Who knows how long I’ll paint houses to pay my student loans. How many more trips to new skylines will fit on the odometer. What the changing climate will do to the snow that starts high, fills in the runs from the summit down. And just like the nonsense that will always be there, the freedom and identity found on pair of skis remains steadfast. From Denali to Nelson to the hill I grew up skiing in Montana, there’s certainty. Buzz in the parking lot. Stoke on the skin track. Joy as I’ve ever known it, free as every flake that falls.
Don’t let David Steele’s beard, park tricks and aerial acrobatics fool you. While a prolific park skier (a lot of his recent ski expedition to Denali was paid for by winning rail jams) in recent years David has shifted his focus away from riding lifts to earning his lines by ski touring and mountaineering. A glutton for physically demanding challenges and Type 2 Fun Glacier National Park serves as a perfect playground for David to explore and test his physical limits.
While the physical demands of an alpanist are different than the typical Hammer endurance athlete proper nutrition is no less important. Prolonged exposure to the elements and the need to perform at your peak in a hostile environment with small margins for error means your fueling and rations have to be dialed in. There are no aid stations or medics in the alpine, so carefully planning before a trip and close monitoring of your rations and caloric intake throughout a climb are crucial for success.
We’ve found Hammer products shoved into the far reaches of his freezer as he experiments to see what products works best in sub zero temperatures (Perpetuem Solids hold up in a range of conditions, and fruit flavored Hammer Gels tend to hold their viscosity better than other flavors). Fizz and glacier water are a staple in the backcountry, and Premium Insurance Caps are valuable on longer expeditions where well rounded diet is difficult to maintain.
David has some big plans and big mountains on his agenda this winter and we’re excited to see what he’ll be able to accomplish.
Special thanks to Bobby Jehrig for the great edit.