Mountain Standards

Posted February 22, 2006

Patagonia RI Granular Jacket great for all occasions

I spent over a week in the Canadian Rockies and the R1 Granular Jacket hardly ever left my body. I don't think I can say enough about this piece from Patagonia. As someone who has eliminated many fleece garments for typical layering in recent years I've found that the R1 is already indispensable for me.



Posted February 9, 2006

Petzl Corax Harness

This harness is a Cadillac for comfort and Petzl's slick buckle system helps keep you safe without having to double back the waist belt or leg loops. This feature also makes it super fast to change layers on the move. I've used the Corax extensively for rock climbing, ice climbing and alpine routes.



Posted February 1, 2006

Vasque Ice 9000

I put these boots to the test on Denali. They sailed me up and down the mountain attached to snowshoes, skis and crampons. I wore them nonstop for 21 days (when I wasn't sleeping or lucky enough to be in my down booties) and never got a single blister.



Posted January 25, 2006

Having a Petzl Reverso means one-stop shopping

Petzl again led the pack in bringing us this super versatile, self-braking belay device. Most other manufacturers have scrambled to follow suit, but the Reverso still gets my vote for simplicity and smooth feed in all categories.



Posted December 6, 2005

La Sportiva Exum Ridge Approach Shoe

When La Sportiva first came out with the Exum Ridge approach shoe, it was a winner. I wore mine up and down the Grand Teton guiding moderate routes during many long days in the mountains until they practically fell off my feet, threadbare.



Posted November 27, 2005

Vasque M-Finity boots bring you back home

For me, a good mountain boot not only has to climb well, it has to get me to the climb. I'm not carrying a boot on my back, I'm going to wear it all day, there and back. I checked out the Vasque M-Finity on the 13,770-foot Grand Teton during the early part of last summer.



Posted November 14, 2005

Marmot Lithium Sleeping Bag

I am psyched that winter is on its way, so I can start using the Marmot Lithium Sleeping Bag again. Before I received this sack, I had been using a negative 20-degree option lined with a waterproof shell, from a leading competitor. When I first tried the Lithium from Marmot, I was amazed at how warm it kept me, at almost 2 pounds less in weight.



Posted September 12, 2005

Osprey Exposure Backpacks

We have just received some samples of the new Exposure packs from Osprey. The haulers look nicely built with lightweight materials and many of the features that I personally tend to like, such as gear loops, removable lids, and "lockable" ski straps, something many packs lack. The big story about these packs is their moldable waist belts...yes, just like the liners of your plastic boots.



Posted August 16, 2005

Mammut Infinity 9.5mm Rope

Mammut is well known for making very nice climbing ropes and the Infinity 9.5mm is no exception. It fits the bill perfectly as many climbers seem to be choosing skinnier and lighter ropes these days for the majority of their climbing endeavors.



Posted August 16, 2005

Mammut Courmayeur Pants

The Mammut Courmayeur Pant is our choice over the popular Champ due to it's reinforced patches over the knees, seat and cuff. They add durability and longevity from the daily wear and tear of crampons, ski edges and rocks.



Posted August 16, 2005

Mammut Dyneema 8mm Slings

It took me a while, but I have finally collected a bunch of Mammut Dyneema 8mm slings. You definitely notice the reduction in bulk and weight when you have a full allotment of these puppies for your rack, with all sizes from 30cm to 240cm lengths.



Posted August 8, 2005

La Sportiva Trango S EVO GTX

The Trango S EVO GTX is just as much a boot as it is a mouthful to say. It is one of the most versatile and comfortable three-season mountaineering boots ever. The last is wide enough for our fat American feet and the sole is moderately stiff which allows it to still be flexible enough for many miles of happy hiking.



Posted August 1, 2005

Vasque Pingoras

I had a pair of these sticky rubber shoes last summer; I think I ran up the Grand Teton in them as well. These kicks provide excellent stability, sensitivity, rock adhesion and rock protection, whether it be a stroll around the lake or a tricky cairn laden climbers trail that peters out into granite.



Posted August 1, 2005

The North Face Redpoint Optimus Jacket

While not the lightest or warmest insulating layer on the market, the Redpoint Optimus from The North Face shines as an extremely versatile piece. It provides the perfect amount of insulation for those stop and go activities when layered over or under your hardshell/softshell.



Posted August 1, 2005

The North Face Spire Packs

Kudos to The North Face for coming up with a great-fitting pack geared specifically for technical climbing. The Spire is available in 30, 33(w's), 38, and 45 liter capacities, so you can find what you need for both cragging and alpine routes. I am definitely a pack critic and often carve off fluff with my knife, but I have lugged this one up many peaks as is.



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