Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean

Park City & The Wasatch Mountains, Utah

Andrew McLean's Passions

Skiing
Climbing

Andrew McLean's Bio

Andrew McLean has been pursuing steep skiing challenges in remote locations for over two decades and has accumulated over 100 first descents. In 2007 he completed a long term quest to capture first descents on all seven continents when he traveled to Morocco to ski in the High Atlas Mountains. McLean’s specialty is ski mountaineering, which involves climbing up peaks before skiing down them. This process allows him to ski mountains where motorized access is forbidden or impractical. His passion for this sport has led to him being voted as one of the “Greatest Skiers of Our Time” by Powder Magazine and a featured segment in the Sony Classic Pictures 2007 film entitled “Steep.”

Outside of skiing, McLean’s interests include design, writing and photography. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, he worked at Black Diamond Equipment for thirteen years, creating products such as the Camalot, wire gate carabiners, Whippet, Peckers and Talon rock hook. His writings and photography have appeared in Skiing, Powder, Backcountry Magazine and numerous outdoor gear catalogs. He lives in Park City, Utah with his wife Polly who holds the world record for the greatest amount of vertical climbed and skied in 24 hours. They have a daughter named Mira, one good dog and one bad dog.

Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean wrote a review of on November 25, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I use these socks for general winter applications, like inside snow boots, walking around town and for backcountry skiing. They work very well in that regard and are warm & comfy.

My only complaint is that they seem to "pack out" after one usage and lose a lot of their fit and loft. This comes back after a washing, but would be a concern for extended winter trips.

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Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean wrote a review of on November 25, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I've got 8 days of backcountry skiing on these socks so far and they work well. I like nice thick socks in AT boots, so these fit the bill. They also fit my foot well, and I'd say they run "true to size."

I'm not a sock engineer (is there even such a thing?) but these socks seem to stretch out quite a bit more than other premium brand socks, which means unless you wash them after every usage, they tend to get baggy and fold over when being slid into a boot liner.

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Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean wrote a review of on June 10, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've heard rumor of these for a long time, but actually got to use one last spring and was very impressed! It is a perfect basecamp/cook tent as it is big, spacious, has TONS of organizing pockets, two doors, lots of windows and is very, very strong. It takes a while to erect and is heavy, but if you are just flying in or driving, it is the way to go. There is no floor, which means you can dig down to create a nice custom space in snow, or spill food without worrying.

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Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean wrote a review of on June 10, 2014

5 5

If you are traveling anywhere outside of the USA, this is a very useful and valuable device as it converts 220v power from a wall outlet down to 110v's, which is the US standard. You can buy the little plug adapters, but they don't step down the voltage, so you end up frying your electronics! Many newer, high end computers can take either 110 or 220, but other things like battery chargers, radios, etc., will not. Whenever I'm traveling to places like South America, I always take one of these with me.

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Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean wrote a review of on January 29, 2014

3 5

After cycling through about 3 WalMart Princess packs for my kids school backpacks, this one is a breath of high quality relief. It is well made, well thought out and will last for years.

My only complaint is that it is actually pretty small, which has more to do with my ordering than the product itself. If I was to do it again, I'd get the 20l Poco Mucho for my six year old girl as it will carry a three-ring binder and the Poco Mas 15 won't.

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Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean wrote a review of on January 29, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I like a nice thick sock for backcountry skiing, and the Summit perfectly fits that bill. It is high enough to work well with a ski boot, without being so high that it clamps down on your calves. Super warm, thick and comfy, and they last so long they are almost a "heritage sock" if such a thing exists. You'll get years out of them.

I always rummage through my sock drawer for the Summits, and if I'm out, it means it's time to do a load of laundry.

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Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean wrote a review of on January 29, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Not too thick, not too thin, not too high, not too low... just right. The X-Hale sock works well for all sorts of activities, from casual wear to hiking and climbing. I love them for general wearing in the winter. Very well made.

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Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean wrote a review of on May 23, 2013

4 5

I've replaced two single zip together sleeping bags with one MegaLamina for car camping and have been very happy with it. The Mega gets a lot of its warmth from two bodies, which in the case of two zip together bags, you are only getting part of as they usually only zip together 1/2 or 3/4 of the way. This means your feet are constricted and the bags are kind of uncomfortable, which is not the case with the Mega. For plush, over the top comfort, get a Coleman inflatable mattress (and of course 12v pump) from WalMart and you'll be sleeping better than at home.

A word of caution with this bag is that it can be pretty cold if you use it solo, or, just in general. I'm not sure where MFG'ers come up with their bag ratings, but we used this bag in 35ish degree weather and had to sleep with all of our clothes on, as well as an extra blanket on top. But, for warm summer camping, it is ideal.

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Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean wrote a review of on May 20, 2013

4 5

We took one of these to the City of Rocks in Idaho and were able to use it on four different kids, ranging from age 3 to 7 years old. It is a bit fumbly at first to figure out how it goes on, but once you do it a few times, it becomes very easy and has a wide range of adjustment.

One good/great thing about this harness is that it keeps the kids in an upright position when they fall or hang as the tie-in point is higher than a regular harness. This is nice as you never know what kids are going to do, and once they are 10' above you, it is hard to do anything about it!

Another big plus is the color and pattern.

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Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean wrote a review of on May 20, 2013

4 5

I don't actually own the WG-3, but have owned the WG-1 and now own the WG-2. Overall I'm pretty happy with them, although I must admit they don't take the greatest photos. But, you can drag them all over the place, including through the rain, mud, water and snow and they still fire. They are also kid-proof, which is a nice feature.

Like many electronics, the WG series is packed with such an overload of features that it would take a lifetime to figure them all out. Not that this really matters, but it does come into play when you set the camera to "Auto" mode as it cycles through all sorts of things (party? fireworks? action? snow?) before taking the shot, which makes for some very slow shutter time. This can be fixed with setting it to "manual."

The WG series seems to do well with medium focus photos with lots of color, but not so great with snow. However, the photos can be easily fixed/adjusted with a program like LightRoom.

Overall, I'd recommend this as a good adventure documenting camera, but not a great camera camera.

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