Tested and Trusted In The Field
HMG 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: http://forrestmccarthy.blogspot.com/
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 blog: http://packrafting.blogspot.com/
Lizzy Scully has climbed rocks for 18 years. Her most notable ascents include 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 2 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. More recently in the past couple years she took up sport climbing and has discovered that she can climb 5.12. Lizzy also writes about climbing, and currently runs The Mountain Blog (www.mountaingear.com/blog) and ClimbingGreenland (www.climbinggreenland.com).
She has an MS in communications and has written for newspapers, online publications, and various national and international climbing magazines for more than a decade. She was a Senior Contributing Editor for both Climbing and Rock & Ice. As well, she founded the women’s climbing magazine, She Sends, and the nonprofit organization, Girls Education International (www.girlsed.org). Most recently the summer of 2010, she founded the small company MergeThis Media (MTM). She and two staff members manage social media programs for small businesses such as Stonewear Designs and the American Mountain Guide Association, among others. They develop and provide content for blogs and for the diverse array of existing social media platforms. Lizzy works and lives in Lyons, Colorado. She’s a practicing Buddhist, gardener, and she appreciates and loves her life, friends, and the mountains she has called home for the last few decades.
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: http://adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com/author/stevegraepel/
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."
Minson 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”.
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 blog: http://thingstolucat.com/
Amy is the owner of 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
Born in Minnesota, Quinn Brett is now 32 years young! She began climbing casually in 6th grade with my her best friend, whose dad had a rope and some knot skills! Quinn fell in love. As a youth she actually joined the local Civil Air Patrol because they had weekend climbing outings. 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. Along the way she has also acquired a teaching license in Secondary Social Studies Education, her Yoga Alliance Certification, is a Wilderness E.M.T and started her own guiding company Dovetail Mountain Endeavors. Dovetail, founded in 2010, specializes in combined retreats with other local companies including; yoga, rock climbing, trail running, and hiking. 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!!
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 climbed serious routes, such as Whiteman 5.11c on Lumpy Ridge’s Sundance as well as Spearhead’s mulit-pitch alpine rock route, All Too Obvious, 5.12a. She is also well versed in big wall climbing, and, with her partner, broke the NIAD Female Team record in June 2012, doing The Nose in 10:19. She thrives on climbing quickly. In addition to breaking the women’s Nose record, she has done a 37-pitch link-up on Lumpy Ridge’s various formations car to car in 7 hours. Her first go at Moonlight Buttress in Zion took 4 hours (with aid), and Touchstone in Zion in 7 hours. She also loves soloing long, easy routes as quickly as possible. She also regularly runs triathalons, races, and marathon or half marathons.
Visit Quinn's personal adventure blog at: www.lookstandbreathe.blogspot.com
Matthew 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 UL skills and gear for various activities, from bikepacking and packrafting over 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 HMG, 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.
See what Thomas is up to: http://www.selectpeaks.com/
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. Half of his life has been on the US east coast and half has been on the west. Home is now southwest Montana and the greater Yellowstone ecosystem where he enjoys, of many things, 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) at http://www.nicktruax.com/
Beau Fredlund is an aspiring backcountry ski guide, photographer and videographer living in Silver Gate, Montana. 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 at www.cookecitychronicle.blogspot.com
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 at http://www.lacemine29.blogspot.com/
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 he just returned from running the Franklin River in Tasmania. His new goal is to find the best packrafting trip on each continent. To check out some of Moe's photographic work, check out www.moephotography.com . To see the types of backcountry trips that he guides, go to www.arcticwild.com.
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, New Zealand and is planning an alpine climbing expedition to Kyrgyzstan in the fall of 2012. 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, in addition to leading expeditions around the world. 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 IFMGA certified mountain 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.
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: www.inthecompanyofguides.com
Traveling by bike, kayak, and packraft, I am 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, my goal is simple, inspire both young and old to reconnect with nature and lead simpler and happier lives.
To date I have traveled more than 15,500 miles using only human powered forms of transportation. Highlights of the last three 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.
Follow Glenn's journey at: www.thetravelingvagabond.com
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 not long after. 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 Montana. 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 Hylite 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 have split their time between the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the coast of Maine. After spending his youth bicycle and ski racing, Dave has 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, see: www.untamedadventure.com
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, 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.
Kai authors a web site, www.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, Montana. 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.
Visit Ryan online: http://www.ryanjordan.com/
Follow Ryan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bigskyry
Matt began skiing in New York’s Catskill mountains at 9 years old and a summer ski trip to Mt Hood inspired him to move from New York to Washington State for college and 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 & 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.
Angela VanWiemeersch (or VanStein known for her epic stein pulls), lives a passion for the mountains. From the peaks of Alaska to her home crags of Zion where she works a climbing guide, Angela is constantly seeking to push herself to higher limits. As an accomplished climber on rock, ice and mixed terrain Angela views her self as an explorer at heart. In 2010 she completed a 1400 mile solo unsupported bike tour from Detroit, Michigan to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The lure of the unknown and the vast beauty of untouched landscapes then continued to drive 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 about the reward of the journey and the adventure of each endeavor.