lake2000

lake2000

Christopher's Passions

Climbing
lake2000

lake2000 wrote a review of on November 17, 2011

5 5

Wow, for such a simple device carabiners have progressed remarkably during my climbing career (~15 years). I loved my Petzl Spirits back in '97, but they were spendy ($10-$11), and compared to the Astro, relatively heavy at about 49g. Now you can get a 29g carabiner that is very smooth and well made for about $6 - sold! I carry 20+ of these carabiners in a mix of about a dozen quickdraws and extendable draws for longer trad routes and have no complaints. I use Heliums for racking gear since I prefer the snag-free feature for this use, but for clipping both gear and rope the Astros work great for me. For my sport draws I still use the larger Nitros, but I think the weight savings (approx 17%) with the Astros is worthwhile for long routes with long approaches.

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lake2000

lake2000 wrote a review of on June 8, 2010

5 5

Yes, they are both beautiful and functional. I think most users would be perfectly happy with a WC Nitro on the rope-end, and a Helium on the bolt-end - that is, if you want to save a few bucks. For some reason I've ended up using most of my Heliums to rack my trad gear, while on my draws I have a 42g solid gate on the bolt-end, and a Nitro (35g) on the rope-end. As another reviewer noted, it can be difficult to insert the rather large Helium nose through some fixed anchors, so make a few "special" draws specifically for anchoring, if that is your preferred technique. I doubt any major carabiner "advances" will dethrone the light but mighty Helium in the near future.

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lake2000

lake2000 wrote a review of on June 7, 2010

5 5

The newest version of the Hotwire looks and feels relatively large, but is actually quite lightweight for a full-size carabiner - I weighed one of mine on a digital scale and it came in at 36.5 grams. Simple, "industrial" in appearance, but very functional. The gate tension is on the heavy side which is good for safety/confidence but could make it slightly harder to clip for un-herculean users. The gate has no side-to-side slop when open, unlike many other brands that I own, indicating tight manufacturing tolerances. Because I'm odd, I worked the gate on one of my Hotwires over 1,000 times and it is still nice and "snappy". A great upgrade to this classic carabiner. Parts from USA, constructed in China.

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lake2000

lake2000 wrote a review of on June 4, 2010

5 5

One of my favorites on the rope-end of a draw or attached to pro. They have a really nice finish, are light, and exhibit a medium/medium-light gate action which makes for very easy clipping. The new hot-forged BD Hotwire is certainly comparable in all respects - the Hotwire has a noticeably stiffer gate, which can be good or bad depending on an individual's preference.

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lake2000

lake2000 wrote a review of on April 30, 2010

5 5

I finally dropped the bucks for a .75 Link Cam. It's really hard to argue against the utility of the size .75 since it actually weighs a tad less than a .75 Camalot, yet has substantially more range - I suppose the only drawback is that it is 4kn weaker, though 10kn should cover most "screamers" out there (don't hear of too many 10kn chocks failing). I'd still go with a "standard" (e.g., Dragons, C4s) first set of cams, but would recommend serious consideration of Link Cams as your second (or third) set, where sizes overlap (no BIG Link Cams yet). Off to the seedy part of the city to engage in nefarious activities to earn enough dough to cover my purchase, and hopefully enough to cover another LC in the near future - it's worth it...

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lake2000

lake2000 wrote a review of on April 28, 2010

4 5

I always have a very difficult time finding climbing shoes that fit properly, but I'd give these an 8/10. I have fairly narrow feet, but more importantly, they have less meat on 'em than a KFC drumstick - that is, VERY low volume. They're just a touch "pockety" in the heel, but fit fairly snug elsewhere. The rubber feels just as sticky as my shoes with C4, and the midsole adds a reasonable amount of support for edging. They're certainly outperforming my 5.10 Huecos. I'm a size 11 street shoe, and went with 44.0 in these for an almost comfortable fit.

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lake2000

lake2000 wrote a review of on July 3, 2009

5 5

The Scorpions may be on the low end of the price scale, but they are at least moderate on the performance scale. Very nice design, and well-made face climbing shoe - not the best toe profile for small cracks, but I don't think this model was intended for that. I'm a men's US 11 street, and went with the size 44 for a comfortable fit (44.5 was definitely too big). I dont' think a 43.5 would have been overly painful after a week or two of break-in period. Another bonus, the rubber on these (Frixion RS) was tested as the second stickiest overall, from a test of 8 popular climbing shoe rubbers. I have a somewhat narrow, low-volume foot, and I'm happy with the fit. I'm sure they would fit a "standard" D-width foot just as well.

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lake2000

lake2000 wrote a review of on February 10, 2005

5 5

The newly designed Camalots have become instantly popular for a few reasons...lighter, more versatile, improved ergomics. The #1, in particular, is extra smooth and has nice strong springs. The newly designed (narrower head width) #.5 is also especially nice. Camalots size 3 and up are much less desirable in my opinion. They have a ton of side-to-side cam-lobe wobble (even when brand new!)and funky bent trigger wires. I definitely prefer Wild Country Friends in the larger sizes, especially the #5-#6 which have the cam stabilization system. So go for the #.4 through #2 Camalot C4's, and look at other brands for the big stuff.

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