Entries by Karen Bockel

Iceland Sailboat Skiing

I’ll never forget the moment I first laid eyes on the Aurora Arktika, Captain’s Siggi’s beautiful, modern but historic merchant Dutch style sailboat, anchored in the harbor of Isafjordur.  It’s two masts swayed gently above the wooden deck and the red and black painted hull.  Two small hatch doors were open to the area under […]

Chicks in the City of Rocks

The Chicks in the City (of Rocks) are back in town and we are all still grinning ear to ear!  We just returned from an amazing wom en’s climbing weekend at the City of Rocks National Reserve in Idaho. There’s no better way to spend a long weekend away from the constant connectivity to our […]

5 Myths of Alpine Climbing

Alpine Climbing Myth #1:  Alpine Climbing takes a lot of experience. Sheldon’s truth:  Every alpine climber starts somewhere, often just hiking and having spent time outdoors can give you a great foundation.  The terrain is usually less than vertical, offering routes that are typically lower climbing grades.  Also, when you climb with a guide, the ratios […]

Chick Pick: Joshua Tree Hand Salve

Written by: Real Life Chick, Diane Mielcarz I’m sure all of you have heard of the Gobi Desert but did you know you can GET gobies in the desert? If you are new to the crack climbing scene, and as inexperienced as I am, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Gobies…those abrasions/scrapes that […]

Chicks Gear Review: Petzl Sitta

At the Ouray Ice Festival, I acquired a new favorite piece of equipment from the friendly folks at Petzl, the Sitta Harness.  It’s a full strength, very lightweight harness made from high tensile strength materials, that comes in bright orange and white colors.  When folded up, the harness fits into a miniature stuff sack, with […]

Go Alpine! Mt. Baker vs. Tetons

“Every time I go into the mountains, I learn something,” said legendary climber Michael Kennedy once, and I find this statement conveys the essence of mountain climbing.  The mountains always provide adventure, and often in unforeseen ways.  May it be figuring out the early morning route finding when the sun is barely cresting the horizon, […]

Chicks Review: Ouray Victorian Inn

Today I caught up with Jan Lisk, the owner of the Ouray Victorian Inn, or “the Vic”, our favorite local lodging establishment. Jan and her husband Brian Lisk have owned the Vic since December 2008.  They have two kids, two cats, and two dogs, and they are a big part of the Ouray community.  Jan […]

Backcountry Basics: Tech Bindings

Welcome to the second article in Backcountry Basics, a helpful series of short instructional videos and tech tips to get you going for your backcountry skiing adventures! In this edition we will be focusing on tech bindings. These are lightweight bindings that allow you to go from lock-down downhill skiing to freeing your heel for the uphill.  […]

Backcountry Basics: Climbing Skins

Welcome to our very first Backcountry Basics, a helpful series of short instructional videos and tech tips to get you going for your backcountry skiing adventures! This month we will be focusing on climbing skins. Climbing skins are the tools of the trade for backcountry skiing.  They are strips of material that stick to the underside […]

What is backcountry and why is it so awesome?

BACKCOUNTRY SKIING Q & A WITH CHICKS GUIDES NORIE KIZAKI AND KAREN BOCKEL Chicks:  Let’s start with the basics:  What is backcountry skiing? KB:  It’s skiing outside and away from a ski resort, on unmarked, ungroomed, and unpatrolled snow slopes.  It’s my favorite kind of skiing!  Usually, you have to earn your turns by hiking […]