Entries by Kitty Calhoun

Focus On Your Strengths

“Focus on your strengths.” I write these words with a heavy heart. There have been several deaths in our community this year due to avalanche fatalities – most recently with the passing of my friend’s son, Jess Roskelley, along with his climbing partners, David Lama and Hansjörg Auer. The shock of this monumental loss weighs […]

The Rest Step

Click on the video above to watch Kitty Calhoun explain and demonstrate the rest step while carrying a heavy Indian Creek climbing backpack. Use the Rest Step to conserve energy when hiking in the mountains and approaching rock climbs. You can also use the Rest Step while backcountry skiing. Learn more about climbing and skiing from […]

Unplanned Bivouac, West Face – Grand Teton, 1984

There is nothing like an unplanned bivouac to make me swear: “I will never make that mistake again.” When I first began doing winter alpine ascents, almost 40 years ago, what I feared most was getting benighted. Yet, as these things go, in January 1984 I found myself near the top of the West Face […]

Black Diamond Icon Headlamp

Black Diamond’s Icon headlamp shines as one of my top six most appreciated technological advances in alpine climbing gear over the last couple of decades because it prevents against unplanned bivouacs. With a range of 125 meters—the furthest of any BD headlamp—and 500 lumens, the Icon allows for route finding in the dark. What this […]


For days, I was in the Doldrums For no particular reason, I felt listless. Everything was a chore. I had to force myself to stay on task and be productive. Yoga and the climbing gym helped, a bit, but I had no motivation to work on the computer. I wasn’t even excited to go skiing […]

Women’s-Specific Alpine Touring Boots | Scarpa Gea

We’ve come a long way, baby! I can’t help myself. I keep thinking of the Virginia Slims cigarette campaign, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” If it’s not wrong enough that something we now know to be very unhealthy (cigarettes) were used as a symbol of female empowerment, it’s even more wrong because when I […]

Black Diamond Fuel vs Cobra Ice Climbing Tools

I love my Black Diamond Fuel Ice Tools. This reflects a change of heart. Recently, I dumped my Cobra tools and took up with a pair of Fuels. For years the Cobra and I were in a solid and trusting relationship. They were my favorite ice climbing and technical alpine climbing tools. I loved the […]

A Love letter to my Patagonia Capilene Midweight Crew

Dear Patagonia Capilene Midweight Crew, Who Says You Can’t Improve on Mother Nature? I live in my baselayers, which means I live in you! It doesn’t matter if I’m ice climbing, skiing or need a long-sleeve shirt for cool-weather-rock-climbing. Patagonia Midweight Crew, I wear you to the grocery store, to yoga and just lounging around […]

A Skiing Legacy

“We have to get dressed. We’re going skiing.” One of the last memories I have of my dad is of him saying this as he tried to get out of a hospital bed while under the haze of Alzheimers. “Not today Pops,” I said and gently helped him back to bed. I love skiing and always […]