Jesse Trovillion

Jesse Trovillion

Jesse's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Biking
Snowshoeing
Climbing
Jesse Trovillion

Jesse Trovillion wrote a review of on January 22, 2013

Perform great, other issues
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I had a pair of these for almost 4 years of moderate use.

The Good:
Performance was great. They were sticky enough without sacrificing durability, they edge well for a shoe that's not too tight to hike in, they're outrageously comfortable, and the sole and upper are very wear-resistant. It's stiff in the forefoot (supportive and protective, though not extremely sensitive) and in the toebox (saved me from many stubbed toes). They can handle boulders in the V2-V3 range no problem. I'd buy them again without hesitation if it weren't for...

The Bad:
The sole is textured in such a way that if you walk in mud or wet dirt (pretty common in Oregon) it sticks in the forefoot area. The embedded mud doesn't come out when rubbed on, say, a friend's door mat, but once you are inside said friend's house and the mud dries it starts flaking out all over this hypothetical friend's carpet.

...and...

The Ugly:
I wore these at Smith Rock last summer. I left them at the base of the wall while I did some climbing (they were in the shade at first, but the sun moved in at some point). After a couple of hours spent on a few routes I went to put them back on and the sole on the heel of one of them slid half an inch across the midsole as soon as I put weight on it (the glue melted) and stuck there. It was hot out, but not *that* hot. Mine was the only shoe to have this issue in our group of four. Resoling is an iffy prospect since I wore down the foam midsole some on the hike out and the following day. This may have been an extreme circumstance, but I'm still less-than-thrilled about it.

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Jesse Trovillion

Jesse Trovillion wrote a review of on October 27, 2011

Smear campaign
5 5

Let's start with sizing:

I wear a 42 in Miuras and got these in a 41.5 -> perfect (once broken in).


The break-in:

Owowow! NOT for the faint of heart. It took probably 10 hours total on-foot time for these puppies to get broken in. I still can't wear them for more than a couple of pitches at a time. At least they don't try to break my toes when I fall off a boulder problem (I'm looking at you, 5.10 Quantum).
Before the break-in I could only wear them for a problem or 2, or a painful pitch before the numbness set in. They pressed really hard on the inner part of my big toe knuckle (where the extra rubber is). Now they're awesome, they've relaxed just enough and become like a second skin. They also barely turn my feet orange anymore.


The performance:

I've climbed my hardest routes in these. The heel cup is amazingly secure for a slipper (I've never even had a hint of a problem with heel hooking), which also makes them kinda hard to take off (NBD). You need to have amazing foot strength to get them to "turn dime edges into sidewalks" as per the description, but they do edge well for such a soft shoe. But oh MAN do they smear! I truly believe this rubber (Vibram XS Grip2) is stickier than stealth, and the amazing sensitivity and flexibility of these shoes really help it come into its own on marginal smears. They lose their (slight) downturn pretty quickly, but you can just flex your feet and they'll flex with 'em (use your feet like hands).

All in all, these are everything I was looking for in a slipper (but if you're planning on doing mostly cracks, the moccasym is probably a better suited slipper than this toe-curler). I imagine these'll stay in my rotation as long as La Sportiva keeps making them.

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Jesse Trovillion

Jesse Trovillion wrote a review of on May 17, 2011

5 5

I've mostly placed these in basalt and find them to have a very positive camming action. They set solidly with a tug (not worried about the rope knocking them loose at all) and are definitely confidence inspiring. I haven't found any placements yet that have seemed a little too big for one, but a little too small for the next size up, so it looks like they nailed the overlap. They're totally loud, but hey, they're big hexes, whaddaya expect? The sling extends pretty easily and saves on draws (it can take a little longer for seconds to rerack them with the sling extended, but if that's a deal breaker for you just leave the sling doubled and use a draw). Another really cool feature: the sizes line up really closely with the equivalently colored Camalot C4's (.75-3). Gotta love standardized colors.

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Jesse Trovillion

Jesse Trovillion wrote an answer about on May 3, 2011

The Z-poles are only compatible with Z-pole baskets, so in order to use a snow basket you would have to find some creative way of attaching them (read: zip ties and/or duct tape). That's a little janky for my tastes, but YMMV. The REI employee I spoke to regarding these poles said that BD left out the functionality of interchangeable baskets to "save weight" and also to reduce the temptation to use them as ski poles (which would generate breaking forces due to the Z-Fold technology). This was a deal breaker for me, since I'm looking for poles that can be used for hiking AND snowshoeing (that's right, Black Diamond, skiing isn't the only winter sport people want poles for). Maybe next year BD will wise up and give the customers the option of deciding what they want to use the poles for. Until then, I find it hard to justify having to get 2 sets of trekking poles to take me through all 4 seasons ('cause it's not like they're cheap).

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Jesse Trovillion

Jesse Trovillion wrote a review of on April 29, 2011

Snag-free oval
5 5

It's a keylock oval. These work great for racking nuts snag-free and are solid as a carabiner brake in a pinch. I don't aid climb, so I can't speak to their performance there, but for my purposes they're great. The gate has an angular grind on the inside opening end that lets it eke out an extra mm or so of gate clearance (see picture). Overall a functional, beautiful and solid piece of gear. My go-to oval.

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Jesse Trovillion

Jesse Trovillion wrote a review of on April 26, 2011

5 5

I got one of these for my down bag last minute on a whim for a mountaineering seminar I went to on Mt. Hood. The first day it was 34 degrees (F) and raining with 30 mph winds all day, then dropped to 20 (F) overnight. My only piece of gear that didn't get soaked through (and subsequently frozen solid) was my sleeping bag (awesome). I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't gotten this (frozen my unmentionables off all night long, probably). Size M was good for my Stoic Somnus 15.

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Jesse Trovillion

Jesse Trovillion wrote a review of on April 5, 2011

It's like a wiregate, only less snaggy
4 5

Solid biner from BD. It has all the perks of a wiregate (light, minimal gate flutter) with most of the perks of a keylock, and is about 20% cheaper than a WC Helium. I'm also not as worried about accruing gunk in the hood as I am with the WC ("self cleaning"!).

The reasons I only gave them 4 stars: 1) The wire hood doesn't go quite as far out as the beginning of the notch (about 1mm, see picture) so there's still a hint of a snag sometimes vs. a keylock (very minor, and not noticeable at all if you're using it for a rope-end biner). 2) There are some inconsistencies in gate tension between biners, probably something to do with the flattened wire. That being said, the gates are all still snappy and trustworthy, just not as consistent as I'd like to see.

In conclusion: I will definitely be buying these again. An awesome rope-end biner with a little room for improvement.

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