Tag Archives: Mountaineering

Spyderco Rescue Assist

The more activities you do outside, the more you’ll find yourself looking for a reliable well-rounded knife. I’ve looked at hundreds of knives over the years from many different retailers and varying brands. I’ve consistently been disappointed… until now.

Spyderco, a Colorado company, makes the perfect knife for every outdoor enthusiast; The Spyderco Rescue Assist.

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Built to perfection for paramedics, this multipurpose tool deserves a spot in your pack for any activity potentially requiring self rescue. This purpose built knife can cut or “chomp” just about  anything, including climbing rope, rappel slings, seat-belts and clothing. It can break glass with its built in retractable carbide tip that protrudes out from the base when compressed and can alert others using the embedded handle whistle.  The high friction handle can be securely gripped in any scenario and the base lanyard loop makes for easy carrying on your alpine rack. From canyoneering to alpine backpacking, this rescue knife will always be with me.

Spend your time underwater blowing bubbles? Scuba divers should snag the “salt” version.

RMNP Spearhead

I spent today high up in the alpine of Rocky Mountain National Park. My friend Tim and I set out at 3am to summit Spearhead via the North Ridge (~5.6 seven pitch trad climb at 12,000 feet). The approach is about 6 miles through the gorgeous Glacier Gorge and starts about a mile past Black Lake. It was a heavy snow year for the alpine this year (~300% above average), crampons and a mountaineering ax where required for safe passage after Mills Lake.

The quality of the granite on Spearhead is amazing and the several hours of climbing spent on the rock was epic. It was my first day at altitude in over a year and I definitely felt the effects. I had forgotten how harsh the elements can be above 12,000 feet. The decent off the summit was a little rough to do in climbing shoes but doable. After getting back to the packs we slammed some much needed cold water that had been chilling in the snow all day and started the 6 mile trek back across the snow field to the trail head. After 14 hours up in the alpine we heading back to Boulder where we had some great bbq, cold beers, and watched the Folsom Field firework show. Happy Independence Day!