Michael McGuiganposted an image about Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket - Men's on April 28, 2010
On the top of Pico de Orizaba via the Jalapa Glacier.
I have been climbing mountains in Central and South America for the last 10 years. My current plans will take me to the Puna desert in Argentina where I will try to climb Ojos del Salado, the tallest volcano on earth and the 2nd tallest peak in the Americas.
On the top of Pico de Orizaba via the Jalapa Glacier.
When I climb at altitude (above 5,000m), I always bring a pair of gloves and a pair of mittens. Specifically, the Alti Mitten. If you're on a long belay in the frigid cold or don't plan on doing a lot of switchbacks, these puppies will keep your fingers from turning black. The extended cuff with drawstring keeps the snow out and the safety straps keep them from sliding over the edge when you need to use your fingers. One note though, if you anticipate changing directions a lot on a rope team and you use a safety strap on your axe, the switchover can be a bit cumbersome.
I just wore these boots on a winter Presidential Traverse in the White Mountains. A 20+ mile hike over multiple peaks (including Washington) and these boots worked flawlessly. We were kickstepping, postholing, and toejamming for 13 hours strait and my feet stayed warm and my shins healthy. Like others have said, you have to know how to use your equipment. Unless you're climbing vertical ice, keep em tight on the bottom and a little loose on the top - no shin bang!
I absolutely love this thing! Before I bought this suit, I wore shrink wrap tops and waffle looking bottoms for a base layer. When climbing, everything bunched up, got uncomfortable, or just let the breeze blow through. This MH Suit solves all those problems. I use it as a base layer for the bottom and wear a Power Stretch top under the bib. When climbing in cold places, I put this on at base camp and live in it until I get back. Its warm, flexible in all the right places, and has a huge rainbow zipper in the back.
I took this bivy with me into the White Mountains in New Hampshire instead of a tent this winter. I was happy to shed the extra pounds of a tent. This bag kept me dry and added a little extra insulation during the cold evening. Having the stake loops to tie me down when the wind kicked up was really great. I also like the inside straps that kept my mat in place so I didn't have to wrestle with my bag all night. The only small complaint I have is the zipper system. Make sure you go before you get climb in! Getting out is more like molasses in January than greased lightening.
Purchased these boots a while ago and love them. Very good for climbs below 14K or where you don't need uber-warmth. If you are thinking of climbing something over 6,000 meters, you may want to consider plastic. Don't wear these puppies into the back country strait out of the box, give them some real break-in time clunking around the house or taking the dog for a walk. I wear a 10.5 shoe and the 44s fit fine with a pair of silk liners and thick wool socks. My Sabertooth crampons fit like they were made for this boot but, I would not do any serious ice climbing with these guys. Mixed terrain, good neve, or short ice climbs are what this boot thrives on.
I used these crampons on a recent climb up Huayna Potosi in Bolivia. What an absolute pleasure. You could really feel those teeth sink into the hard stuff - I really felt as if I could focus on technique with these on my feet. On the final push up an almost vertical wall of mixed climbing, the front teeth performed flawlessly. These beauties go on and come off easily. The micro adjustment on the heel worked great, even with gloves. On the way down, as things got a bit softer I was grateful for the anti-balling plates.
I have had this jacket for three years and absolutely swear by it. This jacket has kept the wind, rain, snow, and ice off me at altitudes of up to 21k. It is bulletproof. The water proof sippers are tough as nails but easy to use. The hood goes over my helmet with no problem but does not interfere with my headlamp. There are pockets were they need to be and none that serve no purpose. I especially like the little shoulder pocket where I keep my lip gloss and map. Basically nothing gets that don't want in. This is a solid, tough, lightweight shell that, when used in conjunction with your other two layers, will do its part to keep you high and dry. Sure, its wicked expensive, but so aren't the medical bills when you use cheap stuff at extreme altitude and in extreme weather.
Great standard gear for any regular sport route. They are light and easy to use. The rubber insert keeps them steady for those long reaches.
I have had this helmet for several years and swear by it. It has come with me to Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, and Vermont. Whether climbing glaciers at 18K or finger jammin' from a top rope, this light piece of protection will keep your noggin safe. Its easy to adjust, lightweight, ventilates, and you can attache a headlamp to it in the dark. Always wear a helmet and this one will do just fine.
I have dragged this bag across more terrain than I can describe. It is my expedition bag and has come climbing with me to Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Chile. I own the medium size and can stuff my peak bag, all my climbing gear, cold weather clothes, snacks, and sleeping bag into this bag. It is tough, water resistant, and practical. I love the interchangeable and adjustable shoulder straps/handles. I usually line it, like my my backpacks, with large plastic bags to protect the contents from water.
This is the best gear "investment" I could have made. I have always used Arc'teryx harnesses but this thing raises the bar to a whole new level. Everything from the self-locking buckle to the wear safety markers make this a piece of equipment you can trust. And is it comfortable! I dangled for about 45 minutes from the top of a crag belaying my partners and never once went numb! Just check to make sure you really are wearing it - its that light!
I have owned this watch for two years and usually only wear it when I climb. I find that when I wear it I tend to bang it on door jambs, walls , and railings. It is thicker than your average timepiece. Tat being said, in the mountains and hills this thing does what it's supposed to do. I find the altimeter pretty accurate for something that uses air pressure to measure height. The barometer has given me a heads up on weather change a couple of times. Bottom line - its does what it was made to do - use it, enjoy it but know its limitations.
I purchased this rope because I was looking for a single rope that didn't weigh six tons or fill up my gear bag. This rope meets both of those goals. My 60 meter length weighs in at just over 7.5lbs. By comparison, my 60 meter 10.2mm Flyer weighs almost exactly 8.5lbs. Word of caution, this is a thin rope and can scream through your belay device. Take a couple of test falls with your belayer if he or she is not used to thin ropes.
I have used this pack to climb over a dozen 10,000' plus volcanoes. It has come with me up Cotopaxi, Orizaba, and Chimborazo. The Stratos has carried my sport climbing gear on countless crags throughout Guatemala. On expeditions I can cram it into my North Face duffel. This pack is tough, fits like a glove, keeps me dry, and holds everything I need to reach the top. I love the simplicity of the design, the side access, and the dual gear loops Ice ax on one side and poles on the other. Everything about this pack was designed for folks love to climb above the clouds.
I just wore this harness to the top of Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in Ecuador. Awesome piece of equipment. Super light, functional, comfortable, and has all the right parts with nothing extra to get in the way or add weight. If you do technical climbing at altitude and plan on carrying a big rack, this may not be the harness for you. This more of an alpine style harness.
I purchased these shades because I needed a replacement pair for high climbing. They are everything they claim to be: light, tight, tough, and definitely worth the investment. I did have to take them off every now and then when crossing rocky terrain and hard lava flows. Because of reduced contrast and the dark lenses, it was difficult to navigate the rough landscape. This is probably because it was a very sunny day and we were crossing lava beds/rocky terrain which tend to have very dark surfaces. That being said, these glasses are a must have if you want to protect your eyes at high altitudes.
I recently purchased this tent as a replacement for one I had had for about 7 years. Its first trial came when I took it with me on a climb in Guatemala. The tent was super easy to set up, the color coding helps a lot, and had lots of room for one person. The vestibule also served as a great place to stow the pack. While we were sleeping, we got hit with a nasty thunderstorm. The Tadpole kept me and my gear warm and dry throughout the storm, unlike the rest of the team. The only challenge I had with this product was changing in the morning. If you like to stand and stretch, this is not the tent for you. The Tadpole is a great product for the price.