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Mark Travers

Mark Travers

Park City

Mark Travers's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing

Mark Travers's Bio

Grew up outside of Boston, hiking and skiing in the White Mtns and sailing and kayaking on the Cape and the coast of Maine. Did a stint in central Virginia (where I picked up whitewater paddling) before moving to Utah in the spring of 2012. Moved for the skiing, but love getting out on my bike or backpacking in the mountains when it isn't so white and fluffy

Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on March 6, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a pretty nice snow saw - it folds up plenty easy (just grab the back side of the saw on both sides of the hinge and give it a little twist to release the clip) and packs down well. The saw is wide enough that the teeth aren't really exposed when it's folded, so you don't necessarily need to use a carrying pouch. The height of the blade give it a little more rigidity over some of the skinnier saws out there which is nice for cutting through ice. The curved handle and tie points make it pretty easy to securely strap around the grip of a ski pole for extended cutting. The saw also comes with two of the shortest voile-style ski straps I've ever seen for lashing this onto a pole.


And of course the requisite bottle opener for those of us who are bad ass enough to carry long necks in our touring packs but fear wasting the thousands our parents spent on braces by opening our beers with our teeth....

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on March 6, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Just got a Hero4 Silver edition and this set of lens covers works with that camera as well as the Hero3 versions. I haven't used the replacement side/battery doors yet, but all of the lens covers fit just fine. This set includes: lens cover for standard housing, lens cover for the camera w/o a housing, glass lens protector for the camera w/o a housing, replacement battery door, and replacement side door.

I agree with Ryan that it would be nice to see all of these items included with the camera bundle, but at least you get all of your bases covered for not too much $$ with this.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on March 4, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I picked up a pair of these poles at the start of the season to have something adjustable for touring. The grips are really comfy (even without gloves for hiking season) and the two basket choices are good sizes and shapes. The powder baskets are roughly triangular with plenty of little tabs for flipping heel risers up and down. There's also a little tab at the top of the grip that is great for cranking up your toe levers on a pair of Dynafits. The velcro on the strap is a little weird - there's a soft rubber strip on one side of the pole strap that helps to hold the strap open in a loop for getting it on over gloves, but it tends to be stiff enough (esp. when cold) that it pulls the velcro adjustment open a bit. Not a deal breaker by any means, but a little annoying at times. I generally take the straps off altogether when skiing in the backcountry, so having the option to remove the straps without cutting them off is a nice touch.

There are certainly lighter options out there, but these seem to be really durable, and the locking mechanism works really well, even with gloves on. These only collapse in one place so they'll never be small enough to shove in your pack for the splitboarding crowd.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on March 4, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a pretty nice daily tracking/fitness watch. The screen stays off until you tap on it, so it's pretty subtle and keeps the battery life going for days. The bluetooth pairs and syncs well with my iPhone and Garmin's app. The app is really straightforward to use and has relatively decent features. You'll get more specific features out of other more sport-specific apps, but the Garmin app does a good job of covering the basics. Setting up alerts from your smartphone is easy and works well, but I quickly discovered that there is such a thing as being "too connected" - after my wrist buzzed with the 30th email of the day I was ready to fling the watch across the office... or just turn the vibrating alerts off... The nice bit is that you can set up the watch to not buzz you every time an alert comes in without turning off alerts altogether - you can still scroll through your alert center on your watch without getting a vibrate alert each time something new comes in.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on February 24, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I picked up a pair of these in the 190cm about five weeks ago thinking that they would be primarily/only a touring setup. Turns out I've been using them for just about everything we've had in the Wasatch for the past several weeks. I've skied these on everything from groomers to trees to untracked powder to rain soaked icy trash. I've been really surprised at how versatile these are - decent edge hold on groomers and hard snow, quick to release a turn in chop and trees, and good float on the few powder days that we've had this year. The aggressive pintail shape and light swing weight make it pretty easy to toss these around in variable terrain and snow, even without having even a hint of tail rocker. These are relatively stable at speed, but things can start to feel a little spicier if you truly open them up on hard snow. The long tip rocker keeps the front pretty soft, but I haven't had issues with the tips folding up on me unless I'm really far forward in deep snow.

There are definitely other skis out there in the 100-110mm range that do a specific task better than these (lighter touring options, stiffer options for really opening it up, etc), but these skis cover a lot of different bases really well, especially if you've got much touring thrown in the mix. These haven't replaced my powder skis for deep days, but if I've got much touring on the menu I have a really hard time reaching past these for my pow skis at 2+lbs heavier...

I've got these mounted with Dynafit TLT Radicals, mounted ~2cm back from the standard line (mine have a 0/standard line and a -2/freeride line and I'm roughly on the -2 line). I'm happy with this - I'd start to be a little worried about tip dive if I had them mounted farther forward. I'm 6'1" / 220# and tried both the 184cm and 190cm - the 184s are fun and very playful, but had a bit more of a speed limit on them. If I was primarily skiing tight trees, bumps, etc. I would go for the 184s,but the 190s are just that much more fun to open up in steep open terrain.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on October 30, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

These bibs are really nice and have a great set of features. I compared these to bibs from Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, and Marmot and these won out. The bib itself has a good bit of stretch and I really like that it's removable and that the pants have separate belt loops so you can fold the bibs down on a warmer skin track. The pants themselves have a really clean look and are slightly fitted so I don't feel like I'm swimming in them. Definitely not a slim fit, but not nearly as baggy as more park-oriented gear. The leg pockets are really low profile when empty but are pretty large for stuffing your phone, snacks, etc. These don't have hand pockets right by your waist, but I rarely use those in ski pants anyway. The vents are really well laid out - the outside hip vents are set back a little and the inside/thigh vents are really long. Seems like they will be great for hiking and skinning. The one thing that I would like to see them add is zippers at the cuffs to give you the option to put these on over boots.

The fit is pretty true to size, a little on the smaller end if anything. I'm usually right on the edge of L/XL in outerwear and went with the XL in these after trying both sizes. The bibs in the L were a little too snug for me to get a few layers underneath. With the "technical" fit, the XL fits great without being too heavy and baggy.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on October 30, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I just got these a couple weeks ago so haven't been able to put them through a full winter season yet, but they seem pretty sweet. They fit true to size and have a good bit of stretch to them. Unlike some other "boot cut/ boot top/ 3/4 length/ man-capri" layers that I've tried, the legs are actually long enough to reach the top of your ski boot without riding up. In terms of weight, I would say that these are on the mid-heavy end of the spectrum - they are pretty warm for their low weight and bulk. The outside is pretty smooth so they play along well with additional layers.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on October 30, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

These socks are pretty soft and really comfortable, but I feel like their life span is a little limited if you're using them on a daily basis. I've been using these as everyday socks during the fall/winter for a couple years now and I tend to wear through the heel and under the ball of my foot in about a season. Would like to see these last longer, but for the price they're hard to beat.

In terms of fit and weight, these seem pretty true to size. They're a little heavier than your standard cotton socks, but not as heavy as a full blown hiking sock.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on October 30, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

These socks are pretty soft and really comfortable, but I feel like their life span is a little limited if you're using them on a daily basis. I've been using these as everyday socks during the fall/winter for a couple years now and I tend to wear through the heel and under the ball of my foot in about a season. Would like to see these last longer, but for the price they're hard to beat.

In terms of fit and weight, these seem pretty true to size. They're a little heavier than your standard cotton socks, but not as heavy as a full blown hiking sock.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on July 29, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had to pick one of these up to work with my Yakima Forklift rack. It does the job and holds a 15mm fork very securely. It's very easy to set up and use, but would be nice to see a cheaper option or one that allows you to lock your bike down. Paired with the Yakima rack, I can lock this adapter to the rack but can't lock the fork to the adapter without throwing a cable lock around the whole mess.

Bottom line - this works great and is completely necessary, but is possibly the least sexy piece of gear I've spent $$ on in my life.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on July 29, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I picked these grips up because I wanted something a little softer than the stocked grips on my Bronson. These are great for longer rides and really help keep my hands from going numb or just hurting like hell. They work great for larger hands but might feel a little chunky if you've got really small hands. I would say that gloves are a must - the ridged pattern can be a little rough on bare skin but provides a great grip with gloves on.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on July 29, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It took me a minute to get this set up right the first time I used it, but once I got it on my chain it was really easy to use. The video posted below is really helpful for first timers. I've been impressed with how quickly and thoroughly this cleans my chain. Way more effective than a wad of paper towels and some cleaner... It's really quick to take off and clean up as well.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on July 29, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are great tires for all mountain riding. The side knobs are pretty chunky and help keep you on your line through tight corners and loose/ sandy sections of trail. I've only had a few brief encounters with mud but never had a problem with the tread getting gunked up. I have to second Natalie's comment that the beat is really tight and hard to get mounted on your rim, but it's not an issue once you get them mounted. I've had about a season and a half on mine and they've been holding up really well. I wouldn't hesitate to buy these again

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on January 29, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large

I've had a pair of these for three years and counting and I love them. I wear these just about everyday from fall through spring. After three years they are showing a little bit of scuff and wear, but they are still in great shape, especially after a fresh coat of nikwax leather conditioner. With a coat of waterproofing, these stand up well to rain, snow, slush, salt, etc. The soles are pretty worn after 3 years of daily use, but they've still got a decent bit of life left in them

In terms of sizing, these run a little large, and the pig skin leather tends to stretch a little bit when it breaks in. I went down a full size - they fit pretty tight at first but stretched to fit my feet perfectly.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on January 29, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These things are really tasty, but I think the texture/ weight is the best part. A lot of other 'meal bars' are way too heavy and dense for me to actually enjoy. That and I'm afraid they'll break all of my teeth if they're frozen in my pack. These tram bars are pretty light for being a high cal bar and don't turn into bricks when they're cold. Think Quaker granola bar instead of softened hockey puck. Best combo of tasty and a texture I can actually enjoy that I've found!

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on January 29, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I picked up these boots this season hoping that they would be a great boot for doing it all here in the Wasatch. I split my time about equally between touring and skiing the resorts. Prior to these boots, I've been skiing in a pair of 97mm lasted Lange RS 130s - awesome performance boot, but pretty miserable for anything away from the lifts. These Chocises are not on the same level of stiffness and performance of my Langes, but the performance is enough to keep me happy after being used to the Langes, which I think says a lot. These are certainly stiff enough to drive big skis in garbage snow (we've got a lot of that this year...)

In terms of touring, the ski/hike switch is super easy to use, even with bulky gloves on. The range of motion is pretty good and the stride is pretty natural, even on longer tours. These aren't the lightest AT boots on the market, but they are significantly lighter and better for skinning/ hiking than a lot of the 'alpine boots with a walk mode' that have been popping up recently.

My only gripe about these boots is that the liners seem pretty light/ thin for a 120 flex boot. Their light weight is great for touring, and the liners have a softer flex zone around the heel that makes them a breeze for hiking. However, when I'm skiing the resorts it would be nice to have a heavier/ stiffer liner to beef the boot up a bit. I don't hate these liners and I certainly don't think they need to be chucked, but it would be nice if they split the difference between a super light touring liner and a beefier alpine liner a little more evenly. For now I'm hanging onto the stock liners from my Langes for resort duty - it's the best of both worlds for me but obviously not a universal option.

Bottom line: my hope was to have a boot that I am equally happy skiing in bounds and touring on the relatively short skin tracks here in the Wasatch, and I think this boot is as close to a slam dunk as I've found on the market right now.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 25, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This case is great at keeping things dry and safe from drops and impacts. I got this for a dSLR camera for river trips - the 1200 size fits a Canon t1i with standard 18-55mm lens and a 55-250mm telephoto lens. It's a snug fit, but the perforated foam liner makes it really easy to get just the right shape for your gear. As others have said, this case is completely waterproof and gives great crush/ impact protection. The latches are really tight and it takes a bit of finger strength to open and close them, but that's par for the course with this kind of dry box

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on July 31, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

I've got a couple of these shirts for hiking, biking, climbing, etc and they are super comfy. The fabric is a little bit heavier than something like Capilene 1 - it wears more like a cotton t shirt than a super thin synthetic shirt but still wicks and dries out like a champ. The shirt is normal enough that I have no problem wearing it around town - doesn't have that weird 'why are you on Main Street and not on the trail' fit/ look. The fit is pretty slim (Patagonia's 'slim fit'), so I went up one size. There isn't a ton of stretch in the fabric, but the cut is great so I don't have any issues climbing or biking in this shirt.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on July 31, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These have recently beat out Honey Stingers as my favorite chew thingies. Great flavors, good texture, not too heavy in your stomach. These are heavier/ denser than Honey Stingers, but they don't feel heavy in your stomach (although I have a pretty tame stomach). Raspberry and Berry Blast (blueberry?) have caffeine in them (Strawberry and Orange do not), but I haven't found the caffeine content to be over the top. I'm really sensitive to caffeine and rarely have it (turns me into a hummingbird...), but I don't really notice it when I have the caffeinated flavors. Certainly not caffeinated like a cup of coffee. All in all a great set of chews. Hardest part is not eating them all at the office...

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