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Chris Pak

Chris Pak

Bay Area, CA

Chris Pak's Passions

Climbing
Skiing
Hiking & Camping
Running

Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 17, 2015

5 5

maybe I'm into 'old school,' or I'm paranoid, or maybe just weird, but I really like using half ropes. Sure, it's more of a hassle to manage, and can lead to some serious clusters if you don't pay attention, but I like being able to do full length rappels, split up the rope nicely for carrying, and being able to use these as twins/doubles whenever the situation arises.

These ropes in particular are great for rock - the most durable half ropes out there. this is definitely because they are also one of the fattest, but there is always a trade off. I'm happy mammut always adds a halfway mark - I don't always need to do a full length rappel.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I got this for some of my alpine adventures - climbing on these is a little scary, that's for sure. I feel like I'm climbing on cordelette, both visually, and by weight. I can't say I've fallen on them, but they do seem quite durable - I can't even tell I've used them. I'm also glad they made two bright, different colors - makes it much easier to distinguish/remember which is which. The rope is a little stiff, but considering what i'm getting out of it, can't complain too much. I'd also like to applaud Beal on the dry coating - I slept on these ropes on a cold and wet bivy, and picking them up off the snow and shaking them a bit, they were basically dry. Awesome.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 141 lbs

I write a lot of pretty good reviews - I might have to downgrade the others to make sure this one really shines!

I have no idea how it works, but these boots are incredibly comfortable, even on huge approaches. That doesn't even start with how awesome they are for actual climbing - the flexibility of the top mixed with the sole stiffness make these feel like magic on rock, ice, or anything else you can throw at it.

Considering how light these boots are, they are surprisingly warm, and it's hard to think of any other boot the same way again.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Why on earth would anyone use the BD tool (or any other). I don't have to align things 2mm to one side or the other for cutting, just mash it against the edge, and slide your way to a set of perfectly cut skins.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is probably the coolest rope bag I've owned. It makes packing up trivial - lift up the side handles, and BOOM, rope in bag. I think this kind of design is getting more prevalent, so I think there will probably be lots of good choices soon, but this is awesome! I also like the corner handles - big, so I don't have to work to hard to find them, and haul my crap to the next route.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The multiple axes of rotation is definitely better than any alternatives I've seen - it should basically be impossible to get these twisted up (at least on lead, when you are above the rope). The problem I've seen is that the ball/socket joints to make the rotation easier are a little sticky and can lead to twisting anyway.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I started ice climbing on a pair of quarks (and some borrowed CAMP somethings), and was generally happy with them. I managed to pull down routes, and have a good time. Then, I got on a pair of nomics, and life just got easier. something about them makes good sticks almost effortless, and I feel much more confident now. I immediately bought a pair, and the ice immediately all came down, so they sit in my gear stash, used only once, waiting for the ice to appear once more. (or maybe they'll get some love this alpine season)

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

California sucks right now for snow - no use denying it. That being said, I like going as light as possible, and my direkt 2 is awesome. It's a little delicate, so I like to give it a nice blanket for it to sleep on, and increase it's lifespan just a little bit. It's a little sad how much this weights, but since I'm not swimming in money, I'm glad to use it for those times I can't find a snowy ledge to pitch my tent on.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I tend to hear a lot of shit about this tent - it's small, doesn't breathe well, not super burly. All of that is true, but what you get out of it is outstanding - a sub 3 lb, 4 season (really 1 season, just the bad one) tent that is perfect for fast-and-light trips that are all the rage these days (for good reason). It's small, but that's also a good thing mid-mountain - digging through snow SUCKS, and a thin footprint makes that just a little easier.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've tried a bunch of different screws when out with friends - I always end up wanting to use mine (these).

These are great at setting, and I can often get them to set in the first turn or two, where most others I need to get 3-5 before they are in.

They have a great spinner (but definitely make sure to close it when you are done!), and drive super easily and quickly, which is a huge relief when you are pumped silly.

The color coding is handy, and so are the dual attachment points. I only wish there was an 'ultralight' version like petzl makes for these.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

for some reason, TCUs never did it for me - they never inspired confidence, they seemed weak, and kinda hard to place (could just be my ineptitude). when these came around, everything changed! These cams are barely wider than a TCU, but just feel great when placing them, and hold up to more abuse than I expected. BD also thought through the design very well - with cable shielding that's color coded, and holes in the triggers that seem to fit the hook part of a nut tool perfectly (I don't know if that was the purpose, but it sure seems perfect for it) for when your buddy decides to sink your favorite .3 so far you can only see the webbing :(.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Tricams inspire love or hate, depending on where you are using them, and whether you do more leading or following.

I bring them on most of my climbs, and my climbing partner always bring them, no matter what. The original tricams are good for having a relatively versatile, lightweight piece of pro for weird placements where I can't find something else that works. The Evos are even better, providing even more different orientations for placements.

I'll agree they can be harder to place than a nut or a cam sometimes, but once you figure out what kinds of features they work on (pods, weird crack constrictions too big for a nut (or one that you used already), they end up being super useful.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I was always a little leery of the grigri - I always thought of it as a device that people use so that things are 'foolproof,' without really realizing how clever fools are. I got it on sale, and was surprised by how nice it really is to use - it makes belaying easy and smooth, and if you don't treat it as a stupid-proofing device, it does make climbing safer.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 3, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My first locking carabiner was a Jake, and it has been good to me since I got it. the Jake Jr is also good - the shape is the best I've had for and HMS style locker.

The one warning is that you should double check that it's locked - the spring loaded twist-gate can catch if you just let go, and it won't close all the way.

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Chris Pak

Chris Pakwrote a review of on April 3, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I think this is close to 'mandatory' in terms of gear for climbing. While not strictly necessary, the fact that it is so light, and yet is still effective as an ascender, progress capture, etc means there's no reason not to bring it.

I'd watch out for a few things though

- make sure it's set on the rope before you weight it, or you can strip the sheath pretty badly

- add a small loop of 2/3mm cord and attach to a carabiner dropping things sucks, and this for some reason is easy to drop.

- don't use ultra-lightweight carabiners for it, or it doesn't always lock up properly.

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