Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais

The Mountains

Andy Dorais's Passions

Running
Skiing
Climbing

Andy Dorais's Bio

Andy is a ski mountaineer and rando racer who is trying to merge the two disciplines to travel fast and efficiently through the mountains. His main goal is to just ski more, since more skiing equals more fun. His best days in the mountains involve moving fast with good friends and skiing classic summits. An example is skiing Mount Rainier car-to-car in just under four hours with his brother, Jason. Outside of Salt Lake City in his home range, the Wasatch, is where he gets his daily fix. He is supported by a very patient wife and a one-year-old son named Lars. When not in the mountains, Andy tries to give back to society by working the emergency room.

Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais wrote a review of on May 9, 2013

5 5

This is the best wicking material I've ever worn. It's strange because the Polartec fabric feels sorta thick but across a large temperature range in the Wasatch and Tetons, my temp has stayed well regulated.

I love the bright colors and the fit is nice and airy. My personal preference is to run in looser shirts so if you want this one tight, consider down sizing.

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Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais wrote a review of on May 9, 2013

5 5

This thing is amazing! It's like a stretchy, lighter, more wind proof version of my favorite - the Ferrosi Hoody. Further, it comes with a half zip and little built in mitts for when the weather is cold but the gloves were left at home. It's a nice feature in the Wasatch where I often start in town and run up the foot hills where the wind and temps may be drastically different than at my house. Plus, I hate running in gloves unless it's super cold.

I haven't used it in wet conditions but I suspect it will block out light precip based on the water resistent fabrics. Conversely, it seems to breath fairly well having run in it a number of times on sunny days.

I think prime uses will be climbing, alpine scrambles, and cold weather running.



The sleeves and hood fit well but the torso is just slightly boxy.

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Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais wrote a review of on May 9, 2013

5 5

I hate hard shells. Living in the Wasatch, we rarely need them but this year I somehow ended up in storms all too often. I started bring the Axiom when the weather was burly and the jacket was just as burly. Fortunately, it's about as light as Gore Tex jackets come and I actually noticed the stretch and increased breathability of the Active Shell which was a huge improvement over previous iterations of Gore Tex materials.

It fits really well over a small puffy making layer work well. The torso and sleeves are plenty long for one with a big ape index like myself. Also, the hood fits nicely over my helmet.

Overall, I give it a bunch of thumbs up and have changed my opinion of hard shells...

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Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais wrote a review of on May 9, 2013

5 5

This piece has made an awesome addition to my ski mountaineering kit. I bring it along if it's going to be windy or wet and use it as an outer layer over other base or mid layers. It has an athletic fit with a longer torso and arms which is a plus for me. The hood fits well over a small helmet but someone with a huge head like my brother might have some trouble. It does the job to keep the elements off and is incredibly light and packs down super small. Also, after two seasons of use, it's holding up really well which is something that not all superlight products can brag about.

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Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais wrote a review of on May 9, 2013

4 5

This is a great addition to the Ferrosi line. It's every bit as great as the hoody and pants but just streamlined a little when the hood isn't necessary. The only other real difference seems to be the torso on the jacket is shorter and not quite as boxy as on the hoody. Might be an improvement for some but a drawback for others...

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Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais wrote a review of on September 12, 2012

A Trail Shoe That Runs
5 5

After trying out dozens of trail shoes over the past years, I've noticed a trend of shoes becoming increasingly less and less like running shoes. The Spark straight away is reminiscent of an actual running shoe that has blended in some of the "modern" aspects that have become popular. The heel/toe drop is on the more minimal side at 6 mm vs a standard 12 like in most road shoes. The cushion is dense and sufficient that rocks and rough trail don't cause discomfort. But, they are sufficient to go long distances (I've yet to take them past 25 miles but the feet felt fine). The weight is that of a light weight training shoe, coming in at around 9-10 oz, giving a nimble feeling or "nimbility" as I like to say. And lastly, the tread is just aggressive enough to provide great traction in loose dirt/rock but not so cumbersome that it inhibits running. On the flip side, the moderate tread pattern holds its own on talus or moderate slabby rock.

I'd say the shoe is great as an everyday trainer for those that get out in the mountains in a variety of conditions.

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Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais wrote a review of on June 7, 2012

5 5

Half tights are the way to go and have been since the early 2000s. Not only do they look awesome (in a fast track and field way and Euro style) but they are super comfortable.

With short running shorts (which I love!) chaffing can occur on really long runs and "things" can feel a little sloppy over time. With the React Dry Short, they are supportive and feel great even after 10 hours on the go (just wore them in a rugged 50 mile race).

The material is rather thin and doesn't feel too hot which is great in the desert of SLC. As far as sizing goes, I'm 6'1" and 170 lbs and have been wearing a size large. I have bigger legs (proportionally) and even still am thinking about getting a medium for my next pair.

They have a small pocket in the back that holds a few gels/keys/etc which I find useful when on runs up to a few hours where I don't want to carry a pack. And as far as styling, they come in Red/White/Black, or Green/White/Black. The green ones are super hard to find in the US so if you come across a pair, buy em!

Overall, I give em 5 stars. Too bad they don't come in a long tight version.

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Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais wrote a review of on May 1, 2012

Speed Up in the Mountains
5 5

Dynafit has long been equated with efficient and fast backcountry skiing. First their bindings and now TLT boot line and skis have become THE standard. It was only a matter of time before they entered the mountain running game and that time is now.

The MS Feline Superlight is their first attempt at a high end trail running shoe and fortunately for us they nailed it. To me, a mountain running shoe should be able to tackle any type of terrain, be it dirt, talus, easy 5th class rock moves, etc. As far as weight is concerned, it should be on the lighter end of the spectrum but not so minimalist that every rock is noticed or that so little support is provided that one ends up injured and out of the game. It should have excellent traction without being an over built monstrosity. I think a good guide is if it can be used to run on the road without noticing that it's really a trail shoe. Obviously, durability is an issue so quality construction is key. And lastly, the fit has to be perfect. With the degree of climbing, descending, rock hopping, and multi directional movement, a poor fit at best leads to huge blisters but can be a harbinger of injury.

Out of the box, one notices that the Feline Superlight meets the above criteria. I've used it so far on dirt, rocky trails, scree, and boulder hopping and it excels at all types of mountain running. I've used it on road runs and find it on par with a dedicated road shoe as well. With some shoes, it's apparent that they will fall apart after one really long demanding run but so far there are no signs of appreciable wear. Perhaps most importantly, the fit is perfect without the slightest blister thus far. I'll for sure be using it for all my future races, adventure runs, and ridge scrambles.

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Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais wrote a review of on April 22, 2012

5 5

I'm not one that cares about the technical details of clothing as I think all too often companies make whatever bogus claim is trendy at the time. However, I am 100% about function. If a piece of equipment is too heavy, doesn't breath properly, or simply doesn't function as it should, it gets the axe. For the last couple years, I have been experimenting with clothing systems for backcountry skiing and am now fully convinced that what we do is an aerobic activity on par with cross country skiing or running. For the 'up', our clothing should be lightweight, water resistant, and highly breathable. Anything more might as well be a big black plastic garbage bag.

Enter the Outdoor Research Ferrosi jacket and pants. These pieces were originally intended for spring climbing as lightweight softshell protection for wind and scattered storms but I find that they are perfect for backcountry skiing. Particularly in the Wasatch where the weather and storms are typically dry, some of the heavier technical shells are superfluous. I typically start out with a short sleeve technical T-shirt with the Ferrosi Jacket and will often only wear this to the summit. It breaths incredibly well yet provides ample protection from wind/light precip. The pants are also highly breathable, stretch to provide free movement, and are cut the way pants should be. Incredulous, I have seen friends out this spring using heavy Goretex pants when the sun is shining and the temps are predicted to be in the "we probably shouldn't be skiing range".

Please understand that I believe that Goretex and heavier layers have their time and place. I always carry a puffy or some form of more protective layers...in my pack. I'm just saying that I've been there, miserably sweating like a fat ass, when there was an alternative.

So, if you can relate to any of the above, check out the Outdoor Research Ferrosi line. It's affordable with the jacket retailing for $125 and the pants for $75. And, you get some spring/fall climbing duds at the same time.

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Andy Dorais

Andy Dorais wrote a review of on April 22, 2012

One of the best for ski mountaineering and general backcountry skiing!
5 5

I'm not one that cares about the technical details of clothing as I think all too often companies make whatever bogus claim is trendy at the time. However, I am 100% about function. If a piece of equipment is too heavy, doesn't breath properly, or simply doesn't function as it should, it gets the axe. For the last couple years, I have been experimenting with clothing systems for backcountry skiing and am now fully convinced that what we do is an aerobic activity on par with cross country skiing or running. For the 'up', our clothing should be lightweight, water resistant, and highly breathable. Anything more might as well be a big black plastic garbage bag.

Enter the Outdoor Research Ferrosi jacket and pants. These pieces were originally intended for spring climbing as lightweight softshell protection for wind and scattered storms but I find that they are perfect for backcountry skiing. Particularly in the Wasatch where the weather and storms are typically dry, some of the heavier technical shells are superfluous. I typically start out with a short sleeve technical T-shirt with the Ferrosi Jacket and will often only wear this to the summit. It breaths incredibly well yet provides ample protection from wind/light precip. The pants are also highly breathable, stretch to provide free movement, and are cut the way pants should be. Incredulous, I have seen friends out this spring using heavy Goretex pants when the sun is shining and the temps are predicted to be in the "we probably shouldn't be skiing range".

Please understand that I believe that Goretex and heavier layers have their time and place. I always carry a puffy or some form of more protective layers...in my pack. I'm just saying that I've been there, miserably sweating like a fat ass, when there was an alternative.

So, if you can relate to any of the above, check out the Outdoor Research Ferrosi line. It's affordable with the jacket retailing for $125 and the pants for $75. And, you get some spring/fall climbing duds at the same time.

(2)

 

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