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Harrison Gatos

Harrison Gatos

Vermont

Harrison Gatos's Passions

Biking
Skiing
Climbing

Harrison Gatos's Bio

Skier first, everything else second.

SPRAT rope access tech II specialized in wind turbines.

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Harrison Gatos

Harrison Gatoswrote a review of on March 28, 2015

5 5

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

High quality, VT-made, comfortable wool ski socks? With a lifetime warranty? 'Murica? What's not to love?

I have slowly converted my sock collection to 100% Darn Tough over the past 5 or so years because they last longer than anything else and I can send them back if they don't. As a Vermonter, I might be a little bit of a homer here, but I recommend that anyone else do the same.

I have 3 pairs of DT ski socks, I average 50-60 days per winter, and 60-70% of that is touring. All of the socks are comfortable, durable, and repel odor very well (as you'd expect any wool sock to do). These socks are understandably expensive, but given how good they are and that DT stands behind the product, it is hard to find a real downside.

For reference, I am a size 9.5 mens and I can fit either M or L, but I prefer the M.

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Harrison Gatos

Harrison Gatoswrote a review of on November 24, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These gloves are standard issue for the rope access team I work for and they're pretty freaking good for our purposes. It's not really the intended use of these gloves, but man they work well.

Rope access technicians are generally hard on our gear. We deploy 100m+ long ropes through our hands 2-8 times per day, but these have held up for dozens upon dozens of days and still haven't worn through. They adequately protect my hands from sharp objects, grease, oil, heat, and pinch points. Most importantly, though, they maintain dexterity in my hands for manipulating knots, ropes, and tools.

These gloves stretch an ample amount after break-in, so keep that in mind. I chose to size down from L to M. They were tight and a little restrictive to start but after a couple days of breaking in they fit spot on and have ever since. Everybody's hands are different though and it might be a good idea to try them on or purchase multiple sizes (and return the extra).

I haven't ever climbed with them and I don't have any experience climbing with gloves, but for other rope-related tasks they have been great.

Bottom line: Durable, comfortable, and stretch after breaking in.

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Harrison Gatos

Harrison Gatoswrote a review of on November 22, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My job involves quite a lot of traveling so I purchased these utensils as part of the cookset I fly with. I like MSR products a lot and this is no exception.

I was initially skeptical of the durability of these, given their appearance, material, and general flexibility, particularly in the case of the strainer/cheese grater. After over 3 months of daily use I can safely say that they live up to the MSR name and I am glad to have them. They show very little signs of use so far.

While the spatula is a little smaller than I would like, I gladly sacrifice that in order to keep them lighter and more packable. The other downside of the set is the spoon, but only because I don't use it. I haven't found a time where it worked better than any normal spoon so I don't bring it with me anymore.

Bottom line: Great utensils but skip the set and buy the spatula and strainer separately.

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Harrison Gatos

Harrison Gatoswrote a review of on November 22, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was introduced to the Pantin in a different context than the other reviewers and my opinion reflects that. I understand their frustrations with it but for my purposes the foot ascender is a nice bonus to the standard gear used in rope access work, which are a chest ascender (Petzl Croll) and handled ascender/foot loop. I work as a rope access technician on wind turbines and we use 11mm low stretch ropes (6-10% stretch).

I borrowed the Pantin from my coworker and used it for about 20 days before the job ended. My initial impression was that it had a learning curve just like any other piece of gear but once mastered, it could serve as a very useful tool.

Primarily for me, the Pantin makes jugging up ropes more efficient, quicker, and less tiring. It allows my right foot to be used independently of my left and makes ascending more natural because I can then use both legs equally. Installing the Pantin on a rope is difficult at first, but after a dozen times I was able to do it without touching the rope with my hand most of the time. It was most useful for climbing, obviously, but also for minor repositioning while working and negotiating the nose cone where we transition back off ropes. To convert these to uses outside turbine work, I imagine that it would help for topping out a cliff or repositioning while rescuing or something.

The cons of the Pantin have been well documented by the other reviewers. I agree that it occasionally disconnects from the rope, but for me it didn't do so to the extent experienced by the others. Another downside is that the rear strap had a tendency to ride above the top of my boot and dig into my heel if it was even a little too loose. It was an easy fix off of ropes but annoying while on them. The third and largest downside is that the Pantin is too expensive for its purpose and for that reason I gave it 3 stars not 4.

Bottom line: Cool piece of gear for rope access but expensive and unnecessary for recreational use.

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Harrison Gatos

Harrison Gatoswrote a review of on February 20, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have used this glue for touch ups and for reattaching the skin tip loops on the older BD skins (before you had to screw the tip loop into the skin and instead folded the top of the skin onto itself). The glue does those very well, obviously.
The other use is to reglue the entire skin with this tube. Although the strips may work better, I was able to successfully reglue my BD mohair mix skins after removing the old dirt/glue mixture. The most important thing to do is to apply several thin coats instead of 1 thicker one. I completely used 1 tube to reglue a pair of skins that measure ~185cm long x 110mm wide. Make sure you have a source of fresh air...it got pretty stinky in the room as they I was working and gave me a headache. The photo was taken as the reglue was drying.
I used this link as a guide, but adapted as needed:
http://www.skiingthebackcountry.com/skiing-resources/reglue_climbing_skins

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Harrison Gatos

Harrison Gatoswrote a review of on February 17, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

While not a perfect bowl, here's why I like it over other options:
-Aluminum is more delicate
-Titanium is more expensive
-Better to eat out of than plastic, which is also less durable

I have a few negatives, though. The shape is a little too deep for me to lick clean though, but if you have an exceptionally long tongue it shouldn't be problem. It also conducts heat very well so I have to be careful with hot meals and drinks.

Having said that, they are very durable. I ran over my first one with my truck and it only bent in the center. I was able to punch it back out and it makes a pretty good dog bowl. Since it's under $5, it wasn't a big deal to buy another, which has lasted beautifully since.

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