Winter’s Last Gasp: Glory and Defeat in Alaska

As we bid another busy week adieu here at Hyperlite Mountain Gear HQ, we thought we’d pass along another absolute banger from The Provo Bros. Why, you ask? Well, aside from the fact that this particular video set off an eye-bulging, forehead-slapping, jaw-dropping jealousy chain reaction around the office (seriously, there were echoes)—sometimes it’s just really nice to watch people give the gear we make “what-for.”

See, the thing is, when a pack or shelter comes off the manufacturing line and makes its way into a box and onto the loading dock, we never really know what awaits it in the outside world. Ideally, it’s going to get good and dirty. Hopefully, it’ll be under the charge of someone who gets that it isn’t just a pack or a shelter. Instead, it’s something more like potential.

What that potential means to any given individual is—from what we’ve seen—almost limitless. Walk the entire length of a continent? Yep. Put up a previously unimaginable first ascent? Mmm-hmm. Bushwack deep into the Alaskan backcountry with packrafts and fly rods to access epic, isolated fishing? Check.

There’s a certain kind of creativity involved, and a heavy dose of the sort of sweaty-palmed imagination that we’re all too often encouraged to leave behind in childhood. Where the line between a real world adventure and a lucid dream is up for ongoing debate, and we’re just grateful to to be a part of it.

Hence, our collective enjoyment of Steelhead and Spines—Volume 3 from The Provo Bros. Where aren’t these guys going to take their Porter packs (4400s, if you’re interested)? That’s the better question.

Steelhead and Spines – Volume 3 from The Provo Bros on Vimeo.

From Maine to Utah, Utah to Alaska and back again. The best part is, while the video itself is like a solid four-minute highlight reel, Ian and Neil come clean when it comes to the actual reality of the scenario behind this trip.

Traveling north with big plans and expectations is not recommended. We’ve learned quite well over the years that the weather will be deciding your plans. Rain was our reality. And so it was decided that we’d go fishing and hope the rain would soon turn to snow. Hiking from tidewater into the Tongass is also not recommended, unless bushwhacking through devils club at a rate of 4 miles per day is your thing. We enjoy the harshness of this place. It was a cold and soggy week of camping and steelheading in the rainforest.

It gets better.

When they finally got within striking distance of the spines that lured them to Haines in the first place, the weather set in again. Two weeks on the glacier, two days of skiing, and the rest of the time… camped out in an UltaMid.

Not to say that we delighted in their misfortune, but it’s pretty fun to watch—especially on a Friday afternoon.

So cheers to The Provo Bros for getting out and getting after it. And to everybody else with the ambition and the imagination to really put everything we make here at Hyperlite Mountain Gear to work. You make doing our jobs easy.

Need more proof? Look no further than Utah Powder Packing with The Provo Bros.