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Clint Helander

Clint Helander using the Mystery Ranch Tower 47 backpack in Alaska. [Photo] Clint Helander collection

Mystery Ranch Tower 47: A dream pack for climbers who like organization

Alaskan alpinist Clint Helander tested the Mystery Ranch Tower 47 backpack for all sorts of activities. The pack is designed as a crag pack for rock climbing—for which it shines—but Helander also used it for ice climbing and skiing. The pack is big and bulky, he reports, but its durability and functionality make it worth the extra grams. Four stars.


Rab Muztag GTX Jacket: A worthy high-end shell that is light and durable

Alaskan climber Clint Helander generally prefers softshell jackets instead of hardshells when climbing and skiing, but the Rab Muztag GTX Jacket proved to be an exception. He writes, “I have always appreciated the ability of softshells to breathe and stretch while I methodically plod up steep snow slopes. In my mind, Gore-Tex jackets were still too heavy and restrictive in regard to movement…. I was happy to be proven wrong.” Five stars.

Ryan Johnson rigging a rappel on an October 2015 attempt on the north face of the Main Mendenhall Tower. Johnson completed this dream line with Marc-Andre Leclerc, but the pair lost their lives on the descent. [Photo] Clint Helander

Remembering Ryan Johnson

Clint Helander remembers the life and prolific climbing career of his friend Ryan Johnson, who went missing and is presumed dead along with Marc-Andre Leclerc after the pair climbed a new route on the north face of the Main Mendenhall Tower in Alaska in early March.

Local Hero: Clint Helander on Mark Westman

Why Mark Westman should be famous (A postscript to Alpinist 19). May’s everlasting sun hovered in a low, lateral arc over the Alaska Range, bathing the massive peaks in fiery light. Waves of clouds washed up the Kahiltna Glacier and flooded the lower mountains in an ever-darkening fog.