Entries by Karen Bockel

Tracks Less Travelled; First Steps to Backcountry Skiing

Walking on skis through snow-covered woods is my favorite winter exercise. As much as I love carving up a sleeping powder bowl with perfect turns, skiing in avalanche terrain requires more preparation, planning, and partners. Backcountry skiing is as much about skiing the steep and deep as it is about getting into the peace and […]

Patagonia DAS Parka Review

Let me tell you about one of my favorite pieces of outdoor clothing: The DAS parka made by Patagonia. There is no better jacket made for cold winter days! It keeps you warm, whether you’re hanging at the belay on a climb or tagging a summit on a big ski day. I got my first version […]

Iceland Sailboat Skiing

I’ll never forget the moment I first laid eyes on the Aurora Arktika, Captain’s Siggi’s beautiful, modern but historic merchant Dutch style sailboat, anchored in the harbor of Isafjordur.  It’s two masts swayed gently above the wooden deck and the red and black painted hull.  Two small hatch doors were open to the area under […]

Chicks in the City of Rocks

The Chicks in the City (of Rocks) are back in town and we are all still grinning ear to ear!  We just returned from an amazing wom en’s climbing weekend at the City of Rocks National Reserve in Idaho. There’s no better way to spend a long weekend away from the constant connectivity to our […]

5 Myths of Alpine Climbing

Alpine Climbing Myth #1:  Alpine Climbing takes a lot of experience. Sheldon’s truth:  Every alpine climber starts somewhere, often just hiking and having spent time outdoors can give you a great foundation.  The terrain is usually less than vertical, offering routes that are typically lower climbing grades.  Also, when you climb with a guide, the ratios […]

Chicks Gear Review: Petzl Sitta

At the Ouray Ice Festival, I acquired a new favorite piece of equipment from the friendly folks at Petzl, the Sitta Harness.  It’s a full strength, very lightweight harness made from high tensile strength materials, that comes in bright orange and white colors.  When folded up, the harness fits into a miniature stuff sack, with […]

Go Alpine! Mt. Baker vs. Tetons

“Every time I go into the mountains, I learn something,” said legendary climber Michael Kennedy once, and I find this statement conveys the essence of mountain climbing.  The mountains always provide adventure, and often in unforeseen ways.  May it be figuring out the early morning route finding when the sun is barely cresting the horizon, […]