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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz

The Road, North America and Europe

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Christine's Bio

Looking for good weather and dry rocks.

When it rains, I write travel guidebooks and iPhone apps.


http://www.mammut.ch/en/athletes_climbing_christine_balaz.html

www.christinebalaz.blogspot.com

Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on March 29, 2013

5 5

I've been using this pack for well over a year. I'm a rock climber, so I've primarily been using it for that (although it has plenty of features for ice climbers, skiers, etc...). I've often filled this thing with TONS of heavy gear and have walked for a long time in it--and it's proven to be extremely comfortable, even under seriously heavy loads.The fabric has a cool, almost rubbery coating in certain places, making it super rugged.

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on March 29, 2013

5 5

A great chalk bag. I've had literally dozens of chalk bags, and this has been my favorite so far. It's light, sits really well against the body (i.e. doesn't feel floppy). It has a really smooth-action drawstring... which must be some kind of engineering feat, as I've never had a chalk bag's drawstring work so well. Finally, it looks cool.

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on March 29, 2013

5 5

I got this because I had a distinct need for lightweight, synthetic shirts. I'm much more than pleased! I'm accustomed to synthetic shirts fitting oddly, clinging uncomfortably, etc... but this one honestly fits like a dream! It has a flattering cut and drape like none other I've seen in similar tops. Plus, it functions really well for cool-weather running, hiking, etc... I've also used it for climbing, because it insulates well, yet fits nicely under my harness and moves very freely.

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on March 29, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

In my opinion, Mammut has seriously stepped up their women's clothing line this year! This hoodie is awesome. It is made of awesome material--microfleecy and cozy on the inside, knitted and ultra durable on the outside. Because it's synthetic and so durable, it works great for climbing, hiking, etc... however, because it's so comfortable and good-looking, you can wear it at home, "on the town," etc... Very well-built! it hasn't shown any flaws yet. (My husband also has the men's version, and he loves it, too!)

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on March 29, 2013

5 5

I seriously love these draws. I've been climbing with them (and older generations of the same draw) since 2009. I'd honestly say they're my favorite sport climbing draw of all time. (Sometimes I think I'm making it up, but other people have often commented about how much they like using them, too.) First of all, biners have a very smooth, reliable action and never pinch the fingers. Secondly, the keylock closure makes them easy to clean from overhanging routes. Thirdly, the substantial dogbone is easy to grab, making for a good nylon jug when you need it.

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on March 29, 2013

5 5

I've had these draws for about a year, and have used them quite a lot sport climbing. They're awesome! As you might guess, they're really like and compact. However, they nevertheless have a very sturdy, rugged feel. Both the dogbone and the carabiners alike are very well-built, making the draw durable and usable... even as a "nylon jug."

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on March 29, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love this harness. I've never worn a harness with such a "seamless" feel as this one. Both the leg loops and the waistband have a nearly invisible feel against the body... this is true even as the harness ages, or as you've been sitting it it all day (as for multipitch climbing or bolting).

I know that many people have had to size up on this one--and that seems like a good solution. Oddly, I found this harness to fit better than others! FYI- I'm a lady, but have a pretty thick waist and relatively small legs... (i.e. I'm NOT hourglass-shaped). So... given my dimensions, my normal harness size worked just fine in this one! (Much better fit for me than most small-waisted, large leg-looped harnesses, to put it that way.)

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on March 29, 2013

5 5

I've had this shirt for quite a while now, and have used it for all kinds of applications: climbing, approach hikes, running, and even camping/ sleeping. Despite this rigorous abuse, this shirt has no "fuzzy" spots or fabric deterioration (amazing!), and it still has its ultra-vibrant colors. As warm and cozy as it is, it manages to have amazing stretchy properties, making it extremely functional for active persons.

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on March 29, 2013

5 5

I recently got a bunch of synthetic shirts from Mammut because my wardrobe was severely lacking in this department. I was extremely pleased with all of them!

When it comes to synthetic/ active tops, I typically feel fairly uncomfortable in them, as they tend to cling and fit oddly. However, this one has a gorgeous and flattering drape, and does not cling at all. It feels great on the skin.

This shirt in particular has already been put through the wringer: I've run in it, hiked in it, climbed in it, and I've actually used it quite a lot under my gi in jiu jitsu. Given all of this abuse, it shows no signs of wear.

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on March 29, 2013

5 5

I have been using this harness quite a lot. I find that, though its lighter than some of Mammut's harnesses, it's just as comfortable; the waistband never folds or puckers uncomfortably, even as the harness ages. A big plus is the breathability, which does a lot to get rid of the classic "harness sweat."

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on February 12, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Alright--I have a really big head for a lady, and most hats don't fit--particularly if my hair is in a ponytail (which it often is if I'm outside!). So pretty much no hats fit my noggin. However, this one does! Even with a pony tail. The good news is: for those with "normal" heads, this hat works, too. I know because I've lent it to friends. The hat is not lined, so it's great for use with activity--like climbing, hiking, x-c skiing, etc...

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on February 12, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had these draws for nearly five years, and I love them. (In fact, I have 33 today; I had to leave 7 in Rodellar in 2009 due to injury and early rains. Oops!) They're perfect for sport climbing: light enough that you can literally have 15 on your harness and not notice them. Yet they're sturdy enough to grab in a pinch--and they don't spin crazily out of control if you accidentally bump them, unlike lots of ultra-lightweight draws. The gates have extremely smooth action, and never pinch or grab my fingers. Best sport draws ever!

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on February 12, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This biner is great for belaying! It has a very easy-to-use auto-locking feature, as well as a swing gate that keeps it from crossloading during use. Though I have disliked a lot of auto-lockers in the past (because of being too sticky and hard to open), this one is great; it has a very smooth action and doesn't snap closed too aggressively. If you're looking for an awesome belay biner, this is it!

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on June 16, 2012

5 5

Though these shoes look rather simple, they're quite a lot sturdier and more durable than they appear. The lining beefs them up a bit, and is extremely comfortable against the foot. The sole is extremely sticky and great for scrambly approaches. I've used them a lot in town (because I like their looks), approaching climbs, and definitely think they'd also work well in ascenders for route setting/ bolting. For being such a casual-looking shoe, these are really well built and highly functional!

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on April 26, 2012

5 5

Not sure what the review below means - I definitely do not have deformed (or narrow) feet, and I find that this shoe fits and functions extremely well. I've used these for a lot of hiking, scrambling, etc... The large rubber rand in front has prevented a lot of wear. Excellent traction. Note: the shoe doesn't have a standard tongue - instead it has an elastic-type, supportive sleeve. The shoe has overall excellent quality - and hasn't worn much at all, despite the excessive wear I've put on it. I'd definitely recommend it.

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on April 26, 2012

5 5

I got this visor b/c I'm a lady w/ a ponytail - and wanted something I could wear for hiking, belaying, etc... without redoing the hair. (I'm lazy.) I really like this visor. It has really burly velcro for adjustments. The headband portion and bill are both made very well, with high-quality materials. This visor is perfect for its use: blocking the sun w/out overheating. Great!

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on April 26, 2012

5 5

I've used this shirt for climbing, hiking, cold-weather camping, running, and just "hanging out." It's very comfortable and durable (i.e. seams haven't broken at all, material doesn't pile - even though I've been climbing, wearing a backpack, camping/ sleeping etc... quite a lot in it). Thumb holes make for a nice way to close the gap between shirt sleeves and gloves. The bright colors/ cool design earn the shirt a lot of complements. I'm 5'8" (with a +2" ape index) and have a size med. I have no problems with sleeve or torso length - perfect!

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on April 26, 2012

5 5

This simple, well-built, comfortable shoe easily competes with some of the market's classic approach shoes. A very neutral shoe, it doesn't try to twist your foot into any weird positions, and it is comfortable out of the box. The sole is very sticky. I've had a pair for a few months now and (in addition to "approaching,) I have generally abused them. My boyfriend also has a pair - he's been building trails, cutting down trees, bolting routes in them - and they seriously haven't shown any wear yet.

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Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz wrote a review of on April 4, 2012

5 5

This rope is a perfect all-arounder. It's thin, but not TOO thin. So it's light, but isn't difficult to belay with, and doesn't wear out quickly. A major perk of this rope is that it stays supple with age. I've had many (4? 5?) Infinity 9.5 ropes, and they've never, ever gotten any weird thick or thin spots, or worn strangely. Obviously, they do wear out eventually - but in a very predictable, visible way. Everyone who belays with it comments about how nice it feels...

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