Mother’s Day Outdoors

We all appreciate the moms in our world. Picture a Mother’s Day morning of fresh flowers, a steaming coffee delivered to the bedside, and time to relax as a family. This year with a little advance preparation and a nose for adventure, the fresh flowers could be growing beside your tent door and the coffee prepared on a camp stove. Everything is sweeter in the great outdoors, so why not celebrate that special lady with a night under the stars?

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Here are 5 tips to make it happen:

1.       Pick a local campsite: Sometimes we look far afield for our adventures, but there are often some great spots close to home. If the site is near enough, you could set up camp in advance and make it a complete Mother’s Day surprise.

2.       Get the kids involved with the preparation: Get them to pack their own clothes and a few toys or games that you can all play at the picnic table and around the fire.

3.       Pack the car with big Tupperware bins: Keep things organized with all the cooking gear in one bin, food in another, and maybe a big duffel bag for pillows and sleeping bags thrown on top of everything.

4.       Simple gourmet: You can easily whip up a gourmet meal for mom using a frozen container of home-cooked pasta sauce, fresh pasta and fire roasted garlic bread. Then in the morning, serve up a yogurt and granola parfait with fresh fruit and a steaming hot coffee with fresh whipped cream.

5.       Last but not least, take some warm clothes: Spring mornings can be cool, so wrap that mom in your life in wool from top to bottom and maybe even a Wool Aire Hoody so she will be cozy while sipping her morning hot drink.

Your weekend away over Mother’s Day will be free of distractions and filled with quality-time. It could become a new family tradition!

Photo and Words by Dan Clark, Ibex Ambassador.

Supporting Outdoor Experiences for New England’s Kids

It’s a party! As New Englanders, we at Ibex are over-the-moon happy to welcome Big City Mountaineers to the East Coast. Bienvenue and wilkommen!

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Big City Mountaineers (BCM) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to sharing outdoor experiences with urban youth. The adventures they facilitate are focused on mentoring, life skills, self-esteem, collaboration, independence, and breathing in fresh air far away from city life. BCM works primarily with kids who are underserved in their communities by helping them to discover their own potential, and to begin developing the skills they’ll need to see that potential to fruition. 

The New England program is the newest expansion for the Boulder, Colorado-based organization, which also has operations in Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, Portland, and the Bay Area. 

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“We are honored to have a number of great sponsors, donors, and volunteers from the region,” said Bryan Martin, executive director of BCM. “As we looked at the landscape for where to expand our operations, New England was a natural fit. There is a great outdoor community in the region, it’s home to many iconic outdoor brands, and there is clearly a need to engage youth in Boston and many of the other urban centers in the region.”

In celebration of the launch, Ibex is throwing at party/soiree/welcome wagon at our Boston store, and YOU are invited to join. To learn more about BCM and the New England program, please come by and learn how you can be one of the people who make the magic happen.

Where: Ibex Boston Store, 303 Newbury Street, Boston

When: Saturday, May 7, 2016

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm (EST), stop by any time

More info: Click here to see the party invite and RSVP

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If you’re not in Boston this weekend, there are other ways you can support Big City Mountaineers. They’re always open to like-minded sponsors and annual donors. You can volunteer to be an adult mentor on a BCM expedition. And, you can participate in one of the BCM signature fundraisers, Summit for Someone, where you climb a peak, honor someone you care about and raise money for kids who may not otherwise have access to the same opportunity. 

For more information about the party, head over here. Hope to see you there! 

For more information about Big City Mountaineers, click here.  

Yay, Earth! Give to #WeKeepItWild, Get Sweet Gear

This Friday, April 22nd, is Earth Day. Before you head out on whatever adventure your weekend will bring, we invite you to swing by www.ibex.com to see if any new gear sings the siren song of desire.

It’s not like us to encourage computer time when you could be playing outside, but it is for a darn good cause. Ten percent of all the online sales made with Ibex on Earth Day will be donated to the #WeKeepItWild campaign, a promotion to benefit The Conservation Alliance.

Why? To help protect the places we all love to play.

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By treating yourself to some new threads this Friday, you’ll be supporting the planet and joining your fellow humans in showing solidarity to protect wild places. Heck, if you join the movement with a new cycling kit, running gear, travel threads, workday outfits, or whatever else strikes your fancy, you’ll not only be showing solidarity, you’ll be contributing cold hard cash to the cause (don’t worry – we take care of the details). Plus, you’ll be looking good doing it.

So come on over to shop at www.ibex.com on April 22nd, and 10% of all online sales will go directly to #WeKeepItWild. If new gear isn’t in the cards for you this Friday, how about helping to tweet the good word or share a shot of your favorite wild place on Instagram?

In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, “Sometimes you don’t know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Carpe this Earth Day and make every moment (and dollar) count.

Love,

Ibex

How to Prep for Riding Your First (or 50th) Gravel Race

While most of us celebrate four seasons, Russians apparently go for six. Rasputitsa occurs twice a year, like two pieces of soggy bread sandwiching the frozen expanse of a ham-fisted winter. These rasputitsa mud seasons are so intense across the realm of the former USSR that they’ve earned special designation synonymous with quagmires, un-crossable roads, dank melting snow, ceaseless rain, and an unspoken understanding that nothing but heartache awaits you outside.

Sounds like a perfect name for a bike race.

Three short years ago, two Vermont guys embraced the Russian concept of “it’s so miserable, it’s fun,” and started the Rasputitsa Spring Classic, a gravel road race, out of East Burke, Vermont and the epic Kingdom Trails. It’s 45 miles of gravel, dirt, pavement, anaerobically-induced hallucinations, and if the pictures don’t lie – donuts.*

We joke about the misery. The Rasputitsa is hard without a doubt, but it has quickly become one of the best gravel races in the country. The challenge and the grit of gravel races tap into the same energy of freedom and strength that made us all fall in love with riding in the first place. So whether you’re hoping to catch a no-show spot for April 16’s Rasuptitsa, or setting your sights on a gravel race elsewhere, here are a few tips on how to set yourself up for success.

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Photo by FlickR user RLevans,  CC by 2.0

You’re going to need new tires. There’s no way of saying this without it sounding dirty: save yourself heartache by selecting the best rubber for the task at hand. Call the race organizers for beta on the road surfaces because each substrate will challenge your tires in different ways. Just like in any other discipline, you’re weighing the pros and cons of tire pressure, rolling resistance, and puncture resistance. If your bank account or garage space prevents you from setting up your own bike shop-worthy selection of tires and tubes, prioritize puncture-resistance for gravel riding. Every set up will have its strengths and weaknesses, but tubeless tires (and compatible rims) are the most universal choice for serious gravel riders. Good resource: http://ridinggravel.com/graveltires/


Comfort is your friend.
Despite all the talk of suffering and the photo reels of pain-contorted faces, place your personal comfort as a top priority. By definition, gravel races are bouncier than road and longer than most mountain bike affairs. When you begin training, experiment on all of your rides – mountain, cyclocross, fat, touring – until you know which one you’re most comfortable on over long periods of time on inconsistent, hard surfaces. Then play around with that bike’s positioning – especially handlebar height and positions. If you’re gunning for the win, other factors will come into play. But if your neck is so jacked you can’t finish the race, a sleeker set up isn’t worth it.

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Photo by FlickR user RLevans,  CC by 2.0

Speaking of comfort: how you ride helps, too. One tip we picked up from the organizers of the Iditarod 200 Gravel Challenge is to practice pushing slightly lower gears, with less spinning overall. The lower cadence helps smooth out the terrain a bit.

You are your own Sherpa. Most gravel races are still pretty low-key affairs, which means you’ll be running self support-style. As you tweak your eating, drinking and clothing needs during your training, pay attention to how you carry all this stuff on your bike, too. You rarely see backpacks in gravel racing because who can deal with 100 miles of sweaty back? Maybe you? Most gravel riders lean toward frame bags to balance the bounce and the weight distribution.

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Photo by FlickR user Tony Rocha,  CC by 2.0

Do you need a specialized gravel bike? Across the board, no one will tell you that you need a specialized gravel bike right out of the gate. While it may be something to consider down the line, you’re going to be fine with a few modifications for comfort and performance to whatever (adequate) bike you have right now. Race profiles can help determine if you switch out a cassette to a climbing focused ratio or not.

Embrace the spirit. Eh…we know you will. Happy riding!

 

*No promises on those donuts, by the way.

Björn Bauer is Stranded in the Backcountry

Gotta get up to fall down. Photo by Björn Bauer.

The premise: “Stranded in the Backcountry” is Ibex’s mash up of the New York Times’ “Three Days In…” series, NPR’s Desert Island Discs, and our own bias for skipping out on society every now and again. Whether it’s a stroke a good luck or your worst, extroverted nightmare is entirely up to you.

Who: Björn Bauer. Skier. Climber. Photographer. Sometimes in that order, sometimes not. Colorado native. Ibex influencer. Potential life coach for Kanye West. Generally out for good times. Sometimes fully clothed, sometimes not. Self-described “swashbuckling outdoorsman and intrepid adventurer.” We second that description.The only details we we might add are gastronomic genius (!!) and questionable literary taste. Read on.

A quote from Björn that pretty much sums it all up: “Maybe a deep fryer and alcohol wasn’t a great idea, but it’s too late to look back now.”

Check out Björn’s photography and blog at www.bjornbauer.com. Do a little socializing at Twitter and Instagram.

Ibex Question (IQ): Of all the real or metaphorical desert islands in the world, where would you choose to be stranded?

Björn Bauer (BB): Backcountry hut in winter

IQ: How do you feel about three days alone?

BB: I wonder who’s going to win at Monopoly.

IQ: You get to pack one piece of outdoor gear. What do you bring?

BB: I would bring along Coleman’s Propane Fry Well deep fryer, because everything tastes better deep-fried. [Editor’s note: Amen, Mr. Bauer, amen.]

IQ: What luxury item do you pack?

BB: Since I’ve already set the pace with a deep fryer, my one luxury item would be a Dark & Stormy kit. Some healthy ginger beer and high-octane rum would go a long way to keep my sanity and sedate my rambunctiousness.

IQ: How do spend your days in solitude?

BB: My main mission would be to try and not get hurt. Maybe a deep fryer and alcohol wasn’t a great idea, but it’s too late to look back now. Step two would be snow angels, followed closely by finding Waldo.

IQ: What book do you hope is on the bookcase?

BB: Where’s Waldo: The Fantastic Journey. Hands down the greatest literary venture of our age.

IQ: There’s no Internet, but there is a working CD player. Which album (or three) do you hope is on the shelf?

BB: Anything by Lana Del Rey. Her music makes me feel like I’m in a damn movie.

IQ: On the flip side, which song – if played on endless repeat – would make you run naked and screaming from the hut after three days?

BB: Tik Tok, by Kesha. That song is the whole reason I got stuck in this hut in the first place.

IQ If you could have anyone in the world join you, who would it be?

BB: I think I’ll get in trouble for not saying my girlfriend, but Kanye West would be great to have around – just to watch him struggle with life things.

IQ: What’s the first thing you do when you return to civilization?

BB: The first thing I would do is go to the florist and buy a nice bouquet of flowers for my girlfriend – to make up for not bringing her to my hut.

Top Five Tips for Training for Your First (or 100th) Ultra-Endurance Race

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Yes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. But take that step in the wrong direction and you’re already backtracking and behind. When you set a big goal – like participating in an ultra-endurance event – it’s not a bad idea to have a plan on how you’re going to achieve it.

RJ Thompson, founder of Native Endurance, is a mega-endurance athlete who has put more miles on the trail in the past few years than most of us may tally in a lifetime. He’s also a coach, a guide, and the man behind the 24 Hours of Bolton (postponed to 2017, due to lack of snow), the first ever 24-hour backcountry race in New England.

Selecting your event: Be honest with yourself about your current level of fitness, your experience in the type of event, and the amount of time you have to train for your chosen event. If the race is coming up fast, consider your options. Many of these types of events allow relay teams or have shortened courses. It’s not worth pushing your training and risking injury for the longer event.

Selecting a training schedule: There’s no doubt you need to put in some serious miles when training for a timed event or an overland event, like the Leadville 100. Thompson recommends searching the web for training plans that will help guide you through building up your miles. He suggests plans by Hal Higdon and Runner’s World. Bike and ski mo specific plans are available in the wild west of the world wide web, too. Though it’s fairly easy to adapt the concepts of those running regimes to your sport of choice.

Regardless of which training plan you decide to follow or devise on your own, Thompson is firm in his first bit of advice: Use your training plan as a guideline, not a bible. Training for ultra-endurance is a different beast than training for a 5K. Not that you shouldn’t be kind to yourself with the latter, but variability is inevitable in the extended program of ultra-endurance and getting Zen with it from the start is key.

Thompson’s Top Five Tips for Your Ultra-Endurance Training:

1. Be flexible with your training schedule. Don’t be afraid to change it. Take days off when you need to, and adapt. Know that you’re not going to ruin your chances of winning or doing well by taking one day off.

2. Incorporate cross training. If you’re training for ski-mo, don’t just ski uphill. You’ll be putting a lot of impact and stress on your muscles, so do yoga twice a week. Stay loose and stretch.

3. Eat right, but don’t obsess. Aim for a healthy diet overall and become familiar with your fuel while training in terms of type and quantity of foods. Don’t wait to experiment on race day. Thompson recommends very simple, limited ingredients with higher fat, higher protein, and lower simple sugars. Experiment with amount (1.5-2 ounces every hour). Start small. If you’re not accustomed to eating on long training days, think of it like stoking a fire: you don’t pile on huge logs right away.

4. Let the bad days go. There’s no way around it: you will have off days in training. Congratulate yourself for finishing that day and shrug away the frustration.

5. Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s a cliché, Thompson concedes, but worthwhile to remember.

And, we blush: Thompson also gave a shout out to training in wool. Nothing is as versatile for long hours on the trail in all types of weather.

Good luck out there!

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies Galore

A train rolled in to White River Junction a few weeks ago carrying the world’s most potent elixir of happiness: puppies. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there is such a thing as a puppy train and it was bound for Ibex. Three lucky rescue pups were adopted by three (even luckier) members of the Ibex team. About the same time, across town, another young pooch – unrelated to the three rail-riders – joined our ranks. Meet the Ibex puppy squad below. Three are siblings and all are family. Is it too 2015 to call out #squadgoals?

Happy National Puppy Day!

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Photo courtesy of Catherine Kiser

My name is Jessica Day (Jess).

I am a boxer/blue heeler mix.

I really love to…beat up my big boxer brother, I am teaching him that the ladies are in charge!

I’m not crazy about…cars. They are frightening when they drive by!

If I had to choose three words to describe myself, I would say…I am fearless, bubbly, and rambunctious.

My spirit animal is…a hummingbird because I flutter around moving from one thing to another with my tail wagging a million miles an hour.

My human best friend is…Brittany Scuncio, Ibex Materials Manager.

She loves it when I…go to the bathroom outside 🙂

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Photo courtesy of Melissa Walker

My name is Carlie.

I am a boxer/Australian Heeler Mix and a rescue puppy.

I really love to…have my belly rubbed.

I’m not crazy about…it when Nubbins, my cat, hisses at me. I just want to be friends.

If I had to choose three words to describe myself, I would say…I am cuddly, sweet, and SMART!

My spirit animal is…a dolphin.

My human best friend is…Melissa Walker, Human Resource Manager for Ibex.

She loves it when I…sleep through the night without any accidents.

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Photo courtesy of Beth Fish

My name is Ember.

I am a German Shepherd.

I really love to…chew on my bones and play with my brother, Jasper. He is a cat, and loves to let me chase him, I think…

I’m not crazy about…bath time. I get lots of treats when I get a bath, but I don’t like the water being sprayed on me.

If I had to choose three words to describe myself, I would say…I am spunky, smart, and adorable.

My spirit animal is…a Dalmatian. My dad is a firefighter and works for the division of fire safety, and my mom is an EMT – hence my name, like the embers from a fire.

My human best friend is…Beth Fish. She works in returns and warranties with my dog friend, Vaida, and her human, Caitlin.

My human loves it when I…listen. I get belly rubs and cookies if I do what they ask, and I sure do love my belly rubs….and cookies.

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Photo courtesy of Evan Kay

My name is Gobi.

I am a boxer/blue heeler mix.

I really love to…wrestle and go on adventures with my parents. I love getting into trouble; I can’t help that I have a curious mind! If something needs to be explored, I’m already on it.

I’m not crazy about…peeing outside when it’s cold out. I mean, would you want to go outside when it’s below freezing to pee when you could go in the comfort of your home? I’m getting better about it, and haven’t peed inside in awhile. It’s also spring now.

If I had to choose three words to describe myself, I would say… I am adventurous, friendly, and loving.

My spirit animal is…a fox! I love to stalk and pounce on my toys. I also like to dig and make strange noises.

My human best friend is…Evan Kay, a.k.a. @ibexdude. He’s the Video Marketing and Social Media Manager. He loves to exploit me.

My human loves it when I…am calm and not biting at his feet. He loves to bring me on his bed when I’m tired and I just want to snooze. He also loves it when I play with my sisters or other dogs. He thinks it’s really cute.

Ibex Ambassadors, OSOM present: Search for the Perfect Day

In 2013, our team of three kayakers, including Chris Bensch, Shay Bickley, and Jason Self, (better known as Team OSOM – Out of Sight, Out of Mind), took our mission to raise awareness of the problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and rivers across the US in search of the root cause of the problem with the hopes of identifying a solution. Our journey to seek out others who inspire with their words and actions, and our search for the elusive “Perfect Day”; a day we can paddle without finding a single piece of plastic or litter in the water, lead to new
discoveries and surprisingly simple strategies that have the potential to turn the tide against the onslaught of plastic flooding oceans, rivers, and beaches, which have the potential to disrupt the food web and all life on this planet.  

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(Left to right: Jason, Shay, Chris. Photo: Fredrik Marmsater)

Beginning with our 100 mile Portland to Ocean Trashpedition in 2012, through 2013’s Search for the Perfect Day and beyond, our understanding of the problem and how to resolve it has evolved significantly. This film chronicles that journey. We wanted to produce a film with a positive approach to an often times depressing situation. As our understanding grew over the years, we began to see that the problem of litter is not actually litter it’s self, but rather a disconnect between our understanding & actions and their impact on the natural world.  We made this film with the sole purpose of sharing what we’ve learned with as many people as possible. We hope to inspire people to unplug and get outside, and introduce someone new to the outdoors so that an inevitable understanding of the intrinsic value of nature can be realized, and advocacy for stewardship and conservation continue to grow.

With spring time nearly here, it’s the perfect time for introducing someone new to the outdoors. If you happen to find litter while you’re out there, #JustPickItUp, and go out of your way to refuse single use plastics, and support companies who are working hard to reduce their impact on the environment like Ibex. We as “consumers” have the power to decide what’s produced, and ultimately what’s wasted. #VoteWithYourDollars

Annie Tedesco is Stranded in the Irish Backcountry

The premise: “Stranded in the Backcountry” is Ibex’s mash up of the New York Times’ “Three Days In…” series, NPR’s Desert Island Discs, and our own bias for skipping out on society every now and again. Whether it’s a stroke a good luck or your worst, extroverted nightmare is up to you.

Who: Anne Tedesco is a professional jewelry designer, avid collector, sponsored climber, aspiring world traveler, and amateur entomologist. She might crush a double-digit climb then spend the rest of the day nose-in-the-dirt playing with bugs and searching for the bright, shiny things that inspire her jewelry. Annie recently moved from Boulder, Colo., to the Big Apple. So perhaps the dream of three solo days in the wilderness is more timely than ever? Then again, maybe she’ll be solving some indoor bouldering problems in the heart of New York City. We asked her to join our crew of Ibex influencers, and despite the million things she has on her plate, she graciously obliged.

Check out Annie’s jewelry at Wild Lupin Design. Give her a shout via Instagram, or follow Wild Lupin on Tumblr and Facebook.

Ibex Question (IQ): Of all the real or metaphorical desert islands in the world, where would you choose to be stranded? 

Annie Tedesco (AT): I would choose to be in Ireland!! I’ve wanted to go there for as long as I remember!

IQ: How do you feel about three days alone?

AT: I love being alone, but I believe three days is my max.

IQ: You get to pack one piece of outdoor gear. What do you bring?

AT: Definitely my green Ibex Indie Hera Hoody and woolies pants, along with other fuzzy, warm things! Plus, I’d want to bring my Evolv Shaman LV climbing shoes (just in case there is dry rock somewhere), a beeswax candle, a raincoat, and my camera.

IQ: What luxury item do you pack?

AT: Licorice tea and my cashmere bathrobe. [Editor’s note: In fairness, please smuggle the licorice tea in the pocket of the cashmere bathrobe. No one needs to be the wiser that you’ve snuck in two luxury items.]

IQ: How do you spend your days in solitude?

AT:  I would be venturing around, exploring the bluffs and hills, and feeling the ocean mist hit my skin. Mostly, I would be searching to find the farm where my great grandma grew up. And I would have to try and find myself some authentic Irish cream liqueur as well.

IQ: What book do you hope is on the bookcase?

AT: Any murder mystery will do.

IQ: There’s no Internet, but there is a working CD player. Which album (or three) do you hope is on the shelf?

AT: I’m not a huge music person. I mostly listen to pop music on the radio.

IQ: On the flip side, which song – if played on endless repeat – would make you run naked and screaming from the hut after three days?

AT: Almost every Drake song.

IQ: If you could have anyone in the world join you, who would it be?

AT: Dev, my boyfriend. Seriously, I want to take him everywhere with me.

IQ: What’s the first thing you do when you return to civilization?

AT: First a hot shower. Then I’d curl up in bed and watch a movie with some hot chocolate.

Ibex welcomes Annie Tedesco to the east coast.

When I first started imagining moving to New York City, I thought I was crazy. I’m a Colorado girl born and raised, always loving camping and rock climbing and just the smell of the outdoors. I’ve been in love with climbing for almost 10 years now and know I’ll never be able to live without it. I knew it was time for a change though, I wanted to see what the city could do for my jewelry business, along with the fact that my amazing boyfriend had been living here for over a year. So despite the craziness I felt, I picked a date for the BIG move. Now let me tell you, running a jewelry business along with wanting to make/create everything, being a thrift store treasure hunter, and athlete enthusiast; primarily a rock climber, means I had a ton of art and craft supplies, lots of clothing, and lots of gear. In the few months I had to prepare for city life I was a crazy mess trying to figure out what of my belongings were actually NEEDED and what I could live without. When going through my closet back in Colorado I had several requirements that all my clothing had to meet in order for me to bring them along; comfortable, warm (because I’m always freezing), flattering, and multi functional (not counting my dresses in that last one). As I examined every article I wasn’t surprised to see that every Ibex piece I own passed the test with flying colors! So I packed everything into the back of my Honda Element on February 4th and started driving! I am very excited to be here in the city now.

I’ve been in the city for two weeks now and I am so excited for this new environment, everyday is an adventure. I am looking forward to start working on my jewelry again, with a now much smaller wardrobe and only a few pairs of my favorite evolv climbing shoes. Now, while running around all bundled up in my woolies, this Colorado girl can now navigate the subways and streets…at least enough to get herself to the climbing gym and back home!  I’m so happy to have started my training again and can’t wait to see what the East Coast outdoor climbing areas are like!

Happy 2016 adventuring to everyone!

Annie

Mini Bio: Annie grew up in Colorado and always has loved the outdoors. In 2006 she really became interested in climbing and soon was fully obsessed. She did a little competing,but mostly fell in love with bouldering out in the mountains. In 2008 she moved up to Boulder to pursue her climbing, art and schooling. There were plenty of ups and downs and it wasn’t until 2014 that she was able to finally break through mental and physical barriers and was able to crush her goal of bouldering double digits! Along with climbing success, she started her own jewelry company; Wild Lupin Designs. Currently she is just settling into the city life in NYC and is excited to continue bouldering and working creatively on her art and jewelry.

Ski Mo, Randonée, Skinning…You Gotta Go Up to Get Down

24 Hours of Bolton

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Images provided by RJ Thompson

What could be more fun than a 12-hour sufferfest on skis? A 24-hour sufferfest on skis! If the suffering part leaves a little to be desired, invite your friends and make it a team sport. Or go it alone – at your own pace – without any thought to racing.

On March 19-20, 2016, Vermont’s own Bolton Valley is hosting the 24 Hours of Bolton, New England’s first 24-hour backcountry event. Those fond of sleeping can opt for the shortened, 12-hour version. We at Ibex LOVE these endurance-o-ramas. They’re challenging, but wicked fun, at least as defined by endorphin junkies. Plus, if Merino wool were to design its ultimate event, a massive endurance race with temperatures ping ponging all over the place would be it.

There’s no getting around the fact that a 12- or 24-hour endurance race is going to kick your butt. The drooling, lactic acid fueled, muscle burning, lung-wrenching element is an ode to what the human mind and body can endure. There’s a perverse poetry to the grit. Pure genius.

“The beauty of this race is that it’s the most challenging winter race in New England this year,” says RJ Thompson, the founder and event director. “It’s going to bring together hardcore athletes who are focused and dedicated to their sport, with folks who are simply trying to see what their body is capable of, and to have a blast and enjoy a community event.”

RJ is a longtime friend of Ibex. We humbly refer to him as an endurance god, which he didn’t know…until now. (Hi, RJ.) He’s also the man behind Native Endurance, his guiding and coaching company that is producing the race.

Here’s the lowdown of the event:

  • There is a daylight course and a nighttime course, because backcountry skiing in tree glades in the dark doesn’t constitute a wise decision. The 2-mile night loop is on the ski area at Bolton Valley.
  • The daylight course is a 3.5-mile backcountry loop through thick stands of trees and wide open, Green Mountain vistas.
  • You can go solo for 12 or 24 hours, or you can join your best buddy for a team of two, or three compadres for a team of four.
  • Your sweat can be put toward a good cause. Every registrant is automatically set up with an account, plus all the tools, to orchestrate a fundraising effort to benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. It’s not mandatory to participate in this, but why not shoot out a few emails to raise money for a good cause? One hundred percent of the monies raised through the fundraising effort go to Vermont Adaptive.

Right now, all of New England may be dreaming of snow to slide down, let alone skin up. Not to worry: the 24 Hours of Bolton has a contingency plan in place should the course lack snow or be deemed unsafe (presumably due to too much snow). Choose your team now or build a killer playlist for long, solo hours. We may as well take advantage of this mild training weather while we wait on the white stuff. Happy trails.

Come back to the Buzz soon for RJ’s Tips on Training for an Ultra-Endurance Event.

Here’s to the Women

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Ibex influencers (clockwise from top), Lori, Elise, Becca, and Tara.

Ladies, we don’t think you get enough credit for all that you do. Tuesday, March 8th was #InternationalWomensDay, let’s take a moment to pause and praise. We’re telling the world how great you are.

Women invented the first computer, proved plate tectonics, reimagined literature, and lead the charge for civil rights.

And women continue to break through glass ceilings and crush expectations left and right. For example: can you guess the oldest person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail? 74 year old Nan Reisinger with a little help from her friend and hiking partner, 67 year old Caroline Banjak.

We are constantly blown away and inspired by women in our own Ibex extended family. They are through-hikers meeting PTSD head on. They are business owners. They are artists. They are athletes going after their Olympic dreams. They are adventurers and makers, movers and shakers.

Here’s to the women who rock our world!