Richard Possin

Richard Possin

Japan, NZ, AK and occasionally Australia

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Richard's Passions

Alpine Touring
Snowboarding

Richard's Bio

Me lovey powder

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Richard Possin

Richard Possin wrote an answer about on July 20, 2014

Reid, not quite long enough to carry a snowboard vertically, at least with a decent amount of gear in the pack. I use this pack split boarding so whenever I have to boot it, I split the board and a-frame. I had a nasty experience doing this the other day when someone mis-took me for a skier!!! Seriously though, If you're talking about a solid board, there's 3 choices:
1 - horizontal under the pack closure straps (which probably aren't designed for this load and could fatigue rather quickly); or
2 - horizontal between your back under the shoulder straps and the pack; or
3 - Macgyver a vertical solution with 2 ski straps (you'd probably want 24 inch straps).

I'll take some photos and post an update for you soon.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possin wrote a review of on July 7, 2014

Hot Tea on a Mountain!
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I really like this mini-thermos, it's great for ski touring when you don't want to bulk out your pack with a big regular size thermos flask. It won't keep your Tea quite as warm for as long as a normal glass-lined thermos will, but is certainly good enough for day tripping. Worth checking you've tightened the lid properly before you put it back in your pack as I've nearly put it with the lid slightly open (faulty operator not equipment!).

I haven't tried it in warm weather with cold liquids, it's got different lids depending on whether you want warm or cold.

For weight weenies, there's a titanium version ($$$) that shaves some weight off.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possin wrote a review of on May 17, 2014

Perfect for layering when Alpine Touring
4 5

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

This is my "go to" layering piece for when I'm touring, mostly I use it as a mid-layer in warmer touring climates like Australia and NZ. Having a synthetic fill rather than down works much better in these warmer environments as it's not a problem if it gets a little wet.

I find the best use is when I'm skinning and you hit an exposed ridge line and it gets a little colder or you're suddenly in the shade for a while. I generally have it under some compression straps on the outside of my pack and it's easy to quickly take the pack off, chuck it on and move on quickly without opening and searching your pack for a shell.

It's super light and compresses into it's own inside pocket about the size of a really fat beer can.

Would you believe this photo is in Australia?

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Richard Possin

Richard Possin wrote a review of on April 20, 2014

Lifesaver, but pack itself ordinary
3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've used this 'lightweight' 5L pack at a heli operation in Alaska and also a 50L ABS pack when touring.

I'm quite conflicted about the ABS airbags because they're such a fantastic backcountry safety device, but really let down by poor pack design and straps.

The airbag part of the pack is great, no doubt it's a potential lifesaver in avalanche terrain and that's fantastic. Having two airbags is a nice redundancy. The logistics of airline travel with the gas cylinders are a nightmare though.

My first beef is with the removable activation handle. IT'S WHITE FFS *&%#$!!!! Yes, that's right - it's the same colour as the snow. WTF? Did they run out of coloured plastic? Not such a problem if you're touring, but if you're heli skiing (you have to remove it from the pack to prevent accidental activation in the heli) and you drop it in powder as you're removing it, it's REALLY hard to see.

The straps, particularly the waist strap, on both packs I've used are substandard and loosen by themselves and I had to continually tighten them. I'd hate to see what happens in an avalanche.

The good news is you can buy the ABS base unit and get a zip-on pack from another manufacturer, which is what I'd recommend.

Some people complain about the extra weight. I can't say it's a problem for me - you can't have an omelette without breaking eggs.

Personally, I'm going to wait to see what the newer options e.g. black diamond jet force are like before I commit to buying an airbag pack.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possin wrote a review of on March 28, 2014

Good binding if you have EST
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm happy with this binding, but there's a few things that could be improved. It's strong and stiff, which is the way I like my bindings. The straps are good quality and look like they will last a while. The footbeds are easy to remove although I leave them in.

I don't have a problem with needing a tool to make adjustments as I always carry one anyway. The only annoying thing with adjusting is that the bit you need for the ICS screws needs to be quite long as the 'rails' the screws sit in are quite high, that's definitely a design flaw.

I used to have cartels and I was expecting these to be lighter than those, but they're not.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possin wrote a review of on March 2, 2014

Standard water bottle for the Alpine
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Forget camelbaks and frozen tubes, if you're spending time in freezing temperatures the nalgene wide mouth bottle is the way to go. The wide mouth makes it easy to refill with snow. If I'm camping in the snow, I'll fill it with hot water and put it in my sleeping bag at night.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possin wrote a review of on January 27, 2014

Hone your "slope angle" guesstimates
4 5

I bought this mainly so I can improve my ability to judge slope angles. I "guesstimate" the slope angle, then check it on this to confirm what it really is, that way I can update my "mental" model and hopefully get better to the point where I don't need it anymore.

I've found it gets harder to judge as the slope gets steeper. 30 degrees is fairly easy to judge (for me anyway!), but as you get to 40+ it gets a little harder.

OK, it's not what I'd call cheap, someone suggested I use an iPhone app (e.g. backcountry access free app) to measure slope angle, but do you really want to stop all the time, get out your iPhone, open the app, measure, put your phone back etc etc when you could just lay down your ski pole?

Having the temperature is handy, in this photo it was a nipple hardening -15C (not including wind chill!).

It has an auto power off feature and attaches to any ski pole via a velcro strap. For weight weenies - It's super light, you won't know it's there.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possin wrote a review of on January 26, 2014

Great lightweight beanie for Touring
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This beanie is perfect for ski / splitboard touring. It's lightweight so your fat (well mine's fat!) head won't sweat buckets breaking trail in bottomless powder.

For colder tours (e.g. this photo!) you'll definitely need a warmer beanie on the way down (if you're not wearing a helmet).

Being super light and thin,it can be stuffed in the smallest pocket. I keep it in my pocket on inbounds days so I can put it on under my helmet when needed.

It's 'merino' style wool, so it doesn't clunk and dries quickly.

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