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Yosemite, Tahoe, Needles, Alta, Snowbird

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Pavel's Passions

Skiing
Climbing
pell

pell wrote a review of on August 7, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It was a curiousity is pushed me to get a DMM Ultra O Anti-Vibe binner. I was really wondering what is it and what is it for.

The first question has a pretty short answer - Anti-Vibe is just a screw-lock which gets more and more tight while being screwed on. One really needs to apply some force to make the last twist. Good news - there are some force needed to unscrew it. Thus Anti-Vibe lock most likely won't unlock due to binner movements back and forth along rock. The last is the answer for the second question - it is for an extra peace of mind when rigging an anchor.

Personally I found it to be a perfect top rope carabiner for cragging days, the best top piece carabiner for TR solo setup, the best micro traxion binner for pigs hauling.

I own one Ultra O Anti-Vibe and about to get the second for anchors power point.

I don't like it as belay binner for my Cinch - it takes a while to put it on and off and I found it to be a bit frustrating.

Bottom line. Highly recommended for anchors and hauling.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on June 2, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Do you remember your dream project? Good but not excessive protection along the gorgeous looking line. Just right amount of steepness and hardness. And fun. Lots of fun. You had been training really hard. You had been dreaming this line for months. And finally you got there... WHAT THE [censored]?!?!?! Chalk line. Hidden holds? No way - this is the chalk line. Every and any hold is chalked. Really they are over chalked. You can see every move from the quarter mile distance - this is the chalk line. You barely need to carry your chalk bag - at any rest spot you can dig enough chalk to chalk up your fingers, and your palms, and even your butts if you by any chance need it. Do you remember it?

What to do? Begin with yourself. Stop using chalk that marks rocks. Get Metolius Eco Ball. Convert to non-marking chalk today and tell your friends to do the same tomorrow.

I used Eco Ball a several really hot days and did not notice any serious issues with it. Just get it and stop mark your favorite rocks.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on May 21, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I own 70m yellow Tusk rope for 4 years or so.

First, it is a good do-it-all rope. Crag days, multipitches are OK. It is light and compact enough for long approaches especially when you are on a budget.

Second, been a good cheap rope it is a cheap rope. After the first mile or so climbing with this rope it fries. And more it fries more rope drag you have, and faster it gets more worn. Not a World class problem - for it's money Tusk does a great job in terms of longevity. It can eat a lot of dust. Surely it will. Not a World class problem again - just wash it frequently. Middle mark will disappear soon. Again, not a World class problem - get a cheap Sharpie Rub-a-Dub laundry marker and refresh it.

It is soft when you need a soft catch. It is stiff enough when you jug up.

Bottom line. Mammut Tusk is a good cheap do-it-all climbing rope. One of the best "my first rope" choice. For extra bucks one can easily find a rope that fits better with theirs climbing style. Anyway rope is just a rope and Tusk is a lot of rope for a little money.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on May 16, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love these cams for several reasons:

1. They share color scheme with BD C4. Everybody around know BD C4 color scheme, so there is no problem at all to mix C4s and Dragons.

2. They are low bulk (compared to "the modern gold standard" BD C4s). It really makes difference when your have sever miles approach.

3. Elongated slings. You can cut half quickdraws from your rack. And get even less bulk. Sweet!

The only two concerns are:

A. Sometimes they are tricky to clean when sling is elongated. This is not a World class problem at all - practice on the ground a bit and you'll get an idea how to make it smooth. And clean it from a good stance.

B. I don't like the #6 gray action. It sometimes hard to place (it is hard to align properly). And I do not feel confident with it's rock bite. BD C4 #4 gray is a better piece.

Bottom line. Sizes 00 blue to 5 blue are perfect. They are the best free climbing rack backbone. Especially love them in #0 gray to #3 red sizes. If are not a clean aid climber consider and you are not on a budget they could be better choice then BD C4.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on May 16, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Sometimes both yellow and blue DMM Dragons and/or BD C4s feel a bit off - yellow is a bit under- while blue is a bit over- cammed. The purple #3 Daemon falls perfectly in between #2 and #3 C4s sizes and solves this (not-a-World-class) issue. I would recommend to double your yellow Dragon (or yellow C4 if you are not a clean aid climber) with this cam.

A spring action is a bit stiffer then Dragon's one. Lobes are a bit wider then Dragon's. I have an initial impression that Daemons bite rock a bit better then Dragons.

Bottom line. A solid cam with elongated sling and solid confidence-inspiring feel. The purple #3 size falls perfect in between yellow and blue Dragon/C4 sizes.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on May 16, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was always a kind of BD VaporLock fun. I love it's shape, and size, and feel. VaporLock is the #1 all purpose locker - big enough to Munter hitch rappel, small enough to have it on my harness.

When they released Magnetron I was really skeptic about this technology. At first it seemed as a solving of non existing task "just because we can". But more I read about Magnetrons, more I tried it when they spread around, more I realized that Magnetron Lock is not senseless at all - it is dust- and dirt- proof, it is symmetrical for both right- or left- hand usage, it cannot be accidentally opened by rolling, it is low bulk, and it is extremely fast to open (again, with any hand).

When jugging I always backup my jumars with lockers. Just for extra peace of mind. Every time I put them on a rope, or take them off, every time I pass a knot I lock, and unlock, and lock. and unlock, and lock, and unlock, etc. This is a bit frustrating to spend my rock climbing time to locking/unlocking screw gates. Magnetron solves this problem.

Bottom line. Magnetron VaporLock combines one of the best shape with comfortable easy-to-use lock. It is the best jugging binner available today.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on March 21, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I love the simple idea behind this Rhino binner. It solves the cross loading problem. But nothing comes for free - the price is a bit awkward clipping and/or unclipping your Rhino binner with Cinch (or GriGri) on it to/from your harness. When you have an empty gear loop on your harness this is not a problem at all, but on a long trad or bigwall climb it would be a pain.

Personally I've found this binner (with a Quicklock or a Locksafe gate) to be the perfect Cinch (or GriGri) match for indoors training sessions or cragging. But on a long climbs I still use my big bad old oval screw gate.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on March 12, 2014

4 5

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

This is a very comfortable 2nd layer for those colder skiing days. Also it is very good as outer layer for those warmer sunny skiing days. I love the hybrid construction - insulated chest to keep your body warm and thinner sleeves to keep you away from sweating. And, the last but not the least, it looks cool.

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pell

pell wrote an answer about on November 9, 2013

I would suggest to start with a BD C4 purple #0.5 to blue #3 set + blue #0.3 and gray #0.4 X4s. And a set of nuts for sure.

There is no "better" small cam. Metolius TCU, Metolius Master, BD C3, BD X4, Aliens - they all are good. Some are better for Indian Creek splitters, some are better for Yosemite pin scars, some bite better, some last longer, etc. There is no "the best overall design". I would say that X4s, and Masters, and Aliens are a good start point but this is just my subjective opinion. Some climbers prefer C3s, other folks are stuck to Zeroes, etc.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on October 27, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

When climbing long thin line it is important to have a variety of small protection. Sometimes TCU goes just fine and fits bomber in the spot no other small piece can protect. Sometimes it is a Master Offset, sometimes an Alien Offset, sometimes C3.

I like C3 in purple, green and red sizes. These 3 pieces often fit bomber where nothing else goes. Did not yet placed the gray and almost always prefer an X4, or Master or Master Offset in the "yellow C3" size.

Do not really like the mess with X4's color scheme but it's OK - it took only two days for me to figure out how to mix and rack C3 and X4.

Good solid protection for small irregular cracks.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on September 6, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got a pair of Stonelands Slippers for the gym. After a while I found myself using them for everything from narrow cracks to face climbs and from gym or random cragging to long multi-pitch routes.

Stonelands Slipper vs Anasazi VCS quick comparison. Those owning Anasazi-VCS-shaped-feet will find them to be of almost the same size and shape. They are a bit more stiff and precise then Anasazi VCS, a bit less sensitive and feel a bit less secure when heel hooking.

They are good comfy all-around shoes (if your feet are of "Anasazi shape").

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pell

pell wrote an answer about on July 3, 2013

I used #0.75 green and #0.4 gray, and #0.3 blue. Blue and gray are perfect (at least while new). The green was good-enough. I mean it was really good, stable and easy to operate. But not perfect - a bit on a soft side. With aging it probably could ("probably could" is far-far away from "definitely will") become dirty and begin to "taco". Thus I decided to keep both C4 and X4 in a green 0.75 size - I will use C4 as an universal green size piece and reach for X4 when I need a narrow head in this size (not too often).

For blue 0.3 and gray 0.4 sizes X4s are hard to beat.

In short:
- If you are building a rack it is probably better to get X4s up to gray 0.4 and C4x purple 0.5 and up.
- If you are extending your existing rack go for X4s in all sizes.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on June 5, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Just a right size, great weight and profile. Feels bomber (as always when using Metolius hardware).

And sooooooo slow screwlock action. It takes forever to lock or unlock it.

It is good when you need a bit of extra safety (e.g., when you want to KNOW that your locker will not open by an accident by moving back and forth along some grainy rock).

I would prefer CAMP Photon screw locks to this for most applications.

upd 2014-08-07. After using a pair of these for year or so I updated the rating (increased to 4 stars). It is a next to perfect locker for anchors - ultralihgt, no bulk, screw action adds peace of mind. The most important "cool feature" - it has a very convenient shape to be put on and off to/from any anchor chains/links/etc. Grab 2 of them to your favorite crag to rig an anchor above your next project.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on May 22, 2013

4 5

Fits my old bulky 70m lead cord + whole trad rack (doubles up to blue C4 + 1 ea #4 and #5, plus nuts, binners and slings) + shoes and harness and chalk + water and snaks for a day + guidebook. And there is still a bit of space for extra luxiry items (e.g., a beer can or two).

One don't need a rope tarp with this bag - it serves as a perfect rope buckle. Just pack a lead line ready to go to the bottom of your pack (do not forget to tie a huge knot on the "upper" end of the rope).

It can stand by itself and it really makes difference. Very easy to pack and unpack.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on April 12, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It is simple, compact and versatile device.

I use it as the high (chest) piece when TR soloing, indoors, outdoors cragging, multipitch climbing, as a backup device when jugging, etc.

I prefer Cinch to Grigri 2 by the following reasons:
1. Ropes glides better thru Cinch. When you belay your second off an anchor again and again this really makes difference.
2. It is more versatile (you can use it unmodified as a jug backup, as a top piece for solo TR, etc).
3. It is less bulk (more compact, takes less space on my harness).
4. It can be put on and taken off of a weighted rope. Trick you can never do with figure 8, ATC or Grigri.

I prefer Grigri 2 to Cinch by the following reasons:
1. Grigri is intuitive, Cinch is counterintuitive. One takes a Grigri and in five minutes is able to give a belay. One takes a Cinch and in five minutes is ready to drop you to the ground after shortroping you badly on every clip.
2. Virtually everybody knows how to belay with Grigri.

Thus for cragging with semi-random people I prefer Grigri 2, for all other applications (especially multi-pitch and aid) I prefer Cinch. Also prefer Cinch indoors because it is more smooth.

Warning! One MUST watch an instructional video (on Trange web site) before an extensive training on this device usage. It is smooth when and ONLY when used properly.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on April 11, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's ultralight and compact.

Drawbacks:
1. Paints ropes badly.
2. Has too big screw nut made from too soft aluminium. Try to not to allow rock/nut contact.
3. High friction when used as a rope-end anchor binner.

I have 4 of these on my harness to build anchors on bolted routes and for "just a case" usage - it's always good to have 2 extra lockers.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on April 8, 2013

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Personally I think the Quicklock DMM Big Boa is the best rappel binner on the market. It is very roomy and fits a lot of ropes. It is easy to open and close with both left or right hand.

Locksafe is a little bit awkward and hard to operate with one hand.

If you are ready to invest $20 in rappel/belay locker just get DMM Big Boa Quicklock.

BTW, Black Diamond Rocklock is a close competitor with much better price tag. If you are on a budget or if you already have Rocklock you do not really need this binner.

upd Jun 5th, 2013. After couple months of intensive usage my Boa got really grooved. Much worse then my BD Rocklock in several years. Thus I decrease rating from 4 stars to 2 stars. Probably 1 start would be more adequate for this metal quality.

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