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Clinton Decker

Clinton Decker

Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Clinton Decker's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Climbing
Skiing
Surfing

Clinton Decker's Bio

Adventure seeker.

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Clinton Decker

Clinton Deckerwrote a review of on March 12, 2015

Great Hand.
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I've been thinking for a while about grabbing a 70m rope, so it was an awesome opportunity to do a review of one. Thanks to Backcountry.com and Petzl for allowing me to review this 9.8mm sport cord for the Backcountry.com community.

Probably the first thing you notice is the sweet color. It's electric blue. Right out of the plastic, when coiling and packing it, I could tell it has good hand. No stiffness at all and the sheath has a nice feel. I re-stacked and re-coiled it several times to get a feel for it over a few uses. It coils well and had a noticeable lack of twisting and tangling. For a 70m rope, it is surprisingly lightweight. I would bet that it weighs about the same as my older 9.2 x 60m.

Taking it out for its first run on some rock in Boulder Canyon, it performed as expected from a high-quality line. It knots and hitches solidly and unties easily. The cool color stands out well on the rock in Boulder. The half-mark is obvious due to the contrast of black on blue.

For lack of a better word, I would call this line a "noodle" - but that is a good thing - a property I really like in a rope. It is the opposite of stiff, which leads to very easy clipping. Even in difficult or awkward stances, I feel solid clipping this line.

I took a couple of forced falls in order to feel the forces. The rope has a nice, soft catch.

On the belay, the cord felt good through the ATC and had good grip in the brake hand. With such a nice sheath, I wondered how fast this rope would be on rappel. I think it was spot-on. Not too slippery, not too sticky. Also on rappel, I kept an eye out for any sheath slippage - but noticed none.

The only downside I've found so far is the bulk. This has nothing to do with this particular rope however. It's just a factor when carrying a 70m. Let's be honest though, it's a sport-climbing specific line. So how much am I really concerned with bulk?

After climbing, when packing everything back up, still no kinking, or tangling. I think the sheath really excels. I'm looking forward to taking this rope out a ton over the Spring and Summer. It's early in the game, but just from the initial impressions, I have a lot of confidence in the durability and longevity of this cord.

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Clinton Decker

Clinton Deckerwrote a review of on January 7, 2015

Merino is Awesome (part 1 of 3)
5 5

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

I previously thought mostly about transceivers when I thought about Ortovox, but I was really excited to see them get into the outerwear game. I'm always stoked to see companies that already make a high-quality product try their hand at making other tools we need in the backcountry. So thanks a lot to Backcountry.com and Ortovox for allowing me to review the Merino Fleece Zip Neck Hooded Jacket for the Backcountry.com community.

First Impression:
Out of the box - this thing looks cool. I dig the bright colors - this is something I tend to look for in clothes I'll be wearing in the backcountry. I really dig the single colored arm. The materials right away seem high-quality. The flat stitching seems like it will hold up well. The inner brushed wool is exceptionally comfortable. I put it on right away and it wears very nicely. The hood and front pocket have some subtle brand detailing that I thought was cool. The front hand pockets are large and connect all the way through. They're also lined with the soft merino. The fit is very slim, very euro of them. The arms are quite long but I found that I appreciated that in combination with the thumbies. I am around 6'0", 215lbs. and the extra-large was awesome. I'll call it "fits true to size" as I typically wear XL jackets, but note that it is slim.

First Spin:
Just a small one - a quick bike to some bars downtown (4 miles at most) the day I got the jacket. On a dry Denver evening at around 40 degrees, I was pretty comfortable on my bike with the jacket over just a merino t-shirt. It blocks some wind - it would be ridiculous to expect a mid-layer to block all wind - but it is warm. I didn't sweat much, but I could definitely tell that the wool breathes well and regulates temps as you'd expect from merino.

Continued in comments below...

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Clinton Decker

Clinton Deckerwrote a review of on October 10, 2014

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This thing is great to keep from cross-loading - but it's best served in a single-pitch/top rope environment.

The thing is that you must open the main gate in order to open the sub-gate - they're the same piece. If you've not careful when trying to wrestle the lower area out of your belay loop, it's possible to tip the biner with the upper gate open and drop your ATC. I learned this the hard way.

It's strictly a gym/single-pitch tool now.

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Clinton Decker

Clinton Deckerwrote a review of on October 10, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Belaying from the top, working in guide-mode is incredibly easy. In this configuration it's also a whole lot easier to escape the belay in an emergency scenario (you're technically already out of it).

Quick piece of advice on lowering in guide-mode - the video BD published shows it to be pretty easy to simply pull on the narrow runner and tip the device. I found that not to be the case - jerky and difficult. This technique works much better if you re-direct a longer runner somewhere higher in the anchor, and clip that runner to your belay loop. Use your body weight to steadily tip the device and lower. Would recommend a friction backup on the brake in this setup as well.

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Clinton Decker

Clinton Deckerwrote a review of on October 10, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Tough to rate this - I love the bag, hate the lid it came with. The original leaked like a government source. I replaced it with a humanGear capCap and it's now totally solid. Bag gets a 5-star, lid gets a 1-star.

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Clinton Decker

Clinton Deckerwrote a review of on June 26, 2014

5 5

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

Big thanks to my GearNerd Dan Gates for suggesting these. They are great. He's right on with the note that they're slim-fitting like the Modernist.

The overall fit was a bit different for me - I assume due to the fact that the BDV size S-M-L-XL and the Modernist are by inch. I went 36" in the Modernist, and L in the BDV, and the BDV are slightly more snug in the waist. It's not big deal though, they stretch really nicely.

Note that the Schoeller feels slightly different in the BDV compared to the Modernist. Maybe a bit thicker, sturdier. Could be the factory run or the coloring or whatever, it's not a bad thing - just an observation.

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Clinton Decker

Clinton Deckerwrote a review of on June 26, 2014

5 5

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

They're nice and slim without being restrictive. BD's official description is pretty spot-on, you can wear them at the crag then out at the pub after. They're pretty much cut like everyday jeans, but with the gusseted crotch - which is great for climbing.

Considering these, my Dawn Patrol pants and jacket, and the BDV shorts, I wish all of my clothes were made of Schoeller.

These have also turned into my swimmies because they dry really quickly. One might consider a belt for this application though, as a group of hippies at Boulder Creek saw a full moon in the middle of the day when I exited said creek.

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