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Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza

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Brandon's Passions

Biking
Climbing

Brandon's Bio

www.brandonriza.com

Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on August 16, 2014

Suunto CORE at 14.5k feet.

Man. I apologize. I can't stop uploading photos of my Suunto CORE. This is my 5th and probably won't be my last. I figured Mount Whitney Needed some representation.
STILL a great watch and I still love it. I have a fancy GPS watch now, and it's awesome, but the simplicity of the CORE still keeps it on my wrist.
It's as easy as ABC. (<-- see what I did there?...)

(2)

 

Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on August 13, 2014

Trail run. Climb a chute. Whatever...

Here's a shot of the <inhales deeply ala Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura...> SalomonXAPro3DUltraCSWPTrailRunningShoe <PPHHHUUuuuuuuuu...) chilling out after having been employed to first run up to 14k feet then climb a steep and icy chute in the Sierra Nevada. Note the oldschool white laces. Yes. I cut the other ones off because I don't like them.
Good shoes, comfortable, waterproofing works great (and seems to be at least somewhat breathable) and the sole is reasonably grippy even when wet and crazy grippy when dry.
I used to have a pair the older versions. They were called...something equally-long and counter-intuitive. I think they were the precursor to this shoe and honestly, I like the old ones better. Why? One word;
"Heel-wedge flare (and they were more comfortable)."
One of the reasons I spend 150 bucks on a pair of shoes is because I want to multi-purpose them.
I'll run in them, approach climbs in them, climb low-5 in them, carry heavy packs in all kinds of weather up-to-and-including 30ish degrees. I even put crampons on my last pair and kicked steps up a coolie. That's the job of like...5 shoes. But who wants to buy 5 shoes? The flare of the heel wedge in the old version was a huge deal for me because it allowed for lots of that stuff without also allowing for multiple ankle-rolls per outing. Salomon is on a kick of reducing things i love about their shoes and adding verbosity and acronyms to the names of them...

:|

Anyway. That said, this shoe is still nice. It just feels slightly less well-made, has a couple of weird pressure points (that never seem to evolve into full blown blisters even after a 20 miles day), slips a bit at the heel (even before i removed their lacing system, my laces have improved upon it...) and the toe feels a bit...boxy. My last pair had pointier toes, more surgical, less clunky.
Good shoe...not as great as the last pair I had.
4 Stars.

(4)

 

Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on August 2, 2014

Day-maker...

Here's a shot of the Fenix PD35 in front of my Cascade Stratovolcano-climbing gear pile.
I picked this thing up just prior to leaving on a three week trip through CA/OR/WA and it turned out to be pretty useful for finding routes at 1am on glaciers. The weight-to-brightness-to-size ratio on this flashlight is sort hard to describe. The size and weight parts are easily-quantifiable and understandable, but lumens isn't a unit of measure that most of use are very familiar with. My headlamp is about 85 lumens. This little flashlight is 850. When I carry this outside at night around my neighborhood to pick up after my dogs, it's almost comical how bright it is. Overkill for that purpose, to be sure. It turns night into day like an LAPD chopper searchlight does. In a mountain environment, it has tons of throw and extends your vision capability out of the typical half-light headlamp glow cone we're all familiar with. But, man. I almost feel guilty flipping the switch on a moonless alpine night...it's just downright obnoxiously-bright. Though...I was unfortunate enough to be attempting to sleep at TrailCamp on Mount Whitney recently with way too many people who were behaving like they'd never been in the mountains before and I must admit it was fun returning the favor at 1am by blasting their tents as we left camp...revenge is a dish best served at 850 lumens.
The on/off switch is tactile and makes a clicking sound/feel when activated, which is nice for gloved hands, and the switch controlling the various brightness levels, while weirdly-shaped, is well placed and rubberized...feels very well made in general.
Once, in a fit of typical stupidity, I used it to re-run the 5-mile run on which I had just lost my keys due to not zipping a pocket. I never found the keys, but I noticed the light auto-dims when it gets hot, and it does get very hot when you leave it on full-power mode.
I've found the burn times to be fairly spot-on.
Great flashlight.

(1)

 

Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on February 7, 2014

Beal Rando at 12.5K Feet...

I love this rope.
Here's mine near Mount Russell in the Sierra Nevada. (And my BRAND-SPANKING-NEW-at-the-time Petzl SumTec...)

I wrote a rather extensive description of why this rope is NOT the dry-treated version somewhere on BC, but I don't know where it is.
They make a dry-treated one that BC now carries. (cool).
I've never really had a problem with it getting wet, though.
It's small in diameter and dries fast.
It also doesn't have marks every 12 meters, but it has a middle marker.

This little rope fits in the bottom of a small pack and is barely noticeable, weight-wise.
It's been with me on many adventures and will come on many more.
Well thought-out 45 foot raps can get you out of some trouble...

One time, we drank beers, rigged up a 6:1 and tried to reel in my Subaru. I think I left the parking brake on...(why you should almost never mix technical rope work with beers...)

I still want a red version of this rope to pair up with the blue one.
I saw one in Chamonix and I should have bought it.

(3)

 

Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on January 24, 2014

Neck-deep in the pow at Mammoth Lakes.

"BC" stands for Backcountry. But it's also acronymical (<-- is that a word?) for Border Collie. Here's mine, totally stoked and ready to rage, in about 9 feet of snow, wearing her RuffWear Cloudchaser.
When I tell my climber friends that my dog has a softshell, they raise eyebrows in skepticism, but this thing is full on. Not that Neutron (The Dog) cares (That's her whole legal name, parenthetically complete...), but this dog jacket sheds water as well as my Arc T Hercules does. Only she could tell you if it keeps her warm or blocks wind (it's not Windstopper...need it be?), but honestly, I'm not sure if dogs even care about that when there are sticks to be chased, plus she has not one, but TWO layers of coat, both of which I am allergic to. (I know, it's a drag...)
What it most definitely prevents, in my dog's case at least, are the dreaded fur, clot, balls-of-ice...thing...that happens on her belly. Actually, sometimes I don't wanna put it on her, because watching her try to walk and the look on her face when she's trying to process the meaning and consequences of the cantelope-sized spherical orbs that build up like so many dangling snowmen on her chest and belly fur is just downright HIGHlarious. A close second to when I strap her little dog shoes on and she takes those first guffaw-inducing exploratory steps. (i should upload a video of that...)

Anyway, other people have said the sizes run small. I'm not sure if I agree, but I do know that my BC is skinny, and she needed a medium, and our Aussie looked like an over-packed Lil'Smokey sausage when we attempted squeeze her into a small. So maybe those other people are right.

It zips totally shut, keeps out snow and is short enough on the underside that they don't pee on it. (important detail...)
The only thing I wish this coat had was a handle on the back so I could pick her up out of deep snow. Other than that, I love it.

5 stars...

(11)

 

Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on January 19, 2014

What's more important?

The tent or the view from the tent?

Well...both, actually. But here's a view FROM the tent, as seen when pitched up on a hill away from the Albert 1r hut and overlooking Glacier du Tour towards Aiguille du Chardonett near Chamonix, France. I tell myself I don't like crowds, and I don't, but the real reason is I was too lazy to reserve a spot in the hut. I'm convinced this way is cooler...

As far as the tent goes, the thing is so light and packable that it literally falls into the "bivy" category, but allows you the luxury of sitting up, cooking inside, and storing all your gear if you're solo or your partner if your you're not. It's meant to be pitched up high, where most of the water you encounter will be in its solid phase and where things dry fast. I would imagine if you pitched it in a jungle, you'd be pretty miserable as i'm not confident it'd withstand constant and regular downpours. But that's not what it's for.
Some people complain about the internal poles, but I like them. I find it very fast and easy to set up. I can do it in under 5 minutes, even alone and in insane wind. Just do NOT miss the little pole-pockets. The ends of the poles seat in the four corners in little rivet hole things, surrounded by tougher canvas, and if you miss the rivets, and then the wind picks up enough to force the poles out of the canvas pockets, you might end up with a ripped tent. Not that big of deal though if you're aware of it.
The poles then sort of move by tension into the correct location, where you can velcro strap them down for security and stability.
I've had it withstand wind gusts I estimated to be around 50-60 mph. (Later confirmed by NOAA). It's amazingly solid for its weight.
Don't forget to unzip the top vent, especially if there's two of you. We forgot once at 13k and woke up to a winter wonderland INSIDE our tent. Looked awesome. Wasn't as awesome when it started snowing on our sleeping bags.

Great tent. Worth the coin, imho.

(5)

 

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Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on January 1, 2014

I know, I KNOW!!

I've posted enough photos of this watch!
But...I just wrangled all my CR2 RAWs and found a treasure trove of ones I never processed, so I'm excited, and you're gonna have to bear with me...

This one's from the top of North America.
Cool.

And here's a whole ton of them...
http://www.brandonriza.com/Miscellaneous/Numbers.jpg

And the fact that I'm posting this at 0:43 on 01/01/14 probably means I have rather significant mental issues...
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

(6)

 

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Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza wrote a review of on December 30, 2013

My favorite brainbucket...
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Here's a photo of my favorite brainbucket on top of my favorite local crag. (Also...you can see the whistle on the buckle of my Petzl Tikka XP2 I mentioned in an earlier review...)

I've had three helmets, and I've tried out many more.
I love the Mammut El Cap for a few reasons.
For starters, it just looks cool. Any modern helmet you buy will be adequate for the job (of keeping your CPU in its hardcase), so it boils down to smaller details. The little brim on the front actually goes a long way to fend of the stray UVs and the rain, with the added bonus of it finally departing from the time-honored "Dude, Spaceballs, much?" helmet form factor.
And that's always a plus.
Secondly, the retention system is great, and imho, superior to my BD Half Dome. (<-- I still have that guy and still love it, but not as much as the El Cap.) The adjustment is a little pinch-thing, similar to my MTB helmet, and I love the simplicity of it. The little twisty knob on my Half Dome gets cranky sometimes...
With the El Cap, it's super fast and easy to accomodate a beanie or cap or nothing under the helmet, and I do that a lot.
It's way light, and ventilated enough that it never feels hot, if you're the kind person who climbs where things might get hot...
The headlamp clips work great and are hassle-free.
In short, it's the best helmet I've owned on many levels and I'll probably be wearing it for years to come, unless they invent one that injects glucose directly into my brain via some sort of weird European osmosis capability that we can't seem to invent here, so I can further refine my already highly-refined maltodextrin-solute-in-solution-only Kcal mountain nutrition system I currently use...

Oh and speaking of that, why didn't they name it the "Nordwand" or the "Walker Spur" or the "Mont Blanc du Tacul" or the "Grand Jorasses" or, if they HAD to go all US on us, why not the "Infinite Spur"?...

Anyway...5 stars.
I love this thing.

(1)

 

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Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on December 11, 2013

Ahw man, I scratched my nuts...

Ok.
That's low brow and possibly-inappropriate low-hanging metaphoric fruit and I'm not 15. But cmon. We've all used that joke or a similar one. Let's not kid ourselves here, we're dirtbag climbers...

ANYway.
What can one say about chunks of metal you cram in cracks and trust your life (or insurance coverage) to?
If they don't work, it's probably your fault, not the chunk of metal's.
I have two sets of stoppers and a set of chocks in my passive-pro kit. My other set of stoppers are those sweet Trango ones. The orange and grey ones. I forget the name and I'm too lazy to check my order history. They are super cool, but I haven't even used them yet...and I'm going to blame JOHN for that one...

BD makes great gear and these are, perhaps unsurprisingly, great stoppers. I've heard some people lambast the rainbow explosion of colors in favor of a more muted one, or a lack of one altogether, or the Trango approach of alternating colors for each size step.
I get all the arguments and some of them are well-posed and well thought-out, but imho, choosing the correctly-sized hunk of metal for the terrain feature at hand is analogous to driving a standard transmission. I mean...do you really know or even care what gear you're in at any given point? As long as my turbo goes "vroom", I don't.
And it sorta becomes second nature.
But at any rate, it's kinda cool to say or to hear something along the lines of, "HA! Have fun with that BLUE one...can't believe that thing even went IN there!"

I know there are lots of theories (arguments? marketing bullet points?) about shape and cut and taper etc but in practice, at least in my experience, the differences are so slight that it really boils down to brand loyalty.
I guess weight is really the biggest factor.
My set of 5-13 BD stoppers with a BD Oz weighs in at 395g.
Trango set of 9 with a BD Oz; 337g.
If I sweated 58 grams, I wouldn't carry a 5DMKIII...

5 stars.

(7)

 

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Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on December 8, 2013

Photon Collection Devices at 14K...

These Brunton charges are awesome.
I have the 26 and 12 and have used both extensively.
I prefer the thin-film Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide Brunton uses vs the heavier and bulkier polycrystaline cells used by Goal0. I have a Goal0 setup as well, but I almost never use it. I find it too heavy to lug and there's just way more accoutrements involved. Really cool concept though...solar catch, store and release via battery block...

I've charged my Canon 5DMKII, and the entire team's phones and ipods and whatever else they brought over and over with these, sometimes in completely clouded-over conditions.
One important note; this thing basically spits out a car outlet. If you can charge your stuff in your car, you can charge it with this.
You can easily enhance that capability by using a car adapter that also has a USB out. Before a big trip, get that dialed.
For example, I had to buy a specific car adapter to charge my 5D batteries. Everyone already charges their phones in their cars, so that's a no-brainer.
Just let everyone else who'll be with you know, too.
Because they will want to use it. Get in line...

I've found that 12 watts is about as low as one can go in practice.
In theory, yes, you could use a 6 watt.
But charging with 6 watts in variable conditions is janky at best and will probably annoy you. Some devices need to register a certain amount of juice coming in to even consider charging.
I've run into this with the 12 watt under cloudy conditions.
Not with the 26 watt, though...that thing swallows photons and barfs them back into your 1st World Toys with incredible efficiency.

5 stars for both the 12 watt and the 26 watt.
Great devices and really fun and rewarding to use.
I always get a crooked little "stick it to the man" smile on my face when I'm shooting mountain photos with a 5D powered by the Sun...

(1)

 

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Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on November 29, 2013

One more of the Ghost Whisperer...

Here's a 14.5k BDAY 8h47m car-to-car solo selfie of me on the summit of my favorite local crag. I wore this jacket from Iceberg Lake to the summit and back down to 13k via the Whitney Main Trail before I got too hot, including scrambling up the last 400 feet of the Mountaineers Route, where it was liberally scuffed but yet unscathed.

I dig, I dig...

That is a self-satisfied, hypoxia-induced smile if ever there was one.

Love the jacket...

(2)

 

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Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on November 29, 2013

John's BD Spot and 300 billion suns...

I don't own this headlamp, but my climbin' bud, John does.
Here it is at the base of Mount Tom near Bishop in the Sierra Nevada, in red LED mode. I stole a shaky 3 second/8k ISO exposure from the Universe behind him while he finished packing up to leave what we dubbed Camp Hanta Virus.
We don't recommend camping there.
Or disregarding the signs in the parking lot that read:

"CAUTION: PLAGUE"

He loves the headlamp though, for what it's worth.

<cough...>


(3)

 

Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on November 29, 2013

At home in its native France...

Here's the Petzl Tikka XP2 headlamp living on my Mammut helmet on the top of Aiguille du Tour after a 2am start near Chamonix in the Mont Blanc Massif of the French Alps.
Gettin all European up in this review!

I used to have the Tikka XP1 but bought this version because it looked cooler. I gave the other one to my wife, then found out Petzl squeezed a few more lumens into this one, so I felt like my purchase was justified. Then I started spending a significant amount of time on scree fields at 0:dark30 with my climbin' bud John, who has a BD headlamp and I will say this:
Lumens envy sucks.
You find yourself asking questions such as, "Is my vision dimming because I'm hypoglycemic right now, or are the batteries draining? When did I put batteries in here? Maybe his has more lumens...gonna check if I get home..."
Not that this headlamp is dim, but the disparity between 80 lumens and 90 is noticeable and sorta weird when both are shining at the same scree pile you're trying not to leverage-crack your tib-fib in.

Battery life is great. As is the red LED, which has become nothing less than a requirement; nobody wants their preciously-cultivated night vision decimated.
Totally uncool.
Front battery compartment means you can lie back and read in your sleeping bag without headache-enducing contact pressure from a rear-mounted pack.
Doesn't say so here, but the strap buckle is a whistle!
And that's fun.
The best part is the simplicity of the flood vs. beam switch.
It's just a little semi-translucent plastic plate that slides up and down over the LEDs. Basically just diffuses the light when down, so no fiddling with the power button to swap flood/spot modes.

If 88g is their "claimed weight", they should reclaim it.
Mine's 75g with lithium batteries in it.

All and all, great headlamp.
I don't plan on re-wifing, so if they make a cooler-lookin one, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do.
Certainly not giving it to JOHN...

(4)

 

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Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on November 28, 2013

Ghost story...

Full disclosure.
I was going to return on item on BC because I found something else I liked more. (I know. I'm THAT guy.)

Hear me out.
I was at Adventure16 and came across the MH Ghost puff on sale for 220 bones and I was like DUDE!
I have a Western Mountaineering puff that I love other than the ridiculous hood.
I thought "SWEET! I'll buy this, and return the WM puff! And I'll MAKE 80 bucks!"
So I bought it.
And came home.
And then realized I bought the WM puff from; Adventure16.
Made my face look like this:

:|

Karma at its finest, my friends. My wife laughed.
Total BS.
A while ago, I posted a review of a spork, in which I mentioned that I'm sort of stupid from spending too much time frolicking in the Troposphere.
GREAT example...

Anyway.
<useful info starts here>

This puff is awesome, if you go into the relationship realizing it's not really meant to keep you warm in a "White Spider, Annapurna, Touching The Void" sort of way.
It's a light sweater at best, a down alpine layering rockstar, pushing the techno-boundary further still from the venerable and aged fleece top, and I love it.
I find myself wearing it more than I thought I would. It seems to be a great middle-ground insulation when you're up high and pushing hard in cold and dry weather.
I wear a red Salomon breathable shell much of that time, but this puff is a perfect weight for when it's a bit colder than that.
It's been more durable than I thought it would be. I've scraped it against rocks, just assuming it would rip, but not really having another option at the time; it's held up.
Sort of surprising, actually.
It's incredibly well-made, packs into its own pocket and mine weighs in at 182g. That's crazy. My iPhone weighs 113g.
I've been rained on wearing it. The DWR is solid.
Fit is athletic, but not body-hugging. I got it in silver and I look like Neil Armstrong in it.

What's not to winning?
5 stars.

(2)

 

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Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on October 30, 2013

Inside the ping-pong ball...

Outdoor Research calls it the SunRunner, but here all it's doing is a moderately-fine job of keeping my eyelashes frost-free in a weird frozen fog at 3am on the Kahiltna.
I probably have upwards of...eh, let's just use the ubiquitous "hundreds" quantifier, of photos of me in this hat, or in one of the 4 hats of this type I have owned.
It goes under my helmet, under my beanie, over my dome, under a buff, over a buff, in a hood, even OVER the hood on one of my floppy-hooded puffs (no drawstrings on that puff's hood...thing gets all manner of askance...)
Wearing it spilled over into casual life, then into work life, sometime around late 2009 and pretty much everybody I know has since become disgusted with how frequently I wear it.
I think it's actually turning into a bit of an...issue.
I tried to shake things up with a shiny, black Craft hat recently, but it's just not the same vibe, man...

The skirt thing on this is great if you don't like schmozzing sun goo all over your neck and ears and cheeksandface every 8 hours.
I took mine to a tailor and had a snap installed on the front, so I could secure it from wind. I don't like the tie-down solution they went with.
But I don't use it much. I posted a pic here somewhere of the hat with the skirt and my little snap engineering project.

It dries fast, the velcro strap is nice to crank your lid down in the wind, the sides (which are not visible in this pic) vent out, so it never feels hot.
It's a great hat.
Sometimes when I like something, I buy 4 of them at once because I know the company will discontinue it before I stop liking it.
I did that with this hat. I have 2 left and both are pretty gnarred-out. One gets frequently bleach-washed and is thus starting to look more not-here than here, and the other one used to be white and is now just yellow and very sadpants, and that is gross.
Glad they are still making them.
Everybody who knows me probably wishes they'd stop making them...suckers.

(5)

 

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Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza wrote a review of on October 29, 2013

Merch photos are cool and all...
5 5

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

But hard data is irrefutable.

I've had a pair of these since before they were called XA Pro 3D Ultra blah blah blah somethings...
I bought my pair in 2009 and they've been my only running shoes since. It's October 29, 2013.
In between 2009 and 2013, I've trained hard for some big climbing goals (Denali, Aconcagua, Teton Traverse, French/Swiss Alps, other stuff), and I started thinking, "I wonder how many miles I've run in these things...wonder how many calories I've burned while wearing them...I wonder what my average heart rate has been since wearing them..."
I've been tracking most of my workouts since June 2009 with a Suunto HRM, so I totaled it all up.
In a nutshell, I've spent in excess of 545 hours running in these things. 1200 miles. Burned almost a quarter million kcals...

Then I sorta went full-nerd (cause that's what I do):

243,979 thermochemical kilocalories =
1,020,808,136 joules
968,186.88817 thermochemical Btus
7.747481 US gallons of aviation gasoline
283.5578 kilowatt hours
104,093,460.66 meter kilogram-force
380.2572 horsepower hours
202.9840 miles in my Subaru

These are like...good shoes.

The tread is getting thin. If they were tires and I took them to Goodyear, they'd pull out a Quarter and attempt to shame me into buying new ones.
But I've decided I won't replace them till I hit an even 250 thousand kcals. I like round numbers. Don't tell me what to do...

Oh!
Pretty weak kiloton value, but...I'm cool with it. I GUESS.
0.000243979 explosive kilotons

Now if I could only figure out how many beats-per-minute of pure #@$%ing metal I've rocked out to in that time. How many cumulative decibels. How many double-bass hits, how many drop-C triples, how many times I've streetmoshed, pointed at cars in traffic and yelled lyrics at soccer moms.
But that really has nothing to do with how awesome these shoes are...
5 Stars...and only 6 thousand kcals to go before it's New Shoe Xmas Time. STOKED!

(11)

 

Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza posted an image about on October 29, 2013

On top of France. (and maybe Italy...)

Not sure. The drop-off on the Italian side of Blanc's summit ridge was a bit vertiginous and I was trying to get as close as possible without getting TOO close...

This is a GREAT ice ax.
I've had a few.
I think I'm all done trying out ice axes.
Probably...

The TrigRest is awesome and burlier than I thought it would be.
I got janky on a picket-bashing on the Breithorn and came down right on the plastic shank...thought I'd be reviewing the replacement TrigRest...but all it did was nick it up a bit.
The radius of the curve in the shaft is a good mix of harsh vs. mellow. You can climb AI2 and still self-arrest.
The spike thing on the end sort of fits onto/into the shaft a bit weirdly. There's about a millimeter of...off-kilter...ness.
It's sort of driving me crazy, but when my salt shaker is not in the EXACT proper location and orientation, it sort of drives me crazy.
I'm gonna file it off when I get around to filing the pick.

Speaking of pick, it's B rated. Shaft is T.
You can swap it out, but according to the Petzl cartoons in the Ice Ax Accessories PDF on their site, you can't swap it for, say, a Cascade Nomic U21100 T rated pick, but if you need a T rated pick you probably need a Petzl Nomic et al...

5 stars.

(5)

 

Brandon Riza

Brandon Riza wrote a review of on October 29, 2013

A SOCK review?!
5 5

Weird, but I also wrote a review about a spork, so...

Since I have not worn all available socks, I cannot say with any degree of authority that these are the best socks ever made, but I can tell you that these are the best socks I have ever worn.
I stumbled upon them 9 years ago when I bought two pair on a whim. I still have those two pair, and I've recently acquired two more.
I have worn these socks every single time over the last 9 years that I've hiked, biked, trained, run, and climbed when it's not hovering near 0 (I wear a thicker pair in that case) and the climb doesn't involve my 5.10 Newtons (then too if there's an approach). It is not an exaggeration to say that I have literally not worn any other brand of sock or even any other physical SOCK over that nine year period of time during those activities.
I'll post a photo of how little they've degraded in that time (old/new...note the very slight wear near the achilles.)
How does Icebreaker make money when you can use one of their products for almost a decade?

In addition to wearing them on my feet, I've used them as isobutane cozies, sunglass and iPhone protectors, constituents of my cram-pillow, sleeping gloves, 100% UV-blocking sleep masks for taking naps next to alpine lakes while my now-bare feet soak. I've strained Andean and Cascadian glacial till through them directly into a nalgene so I could sort of see through my water before I drank it, and done the same in the Sierra to cull out wiggly mosquito larvae, then worn them...(the socks.)
I even flew to New Zealand to take a photo of a merino sheep! (and to get married...)
They only work moderately-well for wiping up tent condensation/puddles or for clearing wet snow from fisheye lenses, though. (stupid disulfide cross-linkages in a hydrophobic fibril shell vs. polypeptide cortex chains in the hydrophilic inner fibrils...)
Wait, what?...

Anyway, don't let that dissuade you.
If you by a pair, you will have a long love affair with them.

(5)

 

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