Matt Park

Matt Park

All over Utah from the Uintahs to Zion and I am still exploring new places. Out of Utah I love Red Rocks, Nevada and Yosemite CA

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Matt Park's Passions

Alpine Touring
Trad Climbing
Camping
Backpacking
Trail Running
Hiking
Yoga
Ice Climbing
Alpine Skiing
Mountaineering
Sport Climbing

Matt Park's Bio

I'm all about being outside and having a great time. building experiences with awesome people and sharing the best moments of life.

I was born In Utah and raised by a ski bum that got me skiing when I was 2 years old. I learned to climb when I was 15 and have started to incorporate that into my skiing with backcountry touring and ski mountaineering. Last year I got bit by the Ice bug hard and now have a healthy Ice climbing addiction to go along with my skiing and climbing habits.

I have been called a gear whore, multiple times by many different people. I love gear! no matter what its for, good gear that works well stokes me out. Aside from this amazing job, I work in a climbing shop and in my spare time if I am not out side adventuring I am probably hanging out in a climbing shop checking out gear. You will have to work pretty hard to find a question I don't know the answer to, so give it a shot some time!


FOLLOW ME FOR: Everything climbing and skiing, with some camping and running thrown in the mix. If you want to ask me personally something specific email me at:
MAPARK@BACKCOUNTRY.COM
or you can chat in on Saturday, Sunday, or Wednesday between 2pm and midnight mountain time and ask for Matt Park

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on August 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This thing is tough!
its made with the same durathane that Metolius makes its haul bags from, this thing can take a serious beating. Its nice if you need to haul the pack up a climb you have the option without destroying your pack. the other thing I like about this is that it carries well. The haul bags are haul bags, they have no frame so if you load all your cams against your back its gonna suck on your hike in. This pack has a good amount of foam in the back, which provides padding and structure.
Another favorite feature of mine is kind of silly but, you can access the top lid pocket from the top or bottom, so if you are digging in the bag and realize what you are looking for is in the top lid, you can just open it up with the lid flipped back, no need to close the main compartment to access the topside zipper.

I either own, or have extensively used every metolius haul bag, haul pack or duffel. and this one is by far my favorite for all non-haulbag related gear totings. Its a great volume, super tough, and carries well. I am excited to have this pack for the rest of my life.

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on August 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These little guys are awesome! you can really see it when you aid on them, bouncing on one of these they hardly flex at all, you put it in the rock and its so solid, even if you do not runner them the rope generally does not make them walk and mover since the springs are pretty strong and they have the hardest biting cam angle out there.

I love me C4's especially for the bigger sizes, but, all you have to do is climb on some of these to see how powerful and awesome they are. I have the 5 smallest sizes, and they are amazing. Highly recommended small cam

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on August 23, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a great nut tool! works well for really getting stuck nuts and hexes out. I just used this nut tool and a rock to beat a stuck cam lower into a crack where it widened out and we could get it out.

This nut tool is good if you and your partner use a lot of nuts and hexes, or if you are aid climbing and the nuts need a good solid tap from the bottom to get out.

The draw backs to this tool are that you need a separate biner to hang it from, its kind of long, and it clangs around and makes a bit of noise that can get annoying after a while.

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on August 23, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This thing is so light you for get you have it sometimes, the other review is right, its not for beating out super stuck nuts and hexes but, if you are on climbs that only have a few nut placements here or there and you are not aiding on them this thing is about all you need. The built in clip is money. Makes this sit nicely on the back of your harness and its easy to get on and off.

Another thing I like it for is carrying it as the leader, mostly for aid climbing. Sometimes there are good nut placements that are tricky or too deep in the crack to push the nut in there with just the cables, since this thing is so light and small its perfect.

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on August 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is the best anti-cross load biner on the market period.
The black diamond gridlock is no good because the smaller gate that keeps your belay loop in place is connected to the main gate, meaning you cannot take your belay loop out of its place in the biner without opening the main gate, this has lead some of my friends to drop their belay devices from up on a climb. Even if you take your belay device off and hold it in your hand while you take your biner off your harness, you still have to open the gate twice, once to get the belay loop out of its notch, and once to then completely remove it from the biner.

Other anti-cross load biners with a separate wire gate at the bottom of the biner are no good either, Basically other brands took belay biners they already made and added a wire gate to the bottom. You have the pull the gate up to open it and get you belay loop in, and then with enough force your belay loop will push its way through the gate and end up outside the area you want it to stay in.

The Gatekeeper was designed from the ground up to be an ant-cross load belay biner. They made it a different shape so there was room at the bottom of the biner to have that second gate swing the right way so that a tug on the biner sets the belay loop inside and removing it is simple, just grab the biner, push down with your middle or ring finger on the gate and you can slip your belay loop out. If you use a GriGri, the big corner on the top of the biner is too big for the hole in the GriGri, so even if your belay loop was not held in place so beautifully, the Gri could not make it around to the spine of the biner.

Basically, this is the best around, its easy to use and effective.

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on August 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This thing is HUGE!!!

It fits so much gear! full loaded packs, skis, ropes, tents, muddy boots, and still has room for more! I Put this on top of my Subaru forester and have doubled my cargo space. Its the best not having to pile your car to the ceiling with gear on long trips. I have noticed when driving faster than 50 in heavy rain a bit of water seems to get in near the front, I think its just road spray that makes its way up there with the wind, but its not much water at all.

I have some friends who have this size box and they said it drops their gas mileage about 2 MPG but I have not noticed even that much! I have an app on my phone I have been tracking my cars mileage with for over a year and I am staying right on my average and on a road trip to California there were some tanks that I got way better than average. Not sure if this will be true for all cars but its working great for me!

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on August 23, 2014

5 5

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

This jacket is awesome!
I bought it just before a trip to Mount Whitney's East Buttress, it was raining on the hike in, and this jacket kept me dry and breathed very well, and was half the weight and bulk of my other rain jacket, and breathed twice as well! Lightning was too bad that day for us to climb, but I did a lot of hiking in the jacket after that, and have used it on some multi pitch climbs here in Utah and its been awesome. Super small and light it sits on the back of your harness and you don't know its there till you need it. The fabric seems pretty durable for something so light weight, and I love how well it breaths! I have used this jacket to run in a light rain and stayed dry and did not get super manky with sweat inside the jacket.

I am really excited to use this more as we get closer to fall and especially for backcountry skiing in the winter, I think this will be a perfect little shell for skinning when the wind is up or its snowing.

I am a tall guy, but I usually fit a large in everything, but I had to go for the XL in this jacket to get a little extra length in the body and arms, luckily its got a very trim athletic cut, so even the XL is not too big for me

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote an answer about on July 15, 2014

Hey BexOnHood,

these should fit over a snowboard boot no problem, the thing about these are they do not work that well in slush, since there is little to bit down into the firmer snow. I don't know what hood is like but I have gone up to camp muir on Rainier in running shoes, people do not normally need crampons for that section.

these would help if you had a freeze overnight and had a slippery crust to walk up in the morning, but I don't think they would be much more help in deeper slush

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on July 14, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a sweet bike rack, I really how easy it is to adjust and install and its totally out of the way when you do not need it. It fits almost any hatchback out there, it even fits my '78 Volkswagon bus! holds the bikes pretty secure, and its easy to get a bike lock and lock them all up to the car.
I like that its so easy to take on and off, if you are leaving your car overnight somewhere you can pop it off in 10 seconds and leave it at home, or stow it inside so it does not get stolen.

It holds the bikes pretty secure, you just have to be careful when you only have one or two bikes on there, if you accelerate too quickly they will swing out then hit your car, its not really enough to damage it, but its annoying, you really have to punch it for this to happen though.

I keep pretty good track of my gas mileage and have taken this on some long trips and have not seen any reduction in gas mileage, which you cannot say the same for a roof mounted bike rack. this one is also way easier to get the bikes on and off.

I am trying to think of any negatives, the only thing coming to mind is that I can no longer use my rear window wiper. which is not a big deal.

this is a great rack, quality parts and well built, I expect to use this rack for years and years

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on July 13, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift, but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size

Got these for my wife, she really likes them, they are cute, and fit well. She says they feel pretty true to size and she really likes the material, comfy and dries fast. I think they look great ;)

She says she would recommend them to anyone looking for a cute swim short like this

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on July 13, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have waited a while to review this pack, I wanted to make sure my perception of its awesomeness was not just new gear infatuation or me comparing it to my last big pack (which totally sucked) and I believe that after a couple months of solid use, I can say that I love it even more!

I bounced around a bit deciding on a big pack, i finally chose this one for the size, weight, comfort and price; and the ability to strip it down. There were cheaper packs that did not look like they would last as long, and there were more expensive ones that would have been more comfy but they were also heavy. This one was just right.

First off, its big, like really big. I fit everything in there for 4 days on Rainier with only my rope, axe, pickets and wands strapped to the outside. Second its also light, which is nice, my last big pack was 7 pounds! this thing feels like nothing compared to that. Third its comfy, the shoulder straps are really comfy with heavy loads even if they are on the minimal side, and the old Bora hip belt is as awesome as it ever was. Fourth its burly. getting slammed down in rocks, loaded with sharp things, this pack takes a beating. Fifth you can strip it down and use it as a summit pack, further saving weight, even the 75 liter version!

The pack is simple, one main compartment, one lid compartment, bungies, side straps, and axe holders. It also has two loops on top for hauling which is cool, I have not tried hauling it yet. the one thing I wish it did have was another picket/wand pocket on the other side. makes no sense to me why they wouldn't put that little pocket on both sides.

I am super psyched about this pack! I expect much use out of it for the coming years. Lots of backpacking and climbing and mountaineering.

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on July 12, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have a bit of a long face, and when a helmet does not fit right I look weird. and the #1 rule of climbing is sexy first right!? Well... not falling to your death might be #1 but sexy first is a close runner up :)

I love the look and feel of this helmet. Its light, breathable, and fits your head so well it feels like its a part of you, not some mushroom living on the top of your head. I have used it with ski goggles and it fits great! it breaths well enough you can wear it on the way up while touring for added safety.

I also love that the cradle will fit up inside the helmet so it does not snag on stuff when you put it in and out of your pack. And I do not think I will ever be so concerned with weight that I remove the headlamp clips to shave grams but its cool they are removable.

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on July 12, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This new spot is awesome!
Its bright, its light, its easy to use. I feel like the button is super easy to get the hang of, like all other BD lamps) and I love that when you first turn it on it does not power up to 100%

By far the coolest feature is the power tap technology. this is what makes it awesome for climbing. You dim the light in either mode, spot or wide, to where you want it. Then with a tap of your finger on the right side of the housing it powers up to full blast of your particular mode. This is great for so many things but especially climbing. You have the light dimmed down to where you just see you hands and feet, but when you need to find the anchor or look around, one quick tap turns on super duper mode, and it is BRIGHT! When you have located that rap station or bivy ledge or fork in the trail or what ever, just tap again on the side and you are back to your desired brightness setting.

I have owned the Icon but I got this to have a lighter headlamp and I am stoked, its so bright I barely notice a difference stepping down from 200 lumens to the 130 lumen beam. this is a great headlamp for any night time adventure.

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on July 11, 2014

2 5

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

What can I say? I am Bias as hell when it comes to climbing shoes. fiveten makes the best rubber hands down. I got a pair of these for longer climbs to try something new, I had been using a larger pair of Moccasyms for my mulit-pitch/alpine shoe. I had a lot of friends that swore by these, so I thought they must be good. I took them out to the desert to break them in on some slab, and then Castleton tower. I slipped a few times on easy slab, and wrote it off to the rubber being so new, or me being sloppy. then even on the non-calcite covered pitches of castleton I was slipping all over the place. I chalked it up to new shoes and tried to wear them more to get used to them. they broke in and felt ok, they edged well, but any time I needed to smear or had a tiny tiny edge they slipped. I never felt confident in them. I even took them out to the San Rafael Swell to try them on some courser sand stone and see if they would redeem them selves.... they did not. I was so scared of falling on one tower because my feet did not feel solid at all.

I bought the Anasazi guides, and these shoes will either get sold, or gather dust.

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on July 11, 2014

5 5

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

looking for the perfect do everything trad shoe? Cause you found it!
Super comfy all day, sticky rubber, and they breath!
there is a jersey/mesh material on the tongue that feels so good against your foot and allows it to breath. the heel is really comfy but still translates power to your piggies for good edging ability, even when fit a bit big for all day use. and the lined leather does not stretch much at all but breaks in super nice and allows for good breathing. The sole on these is thicker than any other shoe I have owned, and amazingly enough it does not hamper the feel of the shoe, but I am sure it will be a long time before they wear out and need a re-sole. I have a pair of La Sportiva Mythos, that will just gather dust now that I have an awesome trad shoe with sticky rubber.

the fit of this one is similar to the rest of the Anasazi's. I wear a 12 in the pinks for an aggressive fit, and a 13 in these is just right for all day comfort with no sacrifice in performance. They knuckle my toes just a bit. I have not tried them in Jam cracks yet, but I imagine they will do well in finger cracks where you toe into the crack, I feel like my toes are too curled to properly foot jam a hand size crack. But for slab, and alpine, and long multi pitch this is my new go-to shoe

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Matt Park

Matt Park wrote a review of on July 11, 2014

5 5

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

So stoked they brought the pinks back, and that they re-designed the heel! this shoe is so awesome I do not even know where to start!
the new heel feels a bit strange at first, when I first put them on, I thought, "they didn't make this any more comfy than the old heel" then I climbed in them, instantly the heel did not hurt, and I could feel so much power in the shoe. its crazy. the shoe was so painful when i put it on, and once I started climbing my foot shifted into place and it was like BAM!!
The other new addition to not only this shoe but a couple of the shoes in the 5.10 line up is the addition of the C4 steath rubber toe rands. thats right, up till now the rand has been a harder rubber, not as sticky as the sole. now you have the glorious C4 stealth rubber in the rand to make that toe jam super secure.

The fit of these is similar to others in the anasazi family. I wear an 11 or 11.5 (super aggressive and regular aggressive respectively) in the moccasym. and I got a 12 in these and they are awesome! street shoe size is a 13 in the guide tennie.
like I said they were painful and hard to get on at first but a few weeks and they are amazing and I know the Cowdura will keep them fitting the same way till I wear through that sole.

(1)

 

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