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Alex King

Alex King

Bay Area/Sierra Crags

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Sport Climbing

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Alex King

Alex King wrote an answer about on June 4, 2010

At the end of the day, this is just a quirky tube device, and does everything a reverso or guideATC can do. The unique feature is that horn that is used to add extra friction when rapping on skinny lines, which would require an extra carabiner for most rappel brakes. So if all you want this for is canyoneering, it could be good since it has the most variable friction of all the tube devices. Otherwise, on multi-pitch you might want a simpler device for belaying off the anchor.

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Alex King

Alex King wrote a review of on June 2, 2010

4 5

This book should be the bible of every outdoor enthusiast's library. That said, the broad nature of the text does make it clumsy to use sometimes, and definitely lacks clarification on the thought process that should go into each technique. Everything is in there though, just take it with a grain of salt, and make sure that you supplement your reading with more specialty texts as well.

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Alex King

Alex King wrote a review of on May 29, 2010

5 5

This lid seems bomber enough for the job, without weighing a ton. I haven't taken any hits while wearing this yet, but I'm not too worried about it. I don't use it as a sit pad, but otherwise haven't felt the need to protect it from the other contents of my pack. Adjustment for beanies is no problem, and makes quick changes easy. I haven't ever had another helmet to compare, but I can't imagine ever wanting something different.

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Alex King

Alex King wrote a review of on May 28, 2010

4 5

This compass does exactly what is advertised, for not much weight. The no-frills design is ideal, adding none of the weight of competitors that have cases and signal mirrors, while incorporating nice features like magnification and illumination without adding weight. I would recommend this for people that want simple orienteering without any of the extras.

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Alex King

Alex King wrote an answer about on May 26, 2010

I think that the product literature specifies "aid only" for most small gear with low strength ratings (2kN is only 450lbs of force) This applies to all pro, active and passive with low strength ratings. That said, people still climb on small pro when its the only thing they can place, and while I have never fallen on anything with a strength rating below 6kN, I have seen others fall on small pieces and not pull/break the piece.

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Alex King

Alex King wrote a question about on May 5, 2010

Do people use the new .125 and .25 for aid? Because the strength rating on those is astonishingly low. I was intrigued at the thought of having sizes less than pink for trad climbing, but it sounds like they might not really be up to the challenge. Has anybody actually taken a whipper and had one of these hold? Any epics about a failure?

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Alex King

Alex King wrote an answer about on May 5, 2010

Everybody seems to get all worked up about tri-cams being hard to remove, but I have seen multiple people not know the proper removal technique. When set to cam, all you have to do to remove them is give them a good whack with the nut tool near the top of the rails where the sling connects to the piece. This nearly always dislodges your tri-cam.

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Alex King

Alex King wrote an answer about on April 28, 2010

Wires last for as long as you avoid fraying and kinking them (they could be done after a few times out, or keep going for decades, just depends). Dyneema has something like a 3yr lifespan, but opinions vary wildly. That said, dyneema slung hexes are about a jillon times more useful than those on wire, because they can acctually cam. Avoid those on wires, the extra $20 you have to spend every three years to resling them is well worth it.

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Alex King

Alex King wrote a review of on April 27, 2010

5 5

This jacket is exactly as advertised: 3-season all-round use. I wear it biking to work on chilly days, windy days, and days where there is some drizzle. I stay warm and dry, while able to shed any excess heat. Its a bit heavy (hey, its softshell), but is great for climbing on super chilly mornings or for bringing on backpacking trips where you only want to bring one jacket. The water resistance wears out after a few washes, but can be rejuvenated. Well worth the price, and a steal in the discontinued colors.

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Alex King

Alex King wrote a review of on April 25, 2010

5 5

These cover a great size range, and cam like you wouldn't believe. I have used the #4 on every climb since I got them. The double length sling really does the trick when you need to prevent rope drag, there are just so many options. They cover the same spectrum as the #5-9 Rockcentrics with one less piece - a real weight savings!

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Alex King

Alex King wrote a review of on April 25, 2010

5 5

Tried these out last weekend in Berkeley, where back in the day the sierra club used to practice destroying cracks with pins. These fit like champs where my metolius nuts just would refuse to go. I think that you still need a second set of nuts with these, but they are super bomber nonetheless.

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Alex King

Alex King wrote a review of on April 19, 2010

4 5

This harness is ok, but after a couple times wedging your hip into a chimney, the plastic holding the gear loops in an outward position seems to break and not point outwards anymore. They are still attached, and it doesn't really affect anything, its just annoying. Otherwise, it does everything you could want a harness to do, but is just kinda in the middle as far as weight goes. Find it on clearance at REI or something and its a great deal.

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Alex King

Alex King wrote a review of on April 16, 2010

4 5

These things have tiny edge-crushing power, but don't smear worth a damn. Go figure. If you ever want to do well on an overhanging route, without killing your wallet, then get these. Great for toe and heel hooking, with decent stretch and good friction. You can't go wrong with these guys, and while they are rough on your feet like any other shoe, they are still tolerable on longer single routes. Just don't try to belay in them.

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