The Weekly Stoke: Alex Honnold does Fitz Roy Traverse, the death of Chad Kellogg, common running mistakes and how to avoid an avalanche

Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

It seems that maybe winter is beginning to lose its grip, at least in my part of the world. And that means more time outside. Not that you can’t have a good time in the snow. Anyway, here’s some more goodies in this edition of the Weekly Stoke!

It might seem like Alex Honnold gets a lot of attention in this space, but he keeps adding to an already amazing list of climbing and mountaineering accomplishments. His latest was a team effort with Tommy Caldwell to do one of the most radical traverses around, the Fitz Traverse in Patagonia.

Not all the news from Patagonia is good. Speed climber Chad Kellogg died from rockfall on Fitz Roy.

This post describes some common running mistakes — and how to avoid them.

This story is a fascinating account of what it’s like to suffer from a poisonous snakebite while in the bush of Myanmar.

And finally, there is this video on avoiding the dangers of an avalanche.

The Weekly Stoke: Surviving an avalanche, how to spot a bad partner, father-son adventuring and a new outdoorsy book


We’re just a few days away from Christmas, and my guess is a lot of you have some time off to spend with family or just relax. My hope is that you’ll find some time to ski, board, snowshoe, hike, climb, run, bike, race or whatever it is you do outside while you’re off. Use your time to the fullest!

All that said, here’s an abbreviated version of the Weekly Stoke…

Not long ago, a video started making the rounds about a backcountry skier who triggered an avalanche in Utah. The slide partially buried her, despite her avy airbags deploying. That skier, Amie Engerbretson, tells her story, and does so in a detailed and humble way.

That said, stuff happens. But are there steps you can take to make sure you’re not out with bad skiing or mountaineering partners? This list shows some of the red flags you need to be looking for.

Want to see a great trip report? And the ultimate outdoor father-son adventure? Read this one from Summitpost. Beats Disneyland any day.

Finally, if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for that outdoorsy, road-trip-loving friend or family member, read this excerpt from Brendan Leonard’s new book. The guy can write, and he’s led a pretty interesting life on the road.

Have a great weekend, and Merry Christmas!

The Weekly Stoke: Boston Marathon advice, the amazing Kilian Jornet, an escape artist and climbing humor


I’ve got a great collection of links, and the first one is rather timely. The Boston Marathon is this Monday, and this blogger has some tips for first-timers in America’s premiere marathon event. There are also good general tips for marathon runners in there, too.

From Outside Magazine, here’s a profile of Kilian Jornet, an ultramarathoner who set a speed record for ascending Mont Blanc. Keep in mind, mountaineering is this guy’s secondary sport.

Also from Outside Magazine: Have you ever heard of Troy Knapp? Folks in rural Utah sure have. Part criminal, part survivalist and part escape artist. A fascinating read about how a guy lived on his wits, survival skills and thievery in Utah’s backcountry.

Ever wonder what it would be like to literally drive to the ends of the earth? These guys actually did it, traversing Argentina’s Patagonia to drive to Tierra Del Fuego on South America’s southern tip. Via the Adventure Journal’s Overlandia series.

This guy set a goal to travel, under human power, 3,333 miles this year to mark his 33rd birthday. Read here how he is making this commitment work.

Here’s a story that’s better read than experienced: Surviving an avalanche during a solo climb up Colorado’s Long Peak.

Some humor for ya: Brendan Leonard ( tells you how to make sure your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse never participates in your chosen outdoor sport ever again.

And then there’s this bit of climbing humor that even a novice like me can appreciate. It’s safe for work and pretty hilarious. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

11 killed, more missing on Manaslu after avalanche

Manaslu. (wikipedia photo)

Some terrible news from the Himalayas today after an avalanche killed at least 11 climbers on Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest peak.

According to media reports, the avalanche struck climbers high on the mountain Sunday. Many of the climbers caught in the slide were said to be German or French.

Ten other climbers survived but were injured and taken to area hospitals, The Associated Press reports.

CNN is reporting that 11 were killed while is putting the death toll at 13 after the avalanche crashed into Camp 3 high on the mountain, with some 25 tents destroyed. Camp 2 lower on the mountain was also affected, though not as severely. The number of missing stands at three.

The CNN report indicates that the 5 a.m. slide was huge — with a chunk of ice the size of several football fields breaking loose, crashing into the higher camp when many climbers were still in their tents.

Manaslu (26,759 feet) is in northern Nepal near the Chinese border. The mountain and others in the Himalayas are often climbed in the spring before the summer monsoon season. Fall climbs are also conducted, though not in numbers seen in the spring. However, reports indicate that more than 200 people were on the mountain or at its base camp at the time of the avalanche.

The story is evolving, as there are not a lot of hard facts available on the full extent of the disaster.

The has a pretty thorough account of the avalanche here, including comments from some of the people who were there.

For more on the CNN story, including a video, go to this link.

For more on and earlier Associated Press story, go to this link.

Video: Airbag saves snowboarder from avalanche

Take a look at this amazing video of snowboarder Michelle Hytner escaping an avalanche by deploying an airbag designed to allow the boarder to “float” over the snow during a slide. Pretty amazing stuff.

Here is a link from CNN with more on the story and an interview with Hytner.

Bob Doucette
On Twitter @RMHigh7088