John T Young

John T Young

High steep remote places. Anywhere I can afford to be.

John T Young's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Climbing

John T Young's Bio

I am working towards Living the Life. Some days it comes easy to train, to play, to move forward. Other days I couldn't care less and can't get off my ass.
Sushi helps.

John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on February 11, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This weight of merino seems to work really well for 20 (+ -) degree days if you are moving around some. I don't like how moisture builds up if you cover your mouth with it however.

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on February 11, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Alpine, Park, AT, work, these socks have been run through the ringer by me and my wife and neither of us have worn them out. I can not same the same for some other socks we've tried and killed.
Darn Tough's hiking socks are the bomb as well.

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on August 31, 2012

It Weighs Nothing
4 5

Well almost nothing.
First, lets be clear, this is a axe you carry when you may need an axe for a little while and the snow is going to be soft enough. If you encounter ice, you're done. If you need it to plunge time after time, hour after after, you're done.
It's too light, dull, flimsy, etc to use as a serious tool for a serious mountain route.
But...
It weighs nothing!

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on August 31, 2012

2 5

I bought these boots because I found I needed something, quickly, that I could strap crampons onto, that was waterproof, and that was light weight. I used them on and off for one day and found that the heel cup was too shallow for my heels, and the only way to get these to work for me without giving me blisters, was to take out the extra footbed and to wear thin socks. Also the right boot gave me horrible shin bang on the outside of my leg. It was so bad I ended up hiking out wearing my climbing shoe on my right foot.
On the plus side the toe box is wider than any of my other shoes and is very comfy, they stayed waterproof throughout my day off and then back on wet snow.

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on August 31, 2012

Climbs Very Well
4 5

I did a few long climbs in the Tetons with this pack where we carried our bivy gear in (loaded up the pack) and then left it behind Compressed the crap out of the pack) for the climb. It worked as both an overnight hauler and a summit pack.
The material seems as if it ought to last a good long time though it definitely adds some weight to a "light" pack.
I love the kangaroo pocket, the hidden rope tie down strap, the very capable yet slim hip belt, and the overall comfort of this thing both full and empty. You can feel the ReActive shoulder straps sliding back and forth as you move, but I can't say as whether this feature felt better than a pack with a solid attachment or not.
I'm not a big fan of the axe attachment points however. I bent one of the thin chincy pieces of aluminum and ended up clipping a biner through the loop to ensure I didn't lose my axe while I was climbing. The cord itself is mighty thin. Be careful scraping that stuff up and down the rocks.
Otherwise I would highly recommend this puppy.

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on April 12, 2012

4 5

The Alpha SL is a minimalist Paclite rain / wind jacket in a great cut with nice features. I love the one sided zipper. The front pocket takes some getting used to, but once you easily reach in there and pull out your cell phone/Cliff bar/GPS while wearing a pack I think you'll appreciate it.
The colors are unique as well. Keep in mind that this is a Paclite jacket. It will take a beating but it is still a light weight garment. And it's crinkly.
I have used it as a wind breaker while rock climbing and have yet to permanently scuff it, but I've been semi careful. Wearing a 20 lbs pack for 3 or 4 miles at a time has done nothing to it at all.

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on April 11, 2012

Boom
5 5

Everything everyone says and more. Ditch that fleece from 1984 you're still hauling around and get in on the fun. Uber light weight. All but wind proof. DWR. Breathes. And tougher than it looks. I climbed Seneca in the Atom LT, scuffing up against the rocks for a few pitches before remembering what I was wearing!!!!! Not a scratch. Boom! 5 stars.

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on April 10, 2012

3 5

The Summitrocket 30L is as light as MHW claims. It's comfy when loaded, and stashes well when not in use. It seems well built, though well built of very light fabrics. But if it's half full, and you cinch down the compression straps on the sides, the straps pull the bottom of the pack up, they do not squeeze the pack skinnier. It's kind of weird. You end up with the pack in an "S" curve. It has a lot to do with the corrugated plastic piece they use to give the pack some form. It's all but inflexible horizontally but very flexible vertically. You can easily roll the pack up from the toplid to the bottom. If I can figure how to keep things from getting funky I'll give this pack a 4 star rating. If I can't, it get's a 3 star, as it's still superlight and well built, but I shouldn't have to fenagle anything at $150. That was Ueli's job.

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on February 12, 2012

Great Soft Shell.
4 5

Polartec Power Shield Pro is some amazing stuff. I rock and ice climb in this jacket and have yet to permanently scuff or mar it. Light drizzle and snow can't seem to penetrate it. Line the Polartec with fur and you have a really great cold weather jacket, though gusty wind will blow right on through. Otherwise the Northwall tends to be a much warmer soft shell than a lot of people are used to. The fit is slim and trim. At 165lbs. 5-10, the medium fits me very nicely, though the sleeves are a bit long. BUT, I will take too long sleeves over too short sleeves any day.
This jacket is a great stand alone piece for active days in the cold. Stand still too long and your heat will leak out. The hood cinches down nicely and tends to stay put, even though the toggles and cords that hold the hood in place seem weak.
Worn as a heavy base layer - the hood (which fits really well by itself) is too bulky to work under a shell (IMHO).
Over all I'm digging this jacket.

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on December 28, 2010

5 5

These boots were made for my feet - narrow with slightly wide toes and a medium high arch.
The construction feels solid while the boots are relatively light. The soles are 2x4 stiff but the slight built in rocker eases the strain of long walks. The ankle support is pretty solid as well.
They are warm, but not super warm. If I am idle, standing still, then somewhere around 25F degrees my toes get a little frosty, but I usually have cold toes.
If Scarpa and La Sportiva almost fit, try the Kaylands.
UPDATE:
The Glen ice climbing area is a short half-hour hike uphill from the parking area in the Lehigh Gorge State Park. With the laces undone above the ankles, these boots hiked (despite stiff soles) almost as well as a real pair of hikers. When I got my BD Sabretooth crampons on (which fit perfectly) the boots ultra stiff soles really started to shine. I had no problem kicking in points or standing on them afterwards. All day. The heavily padded tongue took most of the brunt. Fruit boots notwithstanding, I can not imagine a more precise feeling boot.

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on December 23, 2010

5 5

These socks are so thick and plush and soft and warm that your feet will melt and fall in love.

I own mountaineering socks from Darn Tough (longest lasting) Smartwool (cheapest) and another few pairs I don't remember the names of - These socks kick all their asses combined.

Now for the bad news... they really are monstrously THICK and your boots may not fit you anymore unless you pullout your insoles.

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John T Young

John T Young wrote a review of on December 23, 2010

4 5

The naranja color is hunter blaze orange. Don't confuse it with the old Arcteryx aztec.That aside, this jacket is very warm for its weight and packs down tiny, much like a down jacket without the worry of wetout.
The Gossamera nylon feels almost too delicate to trust to any heavy lifting, but Backcountry.com's return policy makes that point almost moot.I am 5-10, 155 and I can wear either a small or a medium in Arcteryx gear. Smalls do not allow room for layering on me. I have this jacket in a medium and find it's the perfect size to either throw under OR over a shell.
For the money, I wish this jacket came with pit zips. Then it would be a truly versatile piece. As it is it's just merely great. Except for the retina burn I get every time I look at it.

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