Mike Whittaker

Mike Whittaker

Salt Lake City, Utah

Michael's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing

Michael's Bio

I'm Mike Whittaker, a Backcountry.com Gearhead and world traveler. I'm also studying Materials Science Engineering at the University of Utah. In the winter I can be found in the Wasatch mountains looking for the deepest fresh. When I'm not skiing I'm looking for my next adventure: Flyfishing the US West, studying ichthyology in St. Thomas, researching renewable energy in Costa Rica. . .whats next?

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Mike Whittaker

Mike Whittaker wrote an answer about on April 25, 2009

The density of air at higher altitudes is less than the density at sea level because the air pressure is much greater at sea level (by up to 20%). Because of this you need more air to fill a sleeping pad at higher altitudes. But that holds true for any pad.

The Neoair has pretty standard dimensions, so it isn't any harder to blow this up than any similar pad at the same altitude.

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Mike Whittaker

Mike Whittaker wrote a review of on March 23, 2009

5 5

After a few years of telemark skiing the BD Verdict has become my all-time favorite ski. I use it in bounds about 50% of the time, skiing deep powder, hitting cliffs and charging groomers. The rest of my time is spent in the backcountry, where my Verdicts mounted with BD '01 Midstiff bindings get me anywhere I want to go. They are fat enough to handle most powder (although I've had days of 3+ ft. where I wished I had some Megawatts). They are lighter than many other skis of similar dimensions while still maintaining enough stiffness for touring and making aggressive tele turns. These skis are designed for anyone who is an aggressive skier and wants to push their skis day after day.

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Mike Whittaker

Mike Whittaker wrote a review of on February 23, 2009

5 5

I use my Gamma MX for just about everything. It is a great midlayer for skiing, warm and windproof but breathable. As with most Arc'teryx jackets it is pretty short in length, which makes it great for a midlayer but a little short on its own. I don't really let that stop me from wearing it because I rock it around town all the time. At 6' 0" 180 the large was a good fit, if maybe just a little small. Overall it is a great jacket, and the polartec is an amazing performance fabric.

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Mike Whittaker

Mike Whittaker wrote a review of on February 23, 2009

5 5

You probably won't need many layers under this jacket, and you may not even need pants. This is the warmest jacket I have put on my body. The 200g primaloft insulation is ridiculously warm and the gore-tex pro shell doesn't let any of that heat escape. It is completely water proof, even in fairly heavy rain, and in 60 MPH winds my torso was still sweating (while my face was crying). This jacket should be used in extremely cold situations, because it can get too hot when the temperatures are above freezing. The one downside to this jacket is that it doesn't have any pit-zips or core venting. But, if you need to stay warm and dry this jacket by far the best you can buy.

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Mike Whittaker

Mike Whittaker wrote an answer about on January 11, 2009

The havocs turn better. Are you tele or AT? Just grow a set and get the fatter ones._______________________Seconded, the Verdict will just be more fun.I have both the Havocs and the Verdicts. The Havocs have a better turning radius and are better for trees and bumps and have better maneuverability. The Verdicts will charge anything you give them and they are light enough to make them a viable touring ski but aren't as responsive as the Havocs.

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Mike Whittaker

Mike Whittaker wrote a review of on December 1, 2008

4 5

Cool in more ways than one. The texture offers a variety from the itchy cotton/wool beanies and doesn't pill (fray). It is semi-porous, however, and when used on the slopes will not stop wind and/or heavy precipitation. Best if used at your local party or bar.

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Mike Whittaker

Mike Whittaker wrote an answer about on November 28, 2008

it'd be an interesting tele setup. those are kinda more all mountain freestyle skisThere are a lot of great Tele skis on the market right now, from Black Diamond, G3 and K2 and others. There's no reason to compromise everything that a true tele ski gives you by getting a park ski. Unless you free-heeling in the park, I'd look elsewhere.

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Mike Whittaker

Mike Whittaker wrote a review of on September 22, 2008

4 5

These shoes are a pretty hearty. I used them in a plethora of different conditions including stream crossings, bushwhacking, rock-hopping; I even scaled a peak with these guys on! They hold up very well, are really lightweight and are comfortable. My one gripe is that the lugs on the soles don't distribute pressure evenly when what you are walking/running on isn't flat. Where a flatter sole would distribute the pressure of stepping on rocks/stumps/small critters evenly, the lugs on these babys push on the insole at isolated points. It was more of an annoyance than a detriment, but its definitely something to consider.

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