Rocky Mountain National Park Conditions

Ice… Ice… Baby! This is one of the best times of the year.  Right now you can go rock climbing in Boulder or go ice climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park. The flood we had last month left the ground…

Staff Outings – Fun and Adventurous

Are you looking for new, fun ideas for your next staff retreat or offsite event? Rock climbing, hiking and snowshoeing are great sports for team-building, developing camaraderie and to simply have a blast in the outdoors! Colorado Mountain School can customize an outdoor…

Climbing the Cathedral Spires – Cynical Pinnacle

Cynical Pinnacle, The Center Route For the guides at CMS, the last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. Our “office” has been out of commission due to the flooding and we’ve been forced to relocate. Of course, in the grand…

Conditions Update

We hope this post finds everyone in safe and dry conditions. Due to the storms that hit our community last week, many of our outings will be taking place at venues just outside of Boulder. At this time we are unsure…

Tech tip: how to tie a munter mule

Here is a quick video from IFMGA/AMGA Certified Guide, Eric Whewell, on tying the munter mule – an important skill to have for rock rescue.

Guide Gear Review – Marmot Women’s Nano Jacket

This summer was wetter than previous years, making the Marmot Nano Jacket an essential in my climbing pack.  It was field tested, not on purpose, on the heaviest hailstorm of my life while climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Fortunately,…

What I Enjoy about being a guide

I’ve been guiding for many years and every once in a while I am asked what I love about being a guide.  For me, this is a hard question to answer.  I find lots of rewards in what I do. …

A Guide’s Day Off – Training for Pikes Peak

Some guides like to try and climb four routes on the Diamond in a day, some like to spend time pulling weeds in the garden, some like to hang with the family and some like to spend their free days…

Climbing at Eldorado Canyon

Eldorado Canyon State Park, or Eldo as most climbers call it, is one of the historic centers of American rock climbing and attracts climbers from all over the world. It is also our backyard. The soaring sandstone walls are decorated…

Guide Gear Review – Marmot Essence Jacket

This raincoat is LIGHT and keeps the weather off you – therefore, it meets most of my criteria in a quality rain jacket. At a staggeringly light weight of 6 ounces, there is little penalty on the legs for bringing…

Guide Tech Tip: Multi-Pitch Belay Transitions and Efficiency

Swift and efficient transitions between two partners at the belay stations is the trademark of a well rounded multi-pitch climber. In Colorado, where the weather is fickle, it is important to remember time is on your side and the quicker…

The Petit Grepon

In Rocky Mountain National Park, a beautiful spire of rock overlooks Sky Pond in Loch Vale and stands at 12,001 ft high – the Petit Grepon! Part of the Cathedral Spires group, the Petit’s classic route winds its way up…

Protect Your Skin From the Sun

Protection from the sun is very important.  There are various ways you can do that.  Besides just avoiding sunburns, you can also: Avoid tanning or tanning beds – UV light from tanning beds and the sun can cause cancer. Apply…

Tech Tip: Multi-pitch Anchor

CMS Senior level Guide, Joey Thompson, was just out climbing in Eldorado Canyon State Park.  Being that he is an AMGA certified Rock Guide, he takes pride in his anchors.  Below is a little video of an anchor that he…

Guide Gear Review – Sportiva TC Pro

TC Pro Gear Review – by Steve Levin Long trad climbs are the real deal. Hundreds of feet off the deck, up among the soaring birds, the world takes on a different dimension—one where all the skills in the climber’s…

First Descents & Colorado Mountain School

CMS Guide Steve Levin describes the special partnership between Colorado Mountain School and First Descents, and how it has reminded him about the gift of being present.  About First Descents First Descents is a Denver-based non-profit that offers rock climbing,…

Guide Gear Review – Marmot Essence Jacket

Marmot Essence Jacket Gear Review – by Ian Fowler “No it is not going to rain! I am not taking a shell!” said my climbing partner. Four hours later, as a heavy spring shower hit me at the top of…

Guide Gear Review – La Sportiva Vertical K’s

La Sportiva Verical K’s Gear Review – by Steve Levin After 10 grueling hours of stuffing my feet into cracks and chimneys up the Black Canyon’s Painted Wall, all that was between me and a cooler of cold beverages was…

Guide Gear Review – Black Diamond Speed 40 Pack

Black Diamond Speed 40 Pack Gear Review – by Rainbow Weinstock I punish packs. Between my personal climbing and guiding, I wear a pack on my back most days of the year. I ask a lot of my packs. I…

Guide Gear Review – BCA Stash BC Pack

BCA Stash BC Pack Gear Review – by Andrew Councell On a recent trip to the Valhallas in Canada, I was exclusively using BCA’s Stash BC Pack. As the assistant guide for this week-long, lodge-based touring trip, I wasn’t just…

Guide Gear Review – Dynafit Huascaran Set Up

Dynafit Huascaran Set up Gear Review – by Russell Hunter My name is Russell and I work full-time as a Senior Mountain Guide for the Colorado Mountain School. This year Dynafit became our official ski, binding, and skin sponsor. As a result…

Finding the Joy in Skiing with the US Snowboard Team

Finding the Joy in Skiing with the US Snowboard Team – by Mike Alkaitis Last week I had the pleasure of skiing with a few members of the US Snowboard Halfpipe Team (Coach Rick Bower and riders Matt Ladley, Gretchen…

Marmot Women’s Minimalist Jacket

Marmot Women’s Minimalist Jacket Gear Review – by Norie Kizaki I wore Marmot’s Minimalist Jacket every day this winter while ski guiding in Hokkaido, Japan. Marmot uses GORE-TEX® with Paclite® Technology in the jacket, which means that it is light,…

Gear Review – Scarpa Maestrale RS

Scarpa Maestrale RS  Yes, I know it’s a little late, but I was waiting for more snow before reviewing these boots. Finally, after receiving said snow, I decided to take them out for a spin during our Christmas storm and…

Gear Review: Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

Black Diamond Storm Headlamp Gear Review – by Joey Thompson Earlier this season in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Black Diamond Storm headlamp helped me recover lost equipment and get my first turns of the season. Here’s my recount from an…

Gear Review: Black Diamond Cobra Ice Tool

Black Diamond Cobra Ice Tool Gear Review – by Eric Whewell The Black Diamond Cobras are my favorite ice tools on the market. They have the craftsmanship of a Ferrari and the burl of an eighteen wheel truck. I have used…

Scarpa Maestrale RS

  When I saw the Scarpa Maestrale RS at last winters OR show I was intrigued. I loved touring in the original orange Maestrale, but always wanted a bit more behind the boot for the skis I use (95-118mm underfoot)….

Guide Gear Review: Black Diamond Spinner Leash

Mike Lewis utilizing the BD Spinner Leash on All Mixed Up in Rocky Mountain National Park – Photo by Rainbow Weinstock  There I was…climbing the second pitch of Goldrush…a four pitch WI5 route in the Silverton area of Colorado. I…

Guide Gear Review: Marmot Zeus Jacket

Marmot Zeus Jacket I’m a hardman darn it and this jacket is just so…soft! And light! And I’m not a lightweight either (at least in my mind). That being said, this is what I have to say about the Marmot Zeus…

Guide Gear Review: Black Diamond Vector Helmet Review

I have long awaited the arrival of the new Black Diamond Vector Helmet. I like to carry as little weight up the hill as possible and since my LG/XL Vector weighs in at a trim 8.5 ounces (SM/MD 8.1 ounces) I…

Conditions Pictures from RMNP

Winter is making it’s way! Here are a few shots from the past week that CMS Guides Mike Lewis and Joey Thompson took from the field. All Mixed Up is IN and in great condition from bottom to top. Mike and Joey…

Guide Gear Review: Black Diamond LightWeight Glove

  The Black Diamond LightWeight Gloves are a consistent item in my pack no matter what time of year. The LightWeight Glove does not receive the time in the spotlight it deserves. This is partly because in the winter they…

Guide Gear Review: La Sportiva Xplorer

Recently, I’ve been out in La Sportiva’s latest approach shoe incarnation, the Xplorer. I first heard mention of this shoe from a Sportiva employee after inquiring why they hadn’t yet released an updated Exum model. I prefer approach shoes that…

Guide Gear Review: Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet

  Kevin Baines rocking his new Black Diamond Half Dome Black Diamond has revised and updated their helmet line for 2012, including their stalwart, the Half Dome. The Half Dome has been my go-to helmet for years. It is dependable, sturdy, and…

Guide Gear Review: La Sportiva Xplorer Approach

For big days out it is hard to imagine a more important piece of gear than your shoes.  You often leave and return to the trailhead in the dark, without ever taking your shoes off.  How your shoes treat your body in between is pretty…

Conditions Report – Flagstaff Fire – 90% Contained

Eldorado Canyon reopened on Friday the 29th. On June 29, CMS Guide Steve Levin and his client Ed spent the afternoon climbing the Wind Tower. They reported a bit of smoke/haze in the air (see photo to the right) but…