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Ian V.

Ian V.

Ian V.

Ian V.wrote a review of on August 14, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you aren't afraid of skinny ropes, this one is great choice. I bought the rope for alpine climbing but have used it for everything between rock cragging and snow slogging. As Alan mentioned in his review, it is pretty stiff at first but quickly softens to become more comfortable to handle. The sheath seems to be holding up well. The rope does stretch a lot but that is represented in its technical stats and doesn't bother me personally. The biggest downside to this rope is that its narrow diameter makes some of my partners nervous.

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Ian V.

Ian V.wrote a review of on August 14, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I own both this and the previous version (the 2017 is technically my wife's). Relative to the old model the 2017 version is lighter, has a new pommel, and individually swappable hammer / adze / pick. The new pommel is definitely an improvement and am tempted to upgrade my older model. The ability to swap the hammer/adze is neat but not that useful to me because if I need two tools I just pair it with a Quark with a hammer (and for alpine / mountaineering I want at least one tool to have an adze).

My main gripe about this version is that the head is substantially less comfortable to hold in self-arrest and self-belay grips due to the teeth on the pick near the shaft and the shape of the hammer. The new pick may be better for ice climbing (it is the same as the Quark pick), but it has made the axe less functional for the majority of the climbing on any given outing. If a route is technical enough that this new pick provides a substantial advantage, I would just carry two actual ice tools. Just my 2 cents.

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Ian V.

Ian V.wrote a review of on August 14, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

They are perfect for everything easier than true ice and mixed climbing and they have become my daily drivers. I have even spent a lot of time on rock with them; the cord shows very little damage but the aluminum heel does wear down faster than steel. The weight and space savings are significant. They are slightly more fumbly to put on one handed in steep terrain than traditional crampons, but you get used to it. I primarily use the basket style toe piece instead of the wire to piece and have had zero issues with them slipping or moving inappropriately. I usually pair them with La Sportiva Trango boots or TLT 7s.

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Ian V.

Ian V.wrote a review of on August 13, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This pack is the perfect size for a summit pack or for single day / super light alpine adventures. The lid closure is simple and reliable, the internal 'ninja pocket' is incredibly handy, the lid pocket is waterproof (as advertised), and the ice tool attachment is the best I've ever used (simple, secure, and I can get an axe out without taking the pack off). I've used this pack for rock climbing, alpine climbing, hiking, travel, and ski touring and it has been perfect for all but ski touring (ski carry is possible with addition of a strap through the ice axe sleeve , but it's a little fussy). I've even managed to pack enough to do some 2 day climbs (bivy, no tent). I generally don't use the waist belt (which is easily removable) and I've found the shoulder straps to be well shaped and quite comfortable even when the bag is packed to the brim. The exterior fabric has been quite durable, but it does show dirt.

What isn't good about this bag? The body of the pack is absolutely not waterproof and after a little bit of use it is hardly even water resistant. If I could change one thing about the bag it would be to switch to a durably waterproof fabric. Second, the back pad while technically removable (for use as a sit pad / emergency bivy), it is not practical to use it this way. I would prefer if it was easier to remove (like Cilo Gear packs, for example). That's it really.

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Ian V.

Ian V.wrote a review of on April 22, 2018

4 5

These crampons attach to the binding very securely. I prefer the 'drop in' attachment style Plum uses to the 'slide in' style that Dynafit uses. They feel extremely well built. The mesh bag they are packaged with is a little disappointing - the mesh does not protect other items in your pack from the crampons (unlike the bag provided with Dynafit bindings). Overall a very satisfactory product.

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Ian V.

Ian V.wrote a review of on November 5, 2015

4 5

First off, this ski is ridiculously light, even lighter than most metal edged cross country skis. Because of this the uphill performance is awesome. Downhill performance is another story. If you are used to a normal alpine ski it will be quite a shock. The fact that they are so light means that you really have to work to keep them under control when conditions aren't ideal. They are awesome for spring corn and do pretty well with firm/icy conditions but when conditions are more variable you really need to ski with intention (no lazy turns). If you are a confident skier they will get you down in one piece.

Geometry and weight for rando race skis doesn't vary that much between brands and models so I wouldn't expect other race skis to perform that differently, but I haven't tried any others so maybe I'm wrong. For the price they are hard to beat in this category. If you are still learning to ski or just getting into backcountry you will probably have a much better time with something heavier and a fatter.

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