Ken Galbraith comes from Scots-Appalachian mountain stock. He learned about the hills from his father and grandfather as a boy. As is often the case with young men of that background, he decided to join the service.
Ken ended up in the 10th Special Forces Group where he learned military mountaineering and skiing including completion of the Swiss Military Mountaineering School and time spent as one of the original instructors in the USASOC Mountain Master Trainer Course in Colorado. This heavy involvement with skiing and mountaineering equipment over nearly 3 decades gives Ken a historical perspective on the evolution of outdoor equipment that is both valuable and rare. In addition to mountaineering, Ken trained as an SF medic, assaulter, and military free fall parachutist.
After his time in 10th Group, Ken had a couple of other SOF assignments and also a stint as a DOD contractor. Over the course of his 25 year career in the US Army, he served in Desert Shield/Storm, the Balkans, East and West Africa, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He retired as a Sergeant Major in 2010.
Currently, Ken is a member of a Personnel Recovery Unit for the DOJ, where he teaches Law Enforcement personnel preparedness, survival, land navigation, and situational awareness skills to help them survive isolating events in austere environments worldwide. He and the other members of the Personnel Recovery Unit respond to assist and advise DOJ leadership in the event of an emergency. He also teaches military mountaineering skills to select LEO personnel to enhance their effectiveness in mountain environments on overseas missions.
Ken continues to be active in mountain sports, particularly with alpine climbing and backcountry skiing. After a full career using a wide variety of both military and civilian outdoor gear and clothing, Ken has learned what products will handle the rigors of rugged backcountry use and what ones fall short. He believes that having the proper equipment in the outdoors can often make the difference between a successful backcountry outing and a life threatening survival epic.
You can follow Ken’s backcountry wisdom on our forum, where he posts under the name Alpendrms.