Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz

Wasatch Range, Alaska Range, N. Cascades, & Desert SW.

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Micah Lewkowitz's Passions

Alpine Touring
Trad Climbing
Ice Climbing
Mountaineering

Micah Lewkowitz's Bio

Born in Massachusetts, I became a passionate climber at various crags around New England. In 2006, I started guiding and instructing rock, ice, and mountaineering climbs full time, honing my skills around the contiguous US, Alaska, South America, Canada, and Mexico. As the founder of Alpine Existence Climbing Guides, I am excited to offer climbers a customized climbing experience with focus on technique and skill development. www.alpineexistence.com offers climbers tech tips, gear reviews, and personalized guided climbs to help you meet your climbing goals around the world . . . Stay informed on new climbing techniques, gear, and more, like our Facebook page!

Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote a review of on April 23, 2014

5 5

Fit: True to size

After testing this sock guiding and climbing alpine routes in the Wasatch Range, I'm impressed by the durability and elasticity of the sock. No slipping down the calf as I've seen with other brands. Warm and comfortable, thanks to Darn Tough's seamless stitching! Check out a detailed gear review and comparison:

http://alpineexistence.com/darn-tough-mountaineering-sock-review/

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0 Comments

Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 18, 2013

The Patagonia Micro Puff jacket is a great mid-weight synthetic layer that performs well in moderate winter conditions as an outer puffy. Depending on your level of activity and layering system this should keep you warm between periods of high aerobic output in below freezing temps. With 100 grams of synthetic PrimaLoft Sport insulation, this high quality puffy traps your body heat well and offers superior warmth to weight value for a synthetic layering piece. Though you'd likely get cold using this as your puffy layer below 15 degrees Farhenheit with a baselayer/100 gram fleece/midweight softshell layering system, you can easily incorporate this into your layering system to provide versatile warmth through most winter conditions.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 18, 2013

J Brent,
The Black Diamond Sphynx pack is designed as a climbing pack and can be used to carry skis A-frame style, but is not compatible for diagonal carry. We are unfortunately out of stock of this item, since Black Diamond discontinued this pack design several years ago. We do have some other great ski packs that meet similar requirements. Check out the Black Diamond Alias for a trimmed down ski mountaineering pack or the Anarchist for a larger capacity pack.

http://www.backcountry.com/black-diamond-alias-winter-pack-1831-1989cu-in?ti=UExQIENhdDo6MToxMjpiY3NDYXQ3MTExMTA4NA

http://www.backcountry.com/black-diamond-anarchist-with-avalung-winter-pack-1953-2563-cu-in?ti=UExQIENhdDo6MTo1OmJjc0NhdDcxMTExMDg0

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 18, 2013

Slong,
You do not need to purchase additional twin tip clips, the Backcountry.com climbing skins includes twin tip clips and camming tail clip straps, just as the product picture shows. The medium length skin is designed for 171-181 cm skis, so I'd recommend instead going with the 130mm - small, which will still fit your ski length and has less overall weight.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 18, 2013

The Goal Zero Sherpa 50 is designed to be used with a larger solar panel for maximum efficiency (the Nomad 13 is recommended and has a 6-12 hour recharge estimate). The Guide 10 plus kit includes the Nomad 7 solar panel which half the efficiency of the Nomad 13 and therefore would not be the ideal charging unit for the Sherpa 50. Also, the Guide 10 recharging unit is similar to the Sherpa 50, but with less charging capacity and options. If you need the superior charging abilities of the Sherpa 50, I'd recommend getting a larger solar panel such as the Nomad 13 or alternatively continuing to use your Guide 10 Plus Kit for basic, small electronics.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 17, 2013

The removable foam backpad is advantageous for a few reasons and a longtime practice for alpine climbing backpacks. The removable pad is often lighter than thick, permanently fixed padding and can be removed for ultralight adventures where you want to shed all excess weight. In a pinch (or rescue scenario) the foam pad can be used as a miniature sleeping pad during an unplanned bivy. The removable nature of the foam back pad also allows the user to customize their pack fit to the need of the specific trip and the foam generally molds to your frame more-so than fixed, thick padding.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 17, 2013

The Montbell Frost Line parka is a great, warm layer that may be suitable for a Denali climb, but it's going to depend on the season and your other layering options. This is definitely on the lighter side for Denali climbs and if it's your first foray into high altitude cold weather mountaineering, I'd recommend investing the money into a more suitable jacket. I generally recommend Denali W. Buttress climbers have an outer parka with 225+ grams of 650+ fill down. This parka has 190 grams of 800 fill down, so it should come close to the same warmth, albeit a bit on the lighter side. I've seen many guides walk to the summit in their Patagonia DAS parka, but they've mastered their layering system and know how their body performs at altitude and in cold. If you've got a 80-100 gram synthetic mid-weight puffy for lower altitudes, you could always combine the Frost Line and that layer to beef up your layering system and increase your warmth on summit day. If you're planning on climbing in May the temps are significantly colder and you'll want to layer accordingly, but in July summit temps and nighttime lower Kahiltna temps can be as warm as 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 11, 2013

Jonathan,
I answered Jimmy's question below, but to answer your question as well: the Colombia Bugaboot Plus II and the XTM models have the same durable and comfortable TechLite construction with Omni-Grip traction for rugged and icy terrain. The Bugaboot Plus XTM has a higher boot shaft height for additional protection from the elements and additional warmth and also has 3x the amount of Omni-Heat synthetic insulation for superior warmth when the temps drop. The Bugaboot Plus II has 200 grams of insulation, rated to -25 degrees Fahrenheit and the Bugaboot Plus II XTM has 600 grams of insulation, rated to -65 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 11, 2013

Jimmy,
The Columbia Bugaboot Plus II and the XTM models have the same durable and comfortable TechLite construction with Omni-Grip traction for rugged and icy terrain. The Bugaboot Plus XTM has a higher boot shaft height for additional protection from the elements and additional warmth and also has 3x the amount of Omni-Heat synthetic insulation for superior warmth when the temps drop. The Bugaboot Plus II has 200 grams of insulation, rated to -25 degrees Fahrenheit and the Bugaboot Plus II XTM has 600 grams of insulation, rated to -65 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 10, 2013

Bummer, those hex sockets shouldn't strip easily but can if over torqued. Check out a tap kit at your local hardwear store that can be used to reverse thread them out w/o doing damage to the tools or blade.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 10, 2013

The Guide Gloves are oversized for bitter cold temps and you can fit a small hand warmer inside the glove just fine. It doesn't have a zippered compartment for a handwarmer as some snowboard/ski gloves have, but there is nothing preventing you from throwing one in on the top of your hand to add some warmth on the coldest days. For reference, these are the warmest gloves that still have enough dexterity for technical climbing that I've ever used, so it would be wildly cold to necessitate the use of hand warmers.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 10, 2013

Michael is correct, but I'd recommend reading some instructional manuals first. Check out this helpful video of how to clip a quickdraw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPCAa6Xj0lo

To elaborate on your question, the purple-ish colored Oz carabiner has a rubber gasket holding the carabiner in place which keeps the carabiner oriented correctly for clipping into the rope end. The silver carabiner is loose for the bolt/gear end so when clipping into traditional rock gear it has room to move around w/o knocking the piece of gear loose or walking it further into the crack. In regards to clipping bolts, it allows the sling to rotate while the carabiner stays correctly positioned on the bolt, preventing it from cross-loading or snagging the nose on the bolt and opening the gate accidentally.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 10, 2013

Hyo,
This is not a 3-in-1 jacket and is therefore unfortunately not zip-in compatible. The Marmot Ascension jacket is a technical shell that can be layered with a light fleece underneath for insulation during technical climbing or skiing for added warmth in cold conditions. For more options, check out the 3-in-1 jackets: http://www.backcountry.com/mens-3-in-1-jackets

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 10, 2013

Kohman,
Depending on where you are climbing and your familiarity with different brands of cams (or your willingness to learn the different sizes), either the Black Diamond C4s or Wild Country Heliums will get the job done. Both are great camming devices that offer smooth trigger action, user friendly color-coded anodization, and anatomical thumb loop on a single stem design. The main difference between the two is the axle design, the Black Diamond C4 is a double axle which creates a wider expansion range (less cams, more range) compared to the Wild Country Helium which is a single axle design, resulting in a smaller expansion range. The Heliums may help to bridge a gap between sizes in the BD C4s, but lack the same wide expansion range that makes the C4 cams so popular.

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 10, 2013

The North Face Resolve jacket is a great waterproof-breathable rain shell that will protect you from the rain and wind, but it is not an insulated jacket and does not offer the warmth you may be looking for in a winter jacket. Check out The North Face Condor Triclimate jacket, which offers similar waterproof protection with the addition of a removable synthetic liner to boost your warmth during the winter: http://www.backcountry.com/the-north-face-condor-triclimate-jacket-mens?ti=UExQIENhdDo6MTo0OmJjc0NhdDExMTAwMTc

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah Lewkowitz wrote an answer about on December 10, 2013

Depending on what type of climbing you plan on doing and what boots you are using, the Black Diamond Sabretooth Pro crampon should fit very well and stay on your boot. Your boot will need both a toe and heel welt to stay on with the pro style attachment. Alternatively, check out the Black Diamond Sabretooth Clip, which is likely what your guide is referring to as the "trap" style: http://www.backcountry.com/black-diamond-sabretooth-clip-crampons?ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6c2FicmV0b290aDoxOjI6c2FicmV0b290aA

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