REI Intro to Mountaineering Course

Mountaineering is one of those things that I’ve been trying to get into for a while now. I mean, who can resist gr1m, frostbitten, kvlt ice and spikey things and tall peaks?

For the boyfriend’s Christmas present, I got him an intro to mountaineering class for the two of us through REI’s Outdoor School.

REI Intro to Mountaineering Review REI Intro to Mountaineering Review REI Intro to Mountaineering Review REI Intro to Mountaineering Review REI Intro to Mountaineering Review REI Intro to Mountaineering Review

We woke up well before the sun was up and drove to the REI in Roseville. The other option was to meet at the Donner Pass Sno Park next to Boreal. We arrived at the trailhead at around 10AM due to a freak bus fire accident on the side of 80.

Our instructors, Dakota and Ryan, handed out ice axes, crampons, helmets and gaiters. Students were free to bring their own gear if they had it. Then, we set off across the road towards Castle Peak. It had snowed a bunch the week before, and without snowshoes, we were mostly postholing in the snow.

Did a lot of practice of walking in balance up and down hills. Spent some time practicing kick stepping and the French technique. We spent an absurd amount of time practicing self-arresting in various ways. Did some self belaying up and down the side of a powdery hill. Practiced some “real” mixed climbing up a rock formation.

And then glissaded all the way back down (mostly) to the trailhead, which was awesome. I want to glissade my life away.

If you’re looking for a glimpse into mountaineering, I highly recommend this class, though your mileage may vary. Dakota and Ryan were super, nice, friendly, patient and informative. I feel like I have a decent grasp of basic mountaineering techniques that I can practice on small, less technical peaks.

See ya this summer, Rainier!

This class is available through REI’s Outdoor School website. The cost is $125 for members and $145 for non-members.

Have you taken a class through REI before? What did you think?

Pictured above are the Outdoor Research Women’s Valhalla Pants, Outdoor Research Women’s Riot Gloves, The North Face Women’s Kira Triclimate Jacket, Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet, Icebreaker BodyFit 260 Compass Leggings – Girls’, Icebreaker BodyFit Oasis Crew Long Sleeve, Black Diamond FrontPoint Gaiters, Camelbak Aventura pack, and Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie.

CamelBak Aventura

CamelBak Aventura Review CamelBak Aventura Review CamelBak Aventura Review CamelBak Aventura Review

The CamelBak Aventura backpack is a nifty little backpack that’s great for long day adventures.

This bad boy is a 21L backpack with a 3L water bladder. There are four zippered compartments: a tiny one for tiny items, one small one for small items, a main compartment for larger items, and a separate compartment for the water bladder. Side slip pockets allow you to hold water bottles, map, or if you’re like me, all the wrappers from Clif bars that you eat. And there’s a nice and large slip pocket that can easily fit a Nalgene and readily accessible items like hats. The outside of the pack has attachments to keep your trekking poles handy.

The pack has a sternum strap and a padded waist strap. It also has high abrasion mesh covering channeled EVA injected foam pods for extra ventilation your back won’t get sweaty as quickly.

The right shoulder strap conveniently has a little hook for your bladder hose. However, the hose doesn’t come with a Bite Valve Cover. You’ll need to pick one of those up for $6.

This pack has been my day hike BFF since I first got it in August of 2012 for a trip up Half Dome.. It has lasted weekends of endless abuse, squeezing in tight spots and being thrown over and around obstacles.

I don’t have much to complain about this bag, other than little plastic doohickies are starting to fall off now. And sometimes, if the bag is stuffed to the brim, I think I look like a turtle. This bag is wider at the base and narrows up to the top, so aesthetics look a little funny if you’re hauling a big load.

This pack is now discontinued and on clearance through Camelbak. I’m going to be extremely sad when my pack is on its last legs.

#ClimbforChange: 2 Peaks, 2 Beards, 2 Days

Climb for Change: 2 Peaks, 2 Beards, 2 Days

My friend, Landon, and his cousin are partnered with Peak 7 Adventures to help fundraise for the adventure non-profit.

Peak 7 is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for under-served youth in the Pacific Northwest to participate in outdoor adventure programs such as whitewater rafting, rock climbing and alpine climbing. Peak 7 targets youth who are underprivileged or have been labeled “at-risk”. Peak 7 takes youth on whitewater rafting and kayaking, rock climbing, and backpacking trips to challenge them spiritually, mentally and physically, encouraging them to evaluate what they put their faith in. These once-in-a-lifetime opportunities have an immeasurable impact on the participants and promote all-around healthier lifestyles.

Climb for Change: 2 Peaks, 2 Beards, 2 Days

Cue Climb for Change: 2 Peaks, 2 Beards, 2 Days. The challenge? Summit Mt. Lassen and Brokeoff Mountain in two days at the end of February, covering a bit over 30 miles of snow travel. Landon needs your help to meet his fundraising goal of $3,250 so that Climb for Change can be effective in changing the lives of struggling and at-risk teens.

Climb for Change: 2 Peaks, 2 Beards, 2 Days

The campaign goal is to help Peak 7 reach those teens and promote a positive change in their lives. Any help provided will go directly towards this goal of making a positive change in a little human’s life no matter how big or small the donation. Please visit the donations page here where contributions can be processed using any major debit or credit card.

For more information on Landon and Climb for Change, please feel free to visit his blog here.