The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
The rest of the MS Team
Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner
Posted on: July 26, 2005
The Hotwire carabiner is the classic wiregate for both winter and summer. As the first to use the wiregate concept, Black Diamond opened the door for others to follow, and by God, they have. Virtually every manufacturer in the industry now has at least one option in this category and in a wide variety of shapes and sizes as well. No wonder, since the wiregate outrivals other kinds of carabiners with its reduced weight, freeze resistance, better snow performance and even safer climbing because it helps reduce the dreaded "whiplash effect." The smooth gate operation of the Hotwire continues to allow flawless clipping in all situations, and its full size permits easy handling with gloves.