Smith Rock, The Cascades, BCC/LCC
What is the rated strength of these leashes?
That's like fitting nitrous and a race computer into a minivan.
B&D sells aftermarket heel springs to reduce stated release values below 5. Not approved by Dynafit, but definitely an option.
This is practically NOLS instructor uniform in the rockies. It's super light, and for its weight, its incredibly warm.
Compared to the standard jacket of this weight -the mountain hardwear compressor- this jacket is better cut, weighs less, looks better, and is only slightly less warm. It has great stretch cuffs and the zippers are of appropriate weight for a lightweight jacket.
It's not the most durable jacket ever, but nothing made of featherweight nylon is. it quickly frayed a little bit around the cuff and at the jawline, but it's on the whole snag resistant. Not for offwidth climbing.
Mine has seen at least 100 days in the field heavily used, and another 50 in the city, worm everywhere, and its still going strong. It's also easy to wash, and unlike down, you don't have to worry about it getting wet.
This is a really light piece that fits to layer with the ultralight synthetic hoodie.
Pros: Reasonably warm, tiny weight and pack space, breathes well, good colors.
Cons: fits small.
I've been using the STS skins with these and they work great, though I'd caution against using the split skins, as I've had worse results with those. I'd get the 140 and trim them down, rather than the 125mm, which will leave a lot of the ski un-covered. No problem on the deep days, but when the snow gets harder, I like the wall-to-wall carpeting.
I've skies the S7s with dynafit FT12s in the backcountry for a few months now. They're heavy, but I broke a pair of Manaslus last year so I value the security that comes with a heavier construction. If you're mounting Marker Dukes/Barons, you won't be walking very far, but you'll be solid. The dynafit binding is more than enough to steer the ski. The S7 deals pretty well with variable snow, and the shape of the ski isn't contrary to skinning, like a fully rockered ski. In short, solid, versatile, slightly heavy.
I'd recommend the Pivot 14 XXL (115mm brake) or the salomon STH 12. I work in a shop and I recommend these both because they'll fit on the S7, and because their important components are made of metal and are thus more durable. If you're a home-mounter, adjuster, or tinkerer, the STH12 is a more user-friendly binding. The Pivot 14 on the other hand has the highest elastic travel of any available binding, which decreases the incidence of prereleases and allows you to run a lower DIN than you might on other bindings.
Personally I'd get a skin in 130mm width, and then trim it down, so that you have wall-to-wall skin coverage. As to quality, the Nylon STS skins will outlast your skis and your boots. That said, don't pay for the "custom" skins. For $20 more than the normal STS skins, they've saved you very little effort.
Unlike Peter, I cut these to fit my S7s and they failed to impress. It's true: they save a few ounces for the climb, the fold and pack more easily, and in some cases they seem to have a little bit more glide. That said, those few onces saved translate into greatly decresed climbing performance on steeper tracks. They climb just fine if you're cutting mellow switchbacks to-and-fro, but if you're skinning a ridge with steeper steps then you're in for a time. I'm switching back to the normal STS skins, which have done the trick for years.
The heelpiece should be 5.6mm from the heel of the boot. This is most easily accomplished using the spacer that comes with the binding (orient the bump on the spacer towards the boot, rather than towards the binding). In a pinch, 3 well-worn nickels are about this distance (from wildsnow.com). I find this adjustment to be tedious, and once mounted, there's not a lot of adjustment available, so the sole lengths of these shared boots would have to be pretty similar.
I have heard of plenty of patrollers using Dynafit. The only downside for work-use is that they're not super-convenient to get in and out of fifty times a day. On the other hand, they don't break, and as the other reviewer suggestes, they also can be locked out to DIN 16 if need be, with the flip of a toggle. Some patrollers also use Fritschi Freerides, but they break far more frequently. It is also worth noting that locking out the toe to DIN 16 is a poor decision if you're doing control work, as the ski won't release. If you're in a rescue scenario, and there's no chance of further slides, then lock the sucker out.
Mounting w/o a break is fine, and can be accomplished at home if you consult the tutorials on Wildsnow.com. I find that bending out the break is a challenging task, as the brake itself can't be removed from the whole brake assembly, and it's difficult to bend w/o breaking the more delicate metal parts of the break assembly.
These skis feel great under foot and ski well in a large variety of conditions. However, the inserts are not to be trusted. I had a pair of Dynafit FT12 bindings mounted on my manaslus at a dynafit-certified shop. Then, 3 months later after about 25 days of touring, I ripped the insert of out the ski. Not just the screws-- the inserts came with. And this was on moderate terrain. Had this happened 10 minutes earlier, I might not be writing this. Dynafit offered me a full refund, but no explanation. Having talked to friends at a couple ski shops, this isn't an isolated problem, but is a recurring one with this ski. I can't recommend this ski to anyone who needs a no-fail system.
you can purchase a lid for this mug from snowpeak
The siphon, keeping me warm and happy on Cooper's Spur, Mt. Hood.
I have the non-stainless contact strap from last season, and I've used it extensively in the cascades, both with Scarpa Freney mountaineering boots and with my Dynafit ZZeus ski boots. I have been very happy with them when I've used them as designed. For hard snow and glacier travel, they're great. the lacing is solid, though the strap is too long (this looks like its been fixed on the new model), and the toe/heel bales sit comfortably and securely on both boots. The steel is durable, and easily tolerates walking on rock and gravel as well as hard ice. The toe points are a good length for glacier travel, not so long that they catch while walking but just long enough to front-point when needed. The antibot plates work really well, even in gloppy summer snow. I've never bothered to remove them.
For pure ice-climbing, these crampons aren't so great. They have horizontal rather than vertical front points, and they're not quite long enough to feel really secure. Though they work well enough for ~WI3, you'll be happier with something more ice-driven.
All in all though, as an all-around crampon, they're a workhorse that I expect to last quite a while, and I'm very satisfied.
Tele-boots, because of the toe-bellows, are notoriously difficult to use with crampons. These are adjustable length and have a very reliable strap and solid toe/heel bales, do I'd say that if you size them properly and lace them down, you won't find a better bet elsewhere. Just be aware that they might shift when the boot bends while walking, so it may warrant a tightening after a bit of walking just to be sure.