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I can still remember the first time I saw a headlamp. I was twelve years old, my dad and I were headed up to Treasure Mountain Scout Camp for a Youth Leadership Program called Cedar Badge. We stopped at a gear shop in Driggs, Idaho called Yostmark. They had a couple of the headlamps in a glass case, complete with the gigantic 4.5 volt flat battery. The shop owner took one out and explained how it worked. My dad and I were very impressed and could see how much better it would be than the Maglights we both had for the week in the mountains. We left the shop with 2 new headlamps and a promise not to tell mom.

About a year later I was using that same headlamp on the early morning approach up the Grand Teton with my best friend’s dad, my friend’s little sister and another climber who I met the night before. The light from the headlamp eliminated some of the uncertainty the darkness hid and I felt about the climb. I was going to be leading the second rope, and despite having spent a lot time preparing for the climb I was nervous. The little cone of light produced by the headlamp was solace in the unknown dark of the approach and became a constant companion during nearly all the adventures of my youth.

Scott Nelson (left), my best friend’s dad, took me (center) and his daughter, Sarah (right), up the Grand Teton when I was 13. It was an incredible adventure and the first time climbing a technical route with a headlamp, in this case the Petzl Zoom.

27 years later, I am still an avid fan of a quality headlamp, and continue using them to have all sorts of rad adventures. I am very excited to announce that I recently officially joined Petzl as an athlete, and see many more adventures with their amazing headlamps in the future. Currently, I am a huge fan of the Swift RL which was my go to headlamp for the Millwood 100 this past September. Great battery life, incredible brightness, and reliability make it an amazing light for the dark.

Sometime in the middle of the night with Erik Storheim during the Millwood 100, using the Petzl Swift RL.