Entries by Karen Bockel

Sterling’s Fusion Nano IX – Gear We Use | Alpine Climbing

Sterling’s Fusion Nano IX, 60m, 9mm rope is my most commonly used rope.   because I mostly go Alpine Climbing. Pre-dawn starts, big- heavy packs, hiking, pitches, and pitches of climbing, ridges, and multiple rappels are in order. For alpine climbing efficiency is key. The Sterling Fusion Nano IX is efficient because it’s really light and […]

Small Steps

Small steps can turn big challenges into something quite manageable. “Kleine Schritte, Kleine Schritte!” “Small steps.” In German, I heard someone repeat, “small steps” to the group of Swiss climbers in front of us just as pre-dawn light touched the peaks. My partner, Mary, and I had been climbing by headlamp. Roped together, we’d steadily […]

Flat Overhand Bend | Climbing Knots

Use A Flat Overhand Bend To Tie Two Ropes Together For A Double-Rope Rappel When I got into climbing longer routes during my college years, I started to also encounter lots of long rappels. The endless question of how to tie the ropes together never got a simple answer at that time. I saw people […]

GU Hydration Drink Tabs

Hello Everyone, Karen here, checking in from Smith Rock State Park, Oregon. It’s warm. The days are long and everything is screaming, “Sun’s out, guns out.” My fingertips have been feeling the brunt of all the climbing but the rest of my body isn’t far behind. Being out in the hot, dry desert all day […]

Gigantic – Step from Skiing to Climbing

Hello everyone, it’s Karen here checking in about the gigantic step from skiing to climbing. This year I’m spending the spring in the Alps guiding the Haute Route. The Haute Route is a week-long, high-alpine ski tour that starts in Chamonix, France and ends in Zermatt, Switzerland. Along the way, we spend the night in mountain […]

Thank Grabber for Toe Warmers

Grabber Toe Warmers just got me (and my toes!) through a deep arctic front. I was teaching an avalanche course for the American Avalanche Institute—a Pro 1 course for ski patrollers at A-Basin and Breckenridge. A storm had recently left the region. This left room for an arctic air mass to descend onto Colorado, dropping […]

Safe Belay Technique for Top Rope Ice Climbing

Chicks’ home venue is the Ouray Ice Park—the best place to learn ice climbing from beginners to experts alike, hands down. The Uncompahgre Gorge narrows down to the tight Box Canyon, which transforms into a beautiful Mecca of icy walls begging to be climbed. In the Ice Park, one of the first things we teach […]

‘Tis the Season for Avalanche Training

Early winter is a great time for Chicks Skiing avalanche training. Brush up on your avalanche rescue skills, refresh your avalanche understanding and get busy reading your local avalanche forecast. Get Avy Savy! Following are two great resources to get you thinking about snow safety. Especially during the holiday travel season, you might find yourself […]

New Ski Touring Gear from Black Diamond

Black Diamond Introduces Helio Bindings and Helio Skis Black Diamond’s Helio Collection is gear for alpinists and mountaineers who like to go fast and carry less. And just in time to catch the fresh snow in the mountains, Black Diamond has added lightweight bindings and ski mountaineering skis to their line. Helio Bindings The Helio […]

Hello, Snow!

After last year’s dry and warm winter, I’ve been worrying about this year’s ski season. All fall, these questions looped through my mind: Will it snow before Thanksgiving? Will the Colorado ski areas open on time? Will Chicks be able to run early season avalanche courses? Is climate change ending skiing as we know it? Suddenly, […]