We recently caught up with esteemed Point6 athlete ambassador, David Steele on his recent escapades ski touring in the Montana backcountry. Here's a few excerpts from David's blog, Skinning with bear spray, along with some breathtaking photos from David and Jonathan Finch.
A couple of weeks back, Clay, Jonathan, and I (that’s right, I used the Oxford comma) headed up to the Swan Crest. Conflicting motives of practicing crevasse rescue, finding fresh snow in high pressure, and getting some photos all conspired to see us skinning up the refrozen slopfest that was the Strawberry Lake access road with glacier travel and camera gear while Baloo loped along ahead of us.
Clay navigates the first crux.
Thankfully, the creek was drifted over further up.
Previous days of sun left the surface crusted as we made our way up. The route we followed goes up the creek bed into a sort of mudslide canyon that triggers feeling of “oh my, terrain trap” as you skin up. It’s most likely that the ravine walls are eroding through a particularly loose layer, but the trees piled in the bottom seem like the kind turned to pick up sticks by avalanche. Thankfully, we followed some old tracks up to the right as it started to become a real pocket.
Cutting switchbacks up the ridge, snow quality slowly improved. Nearing the top, I was getting really thirsty, and just tired. With a rope, axe, picket and other hardware that we certainly wouldn’t need to make turns, my daypack felt heavy. Perhaps the prudent thing to do was stop, but I wanted to finish the track onto the summit. This made the shoulder feel like it was going on forever. And ever. And when it did arrive, I was greeted by a flat to the real summit.
I still don’t know the name of the mountain we were on. And really, that’s not too important, because as we crested the top, the view swept away: Great Northern in the foreground, with Glacier rearing up behind, Jewel Basin to the south, yada, blah, gorgeous, remarkable, woooooo.
Once regrouped, we made the call to head south to a sort of saddle and drop in from there. Stashing the glacier gear, the first turns over wind drifts were scrabbly. Clay took the first line, shooting out onto the lake while his unintelligible exaltation echoed up to us. “I guess it’s pretty good down there?”
Despite the minor hiccup of one tomahawk, the face was fresh and fast. Standing on the lake, the breeze from before was gone. Sun reflecting off all the walls around us cooked down, making me feel like the proverbial ant under the magnifying glass.
The sun beat down. Some small roller balls came down from the trees, but once in the safety of the valley side, nothing remarkable happened. Regaining the ridge, the snow would switch between wind affected, sun protected pow and schmoo above the large bowl we’d earlier crossed in such haste.
Back at the summit, it was lunch time again. Nap time struck after that, and I snuggled into the plush of my skins for about thirty minutes. Jonathan tried to do the same, but even though he’s on 195cm skis, he doesn’t quite fit.
After nap time, it was crevasse rescue time. Clay would be heading up to the Wapta traverse shortly, and it’s always a good idea to review. Taking turns to function as rescuer and ballast, it’s quite possible that we accomplished the most scenic crevasse practice that’s happened around here for a bit. I have no data to back that up, but, I mean, look at it.
I think being the ballast is the fun part–you’re tied into your buddy, and then you jump downhill to yank him off his feet to simulate the crevasse fall. Uphill, he’s groaning while fumbling with all the stuff to do, but instead of a crevasse, you’re just sitting there and enjoying yourself in the sun while keeping weight on the rope.
Thanks to Clay and Jonathan for a great day. Extra special thanks to Jonathan for his pictures.
We recently caught up with Point6 fan, David Sorely, director of marketing for Goddess Garden Organics, on his experiences hiking the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island with his trusty merino wool Point6 Celliant socks.
Hiking the West Coast Trail along the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Vancouver Island with my brother proved to be far more challenging than we had expected. While I am well versed in trekking as I had attempted the Mt Everest Base camp trek and have competed 17 of 54 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks, this 7 day, 75 km (46 miles) hiking trip proved to be more physically and emotionally taxing than we had planned.
With varying terrain of soft sandy beaches, mossy rocks, spongy west forest roots and slippery logs, and over 80 ladders extending 200+ feet high and rainy conditions, one thing made this trek possible. I am convinced it was due to the great quality of Point6’s Celliant socks, which proved to be comfortable, warm, and caused no blisters. These premium merino wool socks are designed with sports-specific comfort for maximum performance, while the natural temperature regulating properties of merino wool kept our feet warm and dry. Point6’s socks are made using compact spun yarns, which make them 25% more durable than most traditional merino wool hiking socks.
My brother and I witnessed emergency evacuations due to “trench foot” and blisters that many fellow hikers had endured. They say that many accidents are caused due to excess pack weight, and wearing the wrong footwear. I would not do any kind of hiking now without Point6’s Celliant Merino wool socks.
Posted on February 20, 2014
As the second race in the 1st annual XTERRA Steamboat Snowshoe Series gets underway this weekend, one of Steamboat’s resident outdoor brands, Point6 will be out in full force.
As a proud sponsor of the series, Point6 will cheer on participants and supply its premium merino wool ski socks to the top 10 finishers in both the 5k and 10k snowshoe race age categories. Point6 offers a full line of performance merino wool socks for just about every activity out there, from hiking to skiing and snowboarding, to cycling, running, and everything in between.
The Steamboat Snowshoe Series is brought to you by Get Fit Family Racing and is part of the XTERRA trail series. Based in Steamboat, Get Fit Family Racing is focused on getting families together and fostering a healthy lifestyle and sense of community through fitness. Owners Todd and Heather Gollnick are lifelong residents of Steamboat and Heather is a 5x Ironman Champion and holds a degree in Corporate Fitness. This year Heather will also serve as one of Point6’s athlete ambassadors, where she will be instrumental in providing testimonials and feedback, product testing and development for Point6’s line of merino socks for running, hiking, skiing and more.
Point6 is proud to support Get Fit Family Racing in its endeavor to bring the XTERRA Snowshoe Series to Steamboat and serve local athletes of all ages and abilities.
XTERRA produces numerous races across the U.S. each year that are open to all runners, including the XTERRA Trail Run National and World Championships. Each winner of the 10k snowshoe race (all age groups) will receive free entrance into the XTERRA’s Trail Running National Championship scheduled at Snowbasin Resort in Utah, September 2014.
Other activities include Fat Tire Snow Bike races at each venue, including 5K and 10K competitive events to round out a great day of racing and fun.
The XTERRA Snowshoe Race Series is sure to be fun for the whole family!
Point6 is proud to show its support for Friends of the CAIC, a non-profit organization created to support the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), which provides avalanche bulletins and promotes awareness, safety and education throughout Colorado.
Our great state is home to some of the best backcountry terrain in the lower 48, but the snowpack is notoriously dangerous and accounts for one-third of all avalanche fatalities in the United States. With increased traffic in the backcountry, the need for education and safety awareness has never been greater.
The CAIC is a crucial avalanche safety resource for our state, and we hope our contribution will help people stay safe in the backcountry this season.
Point6 will attend several of the CAIC’s events this year, including the Benefit Bash on November 9th in Breckenridge. The annual CAIC Benefit Bash is a crucial fundraising effort that supports avalanche forecasting and education. Point6 will be there to celebrate along with pro deal sales of its premium merino wool ski and snowboard socks for attendees in support of the Alliance.
To learn more, visit www.friendsofcaic.org or www.avalanche.state.co.us.
Posted on October 22, 2013
A huge part of what we do at Point6 involves two of our favorite things - snow and the wilderness. This season, we’re excited to show our support for backcountry adventure by sponsoring the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival with our high performance merino wool ski and snowboard socks.
The Backcountry Film Festival makes its world premiere on November 1st in Boise, Idaho and will then tour to more than 100 showings around the world. The festival, now in its 9th year, raises more than $110,000 annually for local organizations working on advocacy, snow safety, outdoor education and SnowSchool programs, including Colorado Mountain Club and Friends of Berthoud Pass to name a few here locally.
The best film submissions are selected from world-renowned filmmakers and grassroots filmmakers alike who capture their diverse backcountry experiences. Skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, mountaineers and all others who pursue human powered adventure in the backcountry will enjoy these films, all while supporting a great cause! Proceeds from ticket sales go directly to support local area backcountry organizations.
Point6 will make appearances at several of the events taking place in Colorado, including Golden, Boulder, Aspen, Salida, and more. Find out where you can catch the 100 location tour, and get psyched for winter while supporting your local area’s backcountry organizations.