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…

Conditions Report

As we all know, there are fires burning throughout many areas of Colorado.  Climbers are calling our offices to find out if and what climbing areas are being affected.   Here is the local breakdown.  The following fires are all within 50 miles of our…

Guide Gear Review: Black Diamond Hoodwire Carabiner

Last season I retired many of my well-used carabiners and decided to try the new Black Diamond Hoodwires. According to BD: “Their hot-forged construction combines a keylock design with wire gate functionality.” Translation: greatly reduced snagging when you’re clipping gear,…

Guide Gear Review: Marmot Nano Jacket

Ian Fowler here with Colorado Mountain School. Originally from England, I grew up with three-hundred days of rain annually. Thus, I have a lot of experience with waterproof shells. The ultra-light Marmot Nano is a streamlined GORE-TEX® Paclite® shell that…

Gear Review: Marmot Women’s Jena Jacket

Jane here with Colorado Mountain School, checking in about another high-performing product from  Marmot! Known for their incredibily lightweight primo down insulation, Marmot does not disapoint with the Women’s Jena Down Jacket. Marmot uses only the highest quality goose down and it…

Guide Gear Review: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Russell Hunter, full-time guide with the Colorado Mountain School, here to share with you my opinion on the Black Diamond Spot headlamp. Recently I have been using the Spot headlamp and it has quickly become one of my new favorite…

Circuit Training at the BRC

BRC trainers have developed a training circuit incorporating Tru Blue auotobelays.  Check out this video on how to better train for your climbing objectives.

Mountain Climbing Safety

CMS guide Russell Hunter recently spent the day climbing with Outside Television.  Here’s and excerpt where they spend a few minutes discussing mountain climbing safety.  Enjoy!

Weekly Monday Gear Review: Black Diamond Primrose SA Harness

The Black Diamond Primrose SA Harness is a great women’s-specific harness for all climbing uses: sport, trad, multi-pitch, gym, snow and ice!  This is the second Primrose harness that I have owned.  Recently, I have been wearing it regularly for…

AMGA Ski Guide Course with Norie Kizaki

CMS Guide Norie Kizaki recently took the AMGA Ski Guide Course with help from funding through a scholarship that she received  from Backcountry Access.  Luckily for us, the camera was rolling.  The course was great and Norie crushed it!  Thank you BCA, you’re the best!!!

Spring Skiing in RMNP… I love it!

I skied Dragon Tail Couloir (DTC) this morning along with one of my coworkers, Andrew Councell, and my husband who wanted to get some skiing in before going to work. For a change, we decided to drop in from the…

Weekly Monday Gear Review: Marmot Minimalist Jacket

Here is a telling statistic regarding the Marmot Minimalist Jacket: I wore the Marmot Minimalist every day this past winter.  Yes, that is correct – every single day while ski guiding in Hokkaido, Japan this past January and February. Historically,…

Alpine, Rock & Ski Trip Report

Recently I had the pleasure to climb and ski with Jake Lauer form Durango.  Jake is an aspirant in the mountain guiding realm working hard to achieve AMGA Rock Certification – and he is well on his way. Day #1:  AMGA Single…

Skiing Dragon Tail Couloir

Spring skiing is still crankin’ in Rocky Mountain National Park! CMS Guides Matt Lipscomb, Joey Thompson and Mike Alkaitis spent this morning on a training outing up and down Dragon Tail Couloir.

Rocky Mountain National Park Conditions

We’ve had a lot of guides out in the field recently – on rock, ice and snow.  The following is a compilation of conditions reports from the past few days.  THE DIAMOND, LONGS PEAK THE NORTH FACE, LONGS PEAK…

Revo Bearing Sunglasses

Hey there, It’s Colorado Mountain School Senior Guide Joey Thompson here to talk to you about my favorite sunglasses – Revo Bearings.   Revo’s High Contrast Polarization blocks glare while maintaining clear optics while I am working in the high alpine environment. …

Dragon Tail Couloir

Colorado Mountain School Guide Rainbow Weinstock heads to Rocky Mountain National Park to climb a local classic, Dragon Tail Couloir, with Outside Television.  Mountaineering season is here, let’s go climbing!

Black Diamond Guide Glove

Growing up I spent a lot of time working in the yard with my father.  He taught me the importance of hard work, physical activity and being outside.  He also showed me the importance of a good set of work…

Weekly Gear Review: BD Speed 40 Pack

As I have said in gear reviews past: I am old and set in my ways. I like my old stand-by gear. I know it well, it works. Gear companies, however, don’t understand my dependency on unchanging gear. No –…

Weekly Monday Gear Review: Revo Guide Sunglasses

One thing a Mountain Guide must have is a good pair of sunglasses. With the amount of time outdoor professionals spend in the sun, UV protection is paramount. I recently acquired a pair of the “Guide” sunglasses from Revo and…

Weekly Monday Gear Review – Black Diamond Stinger

The Black Diamond Stinger crampon is the latest entry to the lightweight, steep ice and mixed category from our friends at BD. This crampon is designed for anything and everything from steep waterfalls to mixed, roadside or alpine. Stainless steel…

Weekly Gear Review: Black Diamond Express Ice Screws

The Black Diamond Express Ice Screw provides the ice-climber with fast and efficient placements. The design of the BD ice screw cuts through ice with remarkable precision and ease allowing for fast protection. The flip lever, which resembles a crank,…

Weekly Gear Review: BCA Float Airbags

Backcountry skiing is dangerous, especially this year where we live. So far, I’ve witnessed one of the more hazardous and unpredictable snowpacks that I’ve ever seen. But no matter the location or the stability, we all accept a certain level…

Trip Report: Ice Climbing with CMS Guide Andrew Councell

Being from Ohio, Toby Gandy doesn’t have much access to big terrain for skiing.  He made the trip out to Colorado to take an AIARE Avalanche Level 1 Course with us, along with a guided day in Rocky Mountain National…

Weekly Monday Gear Review: Marmot Spire Pants

At first glance I thought the Marmot Spire Pants were bibs, and bibs are often just too hot for me on the up portion of the day. But they are really pants with suspenders, which are easily removable.  However with the…

Ice Conditions: Hidden Falls and Vail

Hidden Falls is in great. I was there on Tuesday (1/17). The main flow is moving towards a mixed line to the right and growing over the rock. I have been ice guiding up in Vail for the past couple…

Scarpa Maestrale Ski Boot review

The Scarpa Maestrale is the lightest four buckle boot on the market and is designed to be the perfect touring boot. What does this mean? For me it means a touring boot that fits my foot well (Intuition Liners are…

Weekly Monday Gear Review: Black Diamond Punisher Gloves

Climbers are pretty finicky when it comes to climbing gear…any climbing gear.  This is especially true, however, when dealing with climbing gloves because it’s with our hands that we feel connected to the mountain. Since our hands are so integral…

Weekly Monday Gear Review: Marmot Powder 8 Jacket

I’d like to introduce everyone to my new jacket of choice, the Marmot Powder 8.  I’ve been wearing my Team Red version for some time now and I have to say that is my go-to jacket. The Powder 8 Jacket…