IMG_5292       Half and Half

Photo: Kyle Skidmore Instagram: kyleskidmorephotography

I joined The Alpine Start team in early 2016 after an epic day of ice climbing with Raf and another friend (in which my ice tool popped out and I ended up pulling the hammer into my face, and later in the day had to down climb in the dark) and chatting about my textiles background and reviews on the way home. My focus is on rock, ice and mixed climbing with emphasis on women’s specific gear and technical apparel.  Here’s a bit more about me.

Q. Birthplace? – Winnipeg, MB

Q. Live now?  – Calgary / Canmore Alberta

Q. Day Job? – Coach/Teach Gymnastics and Trampoline (going on 20 years!)

Q. First started climbing? – Rock in 2008 after taking a course in university, Ice in 2011 at The ACC Outdoor Tower in Winnipeg (in -30C)

Q. Favourite season? – Winter. Mild winters in Alberta mean many opportunities to play outside.  Skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing, etc.

Q. Favourite mountain or climb? – Valley of the Birds – Going into the Ghost is always an adventure and there are many climbs in a short approach.

Q. Favourite piece of clothing? – Lululemon Fireplace Jersey.  Its merino and lulu only had 3 colours and I’ve got all of them.  Amazing fit.  I wear them out for all of my winter activities but they are still nice enough to be worn on their own when you’re out and about.  Too bad lulu only had them for one season.

Q. Favourite piece of gear? – My Dehydrator!! With all of my food allergies, I can make loads of things at home and bring them on my adventures.  I’ve got recipes for jerky, soups, fruit leathers and tons more.

Q. Interesting adventure story? –  One Thanksgiving weekend, I went down to Montana to rock climb with two friends. We originally were supposed to be a group of 4 with two sets of gear, but when one person changed their plans, we had some miscommunication and ended up all harnessed up ready to climb and no rope! A 2.5 hour drive later, we had bought one, and had dinner on the way home. The next morning, one of my friends realized she had left her wallet at the restaurant an hour away! Needless to say, we added an additional 6 hours of driving on to the trip.

Top three tips:

1. Don’t let anyone tell you what to bring or not to bring.  They are not the ones carrying it.  I have to pack a full change of clothes with me because I sweat a ton on longer or steeper approaches, but without it, I would be cold and miserable.

2. Trust your gut – even if you have objectives to get, its ok to turn around and try again on another day.

3. Always bring your first aid kit.  It doesn’t need to be huge, but I’ve used mine a number of times.  (pulling ticks off, bandaging up my chin after having it split open from ice, or using duct tape to patch a hole in my puffy jacket)

Anyways, that’s me! Enjoy the reviews, happy climbing, and remember, if you want to maximize your ape index….USE TOOLS 🙂