Explorations

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Explorations's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing

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Explorations

Explorations wrote an answer about on April 24, 2012

If I recall correctly the old pommel can be taken apart and clamped on the shaft with a screw while the new one is one piece. I am guessing that the old one would work on both older and newer ice axe models while the new one is not. (See my review.)

The old one did not have a substantial eye for attaching a leash but had a small loop to keep it close to the axe head.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on February 3, 2012

2 5

While the screw itself seems to be performing just fine I have found the sling attachment quite disappointing, mostly because of how the black plastic ring is rather tightly fitting the screw tube. This causes two issues:

First, the crank arm is freely wiggling on the screw tube, not staying strictly perpendicular, so it tends to catch on the bulge where the sling is attached to the ring. (You can even see this happening on Grivel's own promotion video clip.) If the ring was loose then this would not be happening nearly as much.

The other problem is that if the sling is either completely unweighted or the direction of any pulling force is not perpendicular to the screw tube then the ring tends to lock up on the screw tube. (This is easy to demonstrate by trying to turn the screw while pulling mildly on the sling at 45-60 degrees away from the screw.)

Both issues cause the ring to turn with the screw, as opposed to spinning freely, ultimately winding the sling (and the carabiner, and the rope) onto the screw tube like a winch. A frustrating experience.

You can skip the main touted benefit of the integrated sling and treat Speedy like a regular screw by not having the rope attached when placing or removing it, which means that the sling with the carabiner are now "just" rotating around, without any winding effect. The only remaining value of Speedy is then the weight saving over a traditional quickdraw setup, which I am not sure is worth the extra cost.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote an answer about on December 24, 2011

I use Nepals with Grivel new-matic binding and never had a problem. I concur with James Jenden though that if Nepals are your only climbing boots then the automatic binding is a better combination.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote an answer about on December 24, 2011

I would categorize them as a cross between heavy-duty backpacking boots and non-technical mountaineering boots. They are notably stiffer, taller, and heavier than Asolo 520. I believe they have a half-length steel shank. They are missing the toe welt but I have used them with both strap-on and hybrid crampons for years. I primarily use them for easier mountaineering with longer approaches while Asolo 520 are my primary hiking-only boots (other than in summer, when I use even lighter boots). My Glaciers were made in Italy while Asolo 520 in Romania. Both have been holding up well so far.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote an answer about on September 7, 2011

The images are all mixed up. The crampon body looks like the Cramp-O-Matic image. The New-Classic image is an older version of the G12 crampon. The New-Matic image looks like an older version of the G10 crampon.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on April 12, 2011

3 5

Pros:
* Good, general purpose pack
* Adjustable back
* Plenty of pockets, including three substantial outside pockets
* Plenty of straps
* Removable hip belt

Cons:
* The pack itself is not waterproof. The provided rain cover could take care of stormy weather but it is not practical for snow climbs.
* The mesh padding on the back is way too soft. If you carry a loaded pack the padding will flatten out substantially, sealing off the ventilation channels. (Compare with Gregory or Lowe packs.)
* I have not found the advertised "helmet compartment". The large front pocket does not expand out enough to be it. With some effort I have managed to squeeze a climbing helmet into it but the pocket expanded inward into the pack as much as outward so if the pack was full the pocket would be too small.
* Feeble spiral zipper on the sleeping bag compartment.
* Removable lid does not have a built-in waist belt.
* Just one ice axe loop.


P.S. The blue color is much lighter than the web image suggests.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on March 6, 2011

2 5

I was looking for a lightweight daypack of about 25 liters that could be stowed easily in a larger backpack and I had high hopes for the scramber. Its high-level characteristics were right but the execution not as much.

Removing the frame sheet to compress or lighten up the pack is not practical: The removal slit is half way up the back of the pack, not on the top, so the sheet needs to be essentially folded over to insert both its ends first, which is cumbersome and it makes me question its longevity. Do not even think of removing the sheet temporarily to sit on it without emptying the whole pack first. Further downside is that the pack outside material between the frame sheet and someone's back is just a mesh so without the frame sheet the pack back is no longer water resistant. The water will run through the mesh and then through the internal sheet removal slit straight into the middle of the pack.

The main hexagonal clasp is another problem: On the pack I had in my hand the upper webbing loop for the clasp was made so tight that it was difficult to get the clasp through. Trying it with cold, numb fingers would be a challenge.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote an answer about on February 22, 2011

Honestly I would not consider either for general mountaineering. The Grivel has a negative pick angle, which makes it useless if you had to deal with steep ice. The Raven has more general purpose pick and adze but the lack of real spike can be a problem in some situations.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on December 26, 2010

4 5

I use it mainly as a top-rope anchor and I am very happy with its performance. When placed in spring snow it feels like it sits in concrete. No movement whatsoever after the initial tug. It is a little bulky to pack, especially because of the steel cable.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on July 10, 2010

5 5

This is one valuable multi-purpose jacket for high-elevation trekking (14K+ ft.): The outer shell provides good rain/snow protection during the day and the liner comes handy after the sunset, when the temperature plummets, or the early mornings, when the body does not want to trade the sleeping bag. For the last two seasons it also served well as my summitting jacket in the Andes. The hood will accommodate a climbing helmet.
I use a lighter, less bulky/warm combo for summer backpacking in the Rockies.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on July 7, 2010

5 5

I have been using these crampons (with the hybrid binding) for four seasons and they are still in great shape. I have really appreciated some of the details: (1) The heel points are a little flat, rather than pointed, so they brake better. (2) The heel lever adjustment is on the inside so there is less of a chance to damage it when wallowing in snow-covered rock. (3) The strap buckle openings are round, not rectangular, which helps with loosening when partially frozen. (4) The buckle has a Hypalon tab so it is easier to loosen it with gloves on. (5) The antibott plates flex so they are more effective than rigid ones.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote an answer about on July 7, 2010

More specifically, the front section can slide back along the bar towards the heel section so the crampon gets shorter. On the other hand the front basket is rather stiff and cannot be easily folded.

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