Tested and Trusted In The Field
Hyperlite Mountain Gear ambassadors are testers, critics and storytellers of our products. Putting our gear through the paces of their explorations, these experts provide critical feedback helping to shape the final result. We build our products with confidence that they will perform in the world’s toughest playgrounds… where they start.
Visit our blog to read more about some of these ambassadors’ trips.
Whether by foot, rope, ski, mountain bike, packraft, camera or pen, Forrest's passion is the exploration, conservation and celebration of big wild landscapes.
Visit Forrest's blog.
Roman Dial, professor of math and biology at Alaska Pacific University, pioneered adventure racing, off-trail mountain biking, canopy trekking, and is the author of "Packrafting! An Introduction and How-to Guide." A long-time Alaskan resident he lives in Anchorage with his wife, Peggy.
Check out Roman's packrafting blog.
Angela VanWiemeersch (or VanStein known for her epic stein pulls), is deeply passionate about the mountains. From the peaks of Alaska to her home crags of Zion, where she works a climbing guide, Angela is constantly pushing herself to higher limits. As an accomplished climber on ice and mixed terrain, Angela views her self as an explorer. In 2010 she completed a 1400-mile solo, unsupported bike tour from Detroit, Mich., to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The lure of the unknown and the vast beauty of untouched landscapes then drove her North. In 2011, Angela found herself again on a journey where the road ends and the tundra begins. She paddled 430 miles, unsupported on the Mackenzie river in the Northwest territories of Canada. Her pursuit to find great adventures led her to the Alaska Range, where she became (as far as the records go) the first woman to free solo Ham and Eggs on the Moose's Tooth 3000'. Angela has made her life not only about getting to the top of summits around the world, but also about the reward of the journey and the adventure of each endeavor. Follow Angela on Instagram and learn more about her on this episode of Enormocast.
Quinn climbs solid 5.12a/b everywhere from Arizona’s La Milagrosa Canyon to Rifle Mountain Park to long mountain routes in Rocky Mountain National Park. She's well versed in big wall climbing, and broke the NIAD Female Team record in June 2012, doing The Nose in 10:19. Plus, she put up three first ascents in the Torsukkatak Fjord, South Greenland, in 2013, with fellow ambassador, Lizzy Scully. Quinn thrives on climbing quickly and on climbing alpine lines. She recently returned from a trip to Patagonia (read more about her adventures on the Red Fox Say blog). She also loves soloing long, easy routes as quickly as possible, and she regularly runs triathalons, races, and marathon or half marathons. Quinn has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Leadership from the University of Minnesota, a Graduate degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado. Among other things, Quinn started her own guiding company Dovetail Mountain Endeavors in 2010, a company specializes in yoga, rock climbing, trail running and hiking retreats. Quinn loves running and soloing the many ridges and climbs in her backyard of over 10 years, Estes Park, Colorado. The former Female Nose Speed Record holder thrives on moving fast, sunshine, and laughter! Visit Quinn's Look, Stand, Breathe blog.
Chris is from Texas, and beyond his wicked two-step, he loves climbing. Rock or ice, sport or trad, alpine or mountaineering, he loves climbing. He began climbing when he was 18 and after spending a semester in the Rockies with NOLS, he discovered his passion for alpinism and interest in guiding. Shortly after NOLS, Chris went to Alaska for the first time and has been going back every summer since. He spends most of his time these days exploring the desert southwest, climbing new routes, and planning multi-disciplined trips. After spending time guiding ice and rock in New England Chris began working on the volcanoes of Ecuador. He loves South America and has been climbing rock and alpine routes in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina over the years. He has also been guiding clients in Antarctica on both Vinson Massif and Mount Shinn for the past 6 Austral Summers. His love for exploration, whether in the form of new routes or new locations, is a driving force for Chris. Plus, climbing...on anything or anywhere, is just plain fun. Whether he is pulling down hard on some obscure boulder problem, destroying himself on a heinous off-width crack, or hanging on the side of a frozen cliff in Antarctica, Chris Nance loves it all."
Chris is a jack-of-all-trades, meaning he is not very good at anything. Instead he is marginal at a lot of things and prefers to mix-it up whenever possible. Adventures that include bikes, skis, ‘biners, picks, or boats (and preferably all simultaneously), are what motivate him to get out the door. Through a combination of dumb luck and hard work he is able to combine his interests in outdoor adventure with his alter-ego as an exercise physiologist studying environmental impacts on the human body and the limits of human performance. The greatest adventure he’s undertaken involves attempting to find the perfect balance between family, work, and play. That, and trying to remain gluten/wheat free while heading into the hills with partners. Easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, he believes great adventures can be had close to home and are best shared with good partners. He lives by the ethos of “a pound of weight expends two pounds of fun." Check out his bio.
Luc grew up in rural Alaska and lives in Anchorage. He credits his village skill set for his success testing the limits of unsupported multi-sport wilderness travel. His recent trips include a 370-mile paddle/ski traverse from Yakutat to McCarthy over Mt. Logan (19,551 ft.) and a 200-mile bike/ski/raft traverse over Denali (20,320 ft.) In 2011 he became the first racer to win both the summer and winter Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classics, averaging 48 and 44 miles per day, respectively. Luc tries to capture his childish appreciation of mountain sports in his photo and video trip reports.
Check out Luc's Things to Luc At blog.
Amy owns Jackson Hole Packraft & Packraft Rentals Anywhere, a company that rents packrafts both locally and throughout the Lower 48 and Canada. She is also the secretary of the American Packrafting Association, a freelance writer, ultrarunner, skier (alpine, telemark, skate and classic), mountain biker and – most importantly – mom and wife. Now that backcountry adventures require packing for a little one, she’s more than ever a fan of lightweight gear. Never one to slow down (except maybe after an all-day or multi-day excursion), her latest project is Garage GrownGear, a website devoted to gear made in the USA and Canada.
To learn a little more about Amy, check out this article written about her from summer 2012: Amy Hatch on Entrepreneurship, Packrafting, Ultrarunning, Motherhood, and How to Balance it All
Steve Graepel spent the first 18 years of his life learning how to pronounce his name and has been in group therapy ever since. Probably best known for his controversial second place finish in the 1983 stare-down world championships, his loss is currently in arbitration (amidst rumors of the first place team doping on no-doze). A documentary of Steve's controversial loss will be airing this Fall on the Lifetime Channel. In the 90's, Steve made dozens of dollars in the first dot-com, but lost it all in an investment opportunity in Nigeria. Steve made a comeback, winning a masters degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in a card game on the Travel Channel and went on to publish his highly acclaimed scratch and sniff roadkill identification book, which sat on the NY Post top seller list for 15 minutes. If you don't count his mother, Steve has 5 friends on Facebook. He likes to spend his time plotting how and when he will go to space. Steve likes to drink Tang because it makes him feel closer to space and space related activities.
For the curious, it’s pronounced Stiev.
Additional facts about Steve:
Steve Graepel's adventure roots grew out of mountaineering and ultra running. With a full plate at home, he is in constant pursuit of quality over quantity, seeking multi sport adventures inside a long weekend, weaving packrafting, skiing, mountain biking, climbing and running. Steve is a medical illustrator and art director, and finds times to write and illustrate for National Geographic Adventure, Patagonia's The Cleanest Line, Trail Runner and Rock and Ice and OuterLocal. Steve's favorite piece of HMG is the tried and true Windrider pack. Keep up with Steve on his adventure blog.
Matt "Porter" LaClairMatthew La Clair, “aka” Porter, has been banging around the Adirondacks for over 30 years. After completing the 133 mile NP trail he was hooked on long distance hiking. He has since hiked the Long trail, Cohos trail, Ocala trail, Wonderland trail, West Coast trail and thru hiked the A/T in 4 months in 2011 ( also known as the A/T pub crawl). He is an ADK 46er and has 89 of the 115 peaks in the Northeast completed. He began his going light journey after carrying 55 lbs on the Long Trail. Porter was named so by A/T thru hikers because he was carrying such a big pack. After seeing Deva’s HMG gear he was hooked. His pack weight ended up at 22 lbs with water and four days of food.
Porter now believes in doing everything light. He will only drink a ½ pint of beer at a time, wear crew cut socks, hike with dehydrated water, won’t carry a toothbrush even when traveling by car and refuses to lug around a spoon. Porter will continue to push light backpacking, hiking, climbing and pack-rafting.
Hendrik Morkel is a Wilderness Guide and author based in Finland. An ultralight backpacking evangelist, he doesn't limit himself to backpacking alone, but likes to mix it up and uses his ultralight (aka UL) skills and gear for various activities, from bikepacking and packrafting to climbing to skiing and ice-climbing. He likes to build communities and get like-minded people together, and is one of the founders of Nordic Lightpacking, a group of outdoor bloggers from Scandinavia; and is the mastermind behind the Ultralight Summit, a gathering of UL aficionados from across the globe. You can read more about his adventures at Hiking in Finland and follow him on Twitter.
Kelly has worked professionally in the mountains year round, rock and ice guiding, back country ski guiding, and alpine guiding from the lower 48 to Alaska, to South America. Kelly has worked on pro ski patrol at Crystal Mountain, Washington and Telluride, Colorado. Kelly and her father currently run the San Juan Hut Systems, which facilitates clients’ unguided adventures. Kelly loves adventure itself more than any one discipline. Some of her favorite escapades include a four-month solo horse trip in Argentina, climbing the Cassin Ridge of Denali, completing several first ascents on a three month climbing trip in Greenland supported by sea kayak, sailing trips from the east coast to Greenland and Puerto Rico, and extended backpacking trips in the Aleutian Islands and Bolivia. “If there is one thing I have learned in all my wandering, it is that I want my trips to be about the adventure and not the gear. That is why I am such a supporter of Hyperlite Mountain Gear, the simplistic and minimalist designs let me focus on the challenges the environment throws at me.”
Climbing throughout North America, with many new routes in the Tetons. Many ski descents of peaks throughout the Greater Yellowstone area. Ascents of over 450 different mountains in Greater Yellowstone region. Numerous ski and packrafting traverses in the Greater Yellowstone area, southern Utah, Northern Rockies, and Alaska's Brooks and Hayse ranges. Mountaineering and ski guide with Exum Mountain Guides and Jackson Hole Alpine Guides for 27 years. Author of two definitive books on ski mountaineering and mountaineering: Teton Skiing: A History and Guide and award-winning Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone: A Mountaineering History and Guide. Professional finger-style guitarist. Follow Thomas on his website.
Originally raised in a small off-the-grid cabin in the Adirondack foothills of New York, Nick has had a long history of human powered locomotion. He spent half his life on the East Coast and half on the West. Home is now southwest Montana and the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, where he enjoys moving fast and light in the backcountry. Whether locally or further afield, getting into the mountains is one of his favorite pastimes.
Keep up with Nick's adventures (and misadventures) on his blog.
Beau Fredlund is an aspiring backcountry ski guide, photographer and videographer living in Silver Gate, Mont. He has orchestrated many wonderful ski mountaineering expeditions to places like Alaska, New Zealand, Norway, Kyrgystan and Kamchatka, but is especially fond of adventure and exploration around the Greater Yellowstone.
Some of his stories can be found on the Cookie City Chronicle blog.
Mike Curiak helped to pioneer ultra-distance mountain bike racing in the '90s and '00s, and has worked tirelessly to continue the evolution of the genre. He has chronicled the advancement of the sport in words and photos, and collaborated with manufacturers to envision and produce gear specific to such pursuits. When he isn't building custom 29" wheels for an international clientele, he endeavors to spend his time outside, preferably moving to and through remote and austere places by mountain bike, skis, fatbike, packraft, or simply scrambling behind his faithful dog Fang off the beaten track. He usually has a camera in-hand and loves to share stories and images from his travels on his blog.
Moe Witschard is a funhog and avid adventurer. He lives in Bozeman, Montana and works as a photographer during the year and as a backcountry guide in Alaska during the summer months. Currently, his greatest backcountry passion is packrafting, which works really well with ultra light gear choices. He has packrafted extensively in Alaska, the northern Rockies, and in southern Utah. This past year included two weeks of packrafting in Bosnia and ranthe Franklin River in Tasmania. His new goal is to find the best packrafting trip on each continent. Check out some of Moe's photographic work on his website, or visit ArcticWild.com to see the types of backcountry trips that he guides.
Seth developed a passion for the outdoors while growing up and playing in the mountains of Montana. This, combined with an affinity for travel and learning about unique cultures, has led him on climbing trips throughout the globe including: Antarctica, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Alaska, Canada, Spain, France, Italy, Thailand, Nepal and New Zealand. When he is not out searching for his own adventures, Seth enjoys working as a mountain guide and teaching people the necessary skills to climb big mountains. Some of his more memorable summits include: Mount Huntington in the Alaska Range, Moses in Canyonlands, El Capitan of Yosemite, Artesonraju in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru, Mount Shinn in Antarctica and Cerro Fitz Roy in Patagonia.
As a professional American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide, Todd spends most of his time climbing and skiing in the mountains. When not guiding Todd's personal passion is climbing alpine routes like the Cassin ridge on Denali and the Walker spur on the Grand Jorasses, or backcountry skiing in his "backyard" the Wasatch, Utah.Todd has climbed and skiied all over the world including Alaska, South America, the Himilaya, Africa and the European Alps. Antarctica is of particular note, where Todd has made first ascents on numerous peaks and pioneered new routes including the "purple haze" coulior on the 5,000' west face of the contenents highest peak Mt. Vinson.
Check out Todd's blog, In The Company of Guides.
Traveling by bike, kayak, and packraft, Glenn is an adventure traveller, writer and photographer seeking out new ways to explore the world, meet new people and grow as a person. In a quest to travel more than 50,000 mile by human power, his goal is simple, inspire both young and old to reconnect with nature and lead simpler and happier lives. To date he has traveled more than 15,500 miles using only human powered forms of transportation. Highlights of the last few years include a solo 1,800 mile expedition from Seattle to Glacier Bay via kayak; a 3,300 mile solo expedition to paddle the entire US Atlantic coastline; and almost 10,000 miles of solo bike expeditions through North America, Europe and Africa. Learn more about Glenn on his blog, The Travelling Vagabond.
Marko Pujic is passionate about all things mountain. He has been climbing for over 15 years, with his first exposure to the alpine world in the Julian Alps. Ever since, he has been obsessed about being in and moving through the mountains. Originally born in Croatia, he is now chasing a vertical lifestyle out of Bozeman, Mont. While the root of all his motivation is alpine climbing, he has spent the past few years putting up new mixed lines and aggressively crushing ice and mixed test pieces in Hyalite Canyon near his home, and anywhere else water freezes in the Rockies. With recent trips to the Alps and Himalaya, this 'young beast at large' has only just begun to gain momentum.
When Dave isn't controlling air traffic in the Northeast, he and his family split their time between the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the coast of Maine. After spending his youth bicycle and ski racing, Dave spent the last 17 years focusing on adventure racing through out the United States and places like New Zealand and Switzerland. As the sport of adventure racing requires orienteering, mountain biking, kayaking, rappelling and trail running for sometimes week long races, Dave has focused on researching the most versatile gear and tweaking his equipment to shave weight where he can.
For more information on Dave's adventure racing team and how you can participate, visit his Untamed Adventures blog.
Kai Larson began climbing in the 1980’s back when 5.10 rock routes and WI4 ice climbs were considered “hard” instead of “moderate.” Since then, he’s taken every opportunity to get out in the backcountry, escaping his full time job as a corporate lawyer to go climbing, backcountry skiing, backpacking, fly-fishing and hiking whenever possible. Currently he’s enjoying the mountains and canyons near his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the occasional trip to Chamonix, the Cascades, Tetons, Canadian Rockies, or other mountain playgrounds. In spite of a climbing career that spans almost 30 years, he’s never done any hard climbs. He’s not famous. He’s a simple “weekend warrior” who loves to get outside whenever possible, whether it’s on a “moderate” trad route on Little Cottonwood Canyon’s beautiful granite crags, skiing backcountry powder in Colorado or the Wasatch, or on an alpine climbing route far from home.
For more information (and inspiration), visit Kai's website MediocreMountaineering.com, which is aimed at the not-so-hard-core outdoor enthusiast, who just wants to get out and push his or her own personal limits in the mountains.
Ryan Jordan is a university system expat and recovering engineering professor. He founded an online magazine and enthusiast community in 2001 (backpackinglight.com), but he spends most of his allocated time as an organizational development consultant with a focus on simplifying business processes and engineered systems. In his spare time, he's a Scoutmaster, adventurer, speaker, instructor and wilderness guide. He guides private expeditions in the Northern Rockies by foot, ski, packraft and tenkara, and was the first licensed guide in the United States focusing exclusively on teaching the tenkara method of fly fishing on Montana's Blue Ribbon trout streams. He has an unusual passion for big trout, but his best friend is still his wife, and they live in Bozeman, Mont. Their summer home is a truck with a canopy and platform bed that rambles up jeep roads into Wild Places in the mountains, where they can still live their dream: a dirtbag lifestyle without their clients, church friends and family finding out. Learn more about Ryan at RyanJordan.com or follow him on Twitter.
Matt began skiing in New York’s Catskill mountains at 9, and a summer ski trip to Mount Hood inspired him to move from New York to Washington State for college. He never looked back. Matt is a certified Ski-Mountaineering Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association and an AIARE avalanche safety instructor dedicated to perfecting his craft. He began his professional ski career in 1993 as a ski instructor and let his curiosity for steep, wild places lead him to a full time career as professional mountain guide. Matt found a way to combine his passion for travel, wild snow and big mountains by guiding trekking, climbing, skiing and making connections across cultural and linguistic divides around the globe in Antarctica, Europe, Asia, North & South America. He has made many technical climbs and ski descents in the Vinson Massif of Antarctica, Chamonix, Denali, Mt Rainier and Nepal. In an effort to help preserve wild places, Matt completed his MBA in sustainable business from BGI and started his own company, Back Country Adventure Guides. When not out trekking, climbing or skiing, Matt works on his own personal sustainability in Seattle with his wife, daughter and his snow dog.
Lizzy Scully has climbed rocks for 20 years. Her most notable ascents include her most recent first ascents of two new rock/alpine routes in the Torsukattak Fjord, South Greenland (Read more at Climbing.com). She also did the third ascent of Inshallah (VII 5.12 A1) on the 4500-foot wall Shipton Spire (19,500’) and the first free ascent of Bad Hair Day (V 5.12-, 1,800') on the South Howser Minaret, Bugaboos, which she and Heidi Wirtz did in alpine style in two days in 2002. Lizzy thrives on climbing light and fast, and has climbed hundreds of multi-pitch and/or alpine routes in her home “crag”, Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as throughout North America. She meditates regularly, plays the mandolin and loves to garden. She also has a master’s in communications/journalism and has been involved in the climbing media and outdoor marketing/PR for a decade. She was hired in 2015 to be the marketing manager for Hyperlite Mountain Gear.