Go Out!

Arc'teryx Alpine Academy 2014

posted Aug 14, 2014, 10:08 AM by Italo Balestra   [ updated Mar 25, 2016, 1:59 AM by GoOut Project ]

When I climbed the Mont Blanc, 15 years ago, I had very limited experience in walking on a glacier and in ice climbing and I had a ridiculously minimalistic equipment (all I could afford at that time, as a student) composed of one ice axe, a pair of ice boots, a pair of crampons, a sleeping bag, and a headlamp. I also had an old Millet backpack from the '70s, that I inherited from my dad, and a light Ferrino beach-camping tent that I borrowed from my girlfriendI was so determined to reach the summit that year, that with my very limited knowledge, my minimalistic equipment, and a good dose of recklessness, I managed to get to the summit and back all in one piece and all by myself. Everything went smoothly, I never felt in danger, and I was so stoked of what I did. 

Today, being a bit more experienced, when I think of all the risks I unconsciously took, I feel almost sick! I should have been more humble, learn the basic techniques and understand the dangers of the high mountain environment and big alpine glaciers before venturing up there alone! Today, as a grown-up and maybe a bit "wiser" man, if I could meet the "young and reckless" version of myself I would suggest myself to go and do first an alpine climbing course or to hire an alpine guide... or even better... to go to the Alpine Academy in Chamonix!

I first heard about the Arc'teryx Alpine Academy a couple of years ago from some of our friends, who had watched videos and read articles on the first edition of the event in 2012. They got excited and they tried to convinced me to participate to the next edition. I had been thinking about the Academy for more than a year... I dreamed about going back to Chamonix and to the Mont Blanc... and then, as a big surprise, with a little bit of luck and thanks to the Globetrotter store, I managed to win the perfect price: a ticket to Chamonix and the Arc'teryx Alpine Academy, all-inclusive!

Then, off we go...  last june, together with other Go Out Project team members, we packed our gear... (this time much better equipped) destination Chamonix to brush up on our knowledge of mountain safety at the Alpine Academy!

What's the Alpine Academy?
The Arc'teryx Alpine Academy is a 3-day event held every year in June in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. The event gathers an international crowd of people who are passionate about the mountains. The Academy offers mountaineers of every level the chance to learn or strengthen their knowledge on mountain safety, rescue, and climbing techniques and a wide range of other topics related to different alpine activities. Courses (or clinics) are held by professional mountain guides together with Arc'teryx athletes.

The clinics are mostly focused on safety: you will learn how to move safely in a high-mountain environment and how to behave in some of the most common emergency situations. You'll have the chance to practice first hand what you have learned, as for example, how to rescue your climbing partner from a crevasse, or how to improvise a rescue on a wall. You may also experience a night on the glacier and learn how to set a bivy or how to build and emergency cave on ice and snow.  

In addition, you have the chance to test products offered by the

sponsoring brands. This year there were products from Arc'teryx, Petzl, Scarpa, Hilleberg, SUUNTO, LYO Food, and Peak Design.
A number of interesting side activities are also available thanks to the sponsoring brands. A sewing station, where you could let your garments be repaired, a tool-sharpening station, where you could learn tricks on how to optimally sharpen your crampons and ice axes, the movie night, with many inspiring videos, and several seminars covering a large number of topics related to alpinism.

When and where?
The Academy is held in June, conveniently planned at the beginning of the summer climbing season, so that you can learn and practice right at the beginning of the mountaineering season and still have time to plan your next climbing projects for the summer. One of the coolest location on the Alps is chosen for the Academy. Chamonix is an international alpine town strategically situated at the bottom of the Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe. This probably makes it one of the best location in the world for such an event. In a few minutes the Telepherique du Midi brings you from the town centre up
to the 3800 m of the Aiguille du Midi, the famous and spectacular terrace on one of the largest glacier in the Alps, the Mer de Glace.

The Clinics
Most of the courses are held in english, but you can also choose french, or german (most guides are english, french, and german). Each guide has a small group of up to six people, which is optimal to give everybody the opportunity to practice. Small-sized groups also give the guides more freedom and flexibility to plan the activities together with the participants. You shouldn't expect to climb very hard or technically demanding routes, but you can discuss with the guides if you have any preference on what to do, what to learn, and where to go. The clinics are mostly focussed on safety and are done in one day. Most of the activities are done within a relatively short distance from the Aiguille du Midi, the train station of Montenvers, the Brevent, or down in the valley around Chamonix.

We have participated in the following clinics:

  • Glacier preparation
  • Valleé Blanche traverse
  • Technical Mountaineering (level 2)
  • Women's Glacier walk
  • Alpine Climbing
Text: Italo Balestra - Photos: Ruben Dario, Julian Rohn, Franz Walter, Italo Balestra, Marina Tronquet, Arc'teryx Archive

Fall/Winter 2013 testing officially started

posted Sep 22, 2013, 10:27 AM by Italo Balestra   [ updated Nov 17, 2013, 3:51 AM by GoOut Project ]

Really good start of this Fall/Winter 2013 testing season with some very early freeride and some exploration for future possible lines on the mountains of Tirol.
We had the luck of testing two of the top Arc'teryx products for this season: the new Beta LT Gore-tex Pro Jacket and the Cerium AR insulation Jacket. First impressions are really positive!

Stay tuned for the results of the tests...

Fall/Winter 2013 testing started

Summer 2013 product testing on the Dolomites

posted Jun 26, 2013, 1:24 AM by GoOut Project   [ updated Jun 26, 2013, 1:27 AM ]


A few highlights of our intense week of product testing on the Dolomites. In some of the most spectacular locations and with extremely varying weather conditions, we had the chance to test lots of new, interesting products from Arc'teryx, Craft, Haglöfs, Inov-8, La Sportiva, Mammut, Marmot, and The North Face.

Stay tuned to know about the results...
Italo & Marco

Summer 2013 product testing on the Dolomites

Fantastic Sardinia

posted Jun 13, 2013, 2:21 PM by GoOut Project   [ updated Oct 12, 2014, 12:52 AM ]

Sardinia is very well known for its beautiful coasts, but its less famous interior also offers a wide variety of wonderful natural landscapes.

From San Pantaleo a hiking trail starts that takes you in a few hours at an altitude of about 500m above sea level. From here you can admire the granite formations carved in a unique and imaginative way by the time and the elements. The view from the top is fantastic! It could well be a set of "The Lord of the Rings". Another great reason to visit this wonderful island.

Franco T. & Marco M.

Beautiful Sardinia

07026 San Pantaleo OT

Spring Session in Maiella

posted Apr 18, 2013, 11:03 AM by Marco Martino   [ updated Apr 20, 2013, 1:39 AM by Italo Balestra ]

Spring Session in Maiella

A Beautiful Spring Freeride Session on the Maiella. 
Marco and Giampiero at sunrise 

Easter on the Dolomites

posted Apr 7, 2013, 7:15 AM by GoOut Project   [ updated May 3, 2013, 2:25 PM ]

Despite the horrible weather forecasts, we managed to shred some pow over Easter in one of the world's most scenic locations: 

the Dolomites!

We also took the chance to do some product testing. Among the various products we tested the Patagonia hybrid jacket Mixed Guide Hoody and the EVOC Freeride PRO 20l backpack.   

Easter on the Dolomites

The Big Five

posted Feb 18, 2013, 4:28 AM by Marco Martino   [ updated Feb 24, 2013, 12:42 AM by Italo Balestra ]

Five friends, five "old school" snowboarders meet on a Sunday morning for a memorable day of riding on the slopes of Monte Terminillo.
Snow, sun, pristine untouched slopes, and a strong wish to have fun... in other words:

"Rock & Roll!"

We also took the chance to test two boards: 
the Salomon Grip 157 and the Bataleon Cameltoe 162.

Our test results will be coming soon...
stay tuned!

The Big Five

Freeride at Passo San Pellegrino

posted Jan 23, 2013, 5:50 AM by GoOut Project   [ updated Feb 24, 2013, 12:39 AM by Italo Balestra ]

Passo San Pellegrino - Col Margherita

At Passo San Pellegrino there is a beautiful Freeride Area served by a cable car with more than 600m drop. Today it was closed because of some last technical revision before the final opening to the public. We tested the slopes together with Daniele G.!

... POWDER!!

Pillows, drops, and tons of powder! What a wonderful place!  

Score: 10/10!

Marco C.

Passo San Pellegrino Freeride

Passo San Pellegrino

Winter Surf Session at Banzai

posted Jan 21, 2013, 2:32 PM by Marco Martino   [ updated Jan 23, 2013, 5:33 AM by Italo Balestra ]

Another great photographic work of our friend Axel

Banzai Session

Surfer: Gabriele A.
Pictures: Axel Piperno > www.axelpiperno.com

Snowkite at Piani di Pezza

posted Dec 25, 2012, 8:36 AM by GoOut Project   [ updated Jan 6, 2013, 4:21 AM by Italo Balestra ]


Beautiful day of Snowkite with Robertone, Fabione, and me!
With very little wind we struggled to keep the sails up in the air, but we were able to ride a bit anyway!


Piani di Pezza

Snowkite ai Piani di Pezza- Aq- Italy

1-10 of 25