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.
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.
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.
Born and raised in an off-the-grid cabin in the Adirondack foothills of NY, Nick grew up with an abundance of human powered necessities and pastimes. This early start provided him with a springboard towards an ever growing and evolving passion for the backcountry. Montana is now home, where he enjoys of many things, moving fast and light in the mountains. His love of photography, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, climbing and mountain running continue to take him places previously only imagined.
Keep up with Nick’s adventures via his blog nicktruax.com and @tru.ax on Instagram.
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.
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.
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.