Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold

Eastern Sierra, Idaho, and So Cal (where I currently reside)

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Spencer's Passions

Running
Biking
Climbing

Spencer's Bio

A little about me: Born and raised in Idaho (best place on Earth..seriously). I now live in Southern California. I'm into the out of doors and hit the trails on my Pivot 5.7, trail run, hike, all to prepare for my real passion: winter mountaineering and skiing! Whether it's seeking out some sweet side stash or climbing in South America, I'm all about getting anywhere steep and deep. My goals are pretty basic; keep working on my skill set, and hopefully work as a guide when I retire from my current profession.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote a review of on January 28, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Initial review/thoughts: Me: 6-1, 198, purchased size 11. I'm a 10 1/2 and the 11 fits great in the Performance.
Now keep in mind my first climb in these was in relatively hot weather. I live in So Cal and close to Mt. Baldy and we've had some good snow thus far. But, I picked a day where it was in the high 60's at the trail head, around 5,700 ft. I need to break them in, so instead of wearing trial runners at the start, I wore the boots. I got hot. I also want to say my sock choice was stupid as they were thin but old and kind of worn on the inside. My bad. But I got a blister x2. Witholding judgment for now as to the "Blister Free Guarantee" but the seam was noticeable.
Ok, now for the climb part. In the walk mode, I dug this boot. It flexed just enough to put some miles in on the approach. The heel underfoot was very stable. Not too wide, not too narrow compared to my Mammut GTX. So getting going was....thoughtless. Meaning, I was motoring along and never thought about traction, roll or anything. Once on the route, the snow was super firm and I didn't put my crampons on right away, switched to climb mode and edged up a 35-40 degree angle. I cut a couple of steps with my ice ax, but mostly just edged and used the toe to climb a short section. Kinda dumb as it was super icy and sketchy, but dang there's nothing like a new Vibram sole! The sole on the Salewa is quite different than the ones on my Mammuts. It's better. Better uphill and downhill, as breaking was awesome. Once the crampons were on, I made short work of the route section I was on. Is there still some flex? Yes, a bit. But not much. Is this a completely rigid boot like my Millet Radikals? Nope. But for me, who is more of an Alpine / Mountaineer climber, they are bomber. I just wish it was colder and I was not moving so fast in order to see how warm they were, but I'll never get a good feel for that until I get into the Eastern Sierra next month.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote a review of on January 16, 2013

5 5

Just ripped on the Lobo and felt sorta bad about it ( but deserved rip to be certain). So, to achieve my inner balance, I'm writing this review that merits 5 stars....
The likes: the hydration compartment has a loop to hang the bladder! So that's a nice start. Material seems....flimsy. But not so! It's wicked tough for how light it is. The pack's capacity is above average and has just enough pockets in the right places. Keep in mind I'm writing this review as a mountain biker...so not having pockets or loops along the waist strap is a good thing, because that's the last place you want weight. I've loaded the Charge down purposely to see how well it does under load. The Charge does not shift when I shift my body around on my bike from the attack position to back over my rear wheel on drops. Stays put and that's what you want. I'm looking for dings on the Charge and can't find one yet. So great purchase.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote a review of on January 16, 2013

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Me: 6-1, 195lbs, 16 1/2 x34 shirt size
Ok, here we go. I bought the Lobo to replace a Mule that was worn out and converted to use for desert moto. So I had high hopes for the Lobo because of the....sort of split design. First and foremost, the bladder compartment does not have a loop for the bladder to hang from (at least mine does not). So guess what happens when you start sucking down water? You guessed it! It collapses on itself and that makes it tough to get those last few drinks out. Second: The main pocket doesn't hold too much as far as a base layer or whatever. I always roll with a pump, chain breaker, spare tire etc and it barely fits. Then, the two vertical zippers start backing and come unzipped during long rides. The fit is pretty good and it's a comfortable rig. I'm just not feeling the stoke on it because the design, while intriguing and seemingly innovative, is really not well thought out and under performs. And that's about it.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote a review of on December 25, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Let's try to upload this review again....
Me and the trail type I run:
6-1, 197, 45 yrs old, 10 1/2 foot, low to mid volume. Sand and loose trails that mix into blue groove sand stone, some steep climbs (20 degree).
For comparison, I also have had over the past few years three different Speedcross 2 and 3's with the GTX and the climashield. Also currently have the Fellcross.

I am digging the stoke on the XT S-Lab 5! This shoe in comparison to the Fellcross is more stable, as it's a little bigger footprint underfoot. It's not nearly as "fast feeling" as the Fellcross, but more of a journeyman shoe. It's solid, stable and has good traction in most conditions. The Fellcross and Speedcross had incredible traction in loamy conditions, but suffered in rainy conditions on blue groove trails that became slick. Not so with the XT5. Last night it was raining and I tackled a 20 degree hill that's about a 1/4 mile, and it was getting loose. Going up was no issue as long as I picked my line carefully. On the return, I thought, "oh boy, here we go. Slip and fall time!" Not so...downhill breaking was better than expected, and they packed mud but it wasn't a huge issue. I could feel them getting heavier but still, the traction was good enough. I was surprised how well the shoe threw mud off the bottom.
So far, very impressed with the shoe and it fits my style of slow going trail running better then the Fellcross. I don't feel the rock impact nearly as much as the Fellcross. Great shoe!

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote an answer about on December 25, 2012

Hey Greg,
Of the three Mammut pants that I own, the Alto are the ones that would probably best suit your needs. The Alto has a zippered cuff that fit over my Dalbello Krypton Pro's. The Alto also has a built in gaitor. The interior of the Alto has a brushed lining that adds warmth and for me, eliminates the need for a base layer. There are side zips for venting, but they are 1/4 length, so not going to get too much air exchange but better than nothing.
I have not overheated in them so far with moderate to higher output activity level. I'm going to use them in Bolivia this August for my back up, warm pant if the winter is harsh while I am climbing. Hope this helps.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote a review of on November 24, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Picked these up to replace some Natives that were just plain worn out. My second pair of Julbo's. I made this purchase to compliment my mountaineering Julbo glasses. They look stylish enough for town and seem more versatile than my other pair (can't remember the name of them).
Similar to my other pair, these fit just a little bit big for my face. I don't think I have a shrunken Bettlejuice head or anything, but maybe I do. Lens works well in various lighting conditions but are just a little dark when transitioning from full sun to wooded shade. Quality is great, they stay in place well considering they are just slightly too big for my mug. Price is steep; so let's hope they hold up better than my Natives.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote an answer about on October 26, 2012

Hey there,
Ok, I have the Fellcross and three pairs of Speedcross (1 pr Speedcross 2 gore-tex and 2 pr Speedcross 3's with climashield). I would say first off , the fit of the Fellcross is slimmer and more....glove-like. Secondly, I have noticed the Fellcross has a less robust sole than the Speedcross- you will feel small hits and rocks more. The Fellcross is a faster shoe for trail running because of the feel and fit; better braking and side to side lateral movement. I used the Fellcross as my main shoe in some HOT temps in southern Italy hiking trip and rough trails were not too bad underfoot. It was only after a few days that the balls of my feet started to feel bruised. The Speedcross Climashield run a little on the hot side...not so for the Fellcross. Durability so far on the Fellcross is not as good as the Speedcross. The bottoms are just about worn down and I have maybe 200 miles max in them. Wearing out pretty quick, but so does a performance tire on a dirtbike/mountain bike. Hope this helps.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote a review of on October 11, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had the Gigapower stove for 5 years now and it's still going strong. My brother and I go at it over white gas v ISO fuels, and you guessed it, I'm not a white gas guy.
The giga is tiny, super light and dependable. I've used it at lower elevations (13,500) in super cold conditions and no issues with the stove clogging. Not the most powerful stove out there, so if you're a guide doing group cooking and melting LOTS of snow, this may not be the stove for you. But for solo or two teammates doing winter assaults, this is a great stove. Small, compact, with enough power to handle your needs (especially cooking in the tent out of the wind).

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote an answer about on October 11, 2012

Hey Brad. I've researched the Mammut Nordwand, Scarpa Phantom Guide and the Salewa's. The difference between the Salewa Insulated Plus and the Performance is simply how the boot fits. Both have equal amounts of Thinsulate insulation and lacing system, however the Insulated Plus has a wider toe box. I just returned the Insulated Plus in favor of the Performance. I am 6-1, 195 with a 10-5 to 11 mid volume foot. I ordered the Insulated in 11 and with a normal sock (not mountaineering) the boot was too wide in the toe box and heel was not locked down. So I ordered the performance that has a more streamlined fit, also in 11. The size of the 11 was spot on, with just enough length. Just too wide for my foot. I can't comment on the boot yet until I get enough trips to pen a review. Hope this helps.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold posted an image about on October 4, 2012

Adidas Terrex FAST R, Italian Volcanos

Having trouble updating my review, but the FAST R slider lacing system couldn't take the micro-pulverized ash. Locked up the slider. Maybe a manufacturer's defect, not sure. 5 stars gone, 4 stars for now. But, the durability was great as I put them through the wringer and they held up to abrasion and scuffing. Still great traction; best I have ever had!

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote a review of on September 16, 2012

4 5

So I've been riding the Iodine 3's for close to a year now, and overall I'm pretty stoked on them. My ride is a 2011 Pivot Mach 5.7, aluminum frame (large). I added the Iodine wheel set because I wanted to add some strength and drop a little rolling weight. Mission accomplished.
The Iodine 3's to my knowledge have not experienced the failures of previous incarnations. I am not into hucking my bike and only hit short drops of up to two feet, so this wheel set is plenty robust. No flex in the wheels that I can tell and they seem pretty bombproof thus far. I dig on the color combinations of the dual spokes. Adds to that factory look and yes, I roll perhaps a bit on the vain side. The black rim is holding up to rocks and dings really well and is not showing too much wear.
The Iodines are a good deal for this price point and I am pretty happy with them so far. Just watch out for water exposure, as my rear wheel's hub locks up and will turn your ride into a fixie until it dries out.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote a review of on September 12, 2012

5 5

After 4 years of hard use, I think I am ready to pen this review. I'll cut to the chase: If you're looking for a bombproof ruck and can deal with a little porkyness, this is your pack. For mountaineering, I don't think it can be beat. I have used and abused this pack like a garden weasel working the back forty of a potato farm. Totally resists abrasion, you can throw your crampons in the outside pocket that's big enough for wands or pickets and not tear through. I've done that a couple of times when I'm really tired and don't recommend it all the time, but so far so good.
This hauler will accommodate all the gear you need for any trip but the longest expedition. I've used it in Chamonix and the Swiss Alps, Ecuador, and all my trips in the Eastern Sierra and Shasta. Fit and comfort is great as the adjustments are meaningful if you take the time to dial it in. I think the main selling point of this ruck is simply its durability. When I tell you the Bora is bomber, I mean it. My Bora looks worn and it is, but it's still going strong and ready for the upcoming season of lots of abuse.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote an answer about on August 24, 2012

Good question Gyuri. My background is a little more on the mountaineering side although I wouldn't call myself a 'climber' yet. That being said, I have some experience with shells and what does and does not go in my ruck.
I am strongly leaning toward the Parinaco myself as my shell. After last season, I dumped the soft shell/hard shell concept as it's simply too much stuff (same for my legs). I just want one single piece that can reasonably do everything I need. I spend 80% of my outdoor time in winter or South America type climbing, so the Parinaco may work for me despite its porkyness. It will be my only jacket. I know the temps on Kili can vary and you may well need a shell of this weight to stand up to wind. And don't forget during rain but warmer temps, you can drape your shell over your ruck by putting your arms through the pit zips so you stay basically dry without over heating. Short story long, if you see yourself doing other things like Kili in the future AND you backpack a lot, I would go for this jacket and no soft shell. That will save you space. If not, Outdoor Reasearch makes some nice offerings that are nicely priced but won't last several seasons of hard use.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote a review of on July 27, 2012

4 5

The Fiamma is my third Mammut pant ( also have the Alto and Courmayer). Yeah, I get it, I obviously like Mammut products. But there is a pretty good reason why; because the Swiss know a little something about mountaineering gear. This pant is a little cheaper than the Courmayer and is made of Mammut's Softech material (as opposed to Schoeler).
First thoughts are super positive. The Softech material is on the thin side but seems durable. Bomb proof like the Courmayer? Not sure yet, but time will tell as this was my first season in them.
I am 6-1, 200 lbs. I purchased the 34 long and the fit is spot on. Unlike the Courmayer, which has snap closures for the cuffs, the Fiamma has a pull cord. Works well and stays cinched and tucked well. No articulated knees but no need as the Softech material is like 4 way stretch material. Excellent give during athletic moves and scrambling. This pant is quite breathable in warmer temps. There are no venting options, side zippers etc, but they don't really need them. Not a pant designed for the heat so if you find yourself on the Vegas strip, gambling away your laundry dough and sweating your ass off, don't blame the Fiamma. You shoulda been wearing shorts. These are designed for mountain temps and in that environment, high output activities will be rewarded while wearing the Fiamma.

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote a review of on July 23, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Here we go for the Terrex FAST R GTX, as I have had them for three months now, with several hikes in rain, some heat and various terrain.
-Fit is true to size. I am a 10 1/2, with a mid volume foot. They fit like, well, glove for you foot.
-Lacing system is similar to lots of other brands. They use a little slider thingy so you can dial in the lacing from the toe box to the top. The little button that depresses in order to slide the "laces" does not work very well on mine. A minor annoyance overall.
-Amazing traction, in nearly any condition or surface. It's like magic. Down hill braking is excellent, the sides grip well during class 3/4 scrambling, almost like an approach shoe with randing. Excellent on scree, rock, water rock, you name it. Yes, on really rugged trails, you will feel sharp-edged rocks; but these are basically sneakers on steroids and NOT a mountaineering boot, so that is to be expected. But even though I could feel the sharp rocks and stuff, they didn't bother me at all...even after long days, no bruising or sore feet.
-When I took them out of the box and saw the construction and light weight, I thought they would wear down quickly like my Inov8 360 Para's did. Not so! These are WAY tougher and much better on your feet than those overpriced hunks of junk.
-Ankle support is good for how light this hybrid hiker is. I found myself not worrying about rolling my ankles...they will hold up, even under a load.

Overall, I love this "boot", or super sneaker, whatever it is. I find that I go faster and harder for longer wearing the Terrex. No, this is not a Viagra review, but these Adidas do make me feel younger in that 'special way'. I love them. The start of a beautiful relationship...

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Spencer Arnold

Spencer Arnold wrote an answer about on July 16, 2012

Hey Drew,
I have two pairs of SpeedCross 3's with Climashield, the SpeedCross 2 Gortex and now the new Felcross (is that how it's spelled? Not sure). The SpeedCross 3 Climashield does run on the hot side. I live in Southern California and have gone on some trail runs in the heat and they get pretty hot. The SpeedCross 2 Gortex breathes better, but are wider in the toe box for some reason. Any other time of year OR location and they would be just fine.

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