Mountain Standards

Posted September 12, 2014

Trango BallNutz: Clean Climbing Technology, Surpassed

High on El Cap a few years ago, I found myself 30 feet runout with ledge-fall potential breathing up my neck. A small fissure too small for any micro cam yet too parallel for any stopper split open the granite in front of my face. Placements like this made me wish I'd brought a set of slider nuts, though the need I had for that specialized protection is a rare moment in my life as a climber.



Posted October 8, 2013

Wild Country Recalls Their Rocks

"For the safety of all of our customers Wild Country are issuing an immediate recall of certain batches of Wild Country Classic Rocks and Anodised Rocks."



Posted September 26, 2013

Wild Country Helium: A Finicky But Quality Friend

I have spent the last year and a half plugging the Heliums into cracks throughout the Western US, including the North Cascades, Smith Rocks, Red Rock, Lover's Leap, Yosemite and a few other areas. While they have a design common among high-quality cams, they were trickier to place and to clean because of their stem length and, in the case of the larger sizes, trigger placement.



Posted July 16, 2013

AAC Publications Online Database: A Clean and (Mostly) Functional Upgrade

In all, the Club's new publications database will serve as a magnificent improvement over its finicky and frustrating predecessor (though there are still a few deficiencies to navigate). Users will find more of what they're looking for, and less of what they're not—presented in clean, readable format.



Posted May 16, 2013

Speedy Stitcher: Fix Everything

I rarely find a backpacking or climbing equipment problem that cannot be solved with intelligent application of webbing and Speedy Stitcher. And because its potential is limited only by your imagination, it's easily the best $21.99 of gear you will ever buy.



Posted April 1, 2013

C.A.M.P. Scorpio: The Half-Effective V-Threader

I bought the C.A.M.P. Scorpio V-Threader as a replacement for my C.A.M.P. Joker, a near-perfect v-threader that I dropped in the Alaska Range. Though both tools are light, simple and thread Abalakovs effectively, two differences make the Scorpio frustrating and ineffective at half its purpose.



Posted February 27, 2013

Grivel Force Carbon: Carbon Sea Horses with a Price on Their Heads

While the design looks too strange to be functional, and the price tag steep, I have to admit the performance of this odd shape signals a notable advance in ice axe technology.



Posted January 17, 2013

Petzl Nomic: My Deep Affection (Affliction?)

Every climber has a different torso length, forearm length, wrist flexibility, posture and middle school softball trauma; everyone's swing is different. Consequently, the swing of this tool will feel good to some and not to others. The Nomic climbs beautifully for me. It is one of the very few pieces of equipment that actually increases my ability level dramatically, rather than simply making me look the part.



Posted December 13, 2012

Voluntary Wild Country Helium Carabiner Recall

Wild Country issued a voluntary recall of the Helium carabiner on December 10, 2012. Find details in the following press release.



Posted November 15, 2012

Wild Country Ropeman 3: Recall and Alpinist Tester Observations

After spending several months playing with Wild County's new Ropeman 3, I began to wonder if I was using it incorrectly. Should it really be this hard?, I wondered. When Alpinist was contacted recently to help spread the word of the recall, I felt relieved that it wasn't just me.



Posted November 6, 2012

Asolo Cholatse TH: A Well-Made Boot From Boot Country

Geography is a big determinant of destiny. So it's only logical that Italy, a mountainous and boot-shaped country, would be home to many of the companies producing high-end footwear for our alpine endeavors. The nation with a centuries-old heritage of crafting fashionable and functional shoes is home to brands including La Sportiva, Scarpa, Kayland and the makers of my recently worn ice boots, Asolo.



Posted October 1, 2012

Trango Cinch: Smooth Operator



Posted September 17, 2012

Petzl Quark: Alpine Transformer

It's the modular components that really make the new Quarks stand out: I'll start at the spike. If climbing more snow than ice, simply use a hex wrench (provided) to remove the bottom grip rest. This allows for a great plunging experience from a technical tool.



Posted September 4, 2012

The GriGri2: Another Step In The Right Direction

It was 1994 and I was headed to the Valley. I'd saved up for an extended climbing trip and I would return to Salt Lake City with a donut for an account balance. A couple big-ticket items would put a dent in that savings right from the start. One was a portaledge. The other was a GriGri.



Posted July 24, 2012

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir: Compact, But Fragile

In all, the NeoAir's most impressive feature is its (remarkable) compressibility. On top of that, the outer nylon has a pleasant, grippy-but-not-sticky feel that keeps the pad from sliding around the tent; the entire package rolls nicely when you are deflating it; and it's more durable than I would have imagined. But there are a few things that keep this from being perfect in my mind.



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