Mountain Standards

Posted August 15, 2008

C.A.M.P. Nano Wire: Full-Strength Little Guy

These hot-forged 'biners are so sleek and small that friends have asked if the Nano Wire is designed for a key chain. To their surprise, I say these little guys are full-strength.



Posted August 11, 2008

Black Diamond Apollo: We Have Liftoff!

Having used the Apollo ski touring and climbing in the Canadian Rockies, I am so impressed that I feel the need to give this bright guy some hype.



Posted July 31, 2008

Scarpa Spectro: Sticks to Steep

I've found generally that what bouldering lacks in height, it makes up for in difficulty. Big-Nosed Millie (V9) at Hueco Tanks—a short, powerful, pocketed roof problem—is a classic example: a dirt-burgling lowball that will cramp your abdominals and snap your tendons. Although the aesthetics of this climb are far from world class, it was a perfect venue to test the aggressively downturned Scarpa Spectro climbing shoes.



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.



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