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Currently living Salt Lake City as a PhD student in Political Science at the University of Utah after six years in Germany, Uganda, and Tanzania. While there I will finish my #PhSki and my masters in ultrarunning! Just a working stiff trying to weave a #goatworthy moment into each day...
You cannot say enough about the great features of this jacket. It is lofted and warm. It is synthetic and keeps warm in wetter conditions. It is big and easily goes over other layers. Double direction zippers great for harnesses. Solid jacket for digging snow pits and standing around all day in the mountains. The only con is the size when put into its stuff sack but this can easily be solved with a small compression bag.
What is the length when folded up?
Great jacket. Perfect for skitouring and climbing. The high pockets are great for keeping out of the way of your harness. it is a superb outer layer for moving hard in cold weather. I routinely layer this with a R1 and baselayer for temps down to single digits and am fine once I start moving. The slim cut keeps things close and enables you throw over a belay jacket or other puffy piece to stay warm at the transition or snack breaks. Superb product. Highly recommend it.
I needed a small, light axe to fill a hole in my quiver for skimountaineering. Yet, it needed to be solid enough for traditional alpine work. This axe has fit the bill perfectly. I have only used it on one skimountaineering trip but it performed great. It really shone on the steeper rock and snow pitches. The metal spike and one piece pick/adze combo all had solid traction. If you are going to spend most of your time going up or down nearly vertical this is a great choice. For me the selling point is the 50cm length. It is long enough for a boot-axe belay and for decent self-arrest but short enough that it stays tucked below the level of my pack. For skiing this is a huge factor in my decision to buy this axe. I highly recommend it for anyone into skimountaineering.
Great sweater for spring skiing. Thick and warm as all Dale sweaters are with great features that make it as good on piste as at apres ski. A fleece-lined collar keeps the wool from bothering your skin and the 1/4 zipper tucks out of the way when zipped up. The sweater also has a drawstring cord that cinches it down for days when it may be blowing a bit on the slopes.
Easy to use and install. Fits snugly in my Tech 27 and doesn't crowd or compete for space with whatever goods I am hauling up and down the mountains that day.
A good avy bag and very affordable when compared to competitors with similar features. From top to bottom this pack is loaded with features. The goggle pocket is great, holds my Julbo's just fine. There is even enough left over space to get your spare headlamp and a buff alongside. The wet pocket holds my 320 cm probe and shovel. My only complaint is that the wet pocket cannot easily accomodate my shovel, probe, and skins if the main compartment is at or near capacity. I have to back the wet pocket first. Which is a bit of a pain if you are in transition from climb ski climb pitches on the skintrack. The main compartment is very roomy. Easily packs my puffy, a shell, extra mittens, a water bottle, ski crampons, and a small coffee thermos with room to spare. I'd be comfortable taking this pack on 3-5 day hut trips in Europe. The ski carry is easy to use and tucks out of the way, a nice feature. The helmet sling is perfect. Takes my full on resort helmet or my Camp Speed 2.0 easily. The ice axe scabbard and daisy chain keep your hardware secure on the down. The only real downside is that 27 is not 32L :) If you were hut touring it would not be possible to get a rope inside so you might have to wear it in a long butterfly coil but the daisy chain is there to help cinch it down. The waist belt fits well and the pockets easily hold a headlamp, snacks or even my Pieps transciever. The fit is perfect. The main reason I did not go with the Float 32 despite wanting the extra 5L is that the fit was not there. I'm 5'9.5" and 147 pounds. The back fits perfectly from the top of my waist to the top of my shoulders, no hard pack sheet sticking up above my shoulders pushing my head forward if trying to climb. Overall though everything is perfect about this pack. The few less liters of volume just force you to be judicious about what you take with you to the mountains!
The Montrail Bajada has been my go to trail shoe for the last several seasons, particularly as a race shoes for ultras. I have worn it in everything from short training runs, treadmill intervals, to 50s and 100s. The sole is soft enough to give you a great feel for the trail but without letting each bump and rock to impact your feet. The cushioning is mid-weight compared to something like the Hokas or the Merrell Trail Gloves. I find it is just the right shoe for long trail efforts. The fit is good, I have a wide forefoot and the toe box is roomy while allowing enough room for swelling during long efforts. The laces are slightly off-set and keep the shoes snug on your feet. The lightweight uppers dry easily which is great for creek crossing or running through the rain. They also keep your feet cool after lots of miles. The only drawback is that the fabric is lightweight and this means a little bit less wear and tear. A season of training and racing several ultras will trash them. By the end of my seasons I usually have several holes where rocks have torn the fabric, but I do a little Krupicka-like modification and just lighten them up :) The tread is aggressive but not overly so. It will be a little slick in super deep mud, leaves, etc but excels on dry trails. It is perfect for rolling technical terrain. I find it grips well enough for my pace on steep descents. I recommend it highly to anyone looking for a solid shoe that is between ultra-light and ultra-max shoes.
I reviewed the R1 on Backcountry as well. The piece is about the same with the added addition of the sweetest hood you can wear. It is a great underlayer and eliminates most instances of needing to cram a warm cap under a climbing or skiing helmet. The balaclava provides good coverage too on those days when the wind is whipping. Same great features as the R1 but even more perfect.
Superb weight-warmth ration. Just enough to keep the chill off while moving in the mountains. I frequently ski in mid teen temps with just a tee shirt base, the R1, and my hardshell. I love the thumb holes and the sporty fit because it stays out of the way of ropes, harnesses, etc. The chest pocket is good for a gel or phone. The R1 is everything thing you need and nothing you don't.
Who doesn't have a need for a high quality strap? I have seen these used from repairing splitboard bindings to holding a beer in place. I have them in almost all sizes. Buy them, the uses will come.
Great pants for ski touring and climbing. Lightweight. No frills. The only downside is the side zips are not full but then again it encourages you to dress for the movement and not the parking lot or telephrique. The fit is athletic. I am 5'9" 147-50 pounds depending on breakfast. My legs are longish but they fit great. I have had them over my Alpine Guide pants and some expedition weight fleece. Very breathable. The crampon patch is nice and beefy too for your spikes or edges.
I bought this boot to replace a pair of BD Quadrants. It is like night and day in the backcountry. Much lighter and faster on the up while driving just as hard on the descents. The fit is great for my foot, I wear the 28 mondo but am a 43.5 in street shoes. Also, it wears really well with my Grivel G12 crampons. The buckles are easy to manipulate in thin or thick gloves. The tongue inserts are easy to use and can be slid into place without undoing the buckles completely, which is great if you are transitioning on a slope.
Looking to upgrade my goggles I came across the review for these on Wild Snow. Immediately the fact they were designed specifically for uphill travel grabbed my attention. I like my glacier glasses as much as the next alpine animal but a little ventilation would be nice, especially on the skintrack. I got the Verticals because I love the facebook feed of Vivian Bruchez (https://www.facebook.com/VivianBruchezSkiMontagne/?fref=ts) who skis and climbs in Chamonix regularly with Kilian Jornet. Also, having spent a bit of time in Cham myself I was partial from the start. The gray color is pretty neutral which I appreciate. The camel lens is amazing. Photochromatic, its wide aperture gives a huge field of vision that is crystal clear. I have used it on numerous dawn patrol and midday ski trips as I stoke up the early season. It is clear enough to wear in the dark with a bright headlamp (usually a BD Spot) and it transitions nice with the sun. It handles spraying powder, the kind you get from skinning at resorts early in the morning, and the rooster tails of your telefriends. The lens itself pops out with an easy snap motion and vents very well. I like skiing down with open too just to get some wind on my face. Like everything with Julbo the optics are top notch and great in the sun above treeline. There are cheaper goggles currently on the market but these mark a departure from the old. Even through it is first generation technology I couldn't be happier for the money spent.
Picked this up to replace a 12 year old model I bought eons ago. I like the smaller size and the compass attachment. It fits easily in my Patagonia hard shell chest pocket for a quick inspection of any slope. There is also a hole for some dummy cord so you can tie it off. Using it is simple, simply whip it out and measure up. What I particularly like is that when the angle gets into avalanche territory this is color-coded so you can tell with a very quick glance the angle of the slope. The compass feature is nice because it gives you a quick check on aspect as well. All in all it is a pretty basic piece of kit, easy to use, nearly foolproof, and should be in the backcountry quiver of any off piste powderhound.