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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylor

Rochester NY

Hunter Taylor's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Paddling
Snowshoeing
Climbing
Skiing
Biking
Fly Fishing
Surfing

Hunter Taylor's Bio

Just a mild-mannered Climbing Guide living and playing in the beautiful Adirondack mountains of Northern New York

Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on September 10, 2019

Black Diamond Three Finger Mitts
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Absolutely adore these mitts. Excellent cold weather performance for the chilly days at the belay or heading down after a brisk tour. I’ve spent countless days in my pair from backcountry climbing and skiing trips to frontcountry ice and on-piste resort days. The warmth is unquestionable sufficient for my needs, no lower than -20 °F, and the three finger design is my preference over gloves or full mitts. Furthermore, I was happily surprised by the durability of the leather outer, which had originally seemed a bit thin. One recommendation is to buy a wax-based waterproofing agent to maintain your pair.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on September 10, 2019

Black Diamond Contact Strap
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Capable and universal, the strap feature lacks the stability of semi or fully automatic attachment options, however they can, and have, been strapped to just about any closed toe footwear (I do recommend mountaineering boots). I have put just under 10,000 feet of gain on these and can say they certainly do the job. Good traction for a 10 point and the durability of steel to boot. While they are certainly not a technical crampon I will confess to having scaled some occasional vertical ice using my pair and the front point do bite better if you file down the tops. Primarily used now as loaners for friends I rope into trips, and still going strong. One complaint, the bar is indeed a bit short.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on September 10, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Not my personal helmet, but I’ve worn one 5 days a week all summer for my work and have certainly had time to familiarize myself. A few rocks to the head and two less than graceful falls later I can certainly say my brain is all
The better for it. Comfortable (as far as helmets go) and durable, thanks to the hard outer shell. An excellent introductory or workhorse helmet for those who don’t want to see every dent in their fancy $150 foam domes.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 19, 2019

Astral YTV PFD
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Having spent far too much time in this PFD, I can say that it’s an exceptional option for recreational flat water use. While it lacks the fancy features and endless pockets of my whitewater and touring vests, for most of my freshwater lake and river trips (swiftwater excluded) this is my go to. Super lightweight and barely noticeable after the first ten minutes, it quickly became my second skin for days, or weeks, in my canoe or kayak. Tens of thousands of paddle strokes later I can confidently commend this vest for its excellent low profile and amazing range of motion. Two pockets offer almost enough storage space, although it took some adjusting to as I had become used to the 5,000,000,000+ cubic inches of pockets provided by my kokotat. Oh, and by the way, it floats! Attached is a picture of a somewhat specific use while crossing a more or less frozen lake.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 19, 2019

ENO Singlenest Hammock
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Chairs? What’s a chair? I’ll be bold and put it out there, no way in heck am I carrying a folding chair of any kind on a long hiking trip (well, maybe one of the fancy expensive ones if I find some money). The hammock has quickly become the lightweight and low volume lounging solution for the outdoor enthusiast, and ENO has become a relative gold standard. So long as you have trees you have comfort, over the last few years I’ve spent a substantial, bordering on excessive, amount of time in my singlenest either sitting or sleeping. Love the easy setup with atlas straps and the ability to quickly have a multipurpose piece of camp furniture. One qualm, its a bit short if you’re medium/tall, so maybe go with the double. Also, if it is hung between a large tree and your car and you drive away, it WILL rip in half. We had a good run and I have already purchased another, it’s on its way.

Pro Tip: hang it off some cams if you can find two placements on an overhang.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 19, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I keep this racked on most multis as a “just in case”. I’ve used it on fixed lines, in three-to-one’s, as a progress capture and a few more experimental applications. The one big takeaway, DO NOT let it eat your rope. The tibloc serves two purposes. First, it offers a lightweight option for the competent and attentive climber who might need an ascender, or might not need it. Second, it acts as the perfect rope sheath destruction device if left unattended in the hands of a beginner. Well, maybe not that bad, but it can certainly make some fuzzies. However, so long as it’s used right, the tibloc is a great choice for a backup, emergency or just shaving weight.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 19, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A single use product. Not entirely sure what mammut designed these for, probably could have looked at the information tag if I hadn’t immediately thrown that tag away. All I know is it perfectly fits a very singular niche that I am quite happy to have filled. I’ve found myself slinging some mildly to moderately sketchy things on alpine ascents and have always simply clipped the rope and continued upwards trying not to wonder what would happen if I were to fall on the thin dyneema ran tautly over a sharp granite horn. I purchased a double length “magic sling” (spectacular name by the way), more out of intrigue than intended use. However, I’m quite happy to say it sits on my rack for those outings where I plan on slinging the gnarliest thing I can find before running out thirty feet of icy slab. Still has only one conceivable use so, sorry Mammut, four stars for you.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 19, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you climb in the good ol’ US of A, or have ever been stuck climbing with us pesky Americans, you’ve probably seen about a trillion camalot’s being thrown around. When I was just a little baby trad gumby, I was taught BD sizing like the alphabet so that when I grew up I could effortlessly throw the .75 into that weird placement on Three Doves without even looking. Ranting aside, they’re the standard here for a reason. Totally bomber(ish) and the go-to for accessibility stateside in past years BD had an awful good monopoly that held through into the era of online ordering. Not as classical as aliens but nowhere near as foreign as the previously mythical dragons, the camalot has cemented itself as a safe, reliable and relatively affordable option for climbers of all stripes. Easy placements from a great finger loop and color coded everything, with the sizing that you, or at least I, grew up with. Only reason they’re given four stars is they don’t have extendable slings. Com on BD! That’s all I’ve ever wanted!

*disclaimer: BD camalot’s referred to as “bomber(ish)” in this review due to the fact that they are NOT totem cams.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 19, 2019

La Sportiva TC Pro
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The best thing since sliced bread? Almost certainly. The best thing ever? Quite possibly so. Designed by Mr. El Cap himself (it’s in the name) and manufactured by industry titan La Sportiva, these shoes are a quintessential step towards becoming a true TC BRO. But jokes aside, from slab to crack to face, these shoes will be your vehicle into the vertical world. As long as it’s not overhanging (not to say that I haven’t sent my fair share of overhangs in my pair), the TC pros are, in my honest opinion, the best shoe to do every job great. The La Sportiva 3p whatever does an amazing job holding the form and rigidity of the outer while the “old school” laces actually work, unlike those new Velcro whatsits. Edges you can shave with and vibrant XS edge will have you standing on granite razor blades in no time, but don’t feel bad if you resolve with Stealth. As my (almost) one shoe quiver for the past six months I, surprisingly, have nothing but good to say about these shoes. Almost as surprising, I have yet to need a resolve, although I can see it looming closer every time I skip off a sharp hold. Buy it in your La Sportiva size, comfy and capable, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 18, 2019

Yeti Tundra 45
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Keep it short and sweet. I’ve dropped it off a cliff (~30ft), dropped it out of a car (~45mph), dropped it into rapids (just class IIIs, don’t worry), portaged it a half mile (that one sucked), and shooed a few too many bears away from it. You can’t kill a yeti. I thought it was a marketing ruse, but you just cannot kill these things. Oh yeah, and it keeps stuff cold. From bacon to celebratory beers to ice cream, yeah I said ice cream, you can get at least a full 24 hours to 4.75 full days (that’s drunk estimate) without refilling. The more ice the longer, and colder, everything will stay. And did I mention they literally cannot break?

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 18, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: 10.5

After losing one of my beloved 5.11 skyweights in a free solo mishap, I decided to finally get a pair of keens to officially cement my involvement in the world of outdoor recreation. Gotta love these boots. Fit like a pair of socks with laces and rubber soles. Surprised by the durability considering the soft outer and I was happy to experience the renowned comfort of keens. The sizing ran a bit large, roundabouts a half size, but they had a roomy toe box which I have certainly enjoyed. Only damage I’ve managed to put on is a small rip in the stitching of the lining on one boot, possibly because I refuse to untie my boots and opt to name my feet into them with aggressive force instead. Judging by my friends years-old pair of keen targhees, I contribute the damage to my own destructive nature. The outers have held up to repeated abuse on countless approaches, hikes and daily use at work and play and after four months I don’t see them quitting anytime soon. Don’t own keens? Get a pair. Any pair.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 18, 2019

Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

A modern take on the classic piolet, the raven is the perfect tool for anything steeper than flat but not steep enough to get a 5. or WI rating. From snowfields to icy slab the raven can manage most of the terrain you’ll find during the chilly season. The aluminum shaft is somewhow unbreakable (I’ve got two so I have tried), within reasonable limits, and I still cannot comprehend how the head and spike are secured ( can’t seem to break those off either). What I do know is the raven is a budget-friendly option that always does what you need it to when you need it to. However, it should be noted that the aluminum haft does get a bit cold when it’s -50° and windy, furthermore I have acquired a slight preference for a bent shaft in my ice axes, although that could be chalked up to personal taste. If you live with an ice axe in hand you’ll know what you want, if you’re looking to bag a few summits a year, this is the tool to get you there.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 18, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you’re on a budget and don’t want to throw a rent payment into one task-specific bag just to do the same thing again when you pick up another sport, grab one of these. Bought one a few years back for some section hiking of the AT and was immediately impressed. For about 100$ (got it on sale somewhere) it fit my needs, and carried my gear, perfectly without having to pay for any of the fancy features I didn’t entirely need. Since then I’ve brought it up various alpine ascents, from the Northeast to Chamonix, an assortment of ice and rock trips and my fair share of ski tours (not to mention a few hundred miles of hiking and paddling in between). The stiff internal frame keeps it rigid, good lumbar padding keeps it in place and the 50 liter sizing keeps everything you need on your back without letting you bring too much. Endlessly durable, without being too heavy, I’ve yet to kill this pack and I’ll keep carrying it until I do, I’m spite of the fact that I’ve since acquired some more technically specific packs. But it, love it and try your best to break it, I dare you.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 18, 2019

Mammut Eternity Protect Climbing Rope
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Who needs a simple, sturdy climbing rope to beat up and whip on for seasons to come? That’s right, everyone needs one. No treatments keep the price point low and a relatively thick diameter keeps the durability high so you aren’t worried about getting your 300$ rope fuzzy (or cut in half) while whipping on that annoying roof section 5 hours a day for a week. I’ve also found that the mammut sheath held up better this season then my partners BD blue safety snake which suffered a core shot after only 6 months, possibly my doing (sorry Sam!). After putting a few thousand vertical feet on the sharp end, and more hours than I can count feeding it through a device, I can say that it is just as capable as you need it to be. Wouldn’t take it on a fast and light alpine ascent or a hearty aid climb, but for the day to day this rope will last you till ice season starts up, possibly two years in a row if you treat it nice.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 18, 2019

Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro Trousers
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: 44

Start with sizing, I wear 30s US and a 44 fits perfect

I was first introduced to these pants, and the Fjallraven brand, while at an outlet in New York City. Wary of the high price point, I purchased a single pair to do a bit of testing. Two years later and I almost exclusively use Fjallraven for all my lower-body-clothing needs. The g1000 fabric is surprisingly quick drying despite being partially composed of cotton, furthermore it proved to be exceptionally hard wearing for how thing the pants seemed at first. The ability to waterproof with Greenland wax is an excellent feature, if not a bit annoying in repetitive practice. However I found the ability to choose between a breathable membrane and a shell to be extremely useful. My favorite feature, which truly converted me to Fjallraven, are the elastic cuffs which allow the user to adjust the leg closures to each activity. Finally, Fjallraven’s exceptional environmental standards certainly make me feel a bit better about buying from a large manufacturer.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on August 18, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Have been using this as my primary belay device since March, about seven months now, climbing at least three times a week. Having put a few thousand meters of rope through my Mega Jul, I can say with certainty that I prefer it to the more common ATC guides and topdown-capable counterparts. I was unsure about the assisted braking feature but was pleasantly surprised to find that it worked well when needed yet still did not hinder lead belaying. Beating able to turn the device around to disable the assisted braking feature is also a plus for rappelling. Feeds cleanly and catches well, but so does every belay device these days. Furthermore, the top down mode is a bit of a pain to figure out if you've been previously hardwired to an ATC setup, but does the job perfectly and had become instinctual after 15-20 leads. Lastly, I do appreciate the steel tube design and the durability it lends, as a young guy I don’t mind packing a few more grams to avoid paying for another device next season. Altogether a well designed, durable device which offers a minor performance modification to the renowned ATC guide format.

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Hunter Taylor

Hunter Taylorwrote a review of on July 19, 2019

Fjallraven Keb Lite Trousers
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: 46

Following a few months of weekly use, I am quite happy with these pants as a whole. Functional and surprisingly durable, the stretchy softshell-esque fabric proved both breathable and flexible. From 20 mile days of paddling to hiking a half dozen of the Adirondack high peaks to multi-pitch climbs in rumney and the gunks these pants can do it all. A perfect piece of kit for warm weather when shorts offer too much exposure to pesky elements such as bugs, sun or good old rock rash.

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