to carry. He spent weeks prepping everything so that all he needed to do was add water to his dehydrated meals (which he dehydrated himself). Learn more about how to prepare food for an ultralight thru hike, and check out some of St. Pierre’s awesome recipes.

Read on…

 

Greg Hanlon Alaska Packrafting tripStripped Down: Gear Check For Thru-Hiking & Backpacking: 
“I believe embracing lightweight translates to going further, faster and suffering less in general,”says Hyperlite Mountain Gear CEO Mike St. Pierre. In terms of outdoor escapades, the first thing he did to lighten his load was address the “Big Three” (aka “The Three Heavies”)–pack, shelter and sleeping systems. This article outlines what St. Pierre takes with him on the trail during the warmer months. Plus, he offers some recommendations for stoves, clothes, filters, shoes and more.

Read on…
Read the rest of the posts and see the photos here.

One Woman’s Lightweight Journey On the Camino de Santiago

MaryAnn Healey looking forward on the Camino de Santiago
MaryAnn Healey looking forward on the Camino de Santiago

Hundreds of thousands of people hike the numerous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage routes each year. And they do it carrying various things. MaryAnn Healey decided to carry a lightweight pack with all that she needed for a six-week adventure from Roncesvalles to Santiago, both in Spain. Unlike thru hiking the Appalachian Trail, Camino pilgrims don’t need tents, stoves and sleeping bags because there are plenty of restaurants and albergues (hostels) along the way. Thus, many people completely forego carrying their personal gear and have it sent ahead via vehicle. But says Healey, she wouldn’t let anyone touch her bag.

“I got so I really loved having it on my back,” she explains. “It was my home. I didn’t feel right if I didn’t have it on.” She brought exactly what she needed and left all the unnecessary items behind. “Most people I hiked with didn’t notice, but the people I stayed with always asked, ‘Wow, is that all you’re carrying?’” I’d say, ‘yep.’ I’ve got everything I need and then some!” (See her gear list below). Read the rest of the article here.

Bikepackrafting Cataract Canyon with Mike Curiak

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ambassador, biking enthusiast and founder of Lace Mine 29, a custom bike wheel company, Mike Curiak has pushed the sport of extreme cycling to new heights, and was nominated for a spot in the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame.  He, Jesse Selwyn and Travis Anderson recently used packrafts, bikes and their legs to explore Cataract Canyon. This is a repost from Curiak’s blog

A few years back I had the opportunity to complete a unique trip in Canyonlands National Park. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ambassadors Doom, Moe and I rode, walked, and floated for three days and roughly 75 miles through Beef Basin, the Needles, Cross Canyon, Cataract Canyon and Imperial Canyon, as well as the northern edge of the Abajos in completing our loop. A few months ago Jesse and I got to talking about that trip, and it wasn’t something that he could let go of once the seed had been planted.

Check out the rest of the photos and article here.

How to Prepare a Lightweight Backcounty Ski Repair Kit

full_IMG_1616Photos & Text by Ambassador Luc Mehl

Hyperlite Mountain Gear ambassador Luc Mehl is an Alaskan native who is no stranger to the snow and skiing. His infatuation with the backcountry started at a young age as he grew up in a remote Alaskan town surrounded by raw wilderness. Years later he was on track for a PhD at MIT, but ended up leaving with a masters in order to further pursue adventure back in Alaska. Mehl has completed month-long wilderness trips in America’s most northern state each year for five years, ranging from 150 to 370 miles, as well as six Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classics, ranging from 120 to 200 miles. During these extreme events he has had many boots, skis, bindings and poles all fail. So in keeping with his ultralight philosophies, Mehl developed a system for creating a lightweight backcountry ski repair kit. In this post, he explains how he balances the weight and thoroughness of his kit.

At the end of an unsupported 180-mile ski traverse in Alaska’s rugged Brooks Range, Rob Kehrer showed me his repair kit. Rob and I worked from different ends of the spectrum, I cut too many corners to save weight (“Can we carry just share one crampon between us?”), and he carried too many extras (down booties, beer). Rob had a crooked grin on his face as he pulled out the repair kit… the standard stuff, duct tape, wire, but also spark plugs and wrenches. He’d brought the wrong repair kit, leftover from a snowmachine trip.

I’ve benefited from learning from Rob’s and my own mistakes, and have been especially fortunate to have mechanical engineers and a ski builder in my core group of partners. This guide is my effort to pass on repair kit strategies, tried and true, while keeping weight to a minimum. Read More

How To Pack Your Ice Pack for Lightweight Alpine Climbing Trips

Kurt Ross on "Crazy Train," on the Lower East Face of Longs Peak. Photo by Ryan Vachon.
Kurt Ross on “Crazy Train,” on the lower east face of Longs Peak.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ambassador Kurt Ross is a renowned climber and videographer. Choosing to be a self proclaimed “dirtbag” instead of “growing up,” Ross spends as much time as possible exploring icy wilderness areas. Last May he climbed the Southwest Ridge of Mount Francis, the West Face of Kahiltna Queen, an unreported route on the South Face of Peak 12,200, Bacon & Eggs on the Micro-Moonflower and the French Route on Mount Hunter with various partners. We recently caught up with him and asked him how he packs for a lightweight alpine climbing adventure.

The decision of what to wear on your person and in your pack for a big alpine objective can be as consequential as deciding what to wear on a hot date with someone who’s way out of your league. Why did she agree to go out with you anyway? You’re an alpine climber; you have no social skills. She’s probably just doing a favor for your friend who set you up. Wait. Don’t be so hard on yourself. She wouldn’t have agreed to do it if she didn’t see anything that she liked in you. You may as well give it a chance. Like, cast a large net or whatever. What was I saying?

People sometimes make fun of weight-obsessed climbers, but it really is important to cut as much fat off of your gear as is reasonable before attempting hard objectives. I’m not sure that breaking your titanium spoon in half and cutting the pockets out of your jackets is going to make the difference between sending or not, but I do think that general weight consciousness is worthwhile for big adventures; the physical consequence of carrying every extra ounce is correlated to the the amount of spacetime you’ll be hauling it through. The simple unfortunate truth is that spending a bit more money to get that 900 fill, carbon, Dyneema®, helium filled stuff will make you a better climber/hiker/whatever to an extent. C’est la vie. Read More

Win An Ice Pack!

Enter our 2400 Ice Pack Raffle by signing up for our enewsletter. Get an extra entry by tweeting your entry or by posting a ice or alpine climbing photo on Instagram. On Instagram be sure to tag @Hyperlite_Mountain_Gear and use the hashtag #IcePackContest. Make it good because the Instagram entry with the most likes and/or comments gets 50 extra entries in the raffle. You won’t see your entries reflected immediately. You must accurately tag @Hyperlite_Mountain_Gear to get your extra entries so that we can track your entry. If in doubt, please email a link to your photo to @info@hyperlitemountaingear.com. See #12 in Terms & Conditions for information on how we might use your photo.
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Lightweight Recipes That’ll Satisfy The Hungriest Thru Hiker & Backpacker

Just some of the food Jenkins brings.
Backcountry recipes.

Matt Jenkins and Elyssa Shalla, backcountry rangers at Grand Canyon, have been exploring the southwestern deserts together since they met in 2008. After living and traveling extensively abroad, the couple’s next adventure will combine many of the backcountry routes near their home on the Coconino Plateau into one, extended, mostly trail-less adventure. Their plan, a winter thru hike of ‘The Canyon’ from the Grand Wash Cliffs to Lees Ferry, will take place over the 2015-16 El Nino season. The raison de etre for their long walk centers around a quest to reduce their belongings, live a simpler lifestyle, and better know the vast wilderness that lies in their backyard. As rangers, they constantly seek ways to share their passion and enthusiasm for traveling lightly and efficiently through wild places. This series of articles Hyperlite Mountain Gear follows Matt and Elyssa as they outline winter travel tips and lightweight recipes for thru hikes and long backpacking adventures.

Big winter days need a large stockpile of food to fuel them. Here is a single day menu for one hungry ultralight backpacking enthusiast. We strive to eat nutrient rich and hearty meals by including ingredients with a high number of total calories, a mixed variety of food sources and a sufficient number of calories per ounce. Mix, match and shuffle to cater to your dietary needs and wants.
Calories: 3813
Calories/oz: 129
Weight (oz): 30
Price/day: ~$15.00
Fat (g): 163
Carbs (g): 490
Protein (g): 110 Read More

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