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Scott G

Scott G

Seattle, WA

Scott G

Scott Gwrote a review of on July 14, 2018

Great pants, but not actually black
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

There are many reasons why the Cirques are the go-to for many a mountaineer. They are a burly set of soft shells that easily repel most alpine water and wind, and yet are breathable enough for those hot summer days on the crag. The versatility is exceptional. With the Cirques, my hard shell pants stay at home unless the weather looks quite sketchy.

Like others have said, the thighs are quite tight. I do not have large quads at all and yet they're pretty tight. Not a deal breaker, but with my phone in my front pocket it's almost borderline too tight. Luckily they do have a decent stretch to them. A bit less than some other soft shell pants I have, but still good enough for most pursuits. The bottoms are definitely a boot cut designed to be large enough to fit around ski boots. This could look at bit odd for anything smaller than a mountaineering boot. I was surprised at how much I like the lace loop at the bottoms. They make gaiters seem almost unnecessary unless snowshoeing or glissading.

My biggest gripe is the fact that the "Black" color is not even close to black. It's a dark gray, and that's being a bit generous. In the attached photo I have a pair of Marmot soft shells that are actually black compared to the OR Cirques. Pretty big difference and that's even considering that the Marmots are old and have been washed many many times.

Other than that, the Cirques are excellent if they fit your body type. Definitely recommended, just be aware that the black is not actually black.

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Scott G

Scott Gwrote a review of on February 25, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had the TerraLite for over 3 years now. As a very restless side-sleeper, this bag is fantastic. I toss and turn all night and have to constantly change positions because of a bad back. The TerraLite enables me to bring my knees up closer to my chest and relieve nerve pressure in my lower back.

The quality of Western Mountaineering bags are truly second-to-none. I fully expect this bag to last 20 years or more. While other manufacturers' temperature "survival" ratings are sketchy at best, WM is known to over-deliver. Overnight in the High Sierras it dropped down to 23F and in just long underwear I was perfectly warm. Recently up on Mt Rainier in February and it dropped to 14F. Did need to put on a down jacket and pants, but once I did I was toasty.

Fantastic bag from a clearly exceptional company. I don't foresee buying anything other than Western Mountaineering bags in the future. Keep up the high quality work WM!

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Scott G

Scott Gwrote a review of on February 25, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I've taken my Ghost Whisperer everywhere with me in the last couple years. From the High Sierras in Yosemite to all over the Pacific Northwest and the Cascades. It has never failed to keep me warm. It is unbelievably light and more durable than you might initially think.

As a standalone piece, I am generally comfortable down to about 35F with little wind if I'm not moving at all. However, add either a windproof soft or hard shell jacket over it and I've been perfectly comfortable bumming around camp at 23F. On a sunset summit of Mt Baker, the temperature dropped to the 20s and the wind was absolutely howling. With a base layer, Ghost Whisperer, soft shell, and hard shell on, I was the only person in our 8-man party who was perfectly warm. Everyone else was jumping up and down freezing their butts off, and they all had giant bulky down parkas on. I wanted to stay on the summit longer!

I'd describe the fit as "Alpine". I am a long and lanky 6'2" about 185lbs and the medium fits absolutely perfect. I almost always only have a base layer underneath, but I could put it over a light fleece or soft shell if needed. I have very long arms which is always a problem for me, but the sleeves are fantastically long on the Ghost Whisperer with a great elastic cuff to keep the wind out.

All in all, the Ghost Whisperer is one of my favorite pieces. It's in my bag for any adventure above 20F. I have a more burly puffy for those winter nights on Rainier, but for everything else I grab my GW. It's simply the most versatile and useful down jacket out there. Don't hesitate to pick one up.

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Scott G

Scott Gwrote a review of on May 31, 2017

Near Perfection
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Not sure I could ask for more in a mountaineering axe. It has done everything I've asked of it, including the ultimate use: self-arrest.

The weight is perfect. I almost went with the lighter weight one, but I think I'd prefer this in every way except the extra ounces when you're not using it.

I am a long and lanky 6'2" and went with the 75cm tool. Surprisingly perfect length.

Can't recommend it more!

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Scott G

Scott Gwrote a review of on May 29, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Like the title says, I never hike without this thing. While it is great for the winter to keep your water from turning to ice when the temps drop below freezing, I actually love using it more in the summer. Why you might ask? Fill the thing with ice cubes and water, and you will have ice-cold water all day long! 90 degrees and sweating like a pig 5 miles in? How about some ice-cold water? Yeah, it's fantastic.

Couple things to note though:
- The bite nozzle is also insulated. This makes it bulkier and it wont fit through some H2O holes in some packs.
- The insulation makes the pouch a bit bulkier. I have, however, not found a pack that it does not fit into. I'm sure there's a few out there though.

With that being said, go with the insulated reservoir if you want ice-cold water in the summer and non-frozen water in the winter.

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Scott G

Scott Gwrote a review of on September 5, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: 34 long

I think I've found my hiking/backpacking/climbing pants for all but the most extreme conditions. The Scree is incredibly versatile. After performing very well on a couple of day hikes, I gave them a much tougher test on a hike to base camp on Mt Rainier (Camp Muir).

A couple miles of incredibly steep snow fields and temperature regulation was perfect. It beads water fairly well as long as you're not in a constant downpour. 10,054 feet at base camp it was around 36 degrees. Lounging on the rocks I felt perfectly comfortable without a thermal layer underneath. Then it started snowing with near whiteout conditions. Still never got cold and they did not soak through, even after several hundred feet of glisading on the way down! Suffice it to say, I love these pants.

I am 6'2'' about 185 pounds. I got the 34 long and initially when I tried them on I was worried they were too long (which is very rare). But once I tried them with boots I realized they were perfect. They have a nice alpine fit so they're not baggy, yet the mobility is 100% with how stretchy they are. Scrambling and even climbing are no problem at all.

Highly recommended!

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