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pell

pell

South Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Mt Rose, Mammoth, Alta, Snowbird

Pavel's Passions

Trad Climbing
Mountaineering
Alpine Skiing
Sport Climbing
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

3 5

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.

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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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pell

pell wrote a review of on March 27, 2013

4 5

They can climb up to easy 5.11 (face/friction/wide cracks, do not even try to climb ringlocks/fingers in them).

They can survive many long approaches and hard descends.

They are way better any climbing shoes (including the most stiff) for doing stuff like Generator Crack.

They are comfortable when aid.

They are probably the most versatile shoes for rock climbing. Typically I grab them and supermocs for narrow cracks.

The only drawback is heel fixation. Not a World Class Problem, but could be better.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on March 22, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's a bomber pro for irregular cracks. In Yosemite and South Lake Tahoe area the 4 small pieces (gray/purple to yellow/orange) almost always fit better then regular (non-offset) cams.

The two biggest pieces are not so useful - heavy lobes and soft stem makes them hard to place as they wear a little bit.

If you climb in Yosemite or South Lake Tahoe area you want to have 4 smallest offset cams for sure. A good alternative is Fixe offset aliens.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on March 22, 2013

4 5

12cm DMM Shield QD is a great quickdraw - light, smooth, easy to grab and handle. Binners are top quality (as expected when you buy DMM gear).

18cm is so-so. Dogbone twists, bolt end binner twists.

If you are not on budget grab 8 or so 12cm DMM Shield QDs and 8 or so 18cm Petzl Spirit. 8 12cm DMM Shields will serve as short sport draws and trad draws, 8 Spirits will serve when pushing up on your next extra hard sport project. Thus you will have a universal "do it all" set of quickdraws.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on October 25, 2012

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I use 12cm and 18cm 14mm width BD Dogbones to make a custom quickdraw set.

These dogbones are light, comfortable and feel bomber. The bolt-end loop is wide enough so there's no need to unclip the bolt-end binner to link two or more draws.

The only drawback is that rubber insert on the rope end can be easily damaged. Not a World-class problem, but I would prefer Metolius JIG like design.

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pell

pell wrote a review of on October 15, 2012

4 5

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

Yes, they really do not pop out. For the well known price - sometimes it's next to impossible to clean them out.

I feel myself as Buridan's ass:
1. It's cool and safe that they do not pop out.
2. But it's hard to clean them and they're soooo pricey.
3. But safety more important.
4. But it's unethical to leave something on a route (ref. "leave no trace").
5. etc

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