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Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad

Kick-ass Girdwood, Alaska and sunny Tahoe, California

Elyse's Passions

Camping
Mountain Biking

Elyse's Bio

My roots are in Girdwood, Alaska, where I was fortunate to grow up skiing the infamous Chugach mountains and playing in the great Alaskan outdoors. My motivation and positivity in life stems from being connected to nature whether it be skiing deep pow, riding glassy waves, catching large fish, mountain biking, camping, enjoying time with my friends, or traveling the world. Ultimately I'm just trying to be really extreme. XXX extreme!

Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on February 4, 2014

5 5

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

I can't use anything else to ski in but these ultra thin smartwool socks! For those of you who require a thin sock this fits the bill, there is not any extra padding, cushioning, etc that so many ski/snowboard socks come with. Because they're merino wool they are fairly heat regulating, and I can use them multiple days in a row before they start to get smelly. They're pretty durable too, the few pairs that I've had for a long time (probably 5+ years, and mind you I easily ski over a 100 days a year) have yet to still get any holes in them.
I wear a size medium in these socks and I wear a size 7 women's shoe. I have a pair of these socks in size small too and they're indeed a little too small. So these socks run true to size.

(1)

 

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Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on December 13, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This backpack saved my life on February 19th, 2012 when I was in a massive 2700' avalanche in the backcountry off Stevens Pass. There were three others caught in the avalanche who did not survive. I was the only one wearing this backpack and was the only survivor. My ABS pack saved my life and I hope they will continue to help save lives in the future. For me, the ABS brand pack is the standard for avalanche airbags and here is why I think so.

To begin, the dual airbag system ensures that if one inflation fails or one bag is damaged by trees, etc. you will still have at least one airbag fully inflated. Additionally, ABS is using new technology with their bag materials which creates a much lighter and much stronger bag. The airbag material is the same material used on zodiac boats which means that it is nearly impossible to shred if punctured. The trigger mechanism is a nearly fail safe pneumatic system that only takes approximately 18 pounds of force over 2 cm's to trigger inflation. Non-pnuematic systems can take up to 45 pounds of pressure over 6 inches in length trigger inflation. From my experience, once you're caught in an avalanche things happens so fast that the easier a trigger is to pull the better.

I also love the fact that the ABS is constructed of a base system that has the airbag safety system in it, and the actual backpack is zipped on allowing for different size packs to be attached. This, I believe, makes buying this pack a worthy investment because you are able to have different sized packs for different types of days. 90% of the time I use the Powder 15L, which fits my shovel, probe, some food, water, an extra pair of gloves, a thin layer, a few other small things, and my skins (at that point it's starting to get pretty tight). If I need more gear than this I would use the Vario 25L (or 40L). Please note that the Powder Line and the Vario Line are not interchangeable. I prefer the Powder Line because it fits more snuggly that the Vario.

(13)

 

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Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on December 13, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer


These ABS backpacks are very durable (and I'm talking about the base system). My backpack went through some heavy forces in the avalanche so ABS did an integrity check on my pack. The pack was found to be completely intact and in perfect working condition, so I am still using the same base system.

The pack includes straps and an exterior helmet holder, so you can dangle stuff off if need be. The ski carry system is just okay (using the straps that are included), but it works and the pack is so awesome it is not the biggest deal to me. The waist buckle is strong and easy to use, I don't have to take my mittens off to lock and unlock the steel buckle.

ABS uses a nitrogen cartridge which makes it lighter and smaller than other brands. While some may scoff at the additional weight of an avy bag, the ABS pack does not feel heavy, it fits very snug on the body and I have never felt that my pack has extra weight to it when it's on my back.

Any kind of avalanche safety backpack is not the end all be all device that usurps the necessary knowledge to be in the backcountry, your sound judgement, and the other mandatory backcountry tools such as a transceiver, shovel, and probe. Rather, these backpacks are a last ditch effort if you find yourself in an unfortunate situation of being caught in an avalanche. Accidents can happen and these packs can help save your life. It saved mine.

(9)

 

Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on December 1, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These mitts, like all of Hestra's other products, feel like you're putting on Cinderalla's glass slippers on your hands. They're incredibly soft and warm, and because they're not bulky you don't lose tactile sensation that you typically do with other mittens. These mittens are not as thick as the Henrik Windstedt mittens, so if you're looking for a pair of mitts that are for those really cold days I would recommend those. These mittens are for milder temps or for someone whose hands stay naturally warmer.

The neoprene elastic cuff on these mitts are great- they fit snuggly on your wrist so no snow will get in, and they go easily under the cuffs of your jacket. Since they're neoprene they don't lose their snugness and are easy to dry out.

(1)

 

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Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on December 1, 2013

5 5

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

These mitts are the warmest and most comfortable mitts, I have a crush on them. If your hands get cold easily these are life savers. The leather is super soft and the interior feels like heaven for your hands. If you would like a pair of mitts and don't need the super, duper cold weather mitts try Hestra's Fall Line mitt- they are not as heavy duty. The wrist strap that comes with the mittens are invaluable- it makes it so easy to rip the mitts off and not worry about losing them.

To keep the mitts in good shape (the leather from drying out) and their waterproofness up, I continually put on the Hestra goop that comes with the mittens. It's good to lube them up before you even wear them.

I think these mitts fit true to size, I wear a size 7 and I have about a medium sized woman's hand.

(2)

 

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Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on December 1, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

When I first tried on a pair of Hestras with the removable wool liner I was at first skeptical because they didn't have the typical super soft feel of Hestra's normal gloves- what they are renowned for. But because other fellow skiers swore by them I gave them a shot, and boy am I glad I did! If you spend a significant amount of time skiing/snowboarding/snowmobiling these gloves are the way to go because the wool liners help regulate the warmth and cold. If your gloves get wet, and I mean really wet, they don't get the penetrating drenched feeling because of the wool.
These gloves are the perfect snowmobile-skiing gloves. You can't avoid your gloves getting wet when snowmobiling but due to the make-up of the durable leather and the wool liner my hands never would get cold! I'm one of those people who always have cold hands and my husband is one of those people whose hands overheat easily, and these gloves work perfectly for both of us. I actually wear a different style of wool-liner Hestra gloves than the pair being sold, but the wool liner makes all the difference and I don't think it matters as much what exact style they are.

(1)

 

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Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on October 29, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been using Scott poles for some time now and they're fantastic- I have no need for any other. FIrst off, the ergo grip works great- it's rubber so snow doesn't stick, the hand loops are easily adjustable and stay the exact size you want, they're light weight (the swing weight feels great) and they come in cool colors. Need I say more?

They're the best all-around poles, but if you do TONS of touring you may want a pole that is adjustable.

(1)

 

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Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on October 14, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been wearing Scott goggles for the past 7 years and I've got to say this style has got to be their best to date. First off, the easy interchangeable lens is TRULY really easy to change. I hated changing lens before because it was such a pain and thus always wanted several pairs of goggles. Because it's so easy to change the lens on these I really could do with just one pair now and just have extra lens- which is more cost effective.

The fit of the goggle is pretty big and easily fits mens' faces/heads. Usually I have a tough time with a goggle of this size since I have such a small head, but because the goggle is shaped right it works fine for me and doesn't look ridiculous. The goggle fits snuggly with a Scott helmet and I highly recommend pairing the two together.

All the colors are pretty sweet. The white is vibrant as well as the blue pair. The grey/pink is more muted with just a pop of bright pink.

I highly recommend these goggles.

(2)

 

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Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on October 14, 2013

5 5

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

White goes with EVERYTHING. This belt has a little zip with the silver highlights, but it's subtle. New aerodynamic buckle with this belt that makes putting it through belt loops much easier. Guy or girl, this belt works for anyone needing a little stretch in their life.

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Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on October 14, 2013

5 5

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

This new belt that Arcade added to the line up is sweet! It's a step up from just being a stretchy belt with the added leather buckle, which is real leather and noticeably not cheap fake stuff that falls apart with wear.

The blue herringbone color way is really fun and works well whether you're keeping it classy or wanting to go casual with a flannel.

It's a unisex belt and I wear a size small in this belt. I wear a size 26 jeans, size small or size 2-4.

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Elyse Saugstad

Elyse Saugstad wrote a review of on October 1, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These shoes are perfect for activities that involve water- much better than a teva sandal in my opinion because the shoe provides more stability. You can collapse the back as well and wear them as a slipper if needed.

The shoe also works great if you're going to a tropical climate and need to pack light- they'll function as a hybrid shoe to go hiking in and also get really wet in. Plus, it's a bit more ventilating than a regular shoe. Unless you're going to do some serious hiking...

My only gripe about the shoe is the back of the shoe can rub a bit.
Just like all other Salomon shoes I size a half size down in these shoes (I normally am a size 7 and wear these in a 6 1/2).

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