Mountain Standards

Posted December 25, 2007

Mountain Hardwear UltraLamina 32: My #1 Sleeping Bag

Every summer I spend many nights camped in the mountains, and this year has been no different. Alpine weather and conditions in my favorite local stomping grounds, the Bugaboos and Canadian Rockies, have tendencies to change faster than you can see them coming, and—all too often—you're shivering, getting snowed on or cowering from the latest thunderstorm. Fortunately, I was able to retreat on multiple occasions to the comforts of the Mountain Hardwear UltraLamina 32-degree synthetic sleeping bag.

Posted December 20, 2007

Metolius Ultralight Power Cams: A Perfect Rack-Up Buddy

I just returned from a rock-climbing trip to northern Patagonia's Bariloche, where we visited the new areas of La Buitrera and Roca Parada, a thousand-foot tower in the middle of the Patagonian pampa near Esquel. The new ultra-light Metolius Power Cams were our weapons of choice for all small cracks. Aside from being extremely light, the cams performed just as well on Patagonian granite as they did on andesite and sandstone. They are easy to place, have great range and holding power (5-10 kN, varying with size), and tested well in real life on numerous pitches, including a slippery 5.10c high off the deck.

Posted December 17, 2007

Mountain Hardwear Spire 2 Tent: Rugged and Lightweight

Lightweight at about 4.5 pounds. Watertight. Tough, durable, double-walled. It was too good to be true... on the whole, Mountain Hardwear's Spire 2 lightweight expedition tent fit all the specs I could hope for here in the Bugaboos, where rugged weather comes standard.

Posted December 12, 2007

Petzl Nomad 9.8mm Rope: The Workhorse

Petzl has a long history of developing quality and innovative products, and their new line of ropes is no exception. Aside from the bright green color, the Nomad immediately caught my attention out of the bag with a manufactured "ready for action" butterfly coil that required no painstaking uncoiling or restacking. Sweet! I hadn't even tied in yet and the rope already won points with me.

Posted December 7, 2007

Wild Country Zero Friends: Incredibly Light and Flexible

Wild Country claims their Zero Friends to be the "smallest cams in the world but the biggest dogs on the block." After putting them to the test this past summer, I must say that I agree. The Zeros are the lightest, smallest, and strongest cams of their size on the market.

Posted December 6, 2007

Metolius Logo Sock: Summer Style

A stylish—and useful—new accessory released this year is Metolius' Logo Sock. The sock is considered the most important accessory, second to the shoe, in most circles. Who wouldn't want a pair of high performance socks with Metolius' iconic little climber dude on the cuff? For me, they were a wish-list must have! Not only would they enhance the most important fashion accessory—the shoe—the little dude would be accessorizing and performing alongside my most important piece of equipment: my feet on a summer climbing tour. I suppose, in this case, it would be a summer sock tour.

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