Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave

Utah's Unparalleled Outdoors

Jared Hargrave's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Climbing

Jared Hargrave's Bio

Backcountry skier, mountain biker, rock climber, hiker, backpacker and avid beer drinker (good beer mind you.) I grew up skiing in Colorado but soon found Utah's powder to be better, so I made the Wasatch my home.

Backcountry skiing is my true passion and I've explored mountains all over Utah on my skis. But my favorite skiing moment came when I got to ski tour in Patagonia, Argentina.

When I'm not inhaling cold smoke or tailgating in Alta's parking lot, I write about skiing and mountain biking on my website, UtahOutside.com, and for print like the Utah Adventure Journal, Ascent Backcountry Snow Journal, and Backcountry Magazine. I'm also a television producer for the KSL Outdoors show.



Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on December 19, 2014

Based on last year's model...
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been wearing last year's model with the more leather-looking exterior, which I personally think looks much better than the all black version out this season. I assume not much has changed other than they put the velcro wrist tab under the wrist as opposed to over.

I have been wearing the Compulsion gloves in bounds at Alta and in the backcountry. At first, they were stiff and uncomfortable which is pretty standard with new leather. But after about 5 ski days, they have softened up real good and are now molded to the shape of my hands. The fingers also have flex at the knuckles, which allows for really good dexterity out of the gate. I also really like the pull on web loop at the wrist for easy on, especially when I am trying to get the second glove on with a gloved hand.

On the inside, the gloves are very soft and fleecy. The first day out, they actually felt too small, even though the sample is a size medium, which I have always worn. But after a few uses, the inside liner has packed down and the gloves now fit perfect.

Of course warmth is the most important element when choosing a good ski glove. Initially, because of the stiff and tight quality of the leather, my fingers were cold, probably from poor blood circulation. But now that the gloves are broken in and the liner is packed out a bit, I can safely say the Compulsion are even warmer than my Kincos. I have skied in temperatures down to the teens and those finger tips have stayed warm and dry.

Since winter in Utah is pretty dry, I've not had a good opportunity to test the waterproof qualities of the glove. So I put them on and ran them under the bathtub faucet. Water never penetrated inside the glove, so I think it is safe to say they will perform valiantly during wet, spring days.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on December 17, 2014

Good daily drivers for Alta
5 5

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

I have skied the 182cm length at Alta in many different conditions from hard pack, to groomers, and even some shallow powder. I have not tested the Q-LAB on a really deep storm day yet, but I eagerly await the chance.

GROOMERS: From the first run, I knew I liked these skis. Turn initiation is immediate and the tails have a slarvy feeling from turn to turn without any hints of hookiness. On a warm-up run beneath the Collins chair, the Q-LAB were chomping at the bit to go go go. They are fast and directional, but even at speed, I could stop on a dime without much effort. In fact, I got yelled at by ski patrol above Corkscrew for going too fast. I could not help it… these skis are just monsters.

CHOP: On tracked up runs with chop and bumps, the Salomon Q-LAB gobbled up everything in their path. They are very, very stiff and bulldoze over all terrain features without any flap or fear of losing control. Actually, on most skis, terrain features are something to make turns around, but with the Q-Lab, terrain features became something to ski over. My perspective on line choice evolved after only one day on these babies.

POWDER: Although I have not skied these on a deep powder day, I did get to take them out with 4 inches of new snow over hard pack and sun crust. Flotation seems to be on par with other rockered skis at 104mm underfoot. What did impress me is how playful the Q-Lab get on soft snow. They have that fun shape but still remain burly. Skiing tight trees is no problemo as again, turn initiation is very quick – they like to make both wide, sweeping turns as much as tight, short turns.

FINAL WORD: Solomon has thrown down the gauntlet with these stiff, all-mountain skis. They shred in the groomers and absolutely kill it in the chop. The Salomon Q-LAB are confidence inspiring and actually turned me into a better skier. They are almost dangerous in that regard. I would trade any of my current skis for a pair of Salomon Q-LAB.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on December 14, 2014

The ultimate ABS-compatible pack
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

After multiple uses in the Wasatch backcountry, I found the pack to have everything I could ask for – compartments for avalanche gear and other stuff like extra layers, food and crampons, goggle pockets, helmet carry, burly front panel for protection from ski edges… everything.

CONSTRUCTION: The Kode 22 +10 is obviously built with quality in mind. I would expect nothing less from Osprey. They also clearly had small details in mind to make this bag function as a true backcountry pack. But my favorite thing is that the pack expands from a 22 liter to a 32 liter. If you are planning on a longer day and need extra space for more gear, you simply unzip the zipper that encircles the whole pack, and the back panel pushes out to create 10 liters more space.

COMFORT: The back panel, shoulder straps and hip belt are among the best designed and ergonomic I have experienced. With the pack fully loaded, weight distribution was very good and I never felt weight shift badly when skiing down. Adjustment systems are the bomb. I love the hipbelt where you can adjust the width by pulling on both sides, which makes it really easy with gloved hands.

FUNCTION: The main compartment is back panel access, so you can get into the pack to retrieve something without getting the back panel covered in snow. The helmet carry location is perfect and keeps your lid out of the way and secure. The avalanche safety compartment has organization slots for shovel, probe and snow saw. The goggle pocket is lined with scratch-free material. Zipper loops are large and easy to open and easy to operate with gloved fingers. Thick, adjustable straps on the top and bottom give the pack a huge amount of versatility for diagonal ski carry.

GRIPE: To fully open the back panel to get into the main compartment, you have to undo the load-lifter straps that connect to the shoulder straps at the top of the pack. This is annoying

This pack is the ultimate ABS compatible backcountry bag.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on December 2, 2014

Quest for the Holy Grayl
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Thank you Backcountry.com and Grayl for hand-selecting me to review this water filtration system for the benefit of the Backcountry.com community.

For world and outdoor explorers, clean water sources can be few and far between. From forest rivers (didn't know about that rotting moose upstream?) to foreign lands (hope you enjoyed your week inside a hotel bathroom!) it's vital to protect yourself from waterborne illness. The Grayl Quest is a unique water bottle/filter that allows for easy, on-the-go filtration.

What makes the Quest different from typical pump-style filters is that it works more like a French Press for coffee. You fill the outer cup with dirty water, then press the filter and inner bottle down. The water percolates through the filter into the inner bottle. Then... bottoms up!

DESIGN: Overall, I like the concept. It takes a while (as in a whole 7 seconds) to press-filter the water, but that still beats pumping. The lid is solid with a cool flip top that clicks into place, letting you know it's closed tight. The filter is easy to get on and off with a twist and click.

THE FILTER: I've only used the Tap filter so far, so to test, I sought out the worst tasting tap water I could find - from the '80s-era drinking fountain at work, to the rubber-tasting water that comes from a garden hose. The filter got rid of all nasty flavors like chlorine and the aforementioned rubber.

IN THE FIELD: I took the Quest on backcountry ski tours and low-elevation hikes. It travels well with no leaks (as long as it was upright in my pack. See below.)

ISSUES: At 16 ounces, it's a bit heavy for throwing in your pack on long hikes. Also, the silicone-lined lid can be difficult to twist closed. I've had an instance when it slowly leaked while lying sideways on the car seat.

FINAL WORD: If you don't mind the weight in exchange for peace of mind in drinking-water safety, the Grayl Quest has got you covered. Just make sure the lid is on tight.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 27, 2014

Comfort and stability in one
3 5

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

Out of the box, I found the Verterra to fit quite well. They are true to size and I was immediately struck at the way the Stratafuse upper wraps around the top of the foot. Also, the cushion is very plush with a much more trail running shoe feel than a hiking shoe. Clearly, there is no break in needed here. Regardless, I wore them to work and around town a few times before hitting the trails.

On the trail, comfort and stability are excellent. Despite looking like a pair of sneakers, the Verterra are, well, sneaky. Underneath the toe box, the insole feels thinner, which allows for great ground feel, more like a minimalist shoe. I could literally feel the rock and roots through the shoes, but it was never too exaggerated or painful. Meanwhile, the heels are beefy and stable, with good squish and rebound.

I also found them to be very fun while rock hopping and even scrambling. Traction is average to excellent on dirt and rock, though on a snowy section on the north side of Sunset Peak at Alta I felt unwanted slippage over exposure. My guess is that these are not meant for winter weather. Speaking of winter, these shoes BREATHE! The uppers are so ventilated I could literally feel air moving through them… but that also means my feet got chilly on cold-weather hikes.

One minus I found is that the Verterra do not handle sand very well… at all. There is a short section of trail on Sunset Peak that consists of fine sand. It’s only about 30-yards long. But in that short time, fine particulates strained through the upper mesh and into the shoes. I had to stop on both the up and down to pour sand out and wipe those rough grains out from between my toes. So if you plan on hiking in the deserts of Southern Utah in the Verterra, be warned!

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 19, 2014

Good for carrying an SLR camera
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It is a true, one quiver piece of gear, but born from the womb of mountain biking. As such, I took the Escapist out on all of my mountain bike rides in Utah and Colorado this year and put it to the test.

As far as bike specific packs are concerned, the Escapist 30 goes beyond by literally packing everything you could want inside. There is huge main compartments that fit whatever you would need to pack for a long day in the saddle or multi day bike packing trips. There is also internal organizer pockets for bike tools that keeps things like pumps, chain tools and tire levers right where you need them for when you need them.

There is also an attachment for a blinker light and reflective detailing that rounds out the Escapist 30 bicycling oriented features. I am also really impressed that they even included a rain cover that stores inside the bottom compartment that you can whip out at the threat of a storm.

This pack is big, and really meant for very long days in the backcountry, bike packing, or bringing along a bunch of extra layers if you are riding in cold weather or expect a drizzle or two. However, the size also works out for shorter rides as the bottom pocket fits my SLR camera perfectly. In fact, I have been bringing my SLR along on rides far more often since I got the Escapist 30 as it makes carrying the big camera so easy.

My only real complaint with the pack is that I found the shoulder straps to be a bit uncomfortable. The bottom part of the straps dig into my ribs, despite all attempts at adjusting the straps to make it ease the pain.

In all, I’d say the Osprey Escapist 30 can be your go to pack for just about anything. Although its features make it look like a bike specific pack, with additions like the rain cover, ventilated back panel, and myriad pockets on both the shoulder and waist straps, make this gear hauler efficient for anything the outdoors calls you to partake in.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 19, 2014

May or may not attract the ladies
4 5

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

Many companies say their shirts are appropriate for the outdoors as well as dinner that night, but the Granite Creek really means it. I never wore it at a local beer joint or sit down restaurant, so I cannot speak to an ability to attract the ladies, but I did take it out on multiple hikes and peak-bagging expeditions in the Wasatch.

I really like this shirt. The trend these days is for outdoor shirts to have ventilated backs, a collar high enough when flipped up to protect the neck from the sun, chest pockets for small item storage, adjustable snap cuffs, and hidden Napoleon zip pockets for security against thieves when used as a travel shirt. The Granite Creek has all this and more.

On hikes when temps reached the upper 90s in the Salt Lake Valley, I took to the high country where 80s was the norm. While I still got hot and sweaty, the Granite Creek performed well considering conditions. Under the pack, the shirt got saturated with sweat stains, but the pack also prevented the mesh back vents from doing their jobs. However, once the pack came off after reaching my destination, the vents made the back of the shirt dry really fast, especially if there was any sort of wind. The sleeves roll up easily if you need your arms to cool off, and snap back into place when those pasty white twigs get too much sun. The seams never chafed under pack straps, and the button-down front was nice to unbutton to ventilate the chest when things got really hot.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 14, 2014

Stiffy for the resort
4 5

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

I have only skied these in the resort, so...

Initial impressions are these could be the ultimate one boot quiver that ski in bounds as awesome sauce as the best of them. At least that was the mantra in my brain when skiing in these at Solitude.

Wearing these, I feel like I am in alpine boots. While the original Factors left some unimpressed with its stiffness in a resort setting, I was driving my skis through moguls and tearing up the corduroy as if my Head racing boots were on my feet.

I am also amazed at how much range of motion the boots have in walk mode considering the 130 flex. While I did not actually tour in the boots, I would say they felt very similar to my Quadrants.

I don't hesitate to ski these in bounds, and look forward to getting them out on the skin track.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 14, 2014

Good airbag pack at a reasonable price
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The BCA Float 32 seems to be an all around touring pack that is just the right size for all day tours that is too big for sidecountry laps and too small for avalanche pros who carry a lot of extra gear. The spacious 32 liters, I think, is just the right volume for day tours.

While touring in the La Sal Mountains above Moab, I was surprised at how light weight the bag felt on my back. Compared to my 32 liter Black Diamond Avalung pack, I did not notice any measurable amount of extra weight. I liked how the bag felt on my shoulders as the straps are very cushy and comfortable. But I was disappointed in the waist belt. It did not seem to carry much of the load on my hips, which means my shoulders got tired pretty quick, and the safety buckle is difficult to adjust to my bony frame compared to traditional snap buckles. I also took issue with the back panel. It is thin and not terribly sturdy, and even caved in the middle if I stood upright and moved my shoulder blades back. I suspect this non-burly back panel saves weight, and is a lesson not to overpack the thing.

Dislikes include the two compression straps on the sides of the bag. They are pretty much worthless for carrying gear, are thin and cheap, and really only serve the purpose of compressing the bag down if it is not completely full. I also find this to be a problem as I like to strap my climbing skins to the outside of my pack when skiing down.

One of the key features of the Float 32 is the fact that the cylinder uses compressed air rather than nitrogen or CO2 gas. That means if you deploy the airbag, it is super easy to refill the cylinder at outdoor and scuba shops.

Design wise, it could use some work, but it is probably the most user friendly airbag pack in the market, and is one of the most affordable. If you are looking to purchase one, I do not think you will find a more functional avalanche pack at a better price.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 14, 2014

Makes backcountry touring even more fun
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Okay, so it is well known that Dynafit bindings are lighter and therefore more user friendly than more burly offerings. Well burliness is not even a question, especially after hammering the TLT Radical F. I am a measly 150 pounds and don’t even come close to needing the DIN setting screwed up to 12 (I set mine at 8) but I still was tentative when I took them to Snowbasin on a hardpack day.

At the resort, these bindings performed almost as well as my alpine setup. While bashing moguls, carving mach turns on groomers, and jump-turning through sluffing steeps, the bindings never pre-released or felt unstable at any time while in ski mode. However, I did notice a little bit of play in the toe when skate skiing across flats or going really fast with tight turns, and the toe piece would sometimes rattle annoyingly. Further research on the subject led me to believe that this toe-play likely has more to do with the tech inserts on my Black Diamond Quadrants than the binding design.

So, the Dynafit TLT Radical FT passed the resort test. But the backcountry is what they are made for, and they excelled. Honestly, owning these paired with the Voile Chargers made me excited to tour again, and provided motivation to get out more. When skinning uphill, the heel lifters are super easy to engage. I had issues at first by using my pole basket to grab the lifters, and discovered that turning my pole upside down and using the rubberized grip makes going from flat to heel lifted super fast and easy. Same goes for putting them back into the down position.

I am absolutely in love with my Dynafits. The total lack of weight while skinning uphill, coupled with user friendly heel lifters, and confidence-inspiring downhill capability make these bindings an obvious choice for backcountry skiers looking for the ultimate in touring and freeride performance.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 10, 2014

5 5

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

They say no B.O.

To test, I wore my Tech T Lite for three straight days. First, I went mountain biking in the foothills of Salt Lake City. Daytime highs were is the 80s, and I was nervous about being too hot in a black, wool shirt. My fears were quickly put to rest however as the shirt felt great. While I could feel the black color soaking up the sunlight, I never felt more sweaty than usual and it was obvious that the shirt was expelling moisture away from my body. The only place the shirt got soaked was underneath my pack. Color me impressed.

To test out the odorless claim, I wore my mud splattered, sweat soaked shirt to work. Once again, I felt not to hot, and not too cold the entire day and into the night, and none of my co workers made any mention or stink face at me despite my wearing a shirt I went mountain biking in… either that or my cohorts are really polite.

On to day three and it was time to head out for some ski touring. I love merino wool as a base layer in the mountains, and the Tech T Lite did not disappoint. I layered it underneath a light mid layer and a windbreaker as temperatures were expected to climb into the 60s at 10,000 feet. For 10 hours we biked, hiked, skinned, boot packed and finally skied down Deseret Peak, and the shirt was a comfortable and versatile layer. As temps rose, I peeled off the windbreaker and mid-layer, and finally just wore the Tech T Lite under the spring sun while making turns on manky snow through the trees.

Even after all of that, the shirt doesn’t have a whiff of B.O.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 10, 2014

Love in a MTB pack
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The first thing I noticed with the Raptor 10 is how well it fits my body. Easy-to-adjust hip and shoulder straps make cinching the pack down to size a snap. I really appreciate that the straps have clips at the ends so they attach to themselves and do not annoyingly flap around when I am bombing down the singletrack.

The back panel is very well designed with airflow padding, concave shape, and a mesh fabric overlay to keep air flowing. Of course on hot, strenuous climbs nothing will keep my back from becoming a swamp, but it is nice to have a little help from the pack.

For such a small pack, this thing is loaded with storage space for just about anything you would need to carry on a short to medium-long ride. First, there is a large, zippered main pocket with room enough for a couple tubes and a jacket. The main compartment also has a mesh pocket where I keep an energy bar, plus two vertical interior sleeves that are perfect for stashing air and shock pumps. That's just a taste of the storage space.

The best pocket of all, is the tool pouch. It is located at the bottom, and once unzipped, reveals a roll-out tool box for things like chain tools, tire levers, multi tools, hexes, and spare parts such as shifter cables, chains, patch kits and lube. It is all kept tidy in zippered, mesh compartments that roll up and cinch down tight.

Plus you can't beat Osprey's hydration system. Pure gold.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on October 10, 2014

Minimalist hikers
3 5

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

I have been walking the earth in the Proterra Sport shoes for two months now, both on and off the trail, and found them to be comfortable and well-suited for outdoor adventure. I primarily work outdoors, and hauled them on miles of mountain trails, both dry and muddy, and came away impressed with the breathability and waterproof qualities. They are pretty light weight and super flexible, definitely minimalist.

On muddy trails, I found good traction, but mud had a tendency to get caked up in the diamond-shaped lugs, which generally was not a problem as the shallow lugs are easy to clean. Stability underfoot is good with superb ground feel. Unfortunately, minimalist shoes have limits, as my feet would start to hurt after about 6 miles on the trail. So in my opinion, the Proterra shoes are best for short day hikes. Best leave them at home on backpacking or multi day excursions.

The uppers are super comfortable, with a thin quality that reminds me of rock climbing approach shoes. The tongue especially has a climbing shoe quality to it. But the fact that the uppers are waterproof with Gore-Tex Performance Shell does not mean you should be crossing creeks or hiking in a deluge.

Overall, good light hikers for mild weather days.

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