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M is for #MicroAdventure

"Get a bunch of kids. Let them walk over a big hill, eat outside, run a bit wild, jump in a river, toast marshmallows and sleep under the stars in their clothes." That's the recipe adventurer Alastair Humphrey pulls together for a classroom of kids, and the results? Pretty inspiring.  Two years later, the same class is ready to do it again as a celebration of their completion of "year 6". See what you've started, Alastair? Nice work. Find out more about microadventures by clicking through the image below to Alastair's site, and tell him we sent you. Check out the Backpacker's Alphabet  

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All the Single Letters

Well—some of them anyways. Along with the new Paddler's Alphabet this week, we also flipped the switch on a few smaller sized prints, featuring a few of the illustrations from the new poster all by themselves on a 8x10 print. Ideally we'll have the entire alphabet up and running for all the sports so you can have the letters you need to spell out a name or initials, so let us know if there's any specifically you'd be looking for right now and we'll get on it.  These are archival quality digital inkjet prints, printed on an Epson Stylus Pro 7900, using Epson UltraChrome HDR ink-jet technology on heavyweight (10.3 mil) Epson Enhanced Matte Paper.

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T is for Titons

But these aren't the Tetons you're looking for. Today, the 20th letter of the alphabet stands for a unique piece of climbing hardware from climbing engineer and designer Bill Forrest. Forrest was a prolific climbing inventor whose designs are a distinct part of climbing hardware history, including the Mjolnir, the first modular ice tool which is on display at the Smithsonian Museum. Titons were developed in 1973 with Kris Walker, as a cammable T-shaped nut that had a wide variety of possible placements. Click through the image below to see the full "Titon treatise" from an early Forrest Mountaineering catalog.  Scan courtesy of Vertical Archaeology  Check out the Alpinist's Alphabet  

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B is for Beckey

As in Beckey's Bible. As in The Book of Fred. A staple of most PNW climbing bookshelves or dashboards in one form or another since the late 40′s. Fred’s still out there, writing and climbing and doing his thing, and thanks to his exhaustive work on the Cascades, so are a lot of folks. Malcolm Bates did a nice little personal article about earlier versions of guide in Volume 5 of the Northwest Mountaineering Journal.

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The Paddler's Process

With the launch of the latest addition to the My Outdoor Alphabet world, I wanted to share a little behind-the-scenes peek into how one of these things comes to life. Sound good? Let's go. It all begins with getting outdoors. For the Paddler's Alphabet, it started with a free canoe someone gave my young family nearly 15 years ago. Where it really came to life however, was during a 50 mile canoe trip my boys and I took down Montana's Missouri River with their grandfather. As we prepared for the trip and spent time together on the water, we were setting the foundation for this poster without even trying. The seed was planted, the trip was amazing (check the photos here), and it made it very easy to...

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