What bootedandfed.com is all about

        Well here it is, bootedandfed.com, the world will never be the same. Kidding. This is a web site dedicated to adventures in the backcountry. For me, backcountry travel, especially skiing, has been the natural progression. I skied at resorts for years.  Started at Bridger Bowl honing my skills on steep and rocky terrain, then moved to Alta to develop my powder skiing technique. Jackson Hole was the next logical step for bigger and badder mountains. While in Jackson, I gradually became less interested in skiing bumpy terrain with tons of people around. I was drawn to the vastness of wild terrain out there with less tracks. The backcountry is all about the planning, the search, the commitment, and the reward.

                Jason Harper was a backcountry skier. He passed away a few years ago trying to ski Mt Sanford in Alaska, solo. I will never forget the morning someone woke me up in the Fort, and I saw saw Harper standing on top of Country Lane. I thought wow, he must have started hiking in the dark. This was a new concept for me, I didn’t think people started skiing until the lifts started running.  Oh, and he skied it top to bottom without stopping all the way to the road. We definitely crossed paths a few times in bounds, and around the lodge. We may have even skied a real backcountry day together, I don’t recall. I don’t think I really skied with Jason until Las Lenas a few years later.

             Having  solid plans, with solid partners is the foundation of backcountry adventures. Harper was the first person to really put this idea in my head. One day I heard him talking to Wayne Collins, aka Wayno, about the next days plan. I heard him say ” What time do you want to leave”? Seemed like a logical question. Then they decided when to leave, and Harper came out with “Okay, booted and fed at 6”. I really didn’t think much of it at the time, just that it was a cool way to make a plan.

            The idea is to eliminate the variables leading up to a backcountry adventure by having a concrete plan. Early on in my skiing I made plans like normal people do. “Okay, lets go skiing tomorrow, I’ll call you in the morning”. To some people this seems like a perfectly effective way to go skiing. I’ve learned through personal, and more often anecdotal evidence, that this doesn’t work. The plan has too many holes for time to slip into.  It may work sometimes, but that just isn’t good enough.

            Being booted and fed at a certain time is crucial to the success of your adventure. If your a few minutes late to the ski resort to wait on lines all day, no big deal. If your a few minutes late in the backcountry,  it could mean life or death. In true backcountry situations, when you are really in the mountains, it is most important. If your booted and fed outside the tent and your buddy keeps hitting the snooze, there is a problem. Everyone takes a different approach to achieving the booted and fed status. Some are methodically slow, some methodically fast, and some methodically hopeless, you know who you are. You have to know what works best for you.

            This website has been a goal of mine ever since my partners and I started documenting adventures with a camera. I have a ton of past experiences to share with words and photos,  as well as many more to come. Being booted and fed, at the right time, with the right people, is the key to further progression in the mountains. Enjoy the ride.

                Thanks to all, you know who are.

Mike Calla

21 Responses to What bootedandfed.com is all about

  1. Ed Joyce says:

    Congrats Mike, You have some awesome pictures and stories to tell. I cant wait to see and read them all. I know your best is yet to come, Just dont give me any maple syrup that early in the morning, and I will be you partner anytime.

  2. michael nugent says:

    MIKE CALLA IS KING! just wanted to add something about this web-site’s namesake founder Jason Harper. Harper was my roommate in Alta Perivian Lodge’s notorious fort and treasured ski partner. He was, as Mike Calla mentioned, an avid backcountry skieur in a time when few people ventured beyond the ski area boundary. Harper skiied first descents world-wide and practically wrote the book on nomadic ski bum lifestyle. The thing about Jason Harper I remember and cherish the most was his unyielding generosity. Jason would endure fridgid Nantucket winters living in make shift tents working carpentry outdoors to afford ski-mountaineering. This hard lifestyle never once stopped Jason from volunteering to pay the tab, buying me a piece of backcountry gear I desperately wanted or packing the pipe. One love

  3. admin says:

    Nuge, thanks for the props, you were right there with me for a while . Now I have to have proof of cute bartenders, I will have to start taking pictures of them, you know for legal reasons. As Steven Tyler would say it’s time to be” back in the saddle again”. Lets try to ski together this winter. Harper was a true inspiration to all.
    Ed, I’ll be your partner anytime if you don’t leave hoagies in the back of a convertible 4 runner, in bear country.

  4. Jon Lewis says:

    Its worth the visit is my advise to any of the Mike Calla ski following to make the trip to a little known location called the Monu Sierra #5 Crowley Lake, CA. Once here you will be soon overwhelmed by “the monsters” (so described by the local legend “Powder Dan” ) and the abondence of skiable lines with a small approach. My old buddy / ex roomate ” Backcountry Mike” ( name given to Mike by his new Mammoth ski commrads) as soon as possible dragged me up a 12,670 mountain even before I could get the cobwebs off my legs. It was great to ski a big line after a winter that has shut down the tetons for larger decents. Here is pretty much bomber, which allowed for the increased enjoyment of ski mountaineering. For thoses nay sayers who question Mikes relocation to CA thats fine because the mountain ranges are long, unskied , uncrowded and unbelieveable. Mike and his local crew would like it to stay that way so stay home if your not interested in big days and quite surroundings. Thanks Mike for everything it has been a great trip!

  5. Alex says:

    I am am so proud to be your sister. You have taught me so much about other walks of life, just by your spirit and your philosophy of “living” as your full time career. Stay strong, safe and stay who you are! Cant wait to see you this summer to booze up the town together again. I’m ready for another climb!
    We all love you,
    Your New Jersey Family.

  6. doug harper says:

    Mike this a awesome website and even better photos. it is great to hear that jason inspired so many great people, i know that he inspired me. thanx for the great website and i am envious that you got to skii with jason. hope to ski with you soon. doug, jasons brother

  7. admin says:

    Doug, Jason was a great guy who inspired many more people out there with his commitment and dedication to backcountry skiing. I am glad to have known him. If your ever in the mammoth lakes area, or the Jackson Hole area we could ski together. Glad to hear you enjoy the site.

  8. Guy Calla says:

    Hey Mikey,
    “Mikey Meatball” has completed the tranformation to “Mikey Snowball”. What you are doing out there is truly unique…awesome! The pictures are fantastic! That’s coming from a guy who has had a few adventures in some God-forsaken places. My kids think I’m lying when I said you were my cousin. They want to know why you aren’t in the Olympics. They think it is sooo cool! I’m glad to see you on your feet and back at it again. Be Safe!!! Keep in touch when you can.
    – Guy

  9. Bill Duncan says:

    Dear Bear Grylls Jr. on skis:

    Do you carry one of those transponder things in case you ski down the wrong trail? Very beautiful and breathtaking. Ed gave me your website yesterday when I stopped for a beer at “Matta Donna” before going to see Delbarton beat Mountain Lakes 7-3 in lacrosse. Pete’s busy coaching his team and has three little kids. You look good and happy.
    – bill duncan

  10. Pete Duncan says:


    My father, the master blogger highly recommends bootedandfed and I can see why. I’ll be sure to have you bookmarked. Hope all is well out west. I look forward to seeing you again, likely at a wedding or in some non-mountainous terrain out east. Keep up the good work, buddy.

    Pete Duncan

  11. Scott says:

    Hey Mike,
    Really enjoy your blog. Would like to tell you about my new site http://peakery.com, lets you claim the peaks you summit and share trip reports and photos. Still a work in progress. Would love to hear what you think.

  12. wow I stumbled across this in the library, I remember getting some nice runs in LL with you calla, and I remember nuge eating his oatmeal with no milk or sugar at the peruvian. Jason will always be an inspirational person and I’m pleased to see you guys still remember him. best of luck to all of you.
    wayne collins

  13. admin says:

    Thanks Wayno, you and Jason definately showed me the ropes in LL thats for sure. You still in Breckenridge? Hope your still climbing up and skiing down. Take care fellow p-dawger

  14. Ian Persson says:


    Just ran in to Eddy and got your info for my upcoming JH trip, really looking forward to some great snow. Your site is great to say the least. All of you guys look like your having the time of your lives ever out there! Keep up the good work man..See you in early January..Keep that snow coming out there!

  15. Steve Vierling says:

    Hey Mike,
    It was great skiing with you & Bernie the last weekend of January, in the JH area. Things haven’t worked out yet with the part time gig that I expected, nor any full time work either. So, I’m taking the time that you guys lent me, as well as your website, as true inspiration and am trying to avoid the lifts more and more. – yesterday, I hiked Jones Pass/Butler Gulch. First few mins of descent were wonderful, but then windblown/packed snow lower down. Today, I hiked/skied Second Creek on the Winter Park side of Berthoud Pass. While it was really blowin’ up top, the snow was good.
    BTW, I meant to tell you in person – these videos show good form/hand position/upper body facing downhill correctly. I’ve shown them to some people as lessons in backcountry/powder skiing.
    Keep it up, and one more thing, if you haven’t seen this GNAR video yet, then crack and beer and get to it. While this video is not a perfect match for this site, it does incorporate a true loving of fun, friendly skiing as a foundation for life:
    Denver, CO

  16. admin says:

    Thanks Steve, always good to show someone around the Tetons, maybe you can do the same for me in Colorado. Seen the GNAR vid hilarious. I appreciate the props on the videos ,I dedicate my life to the sport. Keep climbing up and skiing down in Colorado.

  17. Brad Backus says:

    Hi Mike,
    I grew up with Jason and together we were like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. His brother Doug was the best man in my wedding two years after Jason went for his final simmit. Since he has gone I have gotten married, became a backcountry ski guide, and became the mayor of a small town in Idaho. All things I wish he could have seen, but if he was still here, I know I wouldn’t be were I am today. He is very missed and he will always live on in the hearts of those he touched. Thank you for being booted and fed.

  18. admin says:

    Brad, nice to hear another person affected by Jasons energy. He was the first to show me the way. Would love to ski in Idaho some day, the Lost River range looks pretty sick.

  19. Katy Chance says:

    I am an editor in Johannesburg, South Africa, and am running an FT (they are our half owners) piece about skiing/AT on Skillet Glacier, Mt Moran, Prospectors Peak, etc. Is it possible to use one of your pics to illustrate the piece, that will go online. Obviously we will credit bootedandfed.com, but unfortunately can’t offer any money for its use!
    Kind regards
    Katy Chance

  20. admin says:

    Sure, no problem, enjoy the photos.

  21. mtsplitski says:

    Cool manifesto. Never noticed it before. Really nice reading actually.

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