Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave

Utah's Unparalleled Outdoors

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Jared's Passions

Alpine Touring
Trad Climbing
Backpacking
Camping
Hiking
Mountain Biking
Alpine Skiing
Sport Climbing

Jared'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 on my website, UtahOutside.com, and for magazines like the Utah Adventure Journal and BackcountryMagazine.com. I'm also a television producer for the KSL Outdoors show.



Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on July 22, 2013

5 5

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

Take all the barefoot/minimalist/zero-drop shoe freaks in your life, tell them to get dressy, and they'll be glad to slip on the KEEN Bleecker CNX.

My experience wearing this low-to-the-ground shoe actually felt very non-KEEN. The KEENS I've hiked, walked and scrambled in before were all burly. But these CNX deals are the opposite. Trekking in my gravel driveway, I was appalled that I could feel the rocks beneath my feet. They really are minimalist! KEEN says this low-profile gives you the ability to make "every step a natural connection" to the ground. It's an odd sensation when you're wearing what are basically souped-up loafers instead of teched-out, zero-drop, trail running shoes.

After getting used to the shoes and breaking them in, however, they soon became one of my favorite pairs to wear for pretty much every day use. Going to work at the office, or going out for tacos on the weekend, the Bleecker CNX look good and make me feel like my calves are getting a workout at the same time. Yes, it's true, you use different muscles when wearing this kind of shoe, and it takes time to build up a tolerance. But since I'm always embarrassed by my chicken legs, any opportunity to girth-up my calves is a welcome one.

Plus, the KEEN Bleecker CNX just look really nice. They're leathery, have laces, and the brown *ahem* "chocolate" brown version looks killer when paired with blue jeans.

The only knock I have with them is that I'm used to wearing my KEENS with shorts, but wearing the Bleecker CNX shoes with a pair of cargoes will make you look like a hipster child molester.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on November 26, 2012

Game Changer
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

When I first got the Ambit, I was afraid to turn it on as these types of devices are usually hard to operate, have confusing menus, and make me want to throw them across the room in frustration. But Suunto has really come up with a menu system that is so intuitive, easy breezy in fact, that I had it calibrated and set up to my location in under 10 minutes. Excited with my newfound toy, I was out the door for a trail run in Emigration Canyon.

Want easy? You can tell the watch what activity you’re about to do, and it automatically turns on the functions you’ll need. I was most interested in the watch’s ability to track my movements via GPS that can be downloaded into Google Earth. After telling the watch I was trail running, the Ambit locked onto the satellite blazingly fast and never lost the signal. After running my standard 4-mile loop on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, I went home and uploaded the data to Movescount.com, Suunto’s online community where all your data is stored so you can track your progress and experiences. After syncing the Ambit to my account, the route uploaded onto a shareable map and I was able to create a .gpx or .kml file for future use. The Ambit also tracked my speed, altitude, distance, vertical speed, and even the temperature.
What’s really amazing about the Suunto Ambit watch, what’s actually a game changer, is that the watch platform can be upgraded in much the same way you can upgrade your computer. In the past, if you wanted a watch or GPS with new features, you had to buy a new watch. But with the Ambit, updated software is ready to be downloaded directly to the watch when you plug it in to charge on the computer. In the short time I had the Ambit, new software was downloaded twice. The folks at Suunto are always tweaking and improving their products, and you can get those improvements instantly and at no cost. Basically speaking, with the Ambit, you’ll never have to buy a new GPS watch again.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on December 3, 2011

5 5

Don’t hate the Salomon Rocker 2 because they are beautiful. It’s not their fault. Blame Salomon’s design team for building a ski that I can find nothing negative to say about.

Let me explain. After the very first run, I decided that I hate the Salomon Rocker 2. I hate them like a teenage girl hates the prom queen because that crowned floozy is so damned perfect.

Therefore, I hate the Rocker 2 because they too, are perfect. How can anybody like a ski that has no flaws, no blemishes, and nothing to complain about? What fun can be found in skiing something that reacts just the way you ask, when you ask. Is it possible to love skis that have no surprises? Can you commit to skis that float too well, turn too smoothly, and crush the hard mountain while remaining light weight and stable?

Such is the Rocker 2. The honeycombed rocker tips seek the top of the snow, and the soft flex makes them a joy to land off rock jumps and play with natural features. Considering how big these skis are, I was surprised at how versatile, quick, and maneuverable they could be. Salomon managed this by reducing weight in the tip and tails, thereby reducing the “swing weight” when you turn. Those honeycomb, edgeless tips are responsible, and they work.

Ski 'em and weep.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on November 27, 2011

5 5

Awesome? Hell yea. The Chargers drive like a Cadillac, just like a made-in-America ski should. Also like a Caddy, they give the skier a super smooth ride. While bombing down runs with choppy or bumpy soft snow, the Chargers absorbed everything thrown at them to the point that I didn’t even feel it.

In the powder, the Voile Chargers just kill. Turns can only be described as buttery… no, whipped buttery. The rockered tip and 110mm underfoot destroy the snow and provide a platform that rides powder like a surf board. I could get on edge and carve wide turns, or smear to my heart’s content. In fact, the Chargers are so good in pow, that you could almost say they’re a bit boring. I don’t mean this in a bad way, just that there are no surprises with these skis. The Chargers are very straightforward, no-nonsense skis that don’t have any tricks up their sleeves…. just a very meat and potatoes kind of ski.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on May 11, 2011

5 5

Here in Utah, it doesn’t rain much. I personally don’t like the rain, so Utah works out great for me. But after I got the Helium Jacket, I started praying for rain almost daily just so I could have an excuse to wear the thing. It’s that good.

Nothing got through the Helium when I took the dog for a walk in a downpour, or while I spent hours outside working in a steady drizzle. The rain simply beaded up and slid away, leaving my arms and torso completely dry. And thanks to its breathability, I never felt clammy while wearing the Helium; a big plus if forced to live in it when the rain doesn’t want to stop.

In short, I love this jacket.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on April 14, 2011

3 5

I used the Suunto GPS POD several times for running and backcountry skiing. It worked very well for both activities. I was afraid that the satellite signal would be lost when I skied into thick pine forests, but it never ceased to work no matter where I was or how fast I was going.

That being said, there are limitations to the Suunto GPS POD. First, the battery life is very short. 10 hours of use, and you’ll be heading to the corner store for another pack of triple-As.

Second, it can take its sweet time locating a satellite. Several times I got frustrated while waiting for the red light on the POD to indicate that it was linked up and tracking. Meanwhile, my backcountry buddies were standing in the cold, waiting to go.

Third, using the GPS system to only track speed and distance seems like overkill to me. In the future, I’d like to see Suunto come out with a GPS POD that also creates a track that you can download to Google Earth. You’re being tracked by a satellite anyway, so why not go all out with the GPS features found on other devices?

So, yea, it works as advertised, but I think a Suunto Foot POD or Bike POD would be better for the price.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on April 14, 2011

Tiny, weighs nothing, works good.
5 5

The Suunto Foot POD Mini is a teensy, weensy little guy that clips on the laces of a running shoe. It measures the speed and distance of a run and transmits the data to a Suunto watch like my T3d. Not only is this device tiny, but it’s also so light weight that I don’t even notice it attached to my shoe.

Suunto says the Foot POD Mini works both indoors and outdoors, but I've only used it outside on the roads and trails around Salt Lake City. As far as I could tell, the Foot POD Mini was accurate in telling me how far I went on a run, as it matched the advertised mileage of a lap around Liberty Park.

It's also waterproof... unless you're going to go scuba diving with it. You can take it down 100 feet actually, so you'll be fine splashing through a few puddles with this on your shoe.

Great product and a must have for Suunto fans whp are in training or just want to keep track of their mileage.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on April 12, 2011

4 5

I don't know how I ever trained without this heart rate monitor.

Basically, the Suunto T3d is a personal trainer that you wear on your wrist. It’s a heart rate monitor, gives you data on calories burned, and shows you real-time “Training Effect.”

When paired with the included Dual Comfort Belt, the T3d has been my essential running partner. The belt is a comfortable strap that wraps around the chest. It clips together with a small, plastic disk that sits on the sternum. The belt links wirelessly to the T3d and transfers workout data, which then appears on the watch display. I was unsure about wearing the belt at first for fear of it chafing, but it’s been very comfortable while running. In fact, after a workout I usually don’t notice it’s there and will forget to take it off at home.

Love how you can sync it up to other gadgets like the GPS POD or and Bike POD.

It stores the info from 15 workouts that can be uploaded via a USB Movestick to your computer where you can complie all your training data on Movescount.com. It's actually addictive posting all that workout data online... because if you don't have proof, it never happened...

And, yea, the menus are confusing, but overall The T3d works.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on March 29, 2011

4 5

I have been skiing on the Freeride Pro all season long and so far, I'm very happy with them.

When I mounted them to some Black Diamond Drifts, I did a side by side comparison with my Marker Barons at home. I clicked into the Freeride Pro with my left foot, and into my Marker Baron bindings with my right. To compare how they each glide, I walked around and was surprised at how much better the Freeride bindings felt. By having the toe hinge further back, my stride was much more natural than with the Markers.

On the down, the Freeride Pro handled like a "pro" in soft snow. I could tell how the wide footprint of the binding transfered power edge to edge when turning, making wide arcs in open bowls and quick turns in the trees easy to initiate. I even got a few days in at the resort with the Freeride Pro, and never felt like they were unstable or flimsy as compared to standard alpine bindings.

Overall, I like them better than my Markers. They're lighter and easier to use.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on February 4, 2011

5 5

I took this fleece along on an Oregon road trip where it was my constant companion as we hopped from brewery to brewery. Temperatures were cold at night, and the jacket kept me toasty between pubs stops. It also kept me warm in camp, especially when layered under a breathable shell during unending coastal drizzles.

Next up was even colder camping in Southern Utah, where the fleece stepped up in temperatures cold enough for it to snow. By itself it provided enough heat, but when covered by an outer layer, all the heat generation was trapped where needed.

I was even more impressed with this jacket for backcountry skiing duties. Wearing it on the skin track in 15-degree weather, I was kept very warm, even too warm. Very breathable though. You'll be impressed at how warm this thing is for such a light fleece. It's a true mid layer... not wind proof at all.

Overall I love this fleece. My wife keeps stealing it all the time.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on February 4, 2011

3 5

The Alpine Utility Pant found a revered place on my legs for the past few months. Although they are a bit stiff out of the box, after loosening them up with some daily wear followed by a couple rounds in the washing machine, they were good to go to work.

From hiking on sand dunes in the desert, to seeking out ancient petroglyphs in Utah’s canyons, to kneeling on snow-covered streets to get a low-angle camera shot, the Alpine Utility Pant proved to be a workhorse. The pants are thick wand are reinforced where it matters – in the knees and seat.

The only problem I encountered with the Alpine Utility Pant was the fit. I normally wear a size 30 waist, but size 30 to Mountain Khakis actually means “vice grip.” Other people I’ve spoken to have also said their Mountain Khakis run small, so upsizing to a size 32 meant I either found the right fit, or all those beers I’ve been drinking are catching up to me. I also don’t like how the waist rides high on my hips, killing any desire to ever tuck a shirt in.

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Jared Hargrave

Jared Hargrave wrote a review of on February 1, 2011

4 5

My initial impression about the Black Diamond Drift is that they are soft and hooky. In fact, I didn't really like them all that much. The skis were constantly throwing me into the back seat, and once that was accomplished, they would take off out of control. This mainly occured only in rough terrain... while in powder the Drift skied like a dream.

Basically, they like to turn, and despite their width, they can turn fast, tight and on a dime just was well as they slarve wide sweepers. But if you hold a turn for too long, those wide tails will hook you. You have to stay on top of these skis as they are not forgiving of mistakes.

But all of the above only applies to variable snow, chopped powder and hardpack conditions. In deep, untracked snow (which, honestly is what we're skiing in the backcountry 90% of the time) the Drift are floaty, whippy and fun.

The light weight makes them feel very nice on the skin track. I used the new Fritchi Freeride Pro bindings on them, and sliding in the uptrack for hours on end was made easier than previous touring setups I've owned. The wide tip was especially nice when breaking trail. The metal skin clip on the tail is also a nice touch.

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