Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz

New England, PNW

Jonathan S. Shefftz's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Running
Skiing

Jonathan S. Shefftz's Bio

National Ski Patrol:
-- Avalanche Instructor
-- Mountain Travel & Rescue Instructor
-- Outdoor Emergency Care Technician
-- Eastern Division Outstanding Nordic Patroller (2013)
-- Silver Merit Star (for nat'l nordic patroller runner-up)

Also:
-- American Avalanche Ass'n Governing Board Member
-- AIARE qualified avalanche instructor
-- PSIA Level 2 Alpine Instructor
-- PSIA Level 1 Nordic Instructor
-- USSA Level 200 Alpine Race Coach
-- Completed Wilderness EMT training module
-- Rando race wins at seven different venues

Complete bio (including publications) at:
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jonathan-shefftz-outdoor-education-training/38/408/a3b

Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz posted an image about on November 22, 2013

Beware of crumbling boot soles!

Great boot, but only on snow: this picture of the EVO sole is after only five hours of cumulative off-snow travel.
(Note that two of the lugs are so completely gone that you can't see any indication that they were ever there in the first place.)
Dynafit says this is entirely normal wear for the EVO or PDG, and hence not covered under warranty.
More pictures here:
http://tinyurl.com/DynafitSoleWear

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on April 3, 2013

5 5

Overall, an amazingly lightweight and well-ventilated helmet, that also fits very securely.
In more detail:
- Sizing: seems spot on.
- Fit:: personal of course, but so nicely contoured coming down around the sides of my head, that even w/ the strap completely undone, still very secure when pushed front-back and side-to-side.
- Appearance: actually quite nice, as the top is relatively thin, thereby avoiding that alien crystal dome effect.
- Vents: massive on the sides, and even more massive in back (to the extent it almost seems to be more air than helmet there).
- Back adjustment mechanism: effective, and easy to manipulate.
- Weight: size S/M is a wee bit over spec at 6.7 oz, plus 0.2 oz for the headlamp clips.
- Durability: shell is very thin, as are some of the foam sections in back (i.e., around all the vents).

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on February 7, 2013

5 5

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

The 150/165g spec weights for sz1/2 (respectively) are spot-on (though the listing here is slightly off for sz1), making even my CAMP Speed helmet seem . . . heavy?
First, the not-so-good:
1. Sizing is too big. My head circumference =57.2cm, which matches up well with specs for my various ski/bike/climb helmets, but the 53-61 sz2 sides stick out too much. The sz1 48-56cm just barely fits.
2. Appearance is so bad that it's almost comically good.
3. The straps are so narrow that they can twist when putting on the helmet, but they're so thin that still super comfy.
4. Magnet to enhance one-handed connection of the chin strap is clever, but can allow the strap to be closed insecurely with only one of the two side clips engaged. So just need to remember to check that both sides of the clips are engaged.
5. CAMP Speed comes down a little bit more around the sides for more side impact protection.
6. Vents are ample on the sides, but realistically no climbing helmet will ever vent well at ascent speeds, since it has to be solid up on top to be certified.
Now the (very very) good:
1. Weight. Yes, already mentioned, but so amazing it merits another mention.
2. Durability. As demonstrated by a Petzl rep, you can step on this helmet, smush it, etc., w/o worrying about damage to the thin plastic exterior ... because there is no thin plastic exterior, just a single piece of foam.
3. Can also attach a Petzl Vizion visor.
4. Strap system is brilliant, achieving the same adjustable and snug front<>back fit that is usually achieved by much more bulky adjustment systems/knobs/etc. at the back of the head. In addition to weight savings, less interference with wearing a sun cap underneath or sunglasses retainer.
5. Headlamp clip in back is minimalistic (of course) yet effective, and even securely holds a wide ski goggle strap.

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on June 12, 2012

4 5

Even lighter weight than CAMP's other all-alu models? Check!
Folds away to a trivial size in your pack, with the points partially protected? Check!
Fit? With some modifications, very good on a TLT5, but loses a star because such modifications are necessary.
So, set up as-is with the Dyneema connectors (I didn’t bother testing the metal bars), the fit is rather loose for general ski mountaineering use (although they always stayed on during my short practice sessions), and probably more well-suited to very straightforward boot ladders at races. (The relatively loose fit is a function of both the maximum achievable tightness of the Dyneema, and the way the rear heel nubbin fits up against the back of the ski boot sole.)
But with just several minutes of work (learned from several hours of testing & sleuthing…), dremmel off the heel’s rear nubbin/stopper, dremmel off ~4mm of the heel pins (plus round off the sharp ends a bit), fiddle with dialing in the correct length of the Dyneema, and the fit is very secure. (This tight fit is a function of both the additional tightness thereby achieved of the Dyneema, and the way the heel "throw" is cradled up against the end of the boot sole.)
I know that taking a dremmel to crampons sounds scary, but the modifications do not affect the crampon's structural integrity, and the fit is far more secure with them.

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on June 12, 2012

5 5

CAMP has a long history with aluminum crampons, and this model is the standard against which all others are measured. The 12 points have just the right amount of aggressiveness. Combined with the multi-position central bar, the heel throw adjustment is easy to change and to get dialed in just right for a tight secure fit. When tromping over occasional rocks, I've experienced only relatively minor dulling of the points.

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on June 12, 2012

5 5

Obviously any superlight has some drawbacks in any highly technical climbing situations. But among the ultralightweight competition, the steel insert on the spike makes a noticeable difference in many climbing conditions. Probably ditto for the steel insert on the pick too, but harder to test that (outside of controlled experiments with self-arrest practice). I'm somewhat dubious on the shaft curve's advantages (since this isn't intended to be a technical ice tool of course), but doesn't seem to be a drawback either. I removed (quite easily too) the grippy sandpaper-like material at the base of the shaft, since it was rubbing up against some of my packs, and since it could interfere with using the shaft to "pad" the lip of a crevasse (i.e., to prevent the rescue rope from digging in).

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on June 12, 2012

5 5

This the perfect harness for skiers wearing a harness only for the possibility of crevasse rescue. Although it lacks quick-release leg loops, the harness is so light, and so comfy, that just put it on when you put on your ski boots. And yes, I have hung in it, for a 10 minutes (practicing), and it was still comfy.

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on June 12, 2012

4 5

I used to be a fan of very basic climbing-oriented packs for skiing, but this has changed my mind. The ski attachment and "safety box" together make for super-fast transition in ski mountaineering terrain. And I love the water battle holder, especially for quick refills from natural water sources. I've started out on 12-hour tours with only a single bike-size bottle of water, and then just easily refilled along the way. Dual access to the main compartment (via zippered back and traditional top loader drawstrings) is very convenient. The ice axe holder also works well for securely holding a ski pole (by quickly sliding apart the two ski pole sections, then reattaching) when taking out your ice axe.
Some nitpicks that prevent a five-star rating:
-- A few relatively minor durability issues, all easily repairable, but don't feel they should happen.
-- Probe sleeve needs to be a wee bit longer. (Shovel pocket though is fine though for the latest "neck-less" designs.) So when I'm bringing a really long beefy probe, I put in the hydration sleeve, quickly accessed through the zippered back.
-- The "Summit Comfort" pad in the safety box is best to swap out for a basic cut-to-fit blue pad (lighter, more insulated, and fine for internal pack protection).

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on June 12, 2012

5 5

The RT is just barely over the weight of my rando race bindings, yet it has independently adjustable forward and lateral release, just like my far heavier German/Austrian and French "Tech"-style bindings. Even better, it has the kind of “half-step” heel elevator position of my rando race bindings, which is perfect for optimally graded skintracks, yet it also comes with an optional elevator extension which is perfect for the steeper-than-optimal skintracks frequently required in ski mountaineering terrain. I have mine mounted straight to the ski, although if you anticipate needing to change the fore/aft position, the optional adjustment track is a pretty small weight penalty. The only drawback I can think of is if you prefer to rotate the heel by your ski pole tip, although even with my various “Tech” bindings that are designed better for that, I usually just reach down anyone with my hand.

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on June 12, 2012

5 5

This shoe strikes such a perfect balance between functionality vs light weight. The toe protection up front is reassuring, and the stability is outstanding. Yet the shoes keeps you to close to the ground without being excessively built up like so many trail runners that probably appeal more to the fashion set than anything else. The integrated lace covering works perfectly – yet another example of the shoe’s well-thought-out yet no-gimmicks approach. The grip is especially impressively on loose terrain. I often hike on a trail that has some steep section with very loose old volcanic rock – with my toddler daughter strapped to my back (after we finally get her to stop trying to hike those sections on her own). The Crosslite 2.0 grips so well on those sections that I feel like I have crampons – those little plastic nobs are that effective!

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on June 12, 2012

5 5

I’ve never used any sort of minimalist footwear previously, but these are such a revelation! I was doubtful at first, planning to use them only for ski mountaineering dry approaches that are too long to hike in ski boots, but short enough that any trail runners will be carried for long stretches after that. So I brought these along on a hut trip thinking they’d mainly be on my pack ... but instead all the skiable couloirs were separated by long unskiable/unskinnable hikes. So I spent most of the trip hiking with all my ski gear and overnight gear on my back. Amazingly, despite all that weight, stability was excellent. Traction was excellent on dry rock (including a marked trail that has surprisingly difficult bouldering, requiring wedging your feet into various tight spots), wet rock, and soft snow. Traction was still pretty good on some lower-angle icy sections. Drawbacks? When scrambling on really sharp rocks, occasionally one will poke into the sole between the lugs – bearable, but not comfy (as other reviewers have noted). And traction seemed poor on super-slippery slimy logs, although then again, maybe almost any should would have been too? Obviously not waterproof , or even close, but they also dry out almost immediately. Re sizing, I went my usual size (i.e., same as on the Crosslite 2.0). After ditching the removable insoles (another 1.1 ounces of saved weight, per pair), the tight was still very snug, but since the uppers are almost more like socks (which also probably eliminates the chance of blisters), I think that’s the best kind of fit for these shoes.

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on August 29, 2009

5 5

Let's get all the perfection out of the way first:-- almost eerily reliable reception (like, all those satellite signals are always present around us?)-- very rugged housing (don't ask me how I know...)-- fairly large screen-- reasonable battery life, especially with lithium batteries-- large selection of free base maps available at www.gpsfiledepot.comHow could it be better?-- Track long limitation of 20 saved tracks with 500 points each is a pain if you're using track longs to serve as a trail map overlay.-- Could be a bit less pricey, then you can just get the 60Cx (and use a separate compass and altimeter).-- Could be a bit smaller and lighter, but then you can just get the Legend/Vista HCx.(Photo is of trying to find the hiking trail outlet after skiing King Ravine.)

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on August 29, 2009

5 5

I used to think the knee pads for just for tele skiers.Then my fixed-heel brother put his knee into a tree at a ski resort.So I decided to get knee pads for glade skiing.On the advice of my only remaining tele partner (although even he is getting a Dynafit setup now), I bought these knees. Very light, very comfy, very stable (no slipping), very unobtrusive overall.Hint (from my tele friend): put them *over* your long underwear but *underneath* your Schoeller pants. (Otherwise, too much snow gets into them.)

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on August 29, 2009

Light, but Long
5 5

This shovel is very lightweight, but at the penalty of only a few ounces over the very lightest shovels on the market (i.e., Voile XLM as well as BCA's own fixed-length version of the Tour), you also get a telescoping shaft. The blade is still small, but has an effective shape. Overall, a nice weight compromise between the very smallest shovels on the market and the more full-sized options.
(Picture is of me using the shovel for some snowpit work near Mt Hood.)

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Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote a review of on August 29, 2009

Probe Combined with short-range Beacon
4 5

First off, let's get the wow factor out of the way: wow! Yes, this probe has a beacon (receive only) in its tip. So although as an avy instructor I'm always supposed to answer the student question of "how do I know a probe strike is hitting the victim and not something else?" with "trust me, you'll know" with the Pieps iProbe the answer is, "it will tell you!" But wait, there's even more "wow" factor: it can temporarily mark/mask a found Pieps DSP or Freeride, and not just for you, but for everyone. In other words, let's say you find a Pieps DSP or Freeride with your own DSP, S1, or Pulse, then mark/mask the beacon. Great job, but any other searchers will still have to deal with that potentially confusing signal in a multi-burial. However, the iProbe will temporarily suspends the victim's transmission to any and all searchers. Now for the drawback: at an actual weight 12.2 ounces (with single AA battery), this probe is heavy for its length. Okay, just a few extra ounces though. Also, the off-on-mark switch is a bit hard to see at first, though a magic marker fixed that. If I was running a snow cat or heli op with newbie guests equipped in victim-only mode, I would strongly consider the cost-effective approach of giving all guests a Pieps Freeride, then all guides would get a DSP and a iProbe (or two) each. (Picture is of Mark Renson from the Mad River Glen & Mt Washington ski patrols using my iProbe to "find" a transmitting beacon hidden inside one of many decoy boxes at this ski patrol event: http://amn08.nmnsp.org )

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