We moved out of our house and had a big yard sale

June meant packing. Actually, it was more like sorting: trash, sell, keep. We were moving out of our 4-bedroom rental house into a 17′ travel trailer. I knew  that moving is time consuming, but found downsizing to be a ridiculous time suck. Occasionally the purge felt nice, other times it caused a lot of internal conflict and mental anguish. Why do I need to get rid of all my stuff? Some stuff had monitory value, others sentimental, so much felt worthy of keeping, I couldn’t help but feel a loss.

We did store 1 truckload of gear (lots of paragliders, tons of skis, a few snowboards & 2 bikes) and 1 truckload of stuff (mostly furniture & books). Andreas’ ski press setup and tools moved to Bellingham to live with his brother.

Empty Truck       Gear Room with lots of gear       Gear Room with no gear       Truck full of gear

The beginning of July marked our turn to full-time living in the camper and continuous attempt to pair down. To start the trip, we drove north to Bellingham, partly for family and partly for business, before we started our journey east.

American Alpine Institute Logo

In Bellingham we talked to Jeff Voigt from the American Alpine Institute (AAI) about their Guides Choice Gear Awards. It was awesome to hear the behind the scenes story of what happens before an award is given (where and how it’s tested, and why each product made the cut).

American Alpine Institute Guides Choice Program

AAI tests in 6 states and 16 countries (all the places they guide). They’re looking for top-notch performance and the highest durability. One season of testing (guiding, up to 9 months) would be similar to the average climber using a product for at least 3 years.

The day after talking to Jeff we were on our way to Lander, WY to go to the 20th Annual International Climbers Festival.

International Climbers Fest Logo