Washington and the PacNW
After reading some mixed reviews on this bivy, I decided to give it a shot in an effort to lighten up my kit by about a pound. I was hoping to use it in moderate weather in the alpine where little to no precipitation would be seen. As the weather forecast was looking beautiful, I took it out this weekend for a test run atop a snowy ridge in the Cascades. Ideal conditions, clear skys, light wind, no snow, and this thing managed to sucked hard. I woke up three hours into the night to find the inside of the bivy completely soaked. A few hours later and my bag was soaked through and no longer providing me warmth. I have no idea how the product description can claim bit of breathability, as this bivy was about as breathable as a trash bag. Quite a long and cold night from that point on. A point to note; I slept with the hood open and my face out into the air all night long. My breath did not contribute to the condensation in the bag. The seams were also sealed with Seamgrip prior to spending a night in it.
It was a bummer that this bivy didn't work out as I would have liked. I don't recommend this, or any Black Diamond bivy made of this material to anyone who would use it in an alpine environment. I'm glad I tested it on a mellow climb where the only repercussions were a shiver bivy and a lack of sleep. Anything bigger and things could have been worse.
Do yourself a favor and steer clear of BD bivys.
This helmet is crazy light, but doesn't sacrifice any coverage area, the best of both worlds. It honestly doesn't feel like it's there sometimes.
Just the right amount of hardshell coating in the spots where it matters, none where it doesn't to save on weight. It's been pretty durable so far, although I've only had it out a few times. Beat the crap out of if ice climbing the other weekend and took lots of ice to the head over two days and the helmet doesn't show a scratch.
Adjustment is easy to dial in and it fits nicely to my head. Will be interesting to see how if fells when skiing.
A great addition to your kit if you're looking to cut weight in the helmet area. You really can't find a lighter helmet!
These boots will work fine on any mountain in the lower 48 in all seasons. Provided you keep moving your feet will be fine. IF you're really worried about it, you can try an overboot but I think you'll find it too warm. Plastics are overkill in my opinion.
I'll never wear polypro ever again after wearing a merino wool base layer. It breathes like no other and absorbs more moisture than polypro but dries slower so you don't freeze in a matter of minutes when you stop what you're doing. Also, it doesn't retain smell, which is a godsend as polypro develops a funk that no amount of washing can cure.
Stoic's version is very nice and a great value, especially if you pick it up on SAC. Get one and you'll never go back to your stinky polypro ever again
Nice and versatile mitts. Use them on their own when the temps drop or with the cornice or alti shells for insane warmth and waterproofness! Can't go wrong with OR's lifetime guarantee either
I took the opportunity to extensively play with and test all three of the "high end" beacons (S1, Pulse, DPS) on the market recently when upgrading from a 10 year old tracker, and the Mammut was by far my favorite. To me, the interface was very easy and intuitive to read and use. The GUI has no frills or pictures of little buried men like the S1, which to me seemed clunky and awkward. Just a list of buried signals, a floating arrow, and a number; perfect. Marking signals is easy, and scrolling through signals in multiple burial situations is easy and gives you the info you need quickly to determine who to locate first.
Being able to hear the analog signal too also aids in searching, and if all else fails and the software starts going crazy, you can always switch over to analog mode and you're still in business.
The newer firmware has gotten rid of much of the annoying "Stand Still" and "Hold Level" messages that used to pop up all of the time. I rarely see any of these now.
As always for any beacon, practice with it and become proficient with it so it becomes second nature to use.
Bottom line; this is a great beacon with many advanced features that can really aid in a recovery situation. Even with all of the bells and whistles though, the interface makes it easy for anyone to just pick up and start using without prior experience. Worth the extra $$ over other models.
Having owned and used both, I prefer the Pulse for it's multi-burial capabilities and I like GUI better on the Pulse. The claim that the DTS is "faster" is BS; both are equally as fast in a single burial situation given sufficient practice with each unit.
The DTS can handle multiple burials, but we've noticed on several occasions that it gets bogged down and slows the more signals that are marked. This can be alleviated by turning the unit off and then back on again to clear the buffer, but then you lose your marked signals, and you lose time; very annoying. This is why I went with the Pulse in the end.
The liners have a couple millimeters of primaloft on the top of the hand and a midweight fleece type material on the bottoms of the palm and fingers. My hands don't feel restricted at all with the liner+glove combo.
Pairing these with a lighter inner liner, like what you're describing, for not-so-cold temps works great. I frequently use a light OR fleece glove as an inner liner when I know the temps won't be bitter.
I'm of the thought that you should always carry one of these guys with you when you're heading out on a climb that will require you to rappel. Whether to replace old, worn rings on other rap stations, or to set up a new one, I feel much safer running my rope through one of these guys rather than straight through a sling, and these cost less than a biner.
Just carry one, you'll be glad you did when you need it
That's the question I've been asking myself every time I take these boots out. The "up" in these boots is awesome. I've never actually found myself really looking forward to the up until owning these boots. The range of motion is huge letting me take bigger strides and go faster without having to fight the boot. The rockered sole and metatarsal flex provide for a more natural stride that is much more comfortable than franken-stepping.
Transition is a snap and very easy. Slide the removable tongues in (if you want) and lock down the two buckles and your transition is complete. You'll have to come up with something to kill the time as you wait for your buddies to finish fiddling with their clunky boots.
Then there in the downhill performance...which is excellent! With the tongues inserted, these boots ski similar to other stiff 4 buckle boots out there. The stiffness is pretty even throughout the flex, and you can really drive these pretty hard without blowing them out. I'm 170lbs and can't flex through these with the tongue in.
Bottom line; these boots are an amazing step forward in touring boots. Huge range of motion and comfort on the up, very stiff and responsive on the down. This is THE touring boot to have.
Quick note on sizing; I found that they run a little small. I generally take a 27.5 in ski boots (Scarpa, Saloman) but comfortably fit into a 28.5 in these.
Solid construction, strong materials. I trust my life to these and they work great
I really like this little device. It's smaller and lighter than both versions of grigris, and feeds out rope easier and faster in my opinion. Feeding out rope also feels safer on the cinch than feeding on a grigri as you aren't pinching the cam down in order to feed rope fast.
While lead belaying with the cinch isn't intuitive at first, after a couple uses you'll get the hang of it and belaying with it will be second nature. Top roping or belaying a second is the same action as an ATC, so no learning curve. Watch Trango's video on how to use this and you'll be comfortable with it in no time.
The lowering seems touchy but again, it just takes a few uses to get used to it. You can also redirect the rope through a biner clipped to a leg loop to give even more control in the lower.
The device catches falls quickly but provides a measure of dynamic belay as well, which is always nice on a lead fall.
In all this is the best brake-assisting belay device on the market in my opinion. Take a little extra time to learn it and break the habit of a grigri and you won't want to pick up that grigri again!
I've had no problem getting great smears with these. The downturn isn't as drastic as other shoes and allows you to get some great surface contact while smearing. Definitely a much different shoe when compared to something like a Team.
I own both Teams and Quantums and my teams rarely see any more use now.
Any axe will do; you're really only spending the extra money on this for the weight savings. Any of the BD Ravens, Grivels, or other CAMP axes will all function basically identically. People just really like this axe since it's so light, but you can get away with paying a lot less for basically the same performance in a slightly heavier package.
They will work with any tech binding; so Dynafit, G3 Onyx or others like those.
I have sizes 0-2 on my rack and really like them. They feel very solid and the action is deliberate and reassuring. 4 lobes on cam sizes this small is nice to have. The stem has a nice flex to it as well, but not so much to buckle when using the trigger (unlike the larger sizes).
I'd definitely recommend master came for smaller placement options
I've had pretty much the same experience as dwpow. When going up or down they've been fine as far as warmth goes. The only time my feet got cold was when I was sitting on a lift when I took them to a resort, but even then it wasn't anything unbearable.
As my first touring boot, I was blown away by how different these felt than my previous alpine boots. They're very comfortable and light when compared to their beefier counterparts and make a great touring boot for short to moderate length tours.
I've been using these for over two years now and they've performed well in the situations I've thrown at them. On the up they articulate well and have a good range of motion for a easier stride. Also, having the toe tech fittings mounted a bit rearward than "normal" does make a difference and feels nicer and more natural in stride. The articulated green tongue aids in comfort when touring and is sufficiently stiff on the down. For resort/sidecountry days I'll slip the black, stiffer tongue in for added support and running the groomers.
The Intuition liners are top notch and very comfortable. Once mine were dialed in, I haven't had a problem with the fit on these in the two years I've abused them. The liners are also very warm! Often my boots end up like saunas in these boots while touring, but the liners do a good job of keeping moisture at a reasonable level inside as to not make your feet freeze when you stop moving and keep you pretty toasty when sitting around camp. The plastic grippy coating on the bottom of the liners is a nice touch and lets you wear them around camp as booties after you're done touring for the day.
All in all I've been happy with the spirit 4s and I'd recommend them to anyone looking for a touring boot that doesn't compromise much on the downhill but still comes in lighter than other beef AT boots out there.
Bomber mitts; the warmest on the market. The shell is Primaloft filled and can be worn by itself in less cold temperatures, or in combination with a variety of liner options that OR has. I find that the included liner is too heavy for most of the conditions I'm out in, so I use a PL150 or PL400 glove liner instead. This also gives me the dexterity I need on more technical routes, yet will keep my hands crazy warm when the temp drops.
If you need a really warm mitt for extreme temperatures, this is the only option worth considering.
The Onyx is a nice system for those looking for an alternative to a Dynafit binding. While not the lightest weight tech binding option, I believe it's features make the little bit of extra weight worth it over their counterparts. For one, switching from ski to tour can be done without removing the ski. Yes, I know you can kind of do this with dynafits, but it's much more fiddly than throwing the lever on the onyx.
Second, the heal risers are flip risers. I've never been a fan of the "spin the post" system on dynafit binders and have seen a few break due to this leaving the skiier in a crappy situation not being able to ski out; I don't have to worry about that with the onyx. Even if a riser breaks, my heel post is still sound and I can ski out.
Third and one of the most important is the way the toe jaw operates. On the onyx you must press on the forward piece to open the jaws and insert your toe. While I agree that this makes it kind of a pain to put on in powder or on a steep section, it prevents lateral toe prerelease. All the dynafit models (save next years radical with power towers that help to combat this) are prone to this sort of release when the boot sees a high lateral load. The wings flex and can pop open, releasing your toe piece too early. Since the onyx naturally wants to clamp rather than open, it will take a far higher load to initiate a prerelease. While this problem isn't glaring (people have been using dynafits for years) it's something I didn't really want to take the chance with. Personal preference really.
I've been skiing on the onyx for two years now and haven't had any major issues that any of the other reviewers have had. They've seen plenty of backcountry and resort days and I couldn't be happier with them. You can't ski them hard like a duke, so if you're going to go huck yourself off of stuff consider a different binding and don't complain when these don't preform in that manner. Use them for their intended uses and you'll love them.
This Usage Agreement (the "Agreement") governs your conduct while using various services on the web site Backcountry.com and its affiliate web sites (collectively, the "Site"). All references to "we," "us," and "our" shall mean Backcountry.com and all references to "you" and "your" shall mean the user of the Site and Site Services. This Agreement applies to various services and activities on the Site as well as to gear review and product ratings (collectively, "Site Services"). Please read this Agreement carefully.
BY ACCESSING, BROWSING, AND USING THE SITE, ANY SITE SERVICES AND OTHER SERVICES THEREIN, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THIS AGREEMENT AND ITS TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THIS AGREEMENT OR ANY SUBSEQUENT MODIFICATION THEREOF, DO NOT ACCESS, BROWSE OR OTHERWISE USE THE SITE OR SITE SERVICES, INCLUDING THE SUBMISSION OF ANY REVIEWS OR COMMENTS.
Any comments, reviews (including gear reviews and product ratings), posts, feedback, questions, answers, notes, messages, images, video, audio, materials, documents, data, graphics, ideas, suggestions or other communications (collectively, "User Content") you submit on the Site are not private or proprietary. By submitting User Content on or through the Site, you grant, assign and transfer to Backcountry.com all of your rights, title and interest, including without limitation, all intellectual property rights and moral rights, in and to such User Content. To the extent the preceding assignment and transfer is ineffective, you hereby grant Backcountry.com an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, adapt, display, publish, archive, store, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon such User Content, in any form, media, software or technology of any kind now existing or developed in the future.
By submitting such User Content on or through the Site, you are confirming that (a) you are the sole author of the User Content and the User Content originated with you and not copied in whole or in part from any other work; (b) you have obtained all necessary permissions associated with the User Content, including without limitation permissions relating to copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity and/or rights of privacy; (c) the User Content does not contain hate speech or profanity and is not unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, defamatory, vulgar, libelous, obscene, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable, an invasion of another's privacy, or otherwise in violation of this Agreement; (d) that you are not a minor and have the legal right and capacity to enter into and comply with this Agreement; (e) such User Content does not and will not, in any way, violate or breach any of the terms of this Agreement; and (f) Backcountry.com shall not in any circumstances be required to pay or incur any sums to any person or entity as a result of its use or exploitation of the User Content.
With respect to your conduct on the Site or while using the Site Services, you agree not to: (a) attempt to disguise the origin of any User Content transmitted to the Site Services whether through the Site or any third party site; (b) act in any manner that negatively affects other users' ability to use the Site and Site Services; (c) impersonate any person or entity, including without limitation, a manufacturer or owner of any product, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; (d) interfere with the Site or Site Services, or servers or networks connected to the Site or Site Services, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies, or regulations of networks connected to the Site or Site Services; (e) upload, post, or otherwise transmit any User Content that with respect to the Site Services: (i) is not relevant to the product, service, person or entity being reviewed; (ii) you do not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (by way of example but not limitation, inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements); (iii) contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; or (iv) is unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation.
User Content does not reflect the views of Backcountry.com, and Backcountry.com does not represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, completeness, timeliness, integrity, quality or reliability of any User Content, nor does Backcountry.com endorse or support any opinions expressed in any User Content. In no event shall Backcountry.com have or be construed to have any responsibility or liability for or in connection with any User Content, Any gear reviews and/or product ratings submitted on the Site, if displayed, are displayed for entertainment and informational purposes only. Under no circumstances will Backcountry.com be liable in any way for any User Content, including but not limited to, any errors or omissions in any User Content, or for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any User Content posted, emailed or otherwise transmitted via the Site or Site Services.
If Backcountry.com determines, in our sole and absolute discretion, that you or any User Content you submit violates this Agreement, we reserve the right, at any time, without notice and without limiting any and all other rights Backcountry.com may have under this Agreement, to: (a) refuse to allow you to submit further User Content; (b) remove and delete your User Content; (c) revoke your registration and right to use the User Content Submission Features; and (d) use any technological, legal, operational or other means available to enforce the terms of this Agreement, including, without limitation, blocking specific IP addresses or deactivating your registration, access to the Site and Site Services using your e-mail address, and your user name and password. Without limiting the foregoing, once User Content is submitted to the Site, Backcountry.com may take any or no action with respect to such User Content, including without limitation, deleting, editing, modifying, rejecting, or refusing to post such User Content, but is under no obligation to offer you the opportunity to edit, delete or otherwise modify User Content once it has been submitted. Backcountry.com shall have no duty to attribute authorship of User Content to you and shall not be obligated to enforce any form of attribution by third parties.
If, despite the foregoing assignment and transfer of rights in the User Content, it is determined that you retain moral rights (including the rights of attribution or integrity) in the User Content, you hereby declare that: (a) you do not require that any personally identifying information be used in connection with the User Content or any derivative works of or upgrades or updates thereto; (b) you have no objection to the publication, use, modification, deletion and exploitation of the User Content by Backcountry.com or its licensees, successors or assigns; (c) you forever waive and agree not to claim or assert any entitlement to any and all moral rights of an author in any of the User Content; and (d) you forever release Backcountry.com, and its licensees, successors and assigns from any claims that you could otherwise assert against Backcountry.com by virtue of any such moral rights.
You are prohibited from violating the security of any system or network compromising the Site or the Site Services, including but not limited to the following: (a) unauthorized access to or use of data, systems, or networks, including any attempt to probe, scan or test the vulnerability of the Site or Site Services or to breach security or authentication measures; (b) unauthorized monitoring of data or traffic on the Site or of the Site Services; (c) interference with the Site or Site Services including without limitation, any type of flooding technique or deliberate attempt to overload the system such as denial or service attacks; (d) forging of a message header or any part of a message header; or (e) using manual or electronic means to avoid any use or access limitation placed on this Site or the Site Services. Such violations may result in criminal or civil liability.
Backcountry.com reserves the right to report any activity or persons that Backcountry.com suspects has violated any law or regulation to appropriate law enforcement officials, regulators, or other appropriate third parties (including the disclosure of appropriate subscriber information). Backcountry.com may also cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies to assist in the investigation and prosecution of any illegal conduct. Indirect or attempted violations of this Agreement and actual or attempted violations thereof by a third party on behalf of any user shall be considered violations of this Agreement by such user.
BACKCOUNTRY.COM DOES NOT ENDORSE THE USER CONTENT, IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE USER CONTENT AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, PERSONS WHO MAY USE OR RELY ON SUCH USER CONTENT) FOR ANY LOSS, DAMAGE (WHETHER ACTUAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR OTHERWISE), INJURY, CLAIM, LIABILITY OR OTHER CAUSE OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER BASED UPON OR RESULTING FROM ANY USER CONTENT PROVIDED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.