Mads

Mads

Up and down the Cascades and Sierras

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Madeline's Bio

I love big mountains and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee to fuel the climb up more mountains.

Mads

Mads wrote an answer about on May 28, 2012

I think you misunderstand my question. I am asking about the biner you use to connect to the pulley... Not using a biner in place of a pulley. And the shape is definitely slightly more of a D when you compare this one to the standard oval BD makes. Has anyone used this for crevasse rescue?

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Mads

Mads wrote a question about on May 27, 2012

Since this biner isn't perfectly oval, can you use it with a pulley as part of a crevasse rescue system? Would it be better to go with the regular Black Diamond oval to ensure that the load is evenly balanced? I like the wiregate a lot but in a crevasse rescue situation I'd want to maximize the efficiency of the system, and I'm not sure if this biner's "oval-ish" shape would affect that. Thanks!

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Mads

Mads wrote an answer about on May 27, 2012

Thanks Wally! Your response was super helpful. I won't be skiing super aggressive mountaineering lines so I went with the Starlets, and I'm really happy I did. They ski like a dream in powder, even wet, heavy powder. I'm a pretty aggressive skier and after trying these I'm confident that I could throw these around if needed in icy or cruddy conditions.

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Mads

Mads wrote an answer about on May 23, 2012

This picture is outdated. I ordered my ice axe off Backcountry and received the newer version that has a slight curve to the shaft and a steel spike on the bottom. It looks like the picture on Grivel's website:

http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/ice_axes/8-air_tech_racing_sa

I would click on the "Live Chat" and confirm with a Backcountry rep, but I'm pretty sure that they are selling the current version and that they have just not updated the picture.

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Mads

Mads wrote an answer about on May 12, 2012

You're going to be substantially warmer in an 800-fill down jacket of roughly the same weight insulation. Arc'teryx's Coreloft insulation is similar to Primaloft One, among the best synthetic insulation available, and Primaloft One is roughly comparable in warmth to 550-fill down. If warmth-to-weight ratio is your primary concern, down wins hands down. You can get a jacket like the North Face Thunder for about the same price as the Atom. The only major downside is that down doesn't retain its ability to keep you warm when wet. That's why I personally prefer synthetic for my midlayer jacket, but your decision should depend on what activities you like to do and what conditions you find yourself in. Hope this helps!

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Mads

Mads wrote an answer about on May 2, 2012

They are both high performance boots that should work great on Denali. I would make my decision primarily on fit since I have found that it's quite different between these two brands. La Sportiva is known for having a narrow fit that works well for lower volume feet, whereas Koflach will be better for wider feet. The Spantiks weigh ~0.4lbs less than the Koflachs. You'll need overboots for both of them, so that's not a differentiating factor. Both are tried and true; the Koflachs have been around forever (and unchanged for good reason) but the Spantiks seem to be the new hot boots that everyone is raving about these days. Either way you can't go wrong. Good luck! And have fun!!

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Mads

Mads wrote an answer about on May 2, 2012

The answer is they are both burly 4-season tents but on the Fitzroy you are paying for extra features that people who go into very harsh alpine conditions (think high camp on Denali) will care about. The Fitzroy is the strongest 2-person tent that BD sells. The shorter height makes it more secure in high winds. I did not find it to be claustrophobic, I think because the steep sidewalls still let you and a tentmate sit up straight and move around pretty comfortably. Plus, there's the added benefit of saving yourself work by not having to build your snow or rock wall 5 inches taller! I've had to do this in high winds and it is a b*tch, especially if you move camp every couple days.

The Fitzroy also gives you more options to shave weight if you are interested in a fast-and-light ascent. The vestibules are fully detachable (vs. attached on the Tempest) and you can shave ~1lb off your pack weight if you leave them at home. The Fitzroy's extra floor space comes mostly from an increase in the length of the tent, which means you can use the Fitzroy as a cozy 3-person tent with three adults sleeping head-to-toe. It will be a squeeze but it's a good option for fast-and-light ascents and in case of unanticipated situations where you need shelter for an extra person (this happened to me recently when a buddy had to bail mid-expedition and took a tent down with him.)

The design of the Fitzroy and the Tempest are largely the same (similar tent and pole structure, single wall, ToddTex fabric, small footprint), so it really depends on how you are planning to use the tent that determines whether you are willing to dole out $150 more for the Fitzroy. Hope this helps!

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Mads

Mads wrote an answer about on May 2, 2012

Compared to other down jackets, this one does a great job keeping feathers in. I also have the North Face Carmel down jacket and that one sheds feathers like crazy, but I've never had a problem with the Thunder. In comparing the two it seems like the fabric is higher quality and the seams are better stitched on the Thunder. I'm guessing the difference is because the Thunder was designed as high performance athletic wear compared to other jackets which are designed for casual use. Hope this helps!

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Mads

Mads wrote an answer about on May 1, 2012

Hey Katish, it all depends on how you sleep. I've got a sleeping bag my exact height and it's perfect for me. However, I tend to sleep on my side with my body partly curled up, so I'm usually not stretched out to my full height. If you're a back or stomach sleeper, the 5'5" length may be a little short since you're already 5'6". You don't want your feet pushing too much against the bottom of the bag while you're sleeping as that will make them cold.

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Mads

Mads wrote an answer about on May 1, 2012

Yup, Dave's got it right. Additionally, the AR has an athletic cut whereas the SV has a more relaxed cut meant to let you fit more layers underneath. The only time I think I'd care about this difference is with activities where I really hate having extra clothing flapping around, like rock climbing. But if it's not a big deal, get the SV so you know you'll be good with more layers.

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Mads

Mads wrote a review of on May 1, 2012

5 5

This top is both functional and really cute. It looks dorky in the stock pictures because it's buttoned all the way up. I have the "blizzard" color and wear it unbuttoned with a sports bra or tank top underneath, which gives it a nice pop of color. It's great for wicking sweat and keeping you warm while hiking, backpacking, climbing, and being active outdoors. I'll also wear it around town with jeans because it's a really cute top on its own.

Quick wash warning - it will shrink a tiny bit when you wash it. Be sure to wash with cold water and hang to dry ONLY - otherwise it will shrink a lot!

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Mads

Mads wrote a review of on May 1, 2012

5 5

I love this bra! It's comfortable, breathable, plenty supportive, and really feels like it's barely there. It's sexy for essentially being a sports bra. It's great for being active although not supportive enough for running. I wore mine for 18 straight days on Aconcagua and it felt great - no digging into my shoulders and DIDN'T STINK afterwards! Couldn't say the same for the rest of me... The one negative thing is that I nip out like crazy in it but it's so comfortable that I don't really care - and that's saying a LOT!!!

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