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Ridge Report: Spring Skiing Adventure to Mt. Ritter
Ridge Report: Spring Skiing Adventure to Mt. Ritter

May 06, 2022

Being drawn to the big mountains that surround us, Ridge Merino's own Paz Mendelevitch and his buddy Danny Sandoval embarked on a multi-day splitboard adventure into the Ritter Range with the goal of summiting and snowboarding down Mt Ritter. 

The Ritter Range as seen from Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort

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Words // Paz Mendelevitch
Photos // Paz Mendelevitch & Danny Sandoval



Walking on a dry trail with full backpacking packs and splitboards on our backs for what seemed like an eternity, w
e could feel our legs getting heavier with every step. We were hoping to be skinning from the trailhead but had underestimated what the warm weather had done to the snowpack recently. Still, the stoke was high and we were ready for an adventure into unknown conditions.

It was a warm spring day with the sun high in the sky beating down on us. We had made it through our third river crossing when we finally came across consistent snow to splitboard on.

We decided to greet spring by snowboarding off the top of an Eastern Sierra classic, Mt Ritter.

With Mammoth Mountain in the distance, this was our last sign of civilization before going off the grid for a few days

The snow is melting quickly so the water was plentiful but moving fast and ice cold! Danny seen here finding the route to cross one of many raging rivers we came across.

Knowing the snowpack was funky this year, and the tedious journey it took to get out to our basecamp at Ediza Lake, our expectations weren't too high. We were in it for the adventure of wandering into our favorite mountains while knowing in the back of our minds that snowboarding off the top of Ritter would be a bonus.

 

 Danny brought a 'mid style' tent to keep our packs lightweight. A floorless tent has its advantages being held up by trekking poles, but the downside is there is no floor, so the wind can rip through underneath. It's always a good idea to construct walls around the tent.


After a good night's sleep we packed our food, water and Merino layers for the day to begin our trek to 13,143 feet. We had brought our boots and splitboard crampons just in case we found firm conditions and needed extra traction. Luckily, the snow was feeling soft and forgiving, which got us really excited for the ride down. 

 Approaching our objective in the distance, we knew we had a long way to go, but with every step we took I couldn't help but feel giddy knowing how fun our turns are going to be on the way down.

 

Mt. Ritter is the highest peak in the Ritter Range, a volcanic ridge just outside Yosemite's southeast boundary. The Minarets, a set of more than a dozen sharp pinnacles in this range, together with Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak make for a striking skyline when viewed from the town of Mammoth Lakes, CA.

I was more than excited to be back on Ritter with great snow conditions. As a prominent ridgeline in the Eastern Sierra, everyone who lives in or visits Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort sees the Ritter Range and the more prominent Minarets on a daily basis. I've climbed Ritter once before in the summer time and attempted a winter ascent a few months prior to this trip. With dangerously icy conditions we decided to not summit that time. This go-around was different and we were ready to rip!

Obligatory summit selfie. My Solstice Sun Hoodie has been with me through thick and thin. It is by far my favorite Ridge piece for any adventure under the sun.


POV of snowboarding down Mt Ritter.

After hootin' and hollerin' all the way back to camp, we both stuck our feet in the ice cold river reflecting on some of the most fun spring skiing we've both ever experienced!

It was time to relax our worn bodies and have a mellow evening with good food and epic views!

Tacos and my Hyde Joggers, the perfect post-adventure combo for maximum comfort

I'll still look at the Ritter Range on a daily basis and reflect about how privileged we are to be able to do these things that test our minds and bodies in the mountains we love.

Mammoth Mountain pictured in the upper left corner of this photo, this is a perspective not many get to experience. Long walks and hard work pay off. This is a view I will not forget.

With access to some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain in the world, the Eastern Sierra is a special place that I am fortunate to call home. 

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Mother's Day Gifts for Moms On the Move
Mother's Day Gifts for Moms On the Move

April 26, 2022

Mother's Day is around the corner and we're excited to celebrate all the great mamas who mean so much. Here are our top picks this year for Moms on the Move.

Warm Weather Staples

Get mom ready for spring/summer with our new selection of tees, tanks, hoodies and more. 

Solstice Hoodie

With a natural UPF of 30+ and a longer hem in the back for more coverage, the Ridge Solstice Hoodie is the perfect layer for long days spent in the sun. The lightweight, breathable material and comfortable, relaxed fit keep mom covered without the risk of overheating. Discreet thumb holes keep the sleeves in place, and the loose-fitting hood fits perfectly over a hat or a ponytail. Tons of new colors now available.

Mother's Day gift

The Solstice Hoodie is made for long days outside thanks to our summerweight Merino wool.

Racerback Tank

The NEW Women's Merino Wool Racerback Tank is built to move. This slim-fitting tank can be used on its own or as a buildable layer. It's an awesome base for any activity because is delivers natural performance and comfort thanks to the benefits of Merino wool; and the stretchy, soft fabric stays close to the body when you're in motion.  

Frankie Tank

Made for everyday adventures, our Frankie Tank is a four-season staple. The Frankie offers natural sun protection, wicks moisture, and is odor-resistant. Featuring a loose, yet super flattering fit, this is a great, versatile, lightweight Merino wool top for women. Now in lots of new colors!

Frankie Tank and Wander Tee

Pictured: Wander V-Neck Merino wool tee and Frankie Merino wool tank top. 

Wander Collection

The new women's Wander collection isn’t just for outdoor adventures. Sure these tees are made for that, but these tops can transition seamlessly from a morning jog, to a day at work, to dinner with family and friends. The short sleeve V-Neck or Crew Neck and long-sleeve styles are made from high performing, super soft lightweight Merino wool jersey; and feature a new cut that is relaxed with slight shaping through the waist, resulting in a flattering fit that is true to size. 

wander merino wool tee long sleeve

Pictured: Long-sleeve Wander Tee. 

 

Ready. (Jogger) Set. Go.

Busy moms appreciate simplicity. Our new jogger set might just be the easiest, cutest, most comfortable outfit she'll own. We designed our jogger with modern touches, including a tailored fit and zippered hand pockets(!) - but it’s the soft, stretchy fabric that separates it from the pack. Our natural eco-friendly blend of Merino Wool + TENCEL has anti-odor properties, making these pants perfect for travel. Pair them with with the Natural Hoodie to complete the look.

merino jogger set

Seen here: the Natural Hoodie and matching Joggers, made from Merino wool + TENCEL.

Everyday Essentials

Bralette

This Merino wool Bralette features a built-in bra with elastic band and adjustable straps that can be worn multiple ways. According to Ridge customer, Irene, "(I) want to be held together a bit, but hate bras. This design works for me; I hardly know it’s on... Easy enough to hand wash and hang to dry. Cute enough to wear as a top on its own." 

merino bralette

The Bralette is back in new colors. 

Shelf-Bra Cami 

Our Merino wool Shelf Bra Camisole was designed for layering under any top or even worn on its own. Now built with the same the built-in bra as our Bralette, it provides ample support and adjustable, re-attachable straps allow for versatility to wear under any top. Merino wool provides amazing breathability, is quick-drying to wick sweat away from the skin - and, of course, offers natural odor resistance. 

Socks!

Socks for running, socks for hiking, camping and more. Give mom a gift she didn't knew she needed but now realizes she can't live without. Choose from low-cut, crew or mid-calf stye (built for winter sport activity). 

merino wool socks

Let's go running. Seen here: Rock Creek low-cut socks. 
 

For more great gift ideas, shop the entire women's collection here.

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Fly With Khai: Five Packing Tips From a Travel Pro
Fly With Khai: Five Packing Tips From a Travel Pro

April 14, 2022

Khai Johannes is a true ambassador of stoke. When he's not backcountry snowboarding, climbing and sharing his love of donuts, you can find him welcoming passengers onto Boeing 737s all over the country as a flight attendant for Delta AirlinesHe often collaborates with outdoor brands as a freelance creative and recently shot a video for Ski Utah, explaining how to get from "Coastline to Ridgeline" in one day - the beach in San Diego to the mountains near his home base of Salt Lake City. 

If there's anyone who knows all the travel hacks, including what to wear and how to pack, it's this guy. So lean back, relax and read about five packing tips from an expert who really knows how to fly.

Khai spends his days off exploring the Utah backcountry.

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Words & Photos // Khai Johannes 

There was a time when trips to the airport were such a novelty that families showed up in their Sunday best. As time moved on and travel became more commonplace, ceremonious suits and heels have been abandoned for comfort. 

 Ready for take-off. Khai begins his shift for Delta Airlines.

As a travel professional and professional traveler, it’s normal for me to live out of a bag for weeks at a time. I’ve been packing a wardrobe, pantry and portable gym into a suitcase for the past seven years. Over the years of concourse connecting and timezone toggling, I’ve learned a thing or two about many of the components of travel. When it comes to airport attire/globetrotting garments/wandering wardrobes/outbound outfits, these are the wisest bits of knowledge I have. 

1. It’s better to have one item that does three things than three items that do one.    

Shoes are probably the clearest example of this. A GORE-TEX trail running shoe covers a lot of territory. They’re waterproof, great for running on trails, solid for urban or wilderness hiking and decent for treadmill or street running. This is the difference between packing an extra pair of shoes in your bag or simply using the shoes you’re wearing through the airport.  

Merino wool is equally multi-faceted. My suitcase always has a couple Journey T shirts for their ability to wick sweat in warm temperatures and for comfort in layering in the colder moments. For the tightrope I balance on between working professional and ski bum, these shirts lay really well under a button-up and tie. This of course makes me feel like Clark Kent, knowing at any moment I could tear off the button-up and head out on an adventure.  

 

"I do not travel without a hoodie." Khai seen here in his Solstice Hoodie.

2. Dress for the lowest temperature you’ll experience in transit. 

Every winter trip I take to Hawaii. Without fail, there will be a handful of passengers dressed in shorts and tank top, forgetting winter still exists at our final destination. If they’re lucky, the discomfort is postponed until they're walking through a frosted baggage claim. If they’re unlucky? They’ll assume the fetal position in their seat and order multiple hot beverages from their flight attendants as the plane’s climate control goes unaltered.  

I live in my Convict Canyon Hoodie and Joggers in the winter. They pack away without taking much room, but they keep you warm like much heavier layers. On long flights, you want to be able to sleep as you skip over timezones like a rock over the surface of a still lake. Layer correctly, and you’ll feel as snug as you do at home. 

3. Hoods have your back. 

I alluded  to my love for hoodies in my previous tip. I do not travel without a hoodie…I do not travel without a hoodie. It doesn’t matter if I’m flying from Puerto Rico to LAX with a layover on the surface of the sun, I have a hoodie. During the winter months, I don the Convict Canyon Hoodie. In the summer, I sport the Solstice Sun Hoodie. Both hoodies have large enough hoods that they can pull over your eyes and act as an eye mask. A hood can give you the ability to sleep if you have to bunk in an airport due to a cancelation or if your seat mate is keeping the window shade open.  

Expert travel tip: use your hood as an eye mask to block out harsh light.  

4. Washing clothes vs checking a bag. 

There you are, at baggage claim, reunited with all 100+ passengers from your flight. All you can think of is getting to your room and passing out. You watch, eyes heavy, as bags appear then disappear. Even the kid who practiced for the World Cup on the back of your seat manages to feel sympathy for you as everyone else grabs their bags, leaves and you're left there all alone. The only bags in your possession are under your eyes. After speaking with the customer service agent, you’re informed your bag that should have met you in SJC (San Jose, California) has managed to end up in SJD (Cabo). A simple mistake that will leave you without your stuff for at least a night or two.  

Understandably, there will be gear you won’t be able to cram into a carry on (boards, fins, etc). However, if you’re torn between managing your clothing in a carry on or checking a bag for more space, I’d highly suggest the carry on. Finding a laundromat is easier than finding a lost bag. Sinks can also make great washing machines in a pinch. 

A laundromat or sink work great when you need, but you can't beat the anti-microbial properties of Merino wool. Photo: Jay Dash


5. Bring treats for the crew. 

Bonus tip, as this clearly has nothing to do with clothing: bringing treats for the crew is a nice thought. However, the odds that presenting them a box of chocolates or Starbucks gift cards will result in a free upgrade are something like 1 in 100. A free drink is much more likely at 1 in 10. The real reason to bring treats is to grease the wheels of karma as you travel, and to bring good vibes to yourself and all who are caught in the ripple effect of your actions. 

Follow Khai's global travels and outdoor adventures on Instagram @khai_zen_ and YouTube 

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