I am in the middle of a 24-hour travel day from Quito, Ecuador to Girdwood, Alaska, Estados Unidos (April 6th@ ~noon PST) after wrapping up a surf, climb and would be ski trip to South America. Yes, I know…..it is not winter in SA yet. I went Ecuador with the hopes of skiing a volcano or two in combination with some coastal surf.
However, upper elevations had received a great deal of snow followed by above average temperatures and rain, making for a sketchy snow pack to say the least.
As a result, we were forced to turn down at about 17,200 feet elevation (of 19,000+) on Volcan Cotopaxi. This proved to be a solid decision as a large steep section of the glacier, in the middle of the climbing route, avalanched big later that day.
I was really hoping to line up a combo surf-ski at the equator, but had to settle for a little surf with a few hikes/climbs up to some great elevations. We did; however, go from surfing the Pacific to climbing above 17,000 feet in just a couple days time, which was pretty interesting (in a good way). Felt really great at elevation with no acclimatization once so ever. All and all it was still an incredible trip and experience, what a country! Now off to AK……
PS: As promised, here is the edit from the few months spent in the Tetons this winter……
Scarpa Rapid LT Trail Shoe: This shoe carries the look of a stylish casual kick with the function of a trail running shoe. I have loved traveling in this shoe, allowing comfort and techy use wherever I find myself!
Marmot Pillar Pant: This pant has been perfect for long hikes and trail runs in the Chugach, as well as for scrambling up rock in the Tetons and peaks of the Andes!
Scarpa Freedom RS: Just when you thought it could not get any better than the Freedom SL, the ultimate freeride / touring quiver in one, Scarpa goes and does something like this. The Freedom RS, to be released Fall 2015, is the lighter and even stiffer upgrade to the SL. This boot is undoubtedly going to raise the bar in the freeride/tour movement. Keep your eyes out!
Marker Kingpin: Maker has joined the tech-binding world with a bang! This binding combines the pin toe of a traditional tech binding and the traditional heal lock of a freeride binding to give us the best of both worlds. The addition of a third spring in the toe lock system allows this binding to be pushed harder, further and higher than the standard for this technology.
Volkl BMT 122: Volkl has just changed the game with their Big Mountain Touring (BMT) lineup of ultra lightweight, high performance carbon fiber skis! I have been utilizing this ski as a one ski quiver for long tours in the Tetons and in AK, as well as for ski patrolling at the resort and tackling the big lines.