Kaj

Kaj

Mainly arctic Norway

Kaj's Passions

Running
Skiing
Climbing

Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on July 11, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Holds stuff when you're running so that you don't have to carry everything in your hands.

I'm no fan of hydration bladders, and like that this design accommodates two bottles up front. It is incredibly light. And the loads are held nice and snug to yer back- no bouncing.

The two bottles are included in the price

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on May 22, 2013

5 5

Like all the other reviews say this harness is the bees knees for ski mountaineering, glacier travel and easy alpine climbs.

It's minimalist style makes it light and very compact which is a big advantage over any harness made for crag climbing.

The feature that really sets this harness apart from something like the Camp 95 (another ultra light skimo harness) is that you can easily get in on whilst you're wearing your ski boots, crampons or even skis.

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on May 22, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Note: this reveiw is for an original "Ridgerest", but my comments are still relevant to this newer version.

10+ years of use on mine using it on a tonne of winter and summer trips in the mountains,now the padding is compressed/ compacted in the hip area meaning that it isn't very warm or comfortable anymore- but with 10 years of use I am satisfied- that's a reasonable lifespan for a sleeping mat in my opinion.

One issue I think is worth noting is that closed cell pads with lots of undulations, like this and the "Z lite", can be unsuitable in the snow in my experience. The ridges can collect small amounts of snow which then melt and leave your sleeping bag damp- with a smooth closed cell pad you can brush of the snow and keep things dry a bit easier.

I highly recommend it for summer though

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on May 20, 2013

4 5

Have used these for ski patrol work for two seasons and they've held up great. Just remember to treat the leather regularly as per the instructions.

The leather on these gloves is vastly more durable than some of their other gloves which feature the Ecocuir leather, the only downside being a little less dexterity.

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on May 14, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After getting my first Voile pro shovel about 12 years ago I got one of these little G3 shovels for free when I bought a new avy beacon about 4 seasons ago. At first I was very sceptical- the small size made me think that it was less effective and therefore a liability.

After some time I've realised that having a shovel with a bigger blade will not make you more immune to avalanches, sure you might be able to move snow slightly quicker (assuming that you have both a good shovelling technique, are familiar with concepts like the "strategic shovelling strategy" and are physically strong) than someone with this shovel. But personally I tend to pick my lines more conservatively- if I think there's a chance that I'm going to have to dig a buddy out, then I'll opt to ski a different, safer line.

I still sometimes bring along my Voile shovel with the larger blade, because yes I can move snow faster with it and if I'm planning on digging a sh*tload of observation pits then it makes most sense. But for 80% of my touring I bring the G3 spadetech- because the weight savings and decreased size are worth it in my opinion.

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on May 14, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Used these a lot last summer doing lift maintenance work at a ski resort- they are plenty durable.
I'm a big fan of the option of different inseam lengths- I went for the 32x34, 'cause I like being able to wear them with a pair of boots and not having the cuff ride up to my shins when I'm squatting down the ground working.
The gusseted crotch is key too.

I only own 2 pairs of pants which aren't made for skiing in- both of them are from Mountain Khakis- this probably says a bit about how satisfied I am with 'em

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on May 14, 2013

4 5

Mainly use it for ski touring.
I'm a firm believer in the whole "less is more" philosophy when it comes to gear and this jacket fits into that category very neatly.
-Quite breathable for being a shell.
-Comfortable fit (getting it on and off is easy in my opinion- despite what other reviews say) and large hood. .
-The DWR has so far held up fine, although I haven't used it in any torrential downpours.
-Lightweight for when its just sitting in your pack.
-And best of all- the price, I've never come across such a decent jacket so cheap

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on May 14, 2013

5 5

The best transceiver I've ever used. It has better range than many other competing models and the direction arrows are quite precise- really saving time in search mode.

Keep in mind that the battery level is not entirely indicative of the true battery level (and no I'm not using lithium batteries), mine takes roughly 30 hours of use to drop from 100% to 90%, another 30 hours to drop to 50% and another 20 hours to drop to 20%. As such I usually swap out batteries on mine when they reach about 50-60%.

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on May 14, 2013

4 5

Decided to try out a synthetic bag after destroying my old down bag from stuffing it and sleeping in it whilst damp on longer trips. Being out on a 10 day trip, which starts with a few days of being tent bound in the rain, followed by moving higher on the mountain and having -15c temps neccesitates having a dry/ warm bag.

Plenty people will say that if you're using a bag solely in cold weather, when precip is coming as snow and never rain, then dampness isn't so much of an issue- whilst this is mainly true I like the idea of a synthetic bag doing the job on longer trips where you might expect a bit of rain as well as cold temps.This ability to cope with damp conditions is a huge bonus (as is the significantly smaller price tag).

Another situation I like such a bag for is when I'm just planning on using a bivy sack (no tent) in the mountains, and thus more susceptible to any precip.

The major downside ofcourse is how bulky it is compared to a down bag rated for the same temperatures.

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on May 13, 2013

4 5

I got this tent about 8 years ago and have used it extensively on bike tours, climbing trips and backcountry skiing.

In my opinion the setup is simple and fast.

The todd-tex material is tough, waterproof and durable. If its fully zipped up, I can a bit of condensation, but open the door a little at the top like a vent and this ceases to be an issue.

When setting it up be careful to make sure the poles are seated properly in the corner pockets, if they end up on the floor material it'll puncture once the tent is set up and taut. One minor qualm: after about 6 years of use the pole sockets fell out (rust!?), but I patched the corners with duct tape and haven't noticed any real downside to this dirtbag modification.

Whilst the tent is reasonably lightweight- I currently use a BD firstlight if I'm heading high into the mountains where weight is more of an issue and when I'm not anticipating any precip in the form of rain.

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on May 10, 2013

4 5

Got a pair of these for spring ski touring- after years of using heavier softshells and finding them to be both sweat inducing and limiting my range of movement.

For warmer days, when you're planning on skinning fast and not lazing around on windy summits they are an ideal touring pant. More light and breathable than any dedicated ski touring pant on the market.

If you do plan on using them for ski touring be aware that the hand pockets aren't zipped- so you can't for example store your beacon it them (the back zippered pocket does the job for this though), and also that there is no reinforcement around the ankles so you might get them cut up from ski edges.

I cut a hole in the back of mine to accommodate the throwbar on my scarpa aliens- and they look and function like a dedicated touring pant. Kind of like a pair of performance skimo tights, except they're not tights!

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on March 30, 2013

5 5

As the other reviews state this ski is pretty damn soft, as such I was initially sceptical as to what sort of stability they would offer in crud, at high speed or landing in the backseat- as is my tendency...

After a few dozen days of skiing on them in pow, hardpack and chopped up mank I can now happily report that they're the most versatile and playful ski I've ever had the pleasure of skiing. Plenty agile, they slash turns like a champion.

What really surprises me is how stable they feel at high speed, I thought such a soft rockered ski would be chattery and nervous at high speed- in reality this isn't really an issue at all for me. A more aggressive skier might have issues though...

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on January 8, 2013

5 5

Fantastic piece of gear that I was really sceptical of before I had the chance to use it, but which I am now totally sold on.

Rather than looking upon it as a self-arrest tool I consider it more of a climbing aid, it adds an extra level of security when booting up a steep couloir. I have used it to self arrest on one occassion and it did the job- though a real axe would obviously have been preferable

I often use it in conjunction with a real axe and it offers a great deal more security without too much of a weight penalty (when compared with carrying a second axe)

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Kaj

Kaj wrote a review of on January 3, 2013

3 5

I'm not very experienced in the world of rando, but have been using this boot for the past two seasons.

They perform like true champions on the skin track, and the bellows make for a slightly longer and more natural feeling stride on the flats. The downside when compared to more modern boots is that they are kinda sloppy and soft on the way down.

This boot was the gold standard for a number of years- everyone who competed seriously had either this or the carbon upper version. However with the release of more modern boots like the Scarpa Aliens, Dynafit's TLT 5 performance and La Sportiva's Spitfire and Stratos boots amongst others, interest in these boots is waning.

The main difference between this "race" version and the regular F1 is that this doesn't have any sort of plastic tongue and also it lacks a power strap.

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Kaj

Kaj wrote an answer about on January 3, 2013

Like Scarpa says, they're water proof up to the base of the tongue- if you slip into some ankle deep water you're gonna have soggy liners (especially once the lining material on the cuff starts wearing out).

I think for ski mountaineering with steeper descents you'd be better served with one of the more modern boots like the Alien or TLT5 performance... in the same weight category but much stiffer.

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