I have the Kayland Hyper boots. I am looking to buy these for those trips when you are not sure if you are going to need crampons or not. I will not be climbing anything too aggressive. Is the Hyper stiff enough for these crampons?
Im usually touring in ON3P BGs (twin tip) with G3 skins. I spent half a season constantly asking the person behind me to help re-attach the tail clip. Ive had to lash my skins on during an approach after they filled with snow b/c i finally let the skins drag unattached. (some people tour w/o tail clips after all, my experience is that doesn't work on rockered twin tips) The twin tip connector works perfectly. They easily slip onto the tails and provide a solid fit for the skins. I will say getting the old clips off and the twin tip connector on the skin tab was pretty awful.
Merino wool over synthetic for a long sleeve is the only way to go. The only problem is that it seems to be the same thickness as their Stoic Merino T-Shirts. I would like to see the long sleeve a bit thicker.
(photo on Guye Peak)
I am 6'2 and just figured I'd be a (M) size. They are huge. Looking at the size chart im at the upper end of the (S) size. I bought them to throw in my ski bag for the days the temp drops. They would be perfect if they were not almost comically huge. ***Let me restate this...regardless that I should probably be in a size small, these gloves have far more volume then any other glove or mitten I have used.
They have more cushion then synthetic socks and are very thin on top to keep them cool while running. I have used these on many trail runs in the PNW and highly recommend them over synthetic socks in moderate temps.
I have used these boots on tours up to Muir on Rainier, Snolquamie BC, and Baker BC (all WA state). So far they have performed excellently. The did not have any problem driving a 116 rockered ON3P BG ski. I have used them with both marked duke and barons. I have the new touring Intuition liner in the boot and it has to be the most comfortable boot I have ever worn.
Me: skiing steep lines and dropping up to 10 feet. 170 lbs. 6'2
Pros: I really like the latch system on the upper two buckles. Having the buckles in the same catch all day is nice and reduces transition time. All the pre-punching they do to the boot makes them super comfortable for people with messed up feet like me. The rubber sole has been working well. For my weight they have no problem driving a powder ski.
Cons: The latch system on the upper two buckles can freeze up. I had to hit the button with the top end of my ski pole a few times to get it working again. So far no problems getting it free but could be a problem. Also note, these have more volume then Dynafit boots with the same width. They maybe too sloppy for low volume feet.
This season I bought these with a pair of BD cyborg pro crampons. Compared to my old Lowe boots and clip style crampons this set up is significantly more rigid. I am able to precisely place steps. When you are setting foot after foot the reduction in effort REALLY adds up. Most of all they feel precise. Everything from edging on rock to setting feet in ice. The boot hugs the foot well and provides the right stiffness. I have had problems in the past with sweating up my boots on the approach and having damp toes when I hit the cold snow and ice at alititude. This is the main reason I bought new boots to be honest. These breath very well. By unzipping the tongue during the approach I have been able to keep my feet reasonably dry during 80 deg approaches. Thats..excellent. Breaking them in was not all that bad. I have heal spurs and those did not play well with the 'heel lock' system. I never got blisters though and its getting better. I have a size 12 narrow foot and these fit well. If I wanted a custom fit I would want them a tad more narrow, but thats it. My feet and toes run fairly cold and would call the warmth a perfect fit for PNW climbing. They have been 100% waterproof. I have been able to leave my gaiters at home during summer climbs which is nice, every ounce counts. My one complaint is that I have not been able to comfortably fit orthotics like superfeet. My foot does not fit with anything but the original liner which offers almost no arch support. Actually two complaints, the rubber over toe and side of foot has a few cracks at the end of one season. Not sure if this really effects anything though.
This season I bought Kayland Hyper Traction boots with these BD cyborg Pro Crampons. Honestly brings a smile to my face thinking about how dialed this set up is, especially compared with my old lowe boots + clip crampons. This season I did Ice Cliff Glacier on Mt Stuart. A full day of 30 - 60 deg snow and ice w/ two vertical moves which is suited for the sabretooths. I had zero problem with my front point slipping through soft snow on steep snow. Conventional wisdom is that front teeth like those on the sabertooths are more efficient on glacier type travel. From my limited experience the front point design on the cyborg pros close that gap. I have also used these on vertical glacier ice and found the front points set with little effort. I have not used other front point crampons to compare though.
I have read that switching this crampon to a single point is a chore, just a heads up. The anti-balling works but dont expect miracles. It will still happen on steep plunge stepping. From my experience of using both types of crampons, I can not suggest buying a new pair of clip style crampons. If you have to you use non-compatible boots buy used clip crampons. In my opinion all the performance you pay for is lost the minute you try to control it through a clip style attachment.
I bought two of these. A white one for alpine and rock climbs and a blue one for day trip stuff. I also have (2) I/O merino shirt/long-sleeves, Icebreaker and HH long-sleeve merinos. I do not buy synthetics any more. Ditch the poly-pro, it doesnt keep you warm when they are wet and it gets narly (u know what i mean). After sweating it out it starts to smell like a musty sheep...which makes sense. Nothing like the acrid smell of poly-pro. Excellent product. I have needed the huge front zip on approach climbs. In the sun it does not seem much hotter then a poly pro tshirt. I think it regulates temp very well. I would suggest getting the silver for hiking / climbing. If its hot enough that you are down to your base layer you want a light color that doesn't absorb the sun. One of the shirts has a a 1/10" hole in it. Ive beat the hell out of it though so I cant fault the quality. Im 6'1 165 lbs 42 chest and found the medium to be a good fit.
My work horse bag is TNF basecamp duffel. Its huge though and I wanted something for smaller excursions (sailing, kiting, gym).
Pros- I really like welded seams, that is if they dont delam on you. I had a first generation pair of stoic bibs that delam'd on me. BC shipped out a new pair and those have been bomber ever since. I have had this bag for about a year and it has not delam'd. The waterproof zipper on top works. My basecamp duffle WILL get completely soaked inside if not flipped while raining. This bag keeps the water out.
Cons- The zipper action sucks. Annoying to open and close. I dont think any company has figured out a great solution to the waterproof/zipper action trade off. They need to add some padding to the sholder strap. It is uncomfortable for the march through the airport. I wouldnt take this bag cragging btw. The slit opening is not great for rummaging through your gear.
UPDATE : 2 years of moderate use the side zipper delaminated and fell-off.
I picked up the Prophet 52 a couple of months ago. I live in Washington State and wanted a bag that could handle ski touring, rock routes, and alpine routes. So far I have used this pack for 3 cragging trips, an overnight ski tour, alpine trip up Mt Stuart, and a failed rock climbing attempt at Cutthroat Peak. It is a tragic bag because they have the right idea but fail hard in the details. I can not recommend this bag for anyone doing any snow sports.
-The ice axe attach point does not have a long enough elastic strap to reach around any size tool. I have not been able to latch it without going down to bare hands. This is the worst attach clip of any bag: Osprey, Arcteryx, MH, BD, REI ...
-One of the bag closure cords broke on the 4th outing
-For no good reason the crampon pouch tapers at the bottom. When you put crampons in pouch its a really tight fit at the bottom. Sure enough, the second trip I had crampons in this designated pocket they punctured through the pocket at the bottom. Every time I took care to slowly put my crampons in the pocket and never let any of the spikes to face the bag. It punctured on the dull flat tab on the back of the crampons that fit around the back of your boot. BD has rectangular crampon pouches, The North Face should copy it b/c the tapered design doesnt work.
-You seal the top of the bag w/ a simple cord and spring loaded clip. The clip is tiny and a bit difficult to manipulate. Unecessarily difficult, I really think this is a rock bag with alpine bells and whistles.
-The bag features a strap over the top of the bag (under the hood) to secure a climbing rope. If the bag is completely full this strap does not reach around a single rope. I was pissed when I realized I could not use the strap b/c they did not properly size it. Another 2 inches of strap adds nothing to the weight or cost of the bag.
-There is no place for a shove blade on the outside of the pack. Not great for AVY rescue and takes up space inside the bag. It only takes two little tabs and the blade can be easily rigged.
-If its completely full you cannot fit a nalgene bottle in the side pockets without great difficulty.
-If its completely full you cannot get the side straps around a z-res without great difficulty.
-If you need to extend the top lid at all the two staps that connect the lid (on the side of the bag with the sholder staps) will not stay put. They fall of the side of the bag. Its very annoying. All it would have taken was a loop around each strap to keep them in place.
-Not having a side entry zipper gets old fast. When you have to undo 2 straps, maybe take a rope off and secure that so it doesnt fall down the mountain, and open the two closure tabs everytime you need access to the bag it gets old quick. The vast majority of bags these days have a side entry zipper on technical bags for good reason.
-No ski loops on the side. Two ski loops below the side pockets could have been easily added and not effect any other part of the bag. Hell, for the people not using the bag for touring they could be cutt off to save weight. Ski loops make life easier and cut down on transition time.
What did I like? The suspension is spot on. It is simple and light yet effective. I really like the generaly lay out of the bag. The gear loop on one side and large snack pocket on the other are solid. Overall the bag is wear resistant for the weight. I do not recommend this bag though. In my opinion look elsewhere.
These socks are warm, breathable and comfortable. They are padded up in three places: the tongue, toes, and heel cup. Def helps soften unexpected jams while skiing. I would compare the thick part like a medium thickness hiking sock. The rest of the sock has the thickness of a thin to ultra-thin ski sock. I have a pair of touring boots w/ Intuition liners and I find these too thick for those boots. And the final touch; the superman-esque S on the shin.
The basecamp has been with me from sailing trips on the East Coast to ski trips in the cascades to family visits in the mid-west. As everyone has said its extremely tough and waterproof (ok the zippers are not so dont dunk it). On my last flight I check the dimensions for checked bags for domestic flights against the stated dimensions for a large basecamp duffel and the bag came in 2" less. An extra-large would need to have the the straps cinched down to meet the dimension limits.
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