Category Archives: Uncategorized

Alex Lowe – The Greatest Mountain Athlete Of All Time

Alex and Jennifer Lowe skiing toward the north face of Notch Top in Rocky Mountain National Park in 1982.

Words by: Jennifer and Max Lowe

Alex Lowe was a Montanan who arrived on the national climbing scene in the early eighties with a voracious appetite for climbing in all disciplines. He became known as the “Jack of all Trades” and “The Fiend”, climbing big walls and difficult free routes as well as forging steep ice and notable alpine ascents around the globe. Alex was known to be fast, bold and somewhat of a visionary in developing the direction of mixed climbing and technical ice routes. In the spring of 1999 he was called, “the world’s best climber” by Outside Magazine. He died in October 1999 at the age of forty, buried by an avalanche in Tibet.

Jennifer – The North Face of Notchtop was one of hundreds of adventures that Alex and I shared in the mountains during our first years together. Our Kletterwerks packs accompanied us as we explored the US and traveled to Europe, Alaska and South America to climb. In later years Alex went on to climb on every continent and we settled in Bozeman where he worked as a professional athlete and guide and I settled into parenting and a career in art.

Jennifer Lowe-Anker, READ MORE >


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New Mexico Backpack

Mystery Ranch.

After three summer months of New Mexico’s 95-plus degree heat I’d had enough and needed some relief.

Luckily, even though New Mexico is in large part a desert, the north central part of the state is dominated by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, parts of which feature a series of 13,000 foot peaks and some unmatched high-elevation backpacking spots.

I grew up in this area in a tiny village of 50 people; my mom still lives there, tending to 10 acres of alfalfa fields, a large garden and a couple of horses. My friend Adam Buechley also still lives there, and if anyone was going to be game for a weekend outing it was him.

He’s a couple of years older than I am, but we grew up together and have had many adventures, including the time we drew skateboards under all the cows on roadside signs near our houses, and the time we trudged through thigh-deep snow drifts on a backpacking trip we took with friends in lieu of going to our high school prom.

Today Adam is an accomplished skier, rock climber and all-around outdoorsman. He’s worked as a Forest Service Hot Shot and snowboard instructor and is … READ MORE >


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FEATURED POST

Camp Patriot Celebrates Its 6th Annual Rainier Summit Bid

Camp Patriot 2012 Summit Challenge

 

Tim and I summited Mt Rainier in July of this year with 2 men wounded in war.  One had a prosthetic leg above the knee, the other, 2 carbon fiber braces supporting his legs that had been violently destroyed.  They summited a 14,000 foot peak, whose average summit success rate is somewhere below 40.  Not an easy challenge, let alone doing it with 1 leg.

I had the opportunity … READ MORE >

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Kyle Taylor Profile : Implement Productions

Kyle Taylor

Our friend Phil Baribeau just launched his new site, Implement Productions.  Check out his profile on Mystery Ranch Athlete, Kyle Taylor.… READ MORE >


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Athlete Steve Popovich 2011-2012 Ski Edit

Big Poppy

Athlete Steve Popovich shreds. Hard. Watch his full 2012 season edit here!… READ MORE >


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FEATURED POST

American River Hot Shots

Featuring: Hot3

The American River Hot Shots operate out of Forest Hill, California, and have been carrying the Hot 3 since 2010. Designed and built specifically for the long days, heavy loads, and intensive labor that are givens in the job, our packs can now be found on the majority of the Nation’s 110 Hotshot Crews, logging countless hours on the Fireline.

A Hotshot can call only a few things their own: boots, nomex, sleeping bag, pack, … READ MORE >

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Mystery Ranch Front Loader Pack Outfitted for Smokejumping

Lane Lamoreaux Blog Header

Editors note: Just last week, in the local market, I ran into our buddy Sam Cox. He’d just finished PT, and was within weeks of returning to McCall for another season of jumping out of perfectly good airplanes to swing a tool at the dirt ringing fires of all sizes.  Fire season has its rhythms, and this year’s rhythms have begun. The jumpers in AK are likely at it already, rookie training at least, and jumpers in the lower 48 are making their way back to jump bases. The Hotshot crews have done their hiring, and some, in the Southwest, have come on the boards already. In California, there’s virtually a year-round fire season, but the big ramp-up will commence in early May. It’s reliable, Fire is, though severity does fluctuate. Just like every year, there will be a snowstorm, every year, there will be a fire. This season could be on the high side of severity, but we won’t know the end of that story until the snow flies next winter. 

The following footage is from Lane Lamoreaux, who jumps out of McCall with Sam. Before the 2010 fire season our repair guy retrofitted a stock Hot 3 for READ MORE >


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Monumental Elegance

Bridger Jacks Moon3
Featuring: Trance XXX

The desert has always inspired me with its clean crisp air and the stark contrast between the iron red dirt and cerulean sky.  A time in my life existed where I would go to places like these for weeks at a time, climbing and soaking in the surroundings, while living virtually on pennies.  Though it was a simple existence, it burned into my memory as a time of focus and reflection- – a period when I could breathe unobstructed by the constrictive ways of modern life.  When each morning you would wake to the sunrise screams of Peregrine Falcons echoing  from high sandstone walls, and observe the almost defiant way the desert sirens its guests in with an unnameable beauty, and stillness.  Recently I had the chance to visit some of these places again with my friend Justin Griffin, a strong and talented climber from Bozeman with a lust for life.  We had a week to soak up the sun, climb, and maybe get a chance to breathe.

Stop 1: City of Rocks

Eager, with the car ride taking a toll, we decided to stop for a quick pump in Idaho’s City of Rocks.  Granite sport climbing seemed a great … READ MORE >


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Ski RV Video – Road Trip to Revelstoke

frame grab spine jpg

 

See more at

www.tomruncie.com/READ MORE >


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6500 In A Year

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BY: MARCUS HOCKETT

After winning the Mystery Ranch 6500 in the BAYED contest on On Your Own Adventures Forum – Hunt Talk, I’ve been trying to give this pack the workout it deserves.

Immediately, this pack became my go-to pack while shed hunting and bear hunting in the spring and carrying the spotting scope and other goodies.

Over the summer I took it everywhere with me.  The 6500 carried my gear deep into trail-less areas several times, on quests for cutthroat and golden trout.

Trying to get away from the crowds while paddle-fishing on the Missouri, I got a chance to haul out my first critter for the pack.

The pack even got to come to work with me a few times. Working on the Charles M. Russell NWR, I helped dig out a 75 million year old Elasmosaur fossil.  I packed in bags of plaster and five gallon water jugs for the crew using the NICE Frame and Load Sling.  I even packed out the skull of the beast encased in rock and plaster. It was the heaviest load I’ve ever carried.  The pack did great!

August through November the pack never went more than a few of days … READ MORE >


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