Stephen McDonald

Stephen McDonald

Central Sierras

Stephen McDonald's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Climbing

Stephen McDonald's Bio

I am a avid Telemark skier, I ski 100+ days a year. I am a PSIA certified instructor and teach at China Peak, but spend most of my days free skiing or earning turns in the backcountry. I compete in the Telemark Big Mountain Freeskiing Tour.
I spend most of my summers earning money to allow me to ski all winter, but spend what freetime I can get water skiing, backpacking/mountainering, flyfishing, and mountain biking.

Stephen McDonald

Stephen McDonald wrote a review of on March 16, 2011

5 5

This is my fourth season on NTN (over 400 days), I have tried most of the boot offerings and have owned the Crispi EVO, Garmont Prophet, and now these TX Comps. By far this is my choice of the three top boots. The comp is slightly less stiff than the EVO, but does not lack in performance, and is significantly lighter and better suited to backcountry travel. Although it is lighter it gives up very little in the way of performance. They provided a good comfortable fit after proper thermo fitting, I did get some slight heel pinching that went away after a few days of skiing.
Next year Scarpa will add the powerblock tour to these boots making them even better. The powerblock tour switch will be available for retrofitting previous years in fall 2011. I have had no issue touring without the walk mode as long as the upper buckles are loosened.
The Garmont Prophet is a good performing boot, but softer and I had severe toe cramming issues with it due to the lack of a heel retention strap (4th buckle.) The heel is wide. As with all ski boots your fit may vary.
The Crispi EVO is the stiffest NTN boot and probably the best for on piste performance, but is heavy, stiff, and has a weak walk mode switch that gets loose with time and is prone to breaking. The shell does a poor job of keeping moisture out and the liner is slow to dry. With that said it was the most comfortable for my foot.
For top level performance and durability the TX comp is my first choice. If you have a more casual skiing style or enjoy meadow skipping you might want to look at softer flexing boots.

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Stephen McDonald

Stephen McDonald wrote a review of on February 7, 2011

5 5

This is the jacket I take to the slopes most often. I originally purchased this for mostly backcountry ski trips but found myself using it inbounds most days. It is very light, durable and fits well. I have used this for several overnight and multi-day ski trips in the Sierra wilderness. When combined with a silk weight capilene and a R1 midweight it is good for the coldest Sierra winter day temps. I usually add a down sweater vest for zero activity dig ins or hanging around after the sun goes down. This does not have a powder skirt, and while it would be nice for the deep powder days I feel it would be out of place on this streamlined jacket.
I like it so much I picked up a second one!
This jacket is a bit warm for warm sierra spring days. On warmer days I typically leave this one behind and take a nano puff and lightweight shell. On these days I often find my self wanting just the light shell and a single baselayer.

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Stephen McDonald

Stephen McDonald wrote a review of on February 7, 2011

5 5

This insulator is almost always in my backcountry ski pack and is all the insulation I usually take on most winter/spring day trips. I love how small it compresses and it breathes well on those cold early morning skins. It is combines perfectly with a lite outer shell for Sierra winter and early spring outings.

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