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josh

josh

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Joshua's Passions

Road Running
Trad Climbing
Backpacking
Hiking
Alpine Skiing
Mountaineering

Joshua's Bio

0 Comments

josh

josh wrote a review of on November 21, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I haven't found a comfier climbing harness than this one. That said, long, awkward hanging belays can still suck, and if you're looking for a cozy seat, try a butt sling, bosun's chair, or portaledge. Better yet, climb faster.

This thing has so many loops that I don't know what to do with them. You won't run out of places to clip in gear. There are two belay loops, which I've never really understood. Girth hitching daisies to them adds unwanted length and seems less safe than using the tie-in points. Things get crowded enough down there without another loop to add to the mess. I think I'll cut one of them off.

The number of full-strength components that Metolius squeezes into their harnesses is impressive. The gear loops manage to stay clippably thin even with strong webbing running through them.

Adjustability is good. Leg loops don't slip down over time like I'm used to seeing on my BD harnesses.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the harness. I got it as a comfy harness for photography and hanging out on walls. It is heavy, though. I wouldn't recommend it for just any kind of climbing.

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josh

josh wrote a review of on November 21, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Durathane material seems to be bombproof so far, even on terrible low-angle hauls. The webbing and collar fabric do get scraped up -- maybe some Seam Grip would help keep them intact longer? In any case, the materials are heavy enough to last a long time.

Backpack carrying is decent too. I have a long back, and the shoulder straps & hip belt just barely work with the load lifters completely tightened. Straps are arranged well for cinching down and securing the load.

Can't say I'd trust it to keep all water out in a storm if the water pools up in the top. I think it would fare better than the BD & Fish bags but not as well as the Runout Customs or Yates models.

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josh

josh wrote an answer about on October 7, 2013

The equalizer sling is just a length of...

The equalizer sling is just a length of webbing with a small loop at each end. You can tie it as shown in the photo, which lets you connect to three pieces of gear, or in other arrangements.

Here's a link to the manual: http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/pdf/equalizer-instructions.pdf

If you just want to make an anchor with two bolts (for example, at the top of a sport route), a double-length sling is a cheaper and more versatile way to go. I attached a photo of my usual setup.

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josh

josh wrote a review of on November 14, 2012

Light & handles nicely. Expensive.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are my favorite Dyneema slings. They hold up relatively well to abrasion, handle nicely (the Ouroboros join is a nice touch), and don't seem to weigh anything. They're still rated to 22kN despite being 2mm skinnier than a lot of other UHMWPE slings.

The downside: I've encountered a lot of climbers using ancient, crusty Dyneema slings because they're so expensive to replace. Scary when you find out you're being belayed off of it.

The photo shows the way Mammut sews these things together. On the top is a different brand's runner, and below it is a Contact sling with one end sewn inside the other. Makes it run through biners and hands more smoothly.

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josh

josh wrote a review of on October 3, 2011

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are my favorite all-around climbing shoes. I need a wide toe box, and the Mocs stretched just enough for a comfortably snug fit when I went a half-step down from my normal street shoe size. The leather upper conformed nicely to my feet.

Mocs have sensitive soles, so they work well for smearing. I've also used them for cracks, where they've done just fine, but if you're going to jam them into a lot of rough granite you can expect the rand to separate a bit up front. Also, if you really have your toes scrunched, you're not going to be happy after a few pitches of hand cracks. (That probably applies to any shoes.) For steeper face climbing with small holds, these aren't ideal, but for longer routes I'll take them anyway since they're so much more comfortable than my more aggressive shoes (Evolv Pontas). Smell better, too.

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josh

josh wrote a review of on October 3, 2011

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I wear the Triolet GTX, the (very similar) predecessor to this boot.

I tried on La Sportivas and some other brands before the Triolets. They all felt constrictive, particularly in the toes. These were much more comfortable.

I sized up a bit to avoid beating on my toes when kicking steps, accepting that the boots probably wouldn't be very good on rock as a result. However, when I took them out on the rock, they actually performed very well.

The Triolets also excel in snow and very low-angle ice. I haven't tried them out on steep ice, but they seem like they would be acceptable on easy terrain.

I haven't found any boots that leave me with happy feet after, say, 5,000' of continuous descent with a pack, but that's probably too much to ask for.

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0 Comments

josh

josh wrote a review of on May 2, 2011

4 5

These shapes fit (and stick) easily in plenty of different cracks. I have yet to find any placements that fall between sizes, so the overlap is good.

Advantages of the dyneema slings vs. wired hexes:
* Color coded slings make it easier to identify individual sizes, especially when they're racked on a single biner
* No worries about wires getting kinked from running around corners
* Stem doesn't get in the way of placements
* Lighter (not sure how much this really matters; the heads are the heavy part)
* Less prone to walking (I usually extend beyond the attached sling, so using these doesn't typically cut down on the number of draws used)

Disadvantages:
* Can't use a stiff wire to position hexes in deep cracks
* Easier to lose hexes in tall, inward-flaring cracks (this happened to me once and it was a pain to fish the thing out)
* Slings degrade over time and need replacement
* Slings tangle easily if they're next to cams on your rack

Overall I prefer the Dyneema slings, and only occasionally miss the ability to use a wire stem to position a hex.

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0 Comments

josh

josh wrote a review of on December 22, 2010

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Now that I've had this thing for a few months, it's my favorite belay device for toproping, lead, and multipitch (when I'm not worried about weight.) Belaying from the anchor and toproping are ridiculously easy. Feeding out slack is smoother than on any other device I've tried.

It does take some practice to get used to the Cinch, and it's awkward if you don't use it the right way. I'd recommend watching Trango's demo video before trying to belay anybody: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9TO5ikqXwo

I ran into two problems when I first got this thing:

1) Locking the device while feeding rope for a lead climber. Avoiding this is mostly a matter of holding the Cinch by the pivot hole and not short-roping the leader in the first place. If you do accidentally lock the rope, you can reach up and pinch the device with your brake hand to unlock it. (Don't do this if it requires you to take your brake hand off the rope. Use your free hand instead.)

2) Jerky lowering. Redirecting the rope through a biner clipped to a harness leg loop helps smooth things out.

By now I've gotten to the point where these aren't really an issue anymore.

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0 Comments

josh

josh wrote a review of on August 19, 2010

3 5

I picked this up from SAC for a good discount. After wearing it on a couple of climbs and a backpacking trip, I'm happy with the anti-stink Merino wool. It smells fine in situations where a synthetic shirt would smell like something that's been dead for a week.

The material is thin, which is great for summer hikes, but it's not very durable. I brushed up against a tree branch on the approach to a climb and the fabric ripped pretty easily. It's just a small hole, so I'll try to fix it and keep the shirt.

Sizes run small -- I'm usually between a medium and a large, but with this shirt, the large is snug.

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0 Comments

josh

josh wrote a review of on March 10, 2010

5 5

I've had it for a year, and the Myo XP has worked well for me so far. Great for getting me back home when I'm lazy and don't get out on the trail early enough to be back by dark. It's a powerful lamp. I've found that I can use the light without the diffuser and it's still bright enough to light the area around me. In an early alpine start on a glacier, I've been able to use the boost mode to spot crevasses & other obstacles far beyond the range of my rope team's other headlamps. (Funny that another reviewer mentioned using this lamp on Longs Peak & Rainier; those were a couple of the first mountains I went up with this light.)

There are smaller lights like the Tikka XP that are still pretty bright and half the weight. Keep that in mind if you're trying to shave off a few ounces.

The stability on this lamp is good, and even better with the top strap. Doesn't flop around like I expected with the battery pack. It fits my Elios helmet just fine. Haven't gone through the first pair of batteries yet.

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