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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blanc's Passions

Biking
Hiking & Camping
Climbing
Skiing

Alex Le Blanc's Bio

Washington, D.C. native with a deep passion for the outdoors. I came to Utah for climbing, biking, and skiing. These passions define who I am today. Being an expert about the gear that I use is very important, but learning more everyday is what I strive for. I recently graduated with my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Westminster College here in SLC and am looking forward to the adventures life has in store now that I'm no longer a student!

Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on October 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I found a Yakima ski rack at a yard sale for $5 (that's right, $5! I couldn't believe it either!!), the only problem is that they were Subaru specific mounts, which obviously won't work on my 4Runner. Bring in the Yakima Universal Mighty Mount and BOOM! for a grand total of $50, I have myself a funny functional ski rack. These mounts are awesome, even if you don't have a $5 yard sale ski rack.

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on October 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: 7.5

These shoes are everything you'd expect from Sperry and then some! I wear these shoes everyday and from day one they have been comfortable, reliable, and stylish. The break-in period was short (maybe a day or two at most) and now they are molded to my feet.

These also double as the best "technical approach slip-on" (a term that I use to describe these whenever people see me at the crag where Sperry's) that I've ever owned.

If you're looking for an awesomely stylish all around shoe, look no further.

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on October 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this to take on climbing trips as I was tired of living off of PB&J. Right out of the box this stove fired up and allowed us to make an awesome dinner on the road. I used both burners to cook food, while my JetBoil heated up water for some warm drinks by the fire.

This stove is very simple to set up and works like a champ!

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on September 26, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I gave this to my buddy as a gift and he absolutely loves it! He said: "This rope has been awesome! I went from a 10.1 Mamut and was nervous to move to a thinner rope but have loved it so far. This rope is easy to handle on the draws and anchors and flakes like a charm. Petlz does not fail to impress!"

I personally have used several Petzl ropes and think they are great quality. If you have questions about this rope or any other, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email.

aleblanc@backcountry.com
801-204-4582

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on May 31, 2016

Solid
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have an older version of that pack and really love it. I can't attest to the issues that some other customers are having with the new designs, but I've had nothing but good experiences with this pack. That being said, I haven't been using it for the same extreme pursuits as others. I don't drag it up chimneys or carry crampons, but I do hike quite a bit and this bag has always been solid on any hike. There is a top of room to store stuff. It holds all my climbing gear (rack, rope, shoes, harness, chalk, and helmet and on top of that there is still room for water and lunch. All in all it holds up well, but it's not the most comfortable sometimes. Part of this is due to my bad packing habits (I know, I know, heavy items in the middle! Duh!), but the straps are a bit narrow and I've found this to be a bit of a pain. In all, an awesome purchase at the end of the day.

The photo is what the bag looks like in person.

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The JetBoil MiniMo is one hell of a stove. To begin with right out of the packaging, it is lightweight, which is awesome for taking on backpacking trips or even day hikes if you’re feeling more into making a lunch at 10,000 feet. As is standard for many compact stoves in this realm, the MiniMo packs down inside of itself, meaning that it is able to be carried with ease, never having to waste space when packing for a trip. The packable nature helps keep everything in one package, which means that losing pieces is harder than you’d think.

The canister fuel system is easy to set up and a synch to light. This stove fires up every time with no problems on account of the push-button ignitor that comes standard. This stove uses a piezo ignitor to make lighting as easy as pushing a button. A piezo ignitor works by creating an electric charge (no batteries required, just to be clear) and using a spring-loaded hammer to strike quartz and spark, igniting the gas. In addition to this, the bowl on the MiniMo is larger than the one on the popular Flash system, which is better for making food as opposed to boiling water. With a blistering boil time of 2 minutes 15 seconds (per ½ liter of water), they system will have your coffee ready before you’re done untying those boots after a hard day of hiking. Once you’re done brewing, you can throw the stove on simmer, which is an awesome feature for such a small stove.
Some more awesome features of this stove include the fuel stabilizer, which comes included and does pack into the system once done, and the handles on the bowl, making it easy to hold while drinking/eating. In addition to that, the stoves comes with a lid so that you can drink directly from the bowl once you’ve brewed yourself some coffee.

In all, this is a great system for anyone looking for an extremely efficient camp stove that can be used in any situation. Make sure that you check this out if you’re searching for the right stove, once you give it a chance, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it before!

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had this bag for almost 10 years now and have never once had an issue with it. I bought it in high school to carry textbooks (what can I say, it's what all the kids were into!) and ended up using it for so much more than that! I've taken this bag with me on almost every single trip that I've ever been on. From the deserts of Moab to the slopes of the Wasatch and from day hikes to international travel this bag has had my back. I can't say enough good things about it. The laptop sleeve has kept my work protected against any weather and the large cargo pocket holds everything I need for any adventure. For a simple day pack, look no further than the Surge!

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on May 27, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a great mix of comfort and weight for an awesome price! I have spent many nights on this pad and have never once been uncomfortable. I did have some slight issues with deflation, but never to the point where I was just sleeping on the ground. It's a lightweight option that's easy to set up and makes for a great night's sleep. The pump is a nice little feature, but I did find some issues with it because it took a long time to get inflated and I felt that it would have been more efficient to inflate with my mouth instead, but that being said it's a nice feature and does work. All-in-all, this pad is awesome and I would definitely recommend it!

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on May 27, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The ENO DoubleNest is one of my favorite pieces of gear to bring on any trip. Whether I'm going climbing, hiking, or camping the DoubleNest is always with me. It's incredibly simple to set up and very comfortable for relaxing after any activity. That being said, I wouldn't recommend sleeping in it unless the hanging point are perfect. I've slept in it before and found that I was never able to stretch out well enough to not be in an awkward position with my back. If you still want to sleep in it, then have at it, but do be aware that the airflow can make any night into a cold one! At the end of the day, this is one of the best investments I have ever made. I did buy some extra webbing to extend the tree-wraps so that I would never be stuck without a place to hang it. I would recommend doing that. If you're on the fence, just snag yourself one and you won't regret it!

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on May 27, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: XS

For years these have been my go-to short, they are comfortable, quick-drying, and versatile. I wear them from the climbing gym, to the pool afterwards, and then downtown to end the day. However, somewhere along the line prAna changed up the sizing and it is all wacked out now. I originally wore a medium, but now I'd down to XS and they are much shorter, which is disappointing. The change in sizing didn't detract from the overall versatility of the short, but it did make it more of hassle to fit and size.

Don't let the sizing get you down, these shorts are well worth it because you can do anything in them! I would still highly recommend them.

If you have any questions about these shorts or other prAna items, feel free to shoot me an email: aleblanc@backcountry.com

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on May 27, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The black diamond hoodwire is one of the best carabiners I have every used. I bought this in a six pack which came with assorted colors. The pack of six is an awesome buy and allows you to fully customize your draws to whatever length/color you want, all while knowing that they are backed by an amazing biner at each end.

Unfortunately, the package deal isn't on the site at the moment, but my love for the carabiner still stands. The clipping action is very smooth, meaning you do not waste any energy clipping when you are pumped out of your mind. The metal hood covering the nose (for which this carabiner is named) makes this easy to unclip from and remove from the wall. This is quite unlike other biners which have a hooked nose with no cover and can be a huge hassle to remove from the bolt hanger.

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on May 27, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I think Mad Rock kills it with their pads, and the R3 is no exception. The recycled foam filling is very thick and soft, making even the wildest of landings soft. That isn't unheard of in pads though, in fact it should be standard. What sets this pad apart is the design. The circular foam pillars make this awesome for laying over that poorly placed boulder right in the middle of your landing zone. Unlike other pads which stick up in the air after being placed over a rock, this pad rolls smoothly over any obstacle providing 100% coverage and no odd landings.

Despite the advantage for strange landings, this pad isn't perfect. It is very heavy. Dragging this up any hill to a boulder isn't idea. It's worth it if the landing calls for it, but if you have a good flat landing, then I would use the Mad Pad and leave the R3 in the car for later.

All-in-all, this a phenomenal pad, but pick your battles wisely with this one.

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on May 23, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

If you're a climber and looking to rappel (this applies to canyoneering too!), then you'll want this on your harness before you step over the edge. If you set these up as you're third hand, you can rappel with peace of mind. They are very, very grippy, so that can be both a blessing and a curse. If you're attached to the yellow color, don't be because these will quickly become brown from use. That is only aesthetic though, but just a forewarning!

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on May 23, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had this pad for 5 years now and sadly the time has come to retire it, but it's been a workhorse on every trip I've taken. For $150, you are getting a 5" pad vs. 4" which is what you find with other pads of similar price. The Mad Pad is lightweight and sturdy, holding up to the gnarliest of falls. I'm a huge fan of the velcro on this pad because if you have multiple Mad Pads like me, then you can fasten them together, creating a seamless landing zone and preventing the pads from separating and exposing you to increased danger.

Over all the Mad Pad is one of softer pads on the market, which is awesome, but in the long-run this means that it might not see the same lifespan that other pads do. But with sturdy straps, thick nylon outer, and padded shoulder straps, you'll be eating it onto this pad for years to come.

When the day is done, this also doubles as a fire-side couch and an impromptu mattress whether you're sleeping in your car or on the ground. All-in-all, for the price this can't be beat so if you're looking for a crash pad, I highly suggest the Mad Pad.

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on April 15, 2016

Useful in a bind.
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

There is no alternative for being adequately prepared, but sometimes shit happens. In that case, the LifeStraw is there to make sure you can stay hydrated no matter what is going on. I used it in Joe's Valley to test it out and I was very impressed with its performance. It's small, easy to carry, and very effective. With a thousand liter (1000L) lifespan, you'd have to be pretty bad at planning to use this bad boy up. If you find yourself in a situation where your main water source is a no-go, then you can count on this. Make sure to FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS, it's not just as easy as uncap and drink, so be smart and be safe!

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on February 8, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: Universal

I use this belt on a daily basis and love the adjustability of it. It is super simple and that makes it versatile. I use it sitting in the office and then wear it when I'm climbing. If you're looking for an all around belt that adapts to whatever you're doing, pick up on of these. One thing to note is that they are very, very long. I just suck it up and use it, but if this bothers you, a hot knife is going to set you straight. You can cut it to length, but you're going to lose the "Marmot" on the tail, but obviously this doesn't affect the function.

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on February 6, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Under Armour killed it with these, both very comfortable and very stylish! I wear these all day long and never find them to be uncomfortable in any way, never too tight or overly compressing, but just the right amount to get the job done. From sitting in the office to an afternoon bouldering session, I'm always rocking the Under Armour compression short, plus the colors are rad! I find that they fit true to size, so whatever size you normally wear, go with that size for your purchase. If you are looking for the right athletic underwear to conquer any mountain in, you've come to the right place.

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Alex Le Blanc

Alex Le Blancwrote a review of on February 6, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: 7.5

I've been climbing for a long time and have never found a shoe that I like more than this. I've climbed in La Sportiva, 5.10, and Scarpa, but keep coming back for more with the Shark 2.0. The aggressive downturn allows you to toe in on even the smallest of crimps with confidence, while the heel allows you to get purchase for days. I've been able to heel-hook slopers, crimps, features, top-outs, whatever it is you name it and the Science Friction rubber will stick with ease. I am a huge fan of the single strap as it allows a lot of the surface of the Sharks to be made of rubber, which means toe-hooking is a breeze. Whether you're looking to upgrade to your first aggressive shoe, or you've blown through your Solutions and can't justify $180 for a pair of shoes, try these bad boys on for size and go crush your project! Just one note, I find that I only need to downsize half a size from my street shoe before my feet are beyond squished, for this reason, I've marked that they run a little large since most companies suggest that you downsize about 1.5 sizes, I wouldn't do that here, start with half a size and see what happens.

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