Conquering Capitol Peak with Honey Stinger

Honey Stinger Hive

Colter Hinchliffe admiring the sunrise from just below K2

Capitol Peak came a calling our names again this year with an incredible amount of late season, sticky spring snow.  It’s always an interesting dilemma on the logistics side when there is no snow down low, but an insane amount up high.   Capitol Creek was no different and as Colter, Riley and I started our trip out with skis and boots on our backs and shoes on our feet, it made it slightly better to have a full moon to tackle the 8 mile approach with.  We rolled out of the parking lot at around 12:30 AM in hopes of being on the summit early morning.

We spent most of the night walking or skinning by just the light of the moon and the slog really went by rather quickly.  Having transitioned to skis around 3.5 miles in, it was a welcome relief when the first booter up to the Daly-Capitol saddle came in to view and we were allowed to switch muscles for about 1000 feet of climbing.  I make it a goal to stuff my face just about every time I transition and this morning was no exception.  For a line like we’ve had in mind, I was going to need all the energy I could get.  After eating a Honey Stinger waffle, some chews and a gel, it was up and away to the saddle before transitioning again and slamming a bar.  I’ve been on quite a few lengthy expeditions with Honey Stinger product and to this day I haven’t really become tired of it and still enjoy it.  That’s not something I usually say about energy food.

 

Honey Stinger

My rations for the 18.5 hour day. It got me through!!!

We drop in via headlamp and do a super icy dropping traverse into West Snowmass creek.  And put skins back on for the next 1000 feet up to K2.  ‘If you are hungry, it’s too late’ is the motto I live by (and try to act on) when it comes to mountaineering, so I keep emptying my pockets as we come up and get our first light of day just below K2.  We couldn’t help but dwell on the moment and snap some photos of an incredible sunrise before reminding ourselves that we had to climb east facing terrain to get to our summit.  We skin for another 10 minutes and the skis are replaced with crampons as we start our traverse around K2 and on to the knife edge ridge.  The conditions are prime for easy walking on most of the ridgeline and once across the flat section of the route we start our final ascent to the peak up 60-65 degree snow and rock sections before finally topping out on the summit ridge and traversing the final 100 yards to the true summit.  Half the battle is over, and I begin to stuff my face with more food than I’m hungry for, knowing full well that our descent is going to take plenty more energy, and will likely not leave any time for another meal.

 

Honey Stinger Hive

Riley Soderquist and Colter Hinchliffe climb some of the steeper snow and rock en route to the summit.

After some deliberation we decide on the north facing line but decide that the traverse in is unreasonable.  Good thing we have ropes!  A 150 ft rappel puts us on skiable snow and after a couple hundred feet of 60+ degree skiing we have another short 30 foot rappel.  Following that we all give a small sigh of relief and get down to skiing 55-60 degree terrain for the next 1500 feet before we hit the final 400 foot rappel and build an anchor.  We all rappel to the ends of our ropes and find a crack to build our last anchor that will get us all the way down to the relative safety of the apron.

 

Honey Stinger Hive

K2 looks on as we traverse the flat part of the ridge before the final push to the summit.

We reap the reward of another 1000 feet of corn turns to the lake and find a big boulder to crash on for a few minutes to reflect and just look at our line.  Cherry Cola Chews are my favorite, and I made sure to have no shortage of them today.  Another pack hits my belly before we shuffle our way down to our shoes and load up for the rest of the walk out.

 

This is easily the most committing line any of us have ever done in Colorado, and we feel lucky to have found it in good condition and to have finished it safely.  On the walk out and while BBQing in the parking lot, we christened the name Peg Leg for our new line.

-Hive Athlete Jordan White

 

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The Magelky Cycling Blog: Summer is Coming…

For as many years as I’ve been racing bikes, I’ve learned that I just have to face the fact that I struggle in the first few races of the season. It just hurts out there. And even though I work very hard in the off season and feel strong as I start racing, the intensity of a race is just a huge wake-up call. Another factor is getting into the mindset that everyone else is hurting, too. (which, admittedly, is hard to do when you’re in survival mode!) This year was no exception and I actually struggled to even finish the 50mi Ridgeline race. It was brutal. FB402

Truth be told, I’m horrible about eating and hydrating in races. I have NO PROBLEM eating when I’m not racing. Believe me. However, when you’re in the fog of battle and ‘race drunk’, (as my friend Michael Friedberg calls it) it’s easy to let time go by without staying on top of the important stuff. I’ve learned to be better about it by putting a specific amount of food in my back pockets and making sure it’s gone before I’m done with the race. I also try and drink a bottle an hour – depending on the temp. For those who are like me and want to know what others do for their food intake, I eat a bag of Honey Stinger chews every hour. Even if I have to slow down due to trying to eat on tricky terrain, you MUST eat! I actually won the Laramie Endure a few years ago just eating chews because they were the only thing that sounded good to me in the race. Ever since, they’re my go-to. Lucky for me I’m sponsored by Honey Stinger…

There was some redemption a couple weeks after the Ridgeline race as I lined up at the Desert RATS Classic out in Fruita, CO. The weather has been so crazy here in CO and pretty much every race has been postponed due to rain, but after neurotically checking about 5 different weather sites for 2 days straight, this was the only event with a possibility to even happen. And after being postponed for one day, it was on. (Even though we rode for 4 hours the day before, we were still excited to clean the bikes and race for 100k the next day!)

Although there wasn’t a big field of pros out there it was a great event on some great technical terrain. I really prefer the more rugged trails out in Fruita so this was an ideal race for me as the organizers added in the Zion Curtain trail, which has some tough climbing and descending – as well as some great views! I ended up taking the win out there, but the best part of the weekend was just being able to spend some time with a good friend, get some additional training in, and completely steal the ‘boots’ from Rob so my legs were nice and recovered.

I know I write a lot about how hard it is to balance work and racing, but it’s something that will always be a challenge as long as I want to race at my best level. Sometimes that struggle needs to be remedied by a good ol’ trip to the mountains. No racing. No work. I mean getting down to the basics of why one lives in the mountains. Well, Rachel had an outdoor conference in Snowmass for a couple days and I jumped on the opportunity to go and ‘shut the outside world out’ for a bit. I have no problem with doing this these days. I used to freak out about who was trying to get a hold of me and all that, but these days? Nope. I had my wife with me and that’s all that mattered. I needed to have some soul nurturing and that came in the form of riding my bike all day for a few days. It went something like this: Wake up, drink coffee, eat a big breakfast and look at maps. Then go ride all day. Ride everywhere. Climb as much as possible. Meet cool people around Aspen and Snowmass. Crawl back to the hotel because you’re exhausted and it’s a 5 mile climb home. Clean up, eat dinner, drink a beer, stretch and relax. Then just repeat the next day. A truly soul nurturing ‘training camp’. Oh, and I went through a huge chunk of my Honey Stinger inventory during that trip. It’s pretty amazing how much you’ll eat on an all-day adventure like those were. IMG_3881

Earlier I mentioned great, challenging trails to race on. Enter another race with plenty of those. I finally made it to the Firebird 40 in Eagle, CO this year. That whole rain delay thing we’ve been experiencing here actually played in my favor this time. Due to my hectic and unpredictable travel schedule for work I’ve had to skip a lot of races in the last couple years. This was one of those that I would be jealous about when hearing my friends talking about how great it was. Well, it turned out that this year was the year to do it since Mike McCormack produced an amazing race with a true backcountry feel. Imagine high desert, twisty singletrack, steep climbs, cattle, several ‘stream’ crossings, (well, maybe one river in there, too) aspen groves and breathtaking views. Yep. That was the Firebird 40. And it was a hell of a race.

Leading into the FB 40, I had been in Austin all week on a shoot. Granted, I did have the training camp miles in the bank from the weekend before, but I wasn’t able to do any prep in the lead-up to the race. I literally landed in Denver at 11PM on Friday night, drove to King Soopers to get supplies for the race, got home and ate, wound down a bit, and then went to sleep at 1AM. Then the alarm went off at 4:30AM. All glamour. I did a moderate warm-up and then the race started. I was not feeling like superman during that first hour. I even made a mistake that led to me dropping my chain. (I’m on a 1×11 so there’s no trick to getting your chain back on while riding) I pulled over to get it squared away and then dropped back to like 20th or 30th. This is where experience led me to remain calm and try and work back up. I made it back to the top 10, but I pretty much blew up in doing so. Then the training camp miles kicked in and I started feeling a lot better. In the end I worked my way back to 4th and I’m pretty happy with that. The field was fast and it was a true mountain biker’s course. All good prep for the months ahead.

As the heart of the season comes into view, I couldn’t be more motivated. I have a new focus added to this season in the form of the NUE Series, which will only help in my quest to have a good day at the solo 24 hour worlds in CA in Oct. I’m also happy to say that – for the first time in several years – I can actually plan out the summer since I won’t be traveling for 3 months outside of racing. I love what I do as a filmmaker as much as I love being an athlete, but the work travel has really effected me and I’m just looking forward to having a relatively normal life for a few months! I’m pretty disciplined when I travel, but the stress of trying to figure out a workout that will actually help in my training gets extremely challenging. There’s just a lot that comes into play there and I’m happy to be able to be in the mountains for an extended time.

Lastly, it should go without saying, but I’m sayin’ anyway – and often: Support from anyone and any organization is a huge luxury. I’m not quite sure how I ended up being so fortunate with having a team like the Honey Stinger / Bontrager Off-Road team take me in, but I couldn’t be happier. It’s a family and I feel at home with this group of people. From the athletes to the owners. Good people.

And speaking of family, my parents and wife continue to be my biggest fans and supporters. Any time I feel like my motivation suffers a bit, I just think about them and I get back to pedalin’.

Well, it’s time to go clean the muddy clothes and bike. However, before we know it Colorado will be hot and dry and we’ll all be reminiscing about the time when we had three weeks of rain and the vegetation was a rich green…

-Kelly Magelky

 

 

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A World of Skiing Fueled by Honey Stinger

Hive athlete and ski guide, Brennan Lagasse, shares a recap from his adventurous 2014/15 ski season:

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Brennan touring the Himalayas

As a backcountry skier and ski guide, mountain nutrition is paramount. I was happy to join the Honey Stinger Hive this winter and found myself buzzing from the good energy all season long.

The buzz started in November with an early season assignment in Whistler, B.C. that carried on to the opening day of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. The weather was funky in Canada during the early winter, but “Revy” had a memorable first day with powder coating high elevation terrain, and heaps of happy skiers and riders celebrating the start of another winter.

Warren Miller Crew

Warren Miller Crew

After a quick trip to the frozen trails of New Hampshire, I found myself covered in cold, light snow reporting on early winter conditions in Chamonix, France and Courmayeur, Italy. February kicked off my guiding season with a session in the Kashmir Himalaya working for The Adventure Project. In March, it was time for Alaska where I co-guide a helicopter assisted ski touring program with Points North Heli-Adventures. We were happy to welcome Warren Miller Ent. this season to film a segment for their 66th film that’s due out in the fall.

Northern Lights – Greenland

After Alaska, it was time to head to Greenland to guide for Ice Axe Expeditions. This was our second trip to Sisimiut, Greenland, one of the most beautiful mountain regions of the Arctic. Back home in the Sierra for May, what had been one of the worst winters on record for precipitation in California turned out to be one of the snowiest, wettest months of May in years. Throw in a day of indoor skiing in Dubai, and even a few turns on some sand dunes in Nevada, and all in all it was a pretty memorable ski season.

Throughout my travels this ski year, I had Honey Stinger products in my pack on every mission. For the bigger days, I always had several gels on hand, becoming quite partial to the Strawberry Kiwi flavor by seasons end, but for everyday, I always had some combination of energy chews and waffles. The biggest problem for me after so many years of testing energy food is my palate has become strongly averse to enjoying it, to the point of having plenty of energy food in my pack, but not eating when I needed it because I had burned out on the taste. As nice as it is to sit down and enjoy a lunch or snack in the high country, I’ve become much more inclined to eat on the run, or skin track to save time over the years.

With Honey Stinger this season, I was actually able to get superior performance and enjoy what I was consuming. The waffles are tasty enough to just snack on, and the chews (Cherry Cola for the win!) are delicious. Imagine that – performance and taste. I definitely look forward to continuing to use Honey Stinger products in the field in the off-season for surfing, running, biking and climbing. Now my worry isn’t if I’m going to eat what’s in my pack, it’s keeping my pack stocked with enough goodies for every adventure!

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Fifth Annual Steamboat Stinger Set For August

Honey Stinger is pleased to announce that the fifth annual Steamboat Stinger race will return the weekend of August 15-16. The popular two-day festival includes a 50-mile mountain bike race, a trail marathon, and a half trail marathon on the singletrack trails of Emerald Mountain in downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Steamboat Stinger

“We’re excited to see that the Steamboat Stinger has become a marquee event on many people’s summer race calendars, and that it gives us an opportunity to give back to some important local charities,” says Honey Stinger marketing director Len Zanni. “We’ve worked hard to create a great course on some of the best trails anywhere, and we’ve been rewarded by a nearly sold-out field of racers, which includes both national champions and weekend warriors alike.”

Mountain bike competitors can choose to tackle the singletrack in either the solo category or in teams of two on Saturday, August 15. Trail marathon runners will compete in either the full or half marathon on Sunday, August 16, following a similar route as the mountain bike race. Racers competing in both the 50-mile solo mountain bike race and the full trail marathon with the fastest combined time will have the opportunity to take home the title of King Sting or Queen Bee.

Steamboat StingerField limits for this year’s Steamboat Stinger are set at 500 cyclists and 400 runners. Limited spots remain in the solo mountain bike categories, and the duo categories are now waitlist only. Entry fees for the trail race are $45 for the trail half marathon and $60 for the full marathon. Entry fees for the mountain bike race are $90 for the solo race and $160 for the duo race. For more information or to register, please visit: https://www.bikereg.com/steamboat-stinger-mountain-bike-race

All proceeds from the event will go towards local youth mentoring group, Partners in Routt County, and local IMBA chapter, Routt County Riders.

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Honey Stinger Announces New Sales and Marketing Team Hires

Honey Stinger is pleased to announce two new additions to its sales and marketing team. Sara Tlamka will assume the role of marketing specialist and Cody Clark has accepted the position of inside sales representative for outdoor and ski categories.

“We’re excited to strengthen our sales and marketing teams with the additions of Sara and Cody,” says chief marketing officer, Len Zanni. “They both bring relevant work and specialty outdoor experience to Honey Stinger and will be an important part of our continued growth.”

Tlamka joins Honey Stinger from the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, where she served as membership director, leading chamber member enrollment, membership benefits development, and organizing all membership programs. Prior to that, Tlamka led strategic planning and marketing as the event sponsorship manager for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation – Intrawest. Tlamka holds an M.B.A. in Marketing Management from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

“The crew here is a group of truly passionate people who love being in the mountains and fuel their daily adventures with our products,” says Sara Tlamka.  “I’m excited to join the company and help increase Honey Stinger’s product and brand awareness amongst consumers.”

Clark comes from Steamboat-based sister company, Big Agnes, where he worked in the warehouse as a fulfillment specialist. Clark brings outdoor specialty retail sales experience to his new position as inside sales representative.

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Honey Stinger is Buzzing into Spring with New Products!

Honey Stinger is buzzing into spring with two new products! We have expanded our organic waffle line with a new caramel flavor. The new caramel waffle is comprised of a thin layer of honey infused with delicious caramel and sandwiched between two thin waffles. Why caramel? Honey Stinger Caramel waffle

“They asked for it, we produced it,” says Rich Hager, chief operating officer at Honey Stinger. “The inspiration was less of an inspiration and more of an open ear. We have had plenty of requests from our customers for a caramel waffle so all the credit belongs to our customers.”

We have also expanded our energy chews with a new grapefruit flavor. Yep, that’s right…the sweet and sour grapefruit flavor that everyone loves is now available in our grapefruit chews. These chews will surely awaken the taste buds but won’t make your face scrunch up because they are too sour. Our new grapefruit energy chews are certified organic, certified gluten-free, and fortified with 100% RDA of vitamin C. They are sweetened with organic honey and tapioca syrup and provide a natural and sustainable source of energy! Honey Stinger grapefruit chews

Both new products are available for purchase online at www.honeystinger.com

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Honey Stinger Partners with Hookit For Hive Sponsorship

Honey Stinger is now accepting applications for Hive athlete sponsorship on Hookit, a digital platform designed to support athletes, brands and sports. The Honey Stinger Hive program supports the athletic pursuits of Honey Stinger customers and supporters by offering discounted Honey Stinger products and merchandise. Honey Stinger and Hookit Partnership

Both pro and amateur athletes on Hookit can track their progression and ranking alongside others while earning recognition, deals and sponsorships based on their Hookit Score. The Hookit Score ranges from 1-10,000, measuring athletes based on their results, fan base, social media activity, engagement and more in the motorsports, board sports, cycling/endurance, outdoor, team and Olympic categories.

“Hookit is the new standard for brands and industry insiders to identify the most active, valuable and influential athletes participating in a variety of sports,” said Marketing Director Len Zanni. “We look forward to using this platform to help grow our Hive program by fueling athletes who are out there pushing themselves.”

Brands on Hookit have the ability to track and rank athletes, teams and brands’ exposure and activity in social media using the Hookit Index. Data provided by the Hookit Index shows which athletes are most influential on social media, thus simplifying the discovery process and connecting athletes and brands seamlessly.

About Hookit

Hookit was started by Scott Tilton and RJ Kraus, former athletes who originally founded SponsorHouse in 2001 out of a motorhome. The original mission was simple – connect athletes with sponsors through the ‘Internet’. A revolutionary concept at the time, the vision has evolved into a platform for athletes to track their progression, build their personal brand and earn recognition and deals.

The Hookit Index and Hookit Score, are ground-breaking, proprietary innovations that will forever change the way athletes impact the $300B global sports economy. Today, more than 150 business partners use Hookit to support, manage and maximize the value and influence of athletes.

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Racers Converge on Steamboat for 4th Annual Steamboat Stinger

Honey Stinger wrapped up the fourth annual Steamboat Stinger races on Sunday, August 17. Over 600 riders took on a 50-mile mountain bike race on Saturday, August 16, which featured two laps of challenging single track on Emerald Mountain. The next day runners tackled the first lap of the same course in a trail marathon while others completed a half marathon on a portion of the same course. Honey Stinger Steamboat Stinger

Competitors in Saturday’s race had the option to ride the 50-mile race solo or as a duo team. In the pro men’s class, Colombian transplant Fernando Riveros Paez of Colorado Springs took first, finishing in 4:09:34, ahead of Henry Jay, Chris Baddick, Carter Shaver, Jakub Valigura and Nathan Miller. In the pro women’s class, 2013 second-place women’s finisher, Gretchen Reeves of Avon, Colo., won Saturday to beat out Meghan Sheridan, Deidre York, Blair Vajda, and Honey Stinger employee and team rider Hannah Williams. In the citizen’s class, Michael Ledger took first for the men, while Tess Amer won for the women. Honey Stinger/ Bontrager riders Samuel Chovan and Trevor Walz won for the men’s duo team, while Ksenia and Marina Lepikhina won for the women’s duo team and Rachel and Shawn Hadley of Aspen took first in the coed duo team race.

Jon Brown of Gunnison took first in Sunday’s trail marathon, finishing in 3:37:16 to beat his 2013 time by almost 10 minutes. Brown was crowned 2014 “King Sting” for finishing the 50-mile bike race and trail marathon in the fastest combined time.  Amber Young of Albuquerque took first in the trail marathon for the women, finishing in 4:15:24. Canadian Nicole Todosichuk was crowned 2014 “Queen Bee,” finishing in the fastest combined time for the women.

James Johnson finished first in Sunday’s half marathon for the fourth year in a row, shaving almost one minute off his 2013 time at 1:33:33. Steamboat’s Shannon Forbes won for the women, finishing in 1:57:26.

Proceeds from the 2014 Steamboat Stinger will benefit local non-profits, including youth mentoring organization Partners in Routt County and the local IMBA chapter, Routt County Riders.

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Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews Named to Backpacker Magazine Hall of Fame

Honey Stinger is pleased to announce that its Organic Energy Chews have been named to Backpacker Magazine’s Hall of Fame in the “Camp Food” category. Backpacker calls the products selected for its Hall of Fame “the best bars and snacks [we’ve] ever tasted.”

The Hall of Fame recognition follows two other recent awards for the company’s honey-based products. Honey Stinger’s Organic Energy Chews and Organic Energy Gels were recently recognized in the Women’s Running magazine “Run Yummy Awards” as most “tummy-friendly” and  “best overall,” respectively. Honey Stinger Energy Chews

“Our Organic Energy Chews have become extremely popular among consumers and athletes from all walks of life,” said Jenn Shea, Honey Stinger’s national sales manager. “The Backpacker Magazine Hall of Fame award underscores that our products are ideal for fueling the efforts of backpackers, climbers and thru-hikers as well as more typical endurance athletes.”

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews are available in Lime-Aid, Pomegranate Passion Fruit, Fruit Smoothie, Cherry Cola, Pink Lemonade, Orange Blossom and Cherry Blossom flavors. Honey Stinger Energy Gels are available in Classic Gold, Classic Ginsting, Organic Acai & Pomegranate, Organic Fruit Smoothie, Organic Vanilla and the recently introduced Organic Caffeinated Strawberry Kiwi and Organic Caffeinated Chocolate flavors. These two new Organic Caffeinated Energy Gel flavors were introduced in addition to the new Gingersnap Organic Stinger Waffle in May of this year. Honey Stinger will be showcasing these new products, in addition to their existing line of honey-based energy products, at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City on August 6-9.

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Nate Wilson of Honey Stinger/Bontrager wins Bailey Hundo

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New comer to the team this season, Nate Wilson has been having quite the debut year for his mountain bike racing campaign. After solid races at the Whiskey 50 Off Road events in Prescott, he’s been on a steady rise. Then, just last weekend Nate showed his abilities and took the big victory. 

“It was a tough race, but overall pretty smooth single track for the first

~60 miles that I was actually riding decent on and then road the last 40miles.

After the typical start of race chaos, it pretty much sorted out to me, Greg Krause, and Jake Wells at the front.  Jake was out descending us a bit, but not by a massive amount and we kept rolling back on the climbs.  After about

50 miles though I made a mistake on one techy section and went over the bars and lost those guys.  Eventually we popped out on the road at about mile 60.

I was solo from there for awhile, until I caught those guys on the long climb of Stony Pass.  I made it up to them midway up the climb and was able to put a gap on them.  Though I nearly lost it, because I thought it was all downhill from the top of the climb so I didn’t eat anything more because I was pretty cracked on eating.  But it was still another hour with a lot of hard rollers.  So I had a 2 minute gap for awhile, but started to come apart the last few miles and it was down to just 20seconds at the end.  But I held on for the win, with Greg Krause in 2nd and Jake in 3rd.  It was a fun race, but after going through that not sure I want to do a 100 miler ever again, ha!

Definitely threw down a lot of waffles and chews over the course of the day”

Big congrats again to Nate on his win! 

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