Mike Lewis / April 7
Mountain Standards Gear Review: IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide Mike Lewis has been using the Blue Ice Akila ice axes for a variety of missions. He writes: "The Akilas kick butt for skiing and light and fast technical mountaineering because they are light, have technical picks and curved shafts (so knuckles don't slam into ice when ice climbing), and are short and can fit either on the back of a small pack, or even in it. Whip them off the pack for some low-angled ice or even a steep bulge, and then plunge them in 50-degree snow to top out a major mountaineering objective. An effortlessly slidable plastic pinky rest makes for easy gripping on technical ice, yet can be moved out of the way, further up the shaft or completely off the axe, when sinking into deep snow." Five stars. 5 out of 5 stars
From March 19-25, 2017, Mike Libecki shared some stories and photos with the #AlpinistCommunityProject about an expedition to Greenland in 2015 to climb a remote, unclimbed peak, which he'd named the Polar Bear Fang after finding it on maps and reconnoitering the approach by boat on different trips through the years. He had tried to reach the Fang--which he is certain is in a never-before visited area--on several occasions, but he had been shut down nearly every time because of sea ice, and once because there were too many polar bears to get off the boat. On this last attempt, he'd planned to go alone, but that quickly changed.