Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean

Utah, Maine, New Hampshire, VT, Sierras

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Courtney's Passions

Camping
Backpacking
Trail Running
Hiking
Mountain Biking
Paddling
Ice Climbing
Alpine Skiing
Mountaineering
Sport Climbing
Alpine Touring
Yoga

Courtney's Bio

I like to Ski, but I can get distracted with Ice and Alpine climbing. Especially in the Northeast where scratchy snow skiing can get a little uninspired during the frost/freeze cycles. I'll do just about anything fun in the summer, but always try to find an opportunity to climb and camp. Gear is expensive and even more so when it doesn't get used.

Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote an answer about on July 11, 2014

first of all, 6000 feet or 6000 m? This is a 6000 m boot which is many times greater than 6000 feet. You can use a regular hiking boot at 6000 feet. You might not even find snow depending on location and time of year.

This is an excellent 6000 meter boot, but it's all about fit and function.
Do you have cold feet? Hot feet? Do you have a wide or narrow foot? Scarpa may be better for narrow feet whereas this boot is built on a last for normal feet.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on July 7, 2014

5 5

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

Tricams are bomber. And teh Evo's thick nylon sling makes them so easy to place, even a hack like me can't put a bomber cam in.

Took a good fall on the pink one. It held and walked away. That's what they're there for.

the three options for placement make tricams a very versatile tool with miniscule weight penalties. I rack all four and use them whenever I find a pocket and choose them first for horizontal cracks.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on June 30, 2014

5 5

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

These are awesome light and excellent for absolutely minimizing the weight of your rack. But they are tiny. Not ideal for gloves or for the rope end of a quickdraw - unless you have nice, narrow fingers.

At 23 grams a pop, these things are virtually weightless. they make an excellent link for cams - especially with the color coding.
Gates work excellent.
They do have a deep catch though, which will make extending an alpine draw a little hassle.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on June 26, 2014

5 5

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

I bought this on impulse a week before my Rainier summit. Was necessary as my Rab Microlight isn't quite a sub-zero jacket.
Turns out the weather was pretty spectacular and the Greenland might have been more than enough (roughly 20* low). But i was super warm when we stopped and really comfortable the entire way up. Rocked this jacket at the summit in warmer than expected weather and was comfortable with the jacket unzipped.
Now the technicals:
Zippers engage well,
double zippers means you can zip up from bottom to access harness, or fly.
Big pocket for nalgene is great for that summit rest stop.
Baffles are massive and puffy keeps you super warm
Hood is huge!
cinches are great for keeping face warm
Stuffs into its own cavernous pocket for a really nice camp pillow. Not too firm, not too soft and almost half the size of a queen!
Wrist straps adjust to get the jacket sealed and wind resistant.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on May 13, 2014

5 5

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

What makes this awesome is the velcro attachment. Ask anyone who has ever attached a nalgene bottle by a caribiner or other hook. The flopping, bouncing and jossling will drive you absolutely mad. But with the fat, velcro strap of the OR Water Bottle Parka, the problem is solved! It works on hip belts or thin gear straps. It's got a couple of inches of velcro to hold fast even when the pack is getting nocked around.
It's not a super thick insulator. Parka is a generous term here. But, a 12-1 liter volume of water should stay liquid in most conditions (if you're nearing 0* latitude, i suppose you've got to find a better system).
Now, if only I hadn't lost my Backcountry logo nalgene...

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on May 13, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large

If only i could conform to Merrell's unreasonable human body expectations! Why do they only cater to runner with more perfect bodies and not to those of us with feet that aren't quite what they would call "perfect?"
I am a victim. Genetics dealt me an odd card. I was born with.... size 12.5 feet. And Merrell stops making half sizes at 11.5. Moreover, the 12 (which is taggee at 46.5) is pretty small for a 12. The 13 is pretty big (tagged at 48) for a 13. It's like they don't want me to be happy.
Other than that it's a great shoe. Light, really good lacing system lets me cinch down the 13 to where i don't feel like i am wearing clown shoes and my heel doesn't float.
They breathe nicely and I can get traction on anything.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on April 29, 2014

4 5

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

The toe is much more squre than other La Sportiva models. This is a great big bummer. I've found La Sportiva to be the best fit among top climbing shoes and was psyched to find these cheap, machine washable shoes for the gym.

They're keepers, but the fit is not nearly as comfortable as Katana, Futura, Testerosa, etc. that I've tried, climbed and loved.
lengthwise, they're consistent, but the toe box is definitely different and not as awesome for my specific anatomy.
The closure system is nice. Helps to get a pretty tight fit once they're on.

These are not your project shoes. You probably won't edge, heel hook, toe hook or do anything else truly remarkable in these. But you can climb in them day in and day out at the gym for weeks without ruining those $180 Testerosas. Good enough for this hack.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on April 29, 2014

5 5

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

I wrote a much better review the first time, but something happened. So here is the abreviated version.

Awesome.
Stretches and moves with you. I literally slept in this for three nights on the trail.
Durable - many thorny bushes and vines in PA on the AT and not a tear or pul through 35 miles
Good fit - i'm big but the large was plenty large enough to cover my extremeties and stay with me as I duck, reach, bend and sprawl.
Perfect hood - the soft fabric doesn't get in your face when fully zipped and the hood feels great - not too loose and not too tight.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on April 15, 2014

4 5

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

Holy cow! this is a big bottle of rope wash! If i recall correctly, this bottle is about 28 oz (about the size of a siracha bottle). You only need 75 ml per wash. Granted, two washes of a rope might be better than one, but you're still going to have this bottle for many, many ropes.

It's unscented and not too powerful. It does shake up the dust and give your rope a chance to look prety close to new again. I used it in a front load washer (rather than the brush and tub) and it didn't quite get some old stains out of the sheath. My rope does look cleaner and i can flake it out without coating my hands in filth. That's pretty much what i wanted - something that will break up the dirt that gets among the fibers and break down a rope faster).

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on April 15, 2014

5 5

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get this until the ice all fell. I hoped to get one day out with the hammer installed, but it didn't happen. so treat this review with that caveat.
I wanted a mini on my nomics for clearing ice around a screw hanger. I've bashed at the ice with the pick and mistakenly with the head (no no) and feel that a small hammer is the way to go.
Installed, the mini has a tiny profile. it doesn't stick out much at all. It doesn't weigh hardly anything (about .7 oz). I couldn't tell one tool from the next with my eyes closed.

I have a rod in my basement for dry tooling and a few actions left me feeling confident that i cannot tell the difference between the two tools (one with, one without the mini).
But I did not get to swing my tools into ice. i cannot vouch for any differences the mini martel will make on ice.

i'll let next season dictate whether or not the hammer changes the head weight enough to complain. If i decide that both tools perform equally well, i'll consider getting a second just to eliminate the frustrations of having to swap tools in the middle of setting a screw.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on March 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I managed to acquire four of these and they've been the best asset this winter. They're light and the screw lock action is clean. I've set dozens of anchors with a few of these on my rack.

They're smaller than other lockers so not ideal for belay device but they're perfect for anchors.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean wrote a review of on March 17, 2014

4 5

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

These are wicked light. They are just large enough for me to fit rope through with my big mits. But they are not hooded. There is a clear hook that'll catch dyneema or nylon slings.

I tested them the day after I got them and found i could hook a sling very easily, every time.

Still these are wicked light and great upgrades from my last draws.

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