Three Colorado Mountain College Alums (Eric Crosby, Michael Elges, and Ryan Edwards) put together a fundraising expedition to the Alaska Range with the Boulder Mountain Institute to raise money for Paradox Sports, a Boulder-based non-profit that seeks to recognize and foster an individual’s potential and strength, defying the assumption that people with a physical disability can’t lead a life of excellence. Eric, Michael, and Ryan traveled to the Alaska Range earlier this spring/ summer to raise awareness for Paradox through climbing. They truly believe that climbing can help us discover ourselves on a different level. During their trip, they had a chance to test some gear for us as well.
As I stepped onto the small plane that would fly us into the Alaska Range, for the first time I found myself questioning if we had everything we would need for this three week expedition. Flying in to live and climb on the Kahiltna Glacier required planning and packing, and more planning and re-packing. Food was something we put a lot of thought into. What did we need and want to eat for three weeks? We needed a lot of calories. To meet our calorie needs during the long days of climbing we turned to Honey Stinger’s selection of energy bars, gels and waffles. After landing on the glacier we sat through a four day storm. This gave us plenty of time to plan and prep for our attempt of the West Ridge of Mount Hunter.
Again the question of food and calories was ever present in our minds. How many calories and in what form does a person need for potentially six days on a ridge that gains 8,000ft to the summit? During the day as we climbed, I knew we would need quick and easy calories every couple of hours. I’ve had some bad experiences with certain bars and gels but had resigned to the fact that it’s what we needed to bring. I was pleasantly surprised with our choice of Honey Stinger products.
The gels are delicious and in moments when I was starting to bonk a gel and couple of swigs of water got me back on track for another hour of breaking trail through unconsolidated faceted snow. We would actually get excited for that pack of grapefruit energy chews that we each had waiting for us at the top of the pack as we unpacked the tent and prepared for a night on the ridge. After a dehydrated pasta dinner when you just pushed yourself for 13+ hours I’m convinced that there is nothing better than a Honey Stinger Waffle.
Back at base camp after days of climbing we got creative with the waffles with a little peanut butter and bit of chocolate pan-fried in some coconut oil. Damn those were good. Out there it’s often the most simple of things that can put the biggest smile on your face and having these simple, lightweight treats that packed a punch when we needed them the most made our time in the mountains all that much more enjoyable. Our team would highly recommend any and all of the Honey Stinger products for anyone venturing into the mountains.