A Life Athletic

A Life Athletic

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Stuff for Sale

Whatcha want?

I'm in Colorado right now, and so is this stuff. But it and myself will be headed to the Eastern Sierra by Thursday. And I can send things, if you pay the shipping.

Petzl Aztar Hammer. Used. 

 Marmot Col Membrain Sleeping bag. -20f rating. size long. Used just 4 nights. Retail $650. 

Brooks Range Hybrid Sweater. size medium. Retail $270.

OR Rumor Hoody, Used. Size medium.

Brooks Range Ultralite Guide Tarp. Retail $160. Well used, fully functional. 

Suunto Ambit 2S Watch. Used very lightly. Retail $350.

Northwest Alpine fleece hoody. size Medium. Used lightly. Retail $110. 

Scarpa Maestrale ski boots Size 27. Medium use.  Retail $700.  $275

Thermarest prolite plus. Regular length. Retail $110. Virtually brand new.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Colorado Thunderstorming

Out and about… a lot. Not interwebbing so much lately… But I cooked this up. Enjoy your summer, wherever it is.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Valdez Video

Just finished this little number. Nothing fancy, just some highlights.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Alaska Gear 2014

In continuing the series of blog posts on the gear I use out and about, I present the list of what I'll use on forthcoming Alaska climbs. The main event is a five or six day alpine-style climb of the West Ridge of Mount Hunter. Check out the Smileys video for a little perspective:

West Ridge of Mount Hunter, AK from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

I cooked up similar lists for Sierra winter climbing, ski mountaineering, and more traditional backcountry skiing. I'll enumerate here climbing equipment for the multi-day endeavors. Additionally, and unlisted, we'll have a comfortable base camp kit, and some ski gear. So, without further ado...


  • La Sportiva Spantik boots
  • 2 pr Darn Tough Socks
  • Long underwear bottoms
  • Outdoor Research Cirque Pants
  • Patagonia Leashless shell pants
  • synthetic t shirt
  • OR Rumor Hoody
  • Arc Teryx Nuclei Hoody
  • OR Axiom shell Jacket
  • Feathered Friends Volant Jacket (incidentally, we awarded this the OutdoorGearLab Editors Choice award…)
  • IronClad Cold conditions gloves
  • Black Diamond Rambla gloves
  • Black Diamond Jupiter mitts
  • Buff
  • Fleece hat
  • Light colored glasses
  • Dark colored glasses

Tech Gear, etc:
  • Petzl Sarken Crampons. 
  • Petzl Sum'Tec hammer and adze pair.  
  • Rack: 
    • 5 slings
    • 5 cams
    • 5 nuts
    • 8 screws
  • Belay device and associated 'biner
  • 3 more locking carabiners
  • 12 foot 7mm cord
  • Double length sling
  • Petzl Micro Traxion
  • CAMP Blitz Harness
  • Black Diamond Vapor Helmet
  • Rope. Double 60m. 
  • Black Diamond Compacter ski pole.
  • First aid/emergency kit.
  • Two liters of water
  • Half a liter of some hot drink 
  • Iridium Extreme Sat Phone. 
  • iPhone loaded with relevant maps, gps app, emergency phone numbers, camera, route beta, guidebook photos, etc.
  • Food- Just add water dinners and breakfasts.  Fill a 1 qt ziploc with energy candy and bars etc for each day.  About 1.7-2.0 pounds per person per day total.  
  • 21x40 inch chunk of new, flat closed cell foam.  No egg-crate shapes, no ridges.  Just flat foam.  HTFU. 
  • Extra small Thermarest Prolite if I'm feeling extravagant.
  • Feathered Friends Spoonbill bag. This little number will save us pounds and pounds...
  • Black Diamond "Can't wait 'til" Firstlight.  
  • Jetboil and 2 oz per person per day of fuel.  
  • Food- Just add water dinners and breakfasts.  Fill a 1 qt ziploc with energy candy and bars etc for each day.  About 1.7-2.0 pounds per person per day total.  
  • All packed into Hyperlight Mountain Gear's 4400 Ice Pack. 


I've been working, and writing, and skiing my brain out the last couple months. Just not documenting it here. Here's the "catch up".

For work:

I worked every day in February.

Some Alpine guiding.
Venusian with Pieter

U Notch with Joe

Some ski guiding. Dunderberg with Chad:

I taught some avalanche skills.

Level One course at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare
Training Center

And wrote tens of thousands of words for OutdoorGearLab.
March was even more varied:

More ski guiding, this time in the Mammoth area.

Joshua Tree with Chad and Allie

I taught "MultiPitch Efficiency" at the Red Rock Rendezvous.
And then proceeded to be very inefficient on some personal climbing.
I didn't work much in April. But what I did do was badass! A week of ski touring around Valdez, Alaska should be on every skier's list.

You don't see this sort of sight at most ski destinations...

Coco and Torrey brought high-level downhill ski skills and unprecedented toughness to big and wild AK!
The weather in AK often looks like this. Helis are grounded and film crews steer clear. But touring skiers have the run of the place in this flat light.

For fun in the mountains:

I cooked this up back in early February: http://www.wildsnow.com/12403/sierra-backcountry-skiing/

I managed to grab some fun missions in March.

Sean, Dale and I skied Banner Peak. In a day. From June Lake. Hard stuff. 

With a little spin drifted down climb in the middle.
The work trip to Joshua Tree wasn't all work...
Nor was Red Rock...
Scott and I scored a short coverage window on some Mammoth area classic lines.
I got wicked sick in the middle of March. Laid low for over a week. I rallied out of bed for a solo mission to Virginia Peak.

Early April brought a round of fresh to Mammoth. Just in time for Meagan's visit. She said it was just as good as Rossland.
And the weather cleared out in time for a couple weeks of family fun on Mammoth Mountain. Thomas Greene photo. 

Finally, Meagan and I escaped to the corners of Yosemite for some Mount Lyell action. We had an eventful trip, to say the least...