A Woman With a Tarp

Ambassador Ashley Hill braves the mosquitoes, embraces the Flat Tarp

Each month Hyperlite Mountain Gear will feature one of its ambassadors. This month we’re highlighting Ashley Hill (trail name, Bloody Mary). A thru-hiker, lover of life and avid user of the Flat Tarp, Hill recently finished hiking the Te Araroa. Stay tuned this month for a blog post about what it takes to hike New Zealand’s most famous trail, plus a feature Q&A with Hill. This article reprinted from Hill’s blog.

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Text & photos by Ashley Hill

I remember it vividly, the moment I saw her, a solo female hiker named Mountain Spice. She was sheltered beneath a flat tarp at a mosquito infested lake on the PCT. I thought to myself, “Wow… I want to be like her one day. A woman with a tarp. She’s extreme. She’s bad ass. She’s doing it like one should.” How romantic, only using a small square piece of material for protection from the wilderness.

Now, I rarely sleep in a shelter, even when it rains. There’s nothing I love more than closing my eyes under the shooting stars, when you’re alone in the open… Vulnerable… Cowboy camping… Like a fresh little baby drinking it’s first breath of air. I know, it is more than necessary to have something to protect yourself from the elements. My little hypothermia scare taught me that. Even if I camp in a sleeping bag on the dirt, I’ve always carried my tent, just in case.

For my Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) trip, I decided to be “that women with a tarp.” Now, this hike is not comparable to the Pacific Crest Trail. I skirt a constant latitude similar to that of the Nordic climate, (at least it is in my mind): rain falls daily, if only for an hour or two, mosquitoes swarm in the millions, creek and river fords are a common occurrence, and I’m always on watch for the wild animals. Perhaps a tarp isn’t the ideal gear choice, but I don’t care, I want to be her, and after making it 400 plus miles, I think I can say that I am.

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I’m using a 10 ounce 8.6′ x 8.6′ cuben fiber tarp for my shelter, crafted by my friends at Hyperlite Mountain Gear… and by golly, I love it. It takes time and experience to learn how to set up this kind of ultralight system, but once you’ve got it down, you’re gold. Tents might be easier to rig and protect you better from the bugs and rain, but when you wake up and start hiking, everyone is on the exact same page… The only difference is that I’m lighter and I’m cooler… I’m that bad ass women with a tarp.

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Ultralight Gear for Appalachian Trail Hikers: 2-Person Planning & Prep

Exactly what you need & nothing more: ultralight gear for Appalachian Trail thru hikers

Ultralight gear for the Appalachian Trail. Everything Tenderfoot is bringing.

 

Text & illustrations by Tyson Perkins

Early summer 2014, my girlfriend, Kendra Ultralight gear for Appalachian Trail thru hikes.Jackson, and I took on our second 5000-footer together—Mount Katahdin. Soon after waking up the day of our ascent we met a 20-something New York City-based mountain guide, Peter. A veteran thru-hiker, he had a wealth of knowledge about backcountry travel and the Appalachian Trail. He taught us about shelters that set up with trekking poles instead of your common tent poles, trail names, “Trail Magic,” “Zero Days,” “Nero Days,” “Hiker Hobble” and cleaning yourself with baby wipes. We immediately got overly enamored and stoked on this magically ridiculous world and decided to hike the “AT.” Fast travel to the summer of 2015, and Kendra and I began taking on adventures such as the Mahoosuc Range between New Hampshire and Maine in a weekend and returning to work on Monday.

On our first forays into the wilderness, we took awkward thrift store backpacks and a beaten-down double sleeping bag. We cooked dinner on a heavy propane stove right near our Walmart dome tent. Needless to say we had a ton of fun using terrible gear, but knew there had to be better options out there. Through my job as a tent maker at Hyperlite Mountain Gear, I gleaned a ton of ultralight knowledge from the owner, Mike St. Pierre. The more I learned, the easier our trips became. And, more importantly, we enjoyed our backcountry adventures even more. And now’s the time. We’re taking all that we have learned since 2014 and heading out for our Appalachian Trail thru hike. In this blog post I detail our planning, preparation and gear.

Planning:

We really enjoyed planning the logistics of this trip, regularly geeking out over Excel spread sheets and line art graphs (Kendra developed the one published to the right) and the ultralight Appalachian Trail Gear we planned to take. We’ve meticulously categorized and sorted all our mail drop supplies along the AT, and we’ve mapped out our post office stops and planned out how we will meet up with Kendra’s parents in Shenandoah National Park. Everyone needs to take breaks, and we have come up with a plan to take some without compromising our March 4th to July 22nd timeline. If we stick to the plan, we’ll hike 16 miles a day on average. We’ve developed a “bank” system. Essentially, any miles we do over the 16-mile average we add to the bank, and once we have a days worth of miles in it, we can take a full day off. Also, we built in two full Zero Days. And, we planned our food and gear very carefully…

Shakedown:

Home-made dehydrated meals or Mountain House? Nalgene® or a SmartWater bottle? Eucalyptus or almond soap?!?! There are so many choices, some of which are easy to make, and some that seem like you are perpetually leaving something behind. Will I need a footprint for my shelter? Will down be a superior sleeping bag choice? These are things that we will not find out until we really take them out and put them to the test. Gear is really fun. Planning what to take was actually my favorite part of this whole endeavor.

Here is a quick breakdown of our ultralight gear for Appalachian Trail thru hikes: Check out the full list.

Blister Gear Reviews Expedition Duffel Bag & UltaMid

BlisterGearReview.com recently gave rave reviews to our Dyneema Expedition Duffel Bag and UltaMid 2.Considered one of the most influential gear review sites by Outside Magazine, BlisterGearReview.com does comprehensive reviews of outdoor products. They recently published excellent reviews of Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s Dyneema® Expedition Duffel Bag and our UltaMid 2 Pyramid Tent. What they said…

The Dyneema® Duffel

“If your objectives entail hauling a lot of gear far into the wilderness, and you put a premium on low weight and durability, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dyneema® Duffel should be on your short list. It’s a high-performance bag designed for objectives where excess weight is anathema and durability and weatherproofing are vital. For those looking for top-tier performance, it’s a great option.”

–Cy Whiting, BlisterGearReview.com

Read the full review.

UltaMid 2

“For years I’ve been searching for a superlight four-season shelter that I can use year round for human powered adventures, and now I seem to have found it. The Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 is the best performing, most versatile shelter I’ve ever used. There is little doubt in mind that it will continue to be my top choice for shelter any time I’m thinking of spending the night outside.”

–Paul Forward, BlisterGearReview.com

Read the full review. 

The Grandest Walk: A 700-Mile Thru Hike Below the Rim

How 2012 Outside Mag “Adventurer of the Year,” Rich Rudow, achieved one of his greatest objectives–a rarely done thru hike of the full length of the Grand Canyon.

“More people have been to the moon” – Peter McBride

Chris Atwood eyes a fast moving storm from the moonscape near Fishtail Mesa. Photo: Rich Rudow
Chris Atwood eyes a fast moving storm from the moonscape near Fishtail Mesa.

Stories and photos by Rich Rudow

More than four thousand people have summited Mt. Everest. Two hundred and fifty people have walked 7,900 miles to complete the triple crown of hiking (walking the PCT, CDT and AT). Twenty-four astronauts left the Earth’s orbit for the moon. But only 12 people have ever walked the length of Grand Canyon in one continuous push. Why? There are no towns for resupply, no base camps for logistics support, and in fact, no trails for the vast majority of the 700 miles. Traversing Grand Canyon is like walking a complex three-dimensional maze with delicate routes that include hundreds of thousands of vertical feet of scrambling and climbing up to low class five terrain. There isn’t a guidebook, and beta is sparse. To most people, this thru hike seems impossible. Fortunately, Dave Nally and Chris Atwood, my hiking partners on this journey, weren’t like most people. They had thousands of Grand Canyon off-trail miles under their belts too, and most importantly, we had hiked together many times on difficult Grand Canyon expeditions. I could count on their judgment, strength and fortitude.

Dave Naly down climbs a sporty Redwall Break
Dave Nally down climbs a sporty Redwall Break.

But, I wondered, “Could I do it?” Would my 50-year-old body hold up to the rigors of a thru hike on some of the most difficult terrain on the planet for 57 continuous days? I made sure to cover my bases. We spent a year planning the expedition. We defined a highly detailed day-by-day route, identifying water sources and bailout options. We placed eight caches throughout the length of the Grand to resupply along the way. They contained food, extra approach shoes and hiking poles, first aid supplies, clothes for the changing seasons, a warmer sleeping bag for late Fall, maps for each leg of the route, technical climbing gear, and of course, tequila, coffee and peanut M&M’s. Selecting the right gear was paramount for success. A pack failure would end the trip. A shelter failure could be life threatening. Read on… the Expedition Begins!

What It Takes To Be A Pioneer: A New Route on Fitz Roy

Learn how Ambassador Quinn Brett and partners put up a 1st ascent in Patagonia

Quinn-Fitz-1It’s day three of our adventure, and we’re close to finishing a new rock climbing route straight up the 550m headwall in between two existing routes on the South Face of Cerro Fitz Roy, Patagonia. The sun shines, as Quinn Brett and I munch on Snickers Bars and dried mango. We gaze down at the endless glaciers, towering granite spires, our last camp at Paso Superior and the snow cornices hanging off of Aguja de La Silla. The town of Chalten where we are based looks small in the distance, 20 miles and 7000 feet down in elevation. All of a sudden, we hear, POP, and Mike is airborne. I grab at Quinn as she launches up into the belay; we need to avoid putting any upward stress on our anchor. And then it’s over. Quinn’s bicep is bruised, and Mike is upside down after falling 35+ feet. Shaken, he builds a belay, brings us up and passes the lead to Quinn.

First ascents of rock walls and mountains connect an old pioneer mentality with more tangible discoveries that can still be attained even in our heavily mapped and travelled world. But what does it take to go where others have never gone before? The frequency of opportunity appears very small and can be discouraging, and the dangers are real. Mike could have broken an arm, a leg or worse when he fell. And though relatively well-traveled,  a rescue thousands of feet off the ground and miles from the nearest town would still be difficult.

Most new routes are done in very remote, difficult to reach regions of the world, where the logistical difficulties of approaching keep all but the very committed and persistent away. In a sense, people who go to those wild places are some of the last pioneers. But, any aspiring climber can relate to the feeling of gazing over a rock face with naïve eyes, connecting existing features with one’s imagination, and ultimately tracing a desired path up a wall. Much like the artist’s paint stroke, establishing a new route is a climber’s way of leaving their impression, a demonstration of their style, and often times, insight into their very character. I wanted to trace my line up Fitz Roy, one of the most storied rock walls in the world. Read the rest of the article.

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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Lightweight Gear For The Grand: Ideas for Winter Canyon Country Hikes

Rangers join exclusive group of people to thru hike below the rim of the Grand

Rangers Matt Jenkins and Elyssa Shalla recently joined an exclusive group of just 26 backcountry experts to have embarked on this extreme thru hike below the rim of the Grand Canyon. As well, they are among the eight most recent people either thru hiking or section hiking below the rim who are using Hyperlite Mountain Gear equipment. In this post Jenkins shares their lightweight gear choices. Visit our blog to read the other posts in this series, including their Ultralight Winter Backpacking Strategies. And read more about what it takes to do a huge adventure like this in Rich Rudow’s blog, “The Grandest Walk.”

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 lightweight 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 Backcountry Recipes for Thru Hikers & Backpackers, Part 2

Calorie-Rich Food for Winter Adventures.

Angela VanWiemeersch, Angelo Angelilli utilizing backcountry recipes for 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. Pictured: The Echo II Tarp & 3400 Ice Pack. 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. They planned and succeeded in becoming two of just 16 people to hike the length of the Grand Canyon below the rim (and they did it in the winter!). Their thru hike of “The Canyon” took them from the Grand Wash Cliffs to Lees Ferry. The trip took place during the 2015-16 El Nino season (Read about their adventure and gear in our blog, “Lightweight Gear for The Grand: Ideas for Winter Canyon Country Hikes.”) The raison de etre for their long walk centered 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 sought 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 backcountry 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 traveling through snow and sleeping in frigid conditions. Compared to a typical three-season, high-carb menu, these backcountry recipes significantly increase 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

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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

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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.

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