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Alex  Chocholousek

Alex Chocholousek

Black Hills, SD; Northern MN; Patagonia, Chile; Horsepens 40, AL

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Roxanne's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Paddling
Climbing

Roxanne's Bio

What gets me going?

Mother nature, and her call for us to learn more about her and ourselves. Being in nature is therapeutic for our souls. With every step, finger lock, and paddle stroke, we should be opening ourselves to what she has to say to us. Beauty knows no limits, my friends.

Alex  Chocholousek

Alex Chocholousek wrote a review of on December 9, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

First off, while not the lightest alpine-style pack out there, this thing is made of some super tough materials. I like the philosophy Sierra Designs used in creating this pack - it's old-school toughness (nice, tough, cordura-like fabric, tubular webbing on haul points) mixed with forward-thinking features. I really like the ice tool attachment system, very secure, and the crampon pocket is tougher than heck. My one complaint is that the "brain" is maybe a bit over-designed - there is a fleece goggle pocket that folds out (which I love, by the way) AND another zippered pocket on the inside of a overly (for the pack size) large "brain". I'm not much a "brain" user anyway, so I strip it and save some weight. The cinch collar material at the opening of the pack is super tough and plentiful, so it works well for this. All in all, everything you could possibly want in a cragging/alpine pack is here, plus this thing will last a long time, from what I can tell. Highly recommended.

Also, for what it's worth, the "rock" color - which looked black to me on my computer screen online, but is actually a medium-dark gray - looks great!

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Alex  Chocholousek

Alex Chocholousek wrote a review of on June 24, 2011

5 5

These shoes are just killer. I just returned from a climbing trip in the Black Hills of South Dakota (unbelievable world-class climbing of all types, by the way), and got the chance to wield these (after breaking in). On technical granite face, these things didn't slip up once. They edged on the smallest of crystals, and stuck to everything. The rubber (typical 5.10 greatness) is simply a minor miracle. They are super stiff at first (although not quite as stiff as the blancos), but softened up with only a couple days of wearing. I can't say anything for durability yet, but they seem to be just bomber. You want to get the sizing right on these, however. My street shoe is an 11 no matter what brand, so I purchased a 10.5 in these, hoping for a comfortable all-day, yet performance (oxymoron?) fit. They were definitely tight, and at the end of long routes (even just 2 or 3 shorter pitches), my toes were hating me. I went up a half to 11, my street shoe size, and they are great for all day, and being so stiff, they don't need to be painfully tight to perform. Just fyi, I have a ridiculously high arch which makes fitting shoes interesting.

All in all, these are just trucker for vertical technical routes. I can't speak for them on overhanging stuff, however, I could see them working. If you are looking for a shoe to climb overhung rock, then these probably aren't at the top of your list anyway as they are not extremely aggressive, at least in the camber.

Highly recommended!

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Alex  Chocholousek

Alex Chocholousek wrote a review of on April 12, 2011

Smooth Draw
5 5

These are great quickdraws. The nitron 'biner on the top is pretty light for a full size cylinder-gate, and is super easy to handle (fits nice in the hand). It is basically just a lighter, overall smoother and better version of the BD positron (and you all know how solid those puppies are). The hotwire has about the smoothest gate on any wire gate 'biner around, making for some easy clips when you're pumped out of your mind. The dogbone, after BD upped it to 14mm, is surprisingly easy to grab, and doesn't twist. The 10mm was too skinny in the past for anything but superlight 'draws like the oz, but these seem to bridge the gap between the fat and the super skinny dogbones. Not the absolute lightest draw out there, but still really light, and they just feel good in the hand and in use. Highly recommended!

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