It has been a busy couple of years for Point6 athlete ambassador, Joey Thompson. This spring, Joe passed his final mountain guides exam to become one of only 94 fully certified American Mountain Guides by the American Mountain Guides Association and is licensed by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA). Recognized as the highest level of professional guiding in the world, this is a feat less than 100 Certified mountain guides can claim.
This year, the AMGA also recognized Joey as the 2013 Guide of the Year for exceptional dedication to his mountain craft and clients. Achieving this and IFMGA status was the culmination of many years of work and commitment to the mountain guiding profession.
Joey’s journey started in New York climbing and skiing, but his love of big mountains quickly led him west to ski and climb around Arizona, California and Nevada before settling in Colorado with his wife Susan and dog Honcho. After taking on various jobs to support his outdoor passions, Joey realized he wanted to empower and lead others to enjoy the mountain adventures he loved all around the US and beyond. Joe currently guides rock and alpine climbing and ski mountaineering in Alaska, Canada, Wyoming, Washington and Colorado and is currently scheduling trips in Europe.
The IFMGA began in 1965 as a collection of guide associations in Italy, France, Switzerland, and Austria, and now represents more than 6,000 guides from over 25 countries. The IFMGA’s international training standards allow certified, professional guides to work in any of the member countries, and they receive support and representation on a global scale.
In 1997, the United States joined the IFMGA. To achieve the international certification, a candidate must complete the AMGA’s full program, consisting of over 138 days of course work and multi-week exams in each of three disciples, Rock climbing, Alpine climbing and Ski Mountaineering and must have professional guiding experience for a set amount of days. Also this includes examination in Avalanche Safety and Wilderness Medicine. In the US it’s important for anyone hiring a guide to check for for this Mountain Guide credential and it’s required for international trips in any IFMGA-member country.
Congratulations to Joe for his huge accomplishments! We are so proud to have you on our team.
Point6 is excited to show its support once again for our friends at Get Fit Family Racing, a local event production company based here in Steamboat Springs. GFFR's endurance series kicked off last weekend with the second annual Give it a Tri - Sprint Triathlon and Kids Race at the Old Town Hot Springs Pool with a pool swim, rolling hill bike ride and easy run course for athletes of all ages and abilities hoping to test their skills and endurance.
We had a blast cheering on the competitors and meeting everyone who came out for the event, especially the little groms getting after it on the course!
Each of the 150 or so participants received a pair of Point6 merino wool socks and we had giveaways and pro deals for attendees.
Get Fit Family Racing is co-founded by Heather Gollnick, a 5x Ironman Champion and esteemed member of the 2014 Point6 athlete ambassador team. Heather’s feedback field testing and reviewing Point6 running and cycling socks is invaluable for our product development, and we are thrilled to have her on the team! Heather’s IronEdge Triathlon Team, made up of 18 competitive triathletes have also been sporting Point6 socks and the reviews have been top notch.
Next up, the Steamboat Half Iron and Olympic Triathlon takes place this Sunday, June 29 for triathletes in training and seasoned competitors. Point6 will be onsite once again to cheer on participants and spread the wool. We'll wrap up the summer event series with the Steamboat Family Endurance Festival and XTERRA Trail Races over Labor Day weekend. Stay tuned for more details.
We hope you’re enjoying summer, race season and getting outside as much as possible. Happy trails!
Point6 loaded up the van and headed cross-country from Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Damascus, Virginia for the 2014 AT Trail Days. Our journey began at 6:30 in the morning in a complete white out snowstorm, and ended in blue skies and 80° weather.
Day 1, we drove 14 hours and camped at Finger Lakes State Park in Missouri. We shared the wool love along our journey, giving socks to those who pointed us in the right direction (not to say that we were often lost, haha!) and to the helpful staff at various restaurants and hotels.
Day 2, we drove 9 hours until we arrived at Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky, along the Red River Gorge (an extremely popular climbing area). We arrived around dusk, jumped out of the van and started our hike to the natural bridge. I don’t think we realized our fear of snakes until the ranger told us to watch out for rattlesnakes and copper heads because they are everywhere! When we reached the natural sandstone arch, spanning 78 feet and 65 feet tall, we had a beautiful view that stretched for miles.
Day 3, we finished our 1,600 mile drive, and finally reached Damascus! Over the next three days we met some amazing thru-hikers, locals and vendors. The weekend started out wet and cold, therefore getting some dry wool socks on hikers' feet was our number one priority. The Hiking Tech mini crews and Hiking Core medium flew off the shelves. Our medium Ski socks were even in high demand to serve as warm wool sock for sleeping.
Thru-hikers are such a fun group of passionate individuals, willing to open up and share their stories, and had the craziest trail names! AT Trail Days was a huge success for Point6, we enjoyed every minute of it. By the end of the event everyone was either wearing Point6 socks or had a sticker on their water bottle. The South provided delicious fried food and beautiful views of the dense green Appalachian Mountains.
And while we greatly enjoyed getting out of the office to spread the wool, it's always a pleasure to return to our home in beautiful Colorado.
We are proud to announce our 2014 team of athlete ambassadors! This diverse group of athletes will help us by field testing products and engaging core audiences through inspiring perspectives and sharing stories of their adventures.
Our performance merino socks have quickly become a favorite among hardcore athletes and serious amateurs alike, and our team of ambassadors represents a wide spectrum of accomplished individuals ranging from extreme competitors, expedition guides and pro athletes in various disciplines. Having so many different sports represented gives us invaluable insight into the performance needs of each type of athlete, and allows us to continually improve our product designs for our customers.
All Point6 sock designs are engineered with just the right amount of sport specific cushioning, cross stretch and support to deliver exceptionally comfortable, high performance socks for a wide range of outdoor and fitness activities. In addition to inspiring others who share a passion for the outdoors, the Point6 ambassadors will enhance brand awareness, and provide valuable feedback for product testing and development.
2014 Point6 Ambassador Team
- Brad Johnson – AMGA mountain guide
- David Steele – skier, climber
- GR Fielding – extreme freeskier
- Heather Gollnick – Ironman champion, triathlon coach
- Jay Mcluen – professional golfer
- Joey Thompson - AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide
- Kerry Lofy – BASE jumper, freestyle skier
- Peter Whittaker – mountaineer, expedition leader
- Roberto Mandje – Olympic distance runner
- Taylor Seaton - professional freestyle skier
To keep up with the team or to learn more, please visit http://www.point6.com/pages/sponsorships.
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.