Colorado High Country
Yep - these'll work fine with Fritschi's.
Everything you'd expect from Patagonia in terms of quality and construction. It's the unexpected elements of this jacket that make me love it... clipped the tidy little bundle to the back of my harness for what should have been a quick alpine jaunt. When we lost due to darkness and stream crossings, the UL Down Hoody saw me through a chilly night out sitting on the rope. Warm, light, and packable... no reason not to bring it next time.
The Drifters ski pretty short. I'm 172cm / 59kg and have 182's that are great. I was a bit worried at going too long initially but haven't had any trouble despite typically skiing 165-175's. 192 won't be too much ski.
As Dave points out, let the terrain dictate the length.
Recently upgraded from a old High Gear altimeter to the Core special edition (black rubber band, green aluminum watch face). I have a medium to small wrist and was concerned the watch face would be too big. In reality the watch fits much better than my High Gear as the watch body is quite thin. The large diameter face meanwhile makes it easy to read.
Current gripes - on the special edition the buttons are made of metal and have a lot of texture. While this makes it easy to press buttons with gloves on, it can be irritating if the buttons dig into your wrist. Assuming this is less of an issue on the standard plastic buttons.
The other thing I'm getting used to is understanding how to use the advanced features of the watch. The instruction manual that came with the watch didn't provide any description of how to work with the advanced features (e.g. the storm alarm - sounds great but I haven't determined when I should expect it to pop up).
All in all, I really like this watch for its design and quality workmanship.
I find the down sweater to be reasonably warmer than the Atom LT. If you use the hood on the down sweater, you're going to get a lot more warmth out of it. But if you're looking for something significantly warmer than your LT for going homeless at the ski area, you might need to branch out of the ultralight down jacket category and look at something along the lines of a MH Sub Zero.
I have to admit that I thought I liked the older version of the Kilowatts (khaki topsheets) just fine - I like the dimensions, the weight is acceptable for such a solid ski, etc. But after getting a screaming deal on the updated 'Watts (blue topsheets), I realize just how much the old tan sticks skied like fence posts. The updates have made the ski flex much more consistently and this makes for a more forgiving ride. Mounting the blue Kilowatts up with tele bindings works well and my khaki 'watts are now relegated to early/late season downhilling.
I got my Beta SL on sale and feel mostly OK with that, however I don't think it's worth the msrp. For 11 oz it makes a good layer to toss in the pack and forget about, just in case. It obviously doesn't weigh much and the zipper and other features are consequently a little bit waifish. I haven't ripped the shell in 2 years of moderate alpine climbing and backpacking, but that doesn't mean I don't worry about a branch eating up my jacket. I use a different, heavier shell for day-to-day use in the Pac NW because I'm afraid of wearing this one out. Pit zips would be good as I get a little overheated when moving around, but then you'd should just get the Alpha SL for an additional ounce. I like the Beta SL for ultralight layering and 'just in case' situations but it's not a daily driver for me. Sizing in the "small" is consistent with other Arc'teryx pieces.
Used a friend's Xion for cragging and couldn't believe it's a 10.1 as it felt more like 9.6mm's I've used. It fed really smooth through a variety of belay devices (grigri, grigri2, reverso, Smart) and the rope itself feels supple and soft. The other rope I was using that day was a stiff 9.8 Mammut Tusk and the difference between the two ropes was night and day. I haven't had a whole lot of trust in Petzl Ropes since their initial release and subsequent durability issues, however the Xion has restored my faith in their ropes.
I really wanted to like this jacket. It's comfortable and the material seems durable. Unfortunately this latest season's version of the Luft Insulated Sweater (season with "Beehive" and "Black/Deep/Deep" as color options) is far too boxy for my frame. As Stoic gear tends more towards an athletic fit, I was surprised by the wide shoulders and waist on this jacket. Even with clothing layered under the jacket I had a lot of warmth escaping. Using the waist-cinch cord helped with retaining warmth but it killed the aesthetics of the jacket.
Haven't had any issues with my stretching. The band is pretty wide so I reckon it'd take a lot of stretching action to ruin the band.
The color coding makes racking cams easy but for rope-work I find the gate action and basket size to be less than ideal. Ultimately I end up reaching for the DMM spectre more than the FS Mini, but I dig the concept of the full strength baby biner. Plus, this is a great carabiner for all those super extreme people who carry their keys on their belt loop with a carabiner. Maybe you can suggest using the FS Mini as a less conspicuous option. Or a pocket...
This is a versatile, solid locking biner that I use for almost everything. The smooth, rounded edges make belaying a second off the anchor smooth. Also, rappels are smooth, the basket has plenty of space for a clove and multiple slings while it still stays out of the way on your harness. You can ditch some weight with the Attache 3D, but you lose the smoothness afforded by the round bar stock.
I love the 3d as a mother biner on multipitch anchors. I find that the smooth/rounded bar stock on the original attache feeds better when belaying a second directly off the anchor. The 3d is a bit shifty and you have to be sure to lock the screwgate with authority, but for the awesome weight to size ratio, I'm more than willing to compromise.
Side note - I wouldn't recommend top roping off this carabiner as it will likely wear the alloy down more quickly than a heavier carabiner.
I didn't feel too confident with the Ultra Tech screw gate. It felt like half the biner was made out of plastic and the other half was some kind of wispy alloy. Also, the screwgate required too many turns just to get it to move into position. I wouldn't recommend this carabiner.
Really nice alternative to the BD rack pack. I find the gate action and size of the biner to be better than the neutrino (a good wire in its own right). Pairing the Spectre up with a BD Oz also makes for a functional, lightweight alpine draw.
This biner really does reduce friction on wandering pitches and I've used it far more than I ever expected to. Now that it's available in a locker, it's also a nice addition to a glacier kit as an emergency pulley. That being said, if you're really planning to use a pulley, you'd best stick with a dedicated device.
It works fine, but the element key lock feels a bit small and cheap as a belay 'biner. I'm sure it's plenty safe, but the screw-gate could do to be a bit smoother and easier to unlock. Given the choice between the Element and other options, the Element usually gets relegated to the second string.
I've had the older version of this locker for three years now and have found it suitable for most of my needs. I really like the round bar stock but agree with the previous reviewer that noted that the biner shape is prone to twisting while belaying. Makes for a smooth rappel but I use my Petzl Attache more often lately.
I love the original Smart belay device and had high hopes for the alpine version. Nevertheless, in order to accommodate two rope channels, Mammut had to make the width of this device a bit too wide for some locking biners. If you are belaying with a narrow-ish locker (i.e. Petzl AM'D), the belay device seems to get jammed in the curvature of the carabiner.
With an HMS locker like an Attache(wide pear shaped carbiners) this device fits fine. I imagine this is less of an issue on the smaller Alpine Smart(7.5mm to 9.5mm) but haven't gotten my hands on one to check. As long as you're not using a oval or D shaped locker, you should be fine.
Great to save weight when racking cams, but the gate is quite small when open. I prefer using a slightly larger biner like the Black Diamond Oz so that clipping the rope is easier. Also, the gate action does not inspire confidence on the Nano 23 and the absence of color coded options fails to fit my needs.
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