Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz

New England, PNW

Jonathan's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Running
Skiing

Jonathan'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

(1)

 

0 Comments

Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote an answer about on November 22, 2013

Beware -- 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

(0)

 

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).

(1)

 

0 Comments

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.

(1)

 

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.

(0)

 

0 Comments

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.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

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).

(0)

 

0 Comments

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.

(0)

 

0 Comments

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).

(1)

 

0 Comments

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.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote an answer about on June 12, 2012

1. "How high are the heel risers in each position on these bindings?"
2. "How much higher or lower is the max heel riser compared to the Dynafit TLT speed (not radical)?"
Elevator heights listed below are measured from top of elevator to center of toe pincers, with the “/” between the two positions. Actual imparted angle will depend on boot sole thickness, rocker, and length, i.e., don’t try to compare these numbers to non-“Tech” bindings. (Also note that Dynafit Speed comes equipped with optional 8mm spacers and attachment hardware, not reflected in these #s.)
RT: 9/34
RT when mounted on optional fore/aft adjustment plate: 14/39
Dynafit Speed: 24/51
Dynafit Vertical ST/FT: 30/57
Dynafit Radical Series: I keep forgetting to measure...
G3 Ruby/Onyx: 26/55
Plum Guide: 25/51
IMHO, the RT offers the best of both worlds: the “half-step” on rando race bindings for optimal skin tracks, the full elevator position for steeper-than-optimal skintracks, and even a “flat” position if you find yourself on endless truly flat nordic terrain.

3. "Can you switch from flat to mid to high riser and back and forth and everything with your ski pole from a standing position, like you can with the dynafit tlt speeds?"
Although you *can*, it’s not all that easy, and you run the risk of mangling the plastic elevator extension.

(0)

 

Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote an answer about on June 12, 2012

The Broad Peak should be fine, since that model has only the toe inserts, and the RT shares the toe pattern (sans the front center hole) with the various Dynafit models other than the new Radical. For the current and older Manaslu versions though, you might encounter some tricky problems with drilling the heel unit (i.e., overlapping issues with the inserts).

(0)

 

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!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote an answer about on June 12, 2012

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.

(0)

 

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.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote an answer about on December 22, 2009

"Dynafit's 1 flaw, if they have any, is that in order to switch modes you have to step out of the bindings. [...] With the Onyx, G3 has figured out a way that you don't have to do step out of the binding to change modes. You can stay in the bindings and change from one mode to another."
-- With any Dynafit binding, the user has no need to exit the binding to switch modes from skinning to skiing: rotate the heel unit then step down. (And no need to clear snow from underneath any parts, like on Diamirs.)
-- The only need to exit the binding is when switching from skiing to skinning, but that is almost always necessary only when reapplying skins, which requires removing skis anyway.

BTW, one other thing that keeps getting overlooked (and listed incorrectly by every etailer), is that according to the tech manual:
http://www.g3onyx.com/_pdf/Mounting-and-Installation-Instructions.pdf
... and also from what I could tell by inspecting a pair,
"Your G3 ONYX binding has a lateral twist (Mz) release setting scale from 6-12, and a forward falling (My) release setting scale from 5-10."
The effective range of the binding is therefore a relatively narrow 6-10 (except for a skier who wants a higher lateral setting than forward).
This would rule out the Onyx for my wife (who has a 5 setting on her Dynafits), as well as rule out any skier who really needs the higher release setting of the Dynafit FT12.

(0)

 

Jonathan S. Shefftz

Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote an answer about on August 29, 2009

In addition to what Jared noted, the race version lacks any release adjustment (unclear what it's equivalent DIN value is) and also lacks any fore/aft length adjustment (so be very careful with your mounting). Therefore, it's really appropriate only for racers.

(0)

 

load more