jma3380000

jma3380000

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Jesse's Passions

Climbing

Jesse's Bio

I was born in the hills of Colorado and grew up to be a fairly middling climber, skier and all around lover of the outdoors. However, if the best climber is the one having the most fun (as per the late great Alex Lowe) then Im usually pretty high up in the rankings!

jma3380000

jma3380000 wrote a review of on July 26, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have used this vest on many 3+ hr runs and one 8+ hr run over 3 months. I typically use a 50L bladder for 3 hr runs and add a 24oz bottle for longer outings. I carry about 200 calories/hour on such runs. I typically carry a small blister kit and of course a little TP for emergencies. This pack works great for this.

On longer runs Ive added a map, GPS, spare socks and headlamp or once, a super lightweight harness, belay device and 100 feet of 7mm tag line.

The vest remains comfortable regardless of load or sweating. I think the wide shoulder straps, side elastic design and adjustable double front straps works very well. Even on hot days I didnt feel any hotter for having the vest on.

The bladder pocket is made for a 50L bladder and you can cram in a pair of socks too but that is about it. You can route the hose under arm or over shoulder to either side in a low profile manner. There are 4 front pockets. The two low ones can easily accommodate standard size 24 oz bottles or lots of snacks but not both in any one pocket. The upper pockets seem ridiculously small at first but the zippered one holds a small blister kit and a tube of lip balm fine and the velcro one just barely holds a handheld GPS or full sized cell phone. There is also a small zippered pocket low on the back that holds keys, some TP or other small stuff. You can add bungee or cord to the back to hold a rain or wind shell or some other small amount of gear you might need.

The front pocket sizing is the limiting factor for self supported outings. For me, I was able to go 6-6.5 hours with a bladder, one 24 oz bottle and the other large front pocket full of snacks. Obviously this is subjective but Im throwing it out there as a ballpark planning factor.

Finally, the price is fantastic for what you get. It was a major decision factor for me and Im not disappointed.

While Ive seen some other cool vests out there, Id buy this one again. Its well built and has a great price point.

(3)

 

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jma3380000

jma3380000 wrote a review of on July 7, 2014

5 5

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

I have owned 4 pairs of these running each into the ground and love them. I usually run trails and dirt roads with a little bit of pavement with lots of volume work. They are very comfortable on my boney low to mid volume feet and I have experienced extremely good durability with a noticeable lack of chaffing. Usually when Ive beat down a pair over 4-6 months I make them my hiking shoes where they continue to perform for another 6 months. Eventually bits of the tread have demalinated but long after they were done as runners. I have used other Montrail shoes and have found some to be a little larger volume than these.

Pros: Wonderful fit, great trail protection, dry quickly, aggressive traction. Also, the inner lining around the heel is extremely long lasting. I have heel spurs and tend to shred these linings but not with the Mtn Masochist.

Cons: I always replace the foot bed with something offering better support. Also, the aggressive tread can be a bad thing if you run in a lot of clay/mud as it does not shed mud well.

(1)

 

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jma3380000

jma3380000 wrote a review of on December 24, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I really like this boot. It is very comfortable on the skin track with plenty of flex. Both cuff buckles, when unratcheted have hook-shaped catches for the bails so they dont pop open. This makes transitioning from climb to descent very fast and efficient. After you de-skin, lock your heel, lock your ankle, flip the two ratcheting buckles, repeat on the other foot and go. The liners seem fairly warm in weather down to 0 deg. F but not something that, by themselves will keep your feet toasty on sub zero days. One thing I especially liked about the liners was the use of what appears to be at least 3 if not 4 kinds of foam to achieve a great fit with flex for ascending, insulation under foot and some intuition foam for final shaping. And, the boa system remains a favorite of mine even though this boot has dental floss-looking boa laces instead of super thin cables. I have low volume feet and found the fit to be pretty good but they probably fit mid volume feet best. The length seems to be just a tad on the short side converting US running shoe sizes to mondo on the BD sizing chart. They appear to be pretty decent easy to mid grade ice climbing boots too from my back yard simulations. So, overall, a well put together backcountry AT boot. They ski well in the area too by the way but if you are mostly skiing challenging terrain you probably would want a higher boot there.

One final thing- the price. I think you get a lot of boot for the money. There are lighter backcountry boots out there but you save 2 kg for $200 more boot. Im just sayin... These boots from what Ive seen (never owned any though) dont seem to ski any better but of course, you save 2 kg on the uphill. For price-conscious skiers I think the Prime is a very good choice.

(2)

 

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jma3380000

jma3380000 wrote a review of on December 24, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a good little day pack for backcountry outings if you are one of those who doesnt take much with you. It gets pretty tight after avy gear, a bladder, extra layer and lunch. I like that because I cant take too much! Note- I always carry my skins in my jacket. If you tried cramming them in on top of what I just listed, they would not fit. The "insulated hydration hose" deal works about as poorly as they all do in cold conditions. The avy gear is quick to get to with the internal partition and it carries skis well enough. The ski carry isnt why you buy this though. You want this pack because it skis really well and seems like its durable enough for many seasons.

(1)

 

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jma3380000

jma3380000 wrote a review of on February 21, 2012

5 5

I have had 1/2 a rack of these and 1/2 a rack of BD expresses for 7 years. If anyone who doesn't like the Grivels wants to swap, Ill pay the shipping! Great to get started with no hanger in the way. Speaking of the hangar, the low profile one is reasurring when placement angles are weird or the draw/screamer will pull in odd directions. The hanger takes 2 biners in a pinch. Super easy to place in tight spots or concavities with little to no fussing with site prep. They go in fast. While some may rave about being sharper than BDs, I find no difference there- both are good screws when sharp as for thread geometry- maybe that matters but if you are going to fall on an ice climb in the first place...

As for racking, its just a different system- once you get used to it there are no issues.

(1)

 

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jma3380000

jma3380000 wrote a review of on December 2, 2009

4 5

I have had Vectors for the past 10 years and always liked them even if they looked like "a beetle mating with my wrist" as one of the Backcountry.com bloggers once wrote!

However, the Core is a definite upgrade in most areas. It is a good bit thinner but unfortunately still freakin' huge diameter-wise. It looks nice from a bling factor standpoint too. However, the real plusses are in the buttons and interface.

First and most important to me is that you can lock the screen so no button can accidentally be pushed to switch screens. Second, you can customize the screen by rotating between different fields in the lower third of the screen by pressing one of the buttons. For instance, in TIME mode you can go between nothing, seconds, sunrise/sunset (based on an extensive array of cities world-wide at different latitudes) stopwatch, countdown timer and of course date.

I have the black screen version and it works surprisingly well in all conditions.

The Alti & barometer functions are now merged and you can either set the watch to do one or the other or "auto" which figures out what you are doing (standing still or climbing/descending) and shows either alti or baro as appropriate. There is also a dive elevation feature I have not used so can't speak to. Overall, the auto function works pretty well with the barometric pressure trend displayed on the main screen in time mode as with the vector but disappearing when changing elevation. Regarding altimeter accuracy- I have navigated with the Core on some long alpine days where the only info I had at some points was that "descend to 12,500 and contour North for 1/2 mile to the *obvious* ramp" and the alti function was right on (of course I was re-calibrating at known points throughout the day as anyone who wants one of these things to work would...

I have a single gripe which is worth noting but likely would not keep me away from getting another one of these. The menu system beyond basic function switching is annoying as hell. For instance, to set the alarm you need to push way too many buttons and accessing some of the altimeter features is similar. Just be prepared and keep the manual handy for a while.

(1)

 

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jma3380000

jma3380000 wrote a review of on December 1, 2009

4 5

I have had this helmet for a few months now after "borrowing" my wife's Elios for a while and being a big Ecrin Roc fan for years.

Definitely a step up from the Ecrin Roc in terms of fit and protection, but compared to the Elios, Im not sure if either helmet has much in the way of an edge over the other except a few minor things which I think give the Skywalker a slight edge. The price difference is about $15 bucks on average in the Skywalker's favor which is worth considering since they are basically the same helmet. Safety-wise they stack up to be basically the same from a practical standpoint. Comfort-wise they are both great.

There are a few differences:

1. The Elios has flat webbing suspension while the Skywalker has tubular. Probably some minor strength thing but for practical purposes not much difference from a wearer perspective.

2. Skywalker has brushed polypro-like padding which feels great gut will probably smell nasty over time. Elios has the typical closed cell foam of the Ecrin Rock which stays funk free but might not hold up as well. The jury is out.

3. Skywalker has a little loop of webbing that is attached to the back suspension point and hangs down to the inner edge of the helmet. It seems great for clipping the helmet to packs and harnesses as well as securing headlamps to with a little extra cordage. A great little detail.

4. The Skywalker's headlamp clips were a little annoying to use in the dark w/o taking off the helmet. The Petzl clips always seem to work "right" with no fuss. Maybe they will work better with a little use? Jury still out.

Anyway, the Skywalker II is a great helmet. Easily comparable to the Elios and possibly better with the lower price and super handy clip loop. Id buy it again!

(4)

 

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jma3380000

jma3380000 wrote a review of on December 1, 2009

5 5

Bottom line up front- the best approach shoe I have ever owned and only one I have purchased again and again!

I have hiked 35 miles in a day along the divide with these guys and my feet were happy as clams.

I have done 3 fourteeners in a morning including a 4th class mile long ridge traverse and much 3rd class (Little Bear-Blanca-Ellingwood w/SW ridge descent) with happy feet.

I have led 1500 feet of fairly sustained 5.5 & 5.6 in a day (Red Rocks- Johnny Vegas & Solar Slab) with 'em and still, happy feet. OK, they were tired feet, but happy!

Ive even led 5.10s at the crag in them from time to time.

I can even boulder V0 in them - Im totally not worthy - I know!

The Exum is not your typical approach shoe since it doesn't have super thin padding in the mid sole. It is built more like a trail runner with an outer sole that is about 1/2 way between a slick approach sole and a knobby trail runner. Why is it such a good approach shoe then? Well, basically, IMHO, approaching is a LOT more about hiking and a lot less about climbing. My knees thank me for the extra cushion and there is plenty of climbability in them as referenced above. Im nothing fancy as a climber so if I can do it...

A note on sizing- I have skinny feet and these fit perfectly. I get them 1/2 size smaller than my typical running shoe size. Seems to work out great.

Anyway, bottom line on the bottom- I am obviously a big fan of these shoes and would be hard pressed to wear or recommend anything else.

(0)

 

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