The Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody

Surely, the windshirt quest will never stop. Finding an ideal active layer for days which are neither warm nor arctic, neither calm nor storming fiercely, involves delicate balancing of contradictory attributes. The shirt must be significantly wind resistant, but quite breathable. It must be light, but tough, especially given that a windshirt will be used […]

First Annual Packraft Roundup

Put on by the American Packrafting Association, the first annual Packraft Roundup will be at the Big Creek Campground on the North Fork of the Flathead, July 11-13th.  A one day swiftwater rescue course will be held on Friday the 11th.  Cost for the former is 30 bucks (including camping), and 75 for the later.  […]


As it turns out, civilization is strictly contextual. Glacier has a lot of gobsmacking valleys, and it’s an absurd exercise to quantify them. St. Mary in winter has a special fondness for me. The road is so crowded and hectic in summer. It’s narrow enough that looking at the scenery while driving is not really […]

Anorak conversions for blown main zippers

It is to be expected that a heavily used jacket with a #3 main zip, like the 2.1 year old Rab Xenon pictured here, will have zipper failure within the useful life of the garment. While manufacturers continue to use these zips on weekly-use pieces, for reasons of weight, cost, and pliability, repairs will be […]

Guidebooks and South Fork access issues

White River from Haystack, looking west towards the South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall country. This morning I amended, with considerably reluctance, my Crown of the Continent packrafting guidebook.  There are now three short paragraphs toward the beginning, right under the obligatory disclaimer, encouraging present and future boaters to be mindful of their visual […]