Andrew Councell / September 23
The Apex 22 compact-climbing pack has a tapered shape, minimal compression straps and zero extras. I tested it on single and multi-day trips and during a nine-day AMGA Alpine Guide course in the Cascades this summer. 4 out of 5 stars
A vague memory of colorful wings, weightlessness and freedom dissolves from my consciousness as I wake to the sound of a repetitive beep. The black of morning brings a familiar recognition of uncertainty.
"How could my alarm be going off already?"
Even before I can look at the glowing red numbers, my hand finds the small, plastic button to halt the disruption.
[Photo] Jeff Shapiro Collection