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5 Best Fall Fragrances
Cologne and fallen leaves.
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5 Best Commuter Mugs
For on-the-run coffee drinkers.
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5 Best Affordable Dress Watches
Time at a reasonable cost.
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10 Great Vintage Cameras
Snap a photo. Go back in time.
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Part I of III in The Mountain Series

The Easy Way Up: Heli-Hiking in the Bugaboos

The rotor wash from a Bell 212 helicopter is startlingly strong. Though I was getting used to the pick up and drop off routine — kneel, huddle together, cover your face — every time the helicopter landed I was nearly blown off my feet. Peering out the side window as we lifted straight up from a postage-stamp-sized rock atop a peak called “Kickoff”, I noticed that getting blown over here would have meant a very long fall. Note to self: don’t be the guy at the back of the huddle.

Helicopter travel is addictive. Though it’s loud and uncomfortable, it’s the swiftest and most scenic way to get from Point A to Point B in the mountains. There’s also a certain Green Beret appeal to being whisked off a remote peak by a Huey. Purist hikers and climbers may call it cheating (I used to be one of them), but reserve judgment until you’ve hiked for five hours and 5,000 vertical feet in some of the wildest backcountry in the world and can get back to the lodge in ten minutes for a beer by a crackling fire. I came to this newfound appreciation after a week of up and down in the Bugaboo Mountains of British Columbia.

Presented-by-lexus-logoThis month's features are presented by Lexus. The pursuit of perfection.
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Mount Rainier - 14,410 feet

Climbing the Volcano

Mount Rainier rises 14,410 feet above the landscape two hours to the southeast of Seattle. It towers above its surroundings, dwarfing the smaller peaks of the nearby Tatoosh Range and creating its own weather systems. It is the largest and most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. From the city on clear days, it is a beacon, almost a benevolent presence. Yet Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the Western Hemisphere. Should it ever erupt again, the resulting mudslides and ash would threaten not only Seattle but much of Washington state and beyond.

For climbers, Mount Rainier presents a tantalizing challenge given its accessibility to a major urban center and the established routes that zigzag up its flanks. Its topography and numerous glaciers and crevasses make it an excellent training ground for bigger climbs in the Alps and Himalayas. Only about half those who attempt to summit it succeed each year, the other half turned away by weather, unstable conditions or fatigue. It was also the scene of one of the worst mountaineering accidents in North American climbing history when an ice fall killed 11 climbers in 1981.

It sounded like a good challenge.

limits-promo-logoThis feature is part of a new original series, LIMITS, dedicated to exploring the physical and mental borderlands of human capability. And beyond.
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The Gear for Rainier

Kit: Climbing Mount Rainier

To take on our recent ascent of Mount Rainier, we rounded up some of the latest and greatest mountaineering gear. And after two days, 9,000 vertical feet of climbing and weather that ranged from downright scorching to subzero wind chills, we’ve got a thing or two to say about each piece. So whether or not you plan to use any of this gear in your urban, or more rustic, adventures, you can be assured we’ve put it all through rigorous testing in a worse place. Just don’t take an ice axe on the subway.

limits-promo-logoThis kit is part of a new original series, LIMITS, dedicated to exploring the physical and mental borderlands of human capability. And beyond.
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Snow Might

Atlas Aspect Snowshoe

With enough bite to make a Yeti white with jealousy, Atlas Snowshoe has outdone themselves with the Aspect ($269). Built around an all-new traction system called ReactiV-Trac, the Aspect’ offers up tons of grip thanks to an angry saw-toothed perimeter. Something you’ll want when the powder gets especially naughty. A platform of offset webbing creates…

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High Living

Design Spotlight: LEAP

The living ecological alpine pod, or LEAP, wears its heart right on its name tag and provides all of the benefits of traditional mountain shelters — think trekking basecamps, not lavish homes — but with a significantly smaller environmental footprint. Much of the LEAP’s “green” gains are derived from construction technologies for building planes and…

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Touching the Void (or at least taking the first step)

Asolo Titan GV Mountaineering Boots

By Guest Writer and outdoor enthusiast Sandy Bandhu In today’s economy, you may be hesitant to jump into new sports or less willing to take that adventure you’ve had in the back of your head and understandably so. That’s why it’s all the more important to find versatile gear that can be used for multitude…

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The Rough & Rugged | 2007 Gift Guide

Man vs. Wild. Survivor. Survivorman. We all have aspirations of being rough and rugged and granted some of us come close, but then there are so many who’s poseur acts lend no credibility in the ‘tough’ category. That doesn’t mean we still can’t find an excuse to get geared up for our next excursion, be…