Layering up for Fall

Fall is here! Layering up for action in funky shoulder season conditions can leave you over heated or straight-up chilled to the bone. ...And nothing is worse than sweat soaked garments when the sun ain't shining.

Below are a few ideal Fall layers to consider when planning your next outdoor mission. We've got many more options and brands in stock as well, so stop by and have a look!

                                                                                                                                    Photo by Stephen Eginoire


Men's


Nano Air Hoody from Patagonia

The Nano-Air® Hoody sets a new standard for technical insulation, merging the comfort and breathability of open fleece with the protection and warmth of a puffy. Its supremely stretchy and breathable fabric package combines a plain-weave liner, warm-when-wet FullRange™ insulation and a lightweight yet durable, weather-shedding 100% nylon ripstop shell with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. The hoody has an incredibly soft, supple feel and full mechanical stretch that allow for a close, athletic fit over baselayers and an uninhibited range of motion.

Vertex Pants from Rab

Whilst the Vertex Pants can be worn as general outdoor trousers, climbing specific features such as a hem drawcord for reducing volume around your feet, and stretch fit articulated knees for freedom of movement, make the Vertex Pants ideal for use as a light-weight climbing pant.

R1 Fleece Hoody from Patagonia

Its high/low grid interior (Polartec® Power Grid™ polyester) is key to the hoody’s versatility, and the highly refined fabric—the lightest and most breathable iteration ever—remains exclusive to Patagonia. It stretches, traps heat and compresses to practically nothing, with the pared-down but versatile features climbers and backcountry skiers need: a snug-fitting balaclava-style hood, a minimalist deep-venting front zipper with a soft zipper garage that keeps your chin comfy, and a Variable Conditions Cuff with discreet on-seam thumb holes and a spiral-stitch construction so you can push up the sleeves with no ensuing forearm pump.

Ventus Jacket from Rab

Offering high levels of sun and weather protection, the Ventus Jacket is a perfect layer for climbing or walking in the mountains. Now featuring Polygiene® STAY FRESHodour control treatment, the Ventus Jacket can now comfortably be worn for multi-day trips. Features include an under-helmet hood, thumb loops and Lycra® bound cuffs.


Women's


koreski_j_0415_BP.jpg

Narin Vest from Ark'teryx

An easy choice for crisp days, the Narin is a down vest with minimalist design, clean lines and a relaxed urban aesthetic. Warm 750 fill power goose down in the body and Coreloft® synthetic insulation in the shoulders provide lightweight insulation with minimal bulk. A simple low profile hood adds protection from unexpected cold.

Oasis leggings from Icebreaker

For comfort in any climate, and for any sport, Women's Oasis Leggings are built from our ultra soft, breathable 200gm merino jersey fabric. They provide warmth on cold morning workouts or high mountain hikes, breathe well enough to never get too hot. 

Adze Hybrid Hoody from Patagonia

Our soft-shell Adze Hybrid Hoody resists moisture, breathes freely and keeps the heat. Its main body is composed of a 3-layer Polartec® Windbloc® stretch-woven polyester soft-shell fabric that repels wind and sheds snow, while the bonded fleece grid interior wicks moisture and adds light insulation. The hoody’s low-bulk construction also uses unlined, stretchy, double-weave soft-shell fabric in the side panels, cuffs and along the underside of the arms to minimize bulk while enhancing breathability and mobility.

Motivation Leggings from The North Face

Stay active in cold conditions with these compressive midweight leggings that are crafted with four-way stretch and lightweight panels wrapped around the legs for streamlined coverage during aerobic activity.


Trad rack essentials at Pine Needle Mountaineering!


 Fall season is here, and that means great conditions for desert rock climbing. At Pine Needle, you'll find everything from Black Diamond Ultralight cams to EuroTape. Stop on by for sales and supplement your rack before your next mission to The Creek! 


The Wasteland. Cochise Stronghold, Arizona.

The Wasteland. Cochise Stronghold, Arizona.

Desert Shield. Zion Canyon, Utah.

Desert Shield. Zion Canyon, Utah.

Hallucinogen Wall. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colo.

Hallucinogen Wall. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colo.

Abracadaver. Cochise Stronghold, Arizona.

Abracadaver. Cochise Stronghold, Arizona.

Monster Tower. Canyonlands, Utah.

Rock Lobster. Indian Creek, Utah.

Rock Lobster. Indian Creek, Utah.

Missed a few spots...

Missed a few spots...

NEW!  Ultralight Camalots from Black Diamond.

On fast-and-light missions and smash-and-grab ascents when weight really matters, the Black Diamond Camalot Ultralight presents a 25% weight savings over the Camalot. With sculpted lobes that account for a portion of the weight savings, the Camalot Ultralight features a dyneema cord in place of a cable with all of the same strength you rely on. A double-axle design allows for the widest placement range possible for each cam device, and color coding makes for easy identification when quick pro is paramount. When light is right, the Camalot Ultralight is essential.

On Sale!  Camalot x4 from Black Diamond.

Combining unparalleled expansion range with single-stem flexibility and a narrow head width, the Black Diamond Camalot X4 represents the missing link in our gold-standard Camalot family. The smallest three sizes of the X4 feature our Stacked Axle Technology, which uses a unique machined axle to give more expansion range per size than any small four-cam unit on the market. In fact, the six sizes of the Camalot X4 cover the same range as eight sizes of comparable units. The X4's embedded cam springs allow for an ultra-narrow head width that fits in those tight spots other cams won't. Thanks to super-durable aluminum protection beads, the X4's cable withstands repeated abrasion without compromising flexibility. We also added a hot-forged trigger bar and symmetric swage to improve handling and eliminate buckling.

On sale! Metolius TCU.

Metolius' Ultralight TCUs have set the standard for three-cam units for years thanks to their narrow head width, durability, and light weight. Direct Axle Technology™ (DAT™) makes Ultralight TCUs the lightest cams in the world! DAT allows for more placement options in shallow, narrow, or bottoming placements, and makes tricky placements easier due to better cam lobe visibility, especially in the small sizes. Each TCU is hand built, inspected, and individually tested in Bend, Oregon.

Metolius' Ultralight TCUs have set the standard for three-cam units for years thanks to their narrow head width, durability, and light weight. Direct Axle Technology™ (DAT™) makes Ultralight TCUs the lightest cams in the world! DAT allows for more placement options in shallow, narrow, or bottoming placements, and makes tricky placements easier due to better cam lobe visibility, especially in the small sizes. Each TCU is hand built, inspected, and individually tested in Bend, Oregon.

Black Diamond Neutrino carabiner.

Thirty-six grams of wiregate perfection, the nimble Black Diamond Neutrino carabiner is the ideal solution when all-purpose fast, light and strong is right.

Thirty-six grams of wiregate perfection, the nimble Black Diamond Neutrino carabiner is the ideal solution when all-purpose fast, light and strong is right.

Mammut 8mm contact sling.

For years the unbeatable Mammut® Contact Sling has proven itself as a universal and super-light webbing sling on the mountains and cliffs over the world. Very strong webbing combined with the unique Contact stitching technique ensures optimum handling, even in the seam area of this high-end sling.

For years the unbeatable Mammut® Contact Sling has proven itself as a universal and super-light webbing sling on the mountains and cliffs over the world. Very strong webbing combined with the unique Contact stitching technique ensures optimum handling, even in the seam area of this high-end sling.




Celebrating 40 Years at Pine Needle

Pine Needle Mountaineering is celebrating 40 years serving southwest Colorado this month.

Since 1976, we've been outfitting our local community with the necessary essentials to explore this amazing region.

From first-generation backcountry ski touring bindings, to the first spring-loaded camming device that revolutionized rock climbing, Pine Needle has been there every step of the way.

And my, how the times have changed!

Ray Jardine's "Friend" the camming device that revolutionized rock climbing. Photo courtesy Wild Country.

Ray Jardine's "Friend" the camming device that revolutionized rock climbing. Photo courtesy Wild Country.

Purgtory in the 70's

Purgtory in the 70's

1984 Patagonia catalog.

1984 Patagonia catalog.

Ramer model R ski touring binding 1978. Photo courtesy Wildsnow.com

Ramer model R ski touring binding 1978. Photo courtesy Wildsnow.com

1976 Rossignol Freestyle Skis

1976 Rossignol Freestyle Skis

We've worked with brands like Black Diamond, Patagonia, The North Face, and Royal Robbins since they were budding companies founded by core enthusiasts. We've helped contribute to their success as leading vendors in the outdoor industry by selling their quality equipment to our passionate community here in Durango, Colorado.


And here we are 40 years later.  The brands we love have matured into successful companies, gear is more lightweight than ever, and there's a ski for every type of snow condition. But one thing remains the same- our passion for the outdoors and love for our community.

Thank You!!!

Photo by Stephen Eginoire

Photo by Stephen Eginoire


Backpacking: Rock Lake Loop | by Stephen Eginoire

Planning a backpacking trip to the Durango area this summer? You've chosen well! The San Juan Mountains are roughly the size of the Swiss Alps, including the spectacular 499,771  acre Weminuche Wilderness- Colorado's largest designated wilderness area.

There are countless multi-day tours to choose from in the Weminuche that range from very popular, to areas that see very little human traffic. 

The tour detailed below is a true San Juan wilderness experience. Be ready for a few hours of backcountry driving to access the trailhead. 


Rock Lake Loop, via Hunchback Pass

Getting there:

You'll have to find your way to Rio Grande Reservoir Road (FS 520), either by way of Silverton or Creede. From FS 520, locate FS 506, heading south into Bear Creek. Drive FS 506 passing the Beartown site (you may encounter a spot or two of 4WD here) eventually arriving at Kite Lake and the road's end. Walking distance from the car park is the Hunchback Pass trailhead.

The Route:

From the Hunchback Pass TH,  follow the Continental Divide Trail south (813) up and over Hunchback Pass, to Nebo Creek.  Make sure to follow the CDT (813) east, up the Nebo Creek drainage. 

Once you exit the Nebo Creek drainage, continue on the CDT (813) for approximately 7 miles to Twin Lakes. Upon reaching the lakes, the route departs from the CDT (813). Locate Rock Creek trail (655) bearing south towards a high pass. From the top of the pass descend into the Rock Creek drainage, following Rock Creek trial (655) for approximately 5.7 miles until intersecting with Vallecito trail (529) at the bottom of the valley. 

Bear north on the Vallecito trail (529) for appx. 3.1 miles to where the trail intersects the CDT (655) at Nebo Creek, closing the loop. Continue north on the CDT (655) back over Hunchback Pass for 2.5 miles to the cars.

*NOTE* The trail from Hunchback Pass TH to Rock Lake is consistently above 11,500 feet. Take the threat of lighting into careful consideration.

Click here for up-to-date weather forecast.



Tarns near Mount Nebo.

Fine views of Strom King peak from the CDT.

Tundra and marshlands surrounding West Ute lake.

A view of Twin Lakes.  Note: The CDT (813) branches off to the east at Twin Lakes. Be sure to pick up the Rock Creek Trail (655) continuing south towards Rock Lake.

Looking into the headwaters of Rock Creek, above Twin Lakes.

Rock Lake

Glorious alpine vegetation.

Camp perched above Rock Creek, and not a soul to be seen.

Reflection of Peters Peak (13,122') in Rock Lake.

Lounge time.

Village Aid Project | by Owen Parker

This was the 11th year Village Aid Project (VAP) at Fort Lewis College had designed and implemented water and sanitation projects abroad.  To those who have not heard of the organization; here is a quick synopsis of the program. 

VAP at Fort Lewis College is a student-centered, humanitarian organization whose mission is to partner with needy communities in the developing world to find sustainable solutions to their critical engineering problems. In addition, we are training a new generation of students who understand the need for sustainable systems and who value the concept of responsible global citizenship. Currently, VAP has worked in 5 different countries and has implemented projects in 24 different communities throughout the world.

            This last month VAP traveled to Nicaragua to implement a water project in a village right along the border of Honduras, and build 30 latrines in three villages we had worked in previously. Also, a group traveled to Myanmar to implement a water project in a village that also works closely with the Shanta Foundation of Durango. All trips went smoothly, but had their fare share of adventure along the way.

SAM_2906 (1).jpg

            In Myanmar, the group arrived to a village with a dried up water source. Troubles began with trying to design a system in village that would integrate another more un-known source with the source that had gone dry weeks prior. The group succeeded, and the village of Nong Boat has a nice new water system to call their own. On the other side of the world, the other two Fort Lewis crews were solving their own problems.

            In Nicaragua, the water system team worked on the border of Honduras along side locals and armed infantry in the village of La Ceiba. La Ceiba is located in an area with many large hills, which made the system more difficult, however the system was badly needed for this community. The crews dug trench, laid pipe, and hoped they would finish the project before the water well in the village went dry. In the end, the crew and villagers did finish the job, and even had time to play a friendly match of futbol with the neighboring village in Honduras.

            About 5 miles away from La Ceiba, in a neighboring valley, was the other VAP group. This other group was separated into three communities that VAP had built water systems for prier. The group was implementing a new latrine design. In total, 30 latrines were built and 60 more are planned for next year. This project, along with building latrines, gave us insight on the previous water systems. It was found that sickness and diarrhea in the villages was dropping noticeably. Also it was apparent that having readily available water in these villages was greatly needed.

            Thanks Pine Needle for helping us out this last project, with your generous donation we were also fortunate enough to have convenient water on tap!

Spring skiing in the San Juans isn't all show-boating on big lines in perfect snow. While it IS quite exhilarating when your tracks can clearly be seen from the highway and enjoyed by all, sometimes unflattering conditions like dirty snow, ice runnels, and football fields of frozen avalanche debris can be worth the effort. Throw in a remote mountain most skiers have never heard of, a low probability of reaching the summit, a train, a couple of packrafts, and just like that, you have a top-quality spring skiing adventure like never before.