kei3852030

kei3852030

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Keith's Bio

kei3852030

kei3852030 wrote a review of on September 2, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Used this on a recent Denali climb. Beat this thing up leveling tent platforms and it isn't any worse for the wear. This is a small shovel, but I like it. Save the weight and buy this one. It fits nicely in a pack or you can strap it to the outside. You don't want to be heaving huge shovels full of snow anyway.

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kei3852030

kei3852030 wrote a review of on September 2, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Climbed on EVO Ascent snowshoes from 7200 feet to 11000 feet on Denali. I opted to attach these to the snowshoe to spread my weight over a larger area in hopes that I would be less likely to be gobbled up by a crevasse. On the way down we traveled mid-day, which is a no-no because of the higher temperature and weakened crevasse bridges. I did eventually punch through with one foot, so maybe my plan didn't work. It was tough to pull my foot out of the crevasse with the elongated snowshoe - my buddy actually had to give me slack in the rope so I could back down to remove the snowshoe and and pull it out by hand. Who knows, without these I might have gone in deeper.

Overall, I found these easy to use and the elongated snowshoe wasn't too difficult to walk in. I think they are worth the extra weight.

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kei3852030

kei3852030 wrote a review of on September 2, 2013

3 5

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

This is a good picket, but do yourself a favor and buy the 24" version. These might hold better in lighter snow, but you might want to think twice about avalanche conditions if you really need a three foot picket on terrain steep enough to require fixed protection. These are just too long for the pack.

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kei3852030

kei3852030 wrote a review of on September 2, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Pros: Ridiculously Warm.
Cons: Tough to stuff into stuff sack.

This is a great mat. The pump does take a while to inflate the mat, but even at 17,000 feet I felt the effort required to pump it was well worth the comfortable night sleep. I coupled this with a Marmot CWM -40 degree bag, so I was toasty the entire trip (-20F was as cold as it ever was in the tent).

My buddy had the downmat 7. That worked well for him. In hind sight, I would probably use the downmat 7 and save some weight. These things are so warm it would have to be ridiculously cold before you would be uncomfortable. We did bring foam mats (and used them with this mat) for use in an emergency in case our Expeds popped.

Another thing I love about these mats is that they really hold their air. We stayed at 14,000 feet for three consecutive nights and I never had to re-inflate the mat.

One bad thing about the mat is that they are very difficult to get back in the stuff sack. The way the pump is situated, it can be difficult to get all of the air out of the mat. You absolutely must take off your gloves to stuff this mat, and if you are using this mat in the sub-zero temperatures it is intended for, your hands will freeze. Tearing down camp and all of the stuffing that goes with it is a real pain.

Also, I've been backcountry camping with my wife and kids for years. We've slowly graduated from foam pads to smaller air pads and finally found the Exped mats. We all have one of the yellow summer mats and finally sleep well in the backcountry. Exped has taken backcountry comfort to a whole new level.

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kei3852030

kei3852030 wrote a review of on September 2, 2013

5 5

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

Used these on Denali. I had a set of Mountain Hardware Absolute Zero down pants in my bag, but never used them once. I wore these with mid-weight long underwear underneath in temps commonly as low as 0F and sometimes as low as -20F and never got seriously cold. These pants allow for great range of movement and are very comfortable. A bit expensive, but they were worth the price for me.

One note - I wasn't aware that there is a "slim" size when I ordered these. I will say that the "slim" size fit better at the end of the expedition that at the beginning.

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kei3852030

kei3852030 wrote a review of on September 2, 2013

4 5

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

I used both this style stake and the regular snow stakes on a Denali climb. If I had to choose, I'd go with normal steel snow stakes only, however, these were convenient setting the guy lines. They don't melt out as bad as the steel stakes, but they don't perform well in ice or dry snow. If the snow is packable, or if you can wait for the snow to set after planting these stakes then these are a good option. My advice is to throw a few in your bag and use them for running the guy lines. They are very light weight and easy to use.

These would probably be perfect for sand camping camping where rocks are available. I only used them in snow/ice.

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kei3852030

kei3852030 wrote a review of on June 7, 2010

5 5

The shovel is solid. It is light. It packs down tight - fit into my pack with no trouble at all. In fact, my pack was a bit full, but I was able to slip the shovel along the inside edge around some other stuff.

The one drawback to the shovel is it's length. It is short and you have to bend over when you use it. BUT - the only way to fix this is to buy a bigger shovel which would be heavier and not fit as well inside the pack.

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