The Freeride World Tour has landed in Haines, Alaska for the fourth stop on this year’s tour and the venue in SEABA Heli’s tenure in the home turf of legendary AK guides such as Reggie Crist and Tom Wayes. The weather and stability-dependent competition will take place this week in steep, spine-riddled terrain and Eddie Bauer skier Drew Tabke and two-time world champ is currently in the mix, awaiting today’s weather update. We tracked down Tabke between global freeride migrations for his take on AK, the FWT and on a challenging personal season, despite his podium finish in Chamonix. This is what the champ had to say.
With an unexpected phone call from Moab, Utah Thursday, we received word from photographer Jeremiah Watt that Eddie Bauer climber Mason Earle had finally ticked his Bartlett Wash Crack Project, a first ascent that has been called one of the hardest pure crack climbs in America. Rated 5.14-, starting with a burly V8 crack sequence and running 35 meters of sustained, steep climbing, the project was a three-year saga for Earle that was profiled in Exposure, Volume 1. “Staring up at Bartlett, all I could ever feel was that this is going to ruin me,” Earle reflects. “This route is a monster, from start to finish.”
As soon as we heard, we tracked down Earle between celebratory cell phone calls to get his first recap on what made the Bartlet Wash Crack such an epic accomplishment. He was a bit worked, but this is what the world-class crack climber and classical banjo virtuoso had to say.
Eddie Bauer freeskier Andy Mahre just wrapped up his participation in the international head-to-head freeskiing battle of the Swatch Skiers Cup. We reported on the competition and, unfortunately, Team Americas lost the two-day event in Zermatt, Switzerland, by the close score of 20 to 16. But more than just the result, the competition was an opportunity for the best freeskiers in the world to link up in an epic Swiss location for some friendly competition and some bluebird pow runs. Our LYA correspondent Shannon Skouras reports on what went down in between televised action and behind the scenes at the Skiers Cup.
Before the Skier’s Cup, Andy Mahre was on a mission. But unlike most pro ski trips, where a formula of live Instagramming and daily Facebook updates gives all of us followers a sense of the good life and a sense of social envy, the latest journey of the younger Mahre was much less hyper-connected and much more hyper-aware. Mahre and a team of pro skiing’s finest put their phones away for the duration of a trip to Japan’s fabled powder locations, from Niseko and Nozawa Onsen to Myoko and Hakuba. They found a more immersive experience in the deep powder and cultural vortex of Japan, signing off social media until they landed back in the States with a deeper story to tell. This is the first report of what they discovered and what they found.
With 21 countries visited in the 2014 calendar year, Eddie Bauer adventure travel guide Trevor Frost puts some serious global miles on his gear. Whether surviving 20 days of rain in the Ethiopian Highlands or journeying upriver to the Borneo rainforest, he depends on what he packs. He appreciates the versatility of Travex and the technical features of First Ascent, but one of his favorite pieces for the field is the Sport Shop Guide Shirt, so when we finally tracked him down between international flights, he fired off this review of what makes that his favorite shirt. —LYA Editor
Team Americas suffered a tough head-to-head loss in the second stage of the Swatch Skier’s Cup, falling 20-16 in the world’s premier head-to-head freeskiing event. Eddie Bauer freeskier Andy Mahre fought tight head-to-head battles with French freeskiers Fabien Maierhofer and Nicolas Vognier in the heli-accessed venue in Zermatt, Switzerland but came up just short in his effort to secure another critical point for the Team Americas squad on the final competition day. The North American team pushed Team Euro to the penultimate heat, losing when Freeride World Tour world champ Loic Collomb-Patton of France defeated Canadian Rory Bushfield with a stomped second run. As a result, the coveted Swatch Skier’s Cup trophy—and international freeskiing bragging rights—will remain in the Alps until the next incarnation of the event in 2016.
We figured someone who has visited all seven continents had a few tales to tell, so we asked Eddie Bauer adventure travel guide Julia Dimon to relay some of her strangest cultural moments and oddest travel interactions in a new Live Your Adventure column, the Adventure Dispatches. Her first is a tale of volcanic mud, Columbian tourist massage and the not-so-spa experience in Volcano del Totumo, a hot destination on the adventure travel radar.