Mountain Standards

Posted July 23, 2008

Arc'teryx Pali: The Thinking Man's Rope Bag

the Pali looked innovative, and I was excited to see what possibly could be new in rope bag design.

Posted July 14, 2008

Petzl Meteor III Helmet: Faithfully Lightweight

At 235 grams the Petzl Meteor III is extremely lightweight, and throughout the day I had to tap my head to make sure the helmet was still on.

Posted July 3, 2008

C.A.M.P. Carbon Fiber Avalanche Probe: Featherweight

Though marketed for "competitive ski mountaineering," and complying with the minimum requirements of the International Ski Mountaineering Federation, I have a feeling that its featherweight design will attract more than lycra-clad rando racers. Who wouldn't want to shave a few more ounces from their packs?

Posted June 26, 2008

C.A.M.P. Coral Harness: Light is Right

As a lightweight gear freak (and an aging alpinist), I am always looking for the latest and greatest in the ultralight world.

Posted June 16, 2008

PSolar BX Balaclava: Darth Vader on a Snow Machine

Although I found that the PSolar BX made breathing super-cold Alaskan air more comfortable, I have always been skeptical of any techy do-dads like flux capacitors and time machines.

Posted June 11, 2008

Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw: The Deluxe Sport Rig

Sometimes you have to try new gear that's really good to realize that your old stuff just isn't as effective as you thought. This was my experience when trying out the new Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraws. Though not light, BD's deluxe sport rig offers big and beefy 'biners with features that enable quick and efficient clipping. Whether pushing tricky sport clips or extending ice and mixed protection with a gloved hand, this quickdraw truly makes the job easier.

Posted June 4, 2008

Julbo Race Sunglasses: Built for Speed

As part of Julbo's Speed Series the Race is a great choice for high-speed activities such as skiing, biking, running and for windy mountain conditions.

Posted May 23, 2008

Nau Base2 Longsleeve Snap: Nau...But Not Forever

It’s the softest and nicest feeling base layer I’ve donned to date, has a subtle urban flair to it, and the more I found out about the company the more excited I became by what they described as their “business activism”.

Posted May 19, 2008

Petzl Laser Sonic Ice Screws

There seems to be quite a bit more brand-loyalty in the realm of ice climbing gear than in other arenas of equipment purchase. But is this partisanship and almost red state-blue state vehemence really necessary, or can brands play together nicely?

Posted May 13, 2008

Montbell Permafrost Down Parka: Little Red Jacket That Could

I also fall fate to being one of the most cold-challenged alpine guides in the Canadian Rockies, so when given the opportunity to test the MontBell Permafrost Down Parka I couldn't really refuse!

Posted May 8, 2008

La Sportiva Batura Boots: Comfort and Performance

La Sportiva has created another fine technical boot with the new Batura. I've used the Nuptse in the Himalaya, the Nepal Top all over the North Cascades and Ouray, the Trango Ice Evo and Women's Trango Evo GTX in Patagonia and at home in the San Juans. I've been happy with all of these La Sportiva models, which tend to fit narrow feet, like mine, especially well. I'm psyched on the new Batura because it fills the gap between the warmth of the Nuptse, as a quasi-double boot, and the technical performance of the Nepal Top or Evo. Its weight-to-warmth ratio sets it apart from the pack of other boots I've used over the years.

Posted May 1, 2008

Primus EtaPower MF Stove: Base Camp Powerhouse

The Primus EtaPower MF stove's most striking attribute was how quickly it boiled water. In 0 degree C weather it had 1.5 liters of water boiling in about three minutes.

Posted April 25, 2008

Exped Downmat 9: For a Solid Night’s Sleep

After a big session on the Torres in Patagonia last winter I came back to advanced base camp and found my body seizing up from raw abuse. I had never used an Exped Downmat 9 (distributed in North America by Outdoor Research), but I snagged one out of a friend's tent and collapsed into a solid night's sleep. As soon as I woke up I was jealous of my buddy's pad and swore I'd never do another expedition without one. Since then, the Downmat 9 has allowed me to have sweet dreams while camped on the rock slabs in the Bugaboos, as well as some winter roadside bivies along the Icefields Parkway in the cold Canadian Rockies.

Posted April 21, 2008

La Sportiva Trango Extreme Evo Light: Warmth and Stability

Preparing for an ice climbing trip is like preparing for war. The enemy: screaming barfies, brittle ice and—worst of all—warming your partner's freezing toes on your stomach. So when packing for a day of climbing in the Canadian Rockies, I was glad to know my feet would be well taken care of in the Trango Extreme Evo Light boots. I have owned the La Sportiva Trango boots, the little sister boot without a toe-bail notch, for a while. They are super comfortable, but a bit soft for long sections of ice. So for the artillery, I chose the Trango Extremes.

Posted April 15, 2008

Lowe Alpine Summit Attack 30 Hyperlite: A Solid Little Pack

In my decade-long quest to find the perfect little pack, one that has all the right features and none of the bells and whistles, this one comes as close as it gets. The Lowe Alpine Summit Attack 30 Hyperlite is the only pack I've owned that's been spared the knife and trimming that my other packs have been subjected to. It may not be the beefiest, but as long as it lasts, it'll be comfortably on my back.

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