Mountain Standards

Posted September 25, 2008

C.A.M.P. Corsa Ice Axe: Too Light for a Real Challenge

The Corsa is ideal for low-angle glacier travel, moderate ski mountaineering and adventure racing but, if there's a chance you might find yourself in more serious terrain, you'll wish you packed something more hefty.



Posted September 22, 2008

Millet Peuterey 40: The Brawny Ski-Mountaineering Pack

The Millet Peuterey 40 is marketed as a “versatile summer/winter mountaineering pack for one-to-two day excursions,” but at 4.2 pounds, this little pack weighs in heavy for its limited capacity.



Posted September 16, 2008

Marmot Kingpin Jacket: Versatile in Winter

This jacket is ideal for colder, higher-altitude alpine climbs like those found in the Canadian Rockies, Alps and Andes, making it an amazingly versatile jacket for cold-weather use.



Posted September 10, 2008

Cloudveil Enclosure Hooded Jacket: Little Guy in a Fat Coat

The Enclosure survived two months in the Chugach, two weeks in the Alaska Range, and a week rock climbing at the local crag with only slight abrasion marks, one pinhole, and a lovely stain pattern.



Posted August 28, 2008

Gregory Z30 Pack: Superior Suspension

Because of its ability to hold up in the rugged, perform well on peaks and offer superior suspension in all conditions, this little pack gets an Alpinist Mountain Standards medal.



Posted August 22, 2008

La Sportiva Women's Miura: There's No Going Back

If you like a stiff and aggressive shoe that offers supreme advantages for edging and toeing in pockets, then this is the shoe for you.



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.



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