Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Scarpa Boots

-Maverick GTX & Rebel GTX

Rebel is below....550grams....
Ueli Steck and Scarpa came together to make some new lightweight alpine boots. One leather, one Synthetic.  Semi automatic crampon compatible, designed for the fast alpinist.  The details will be out by mid summer but they are LIGHT!  I had the opportunity to put put them on (1/2 size to big) and they are light and flexible.  They had greater flexibility then I was anticipating them to have, which is great for walking, bad for vertical ice, but I would never use these for vertical ice at my current skill level. They have a new tongue design, new out sole(rebel) with edging platform, new last, new...well, everything.  More details will be available around summer OR. 

For the states, I think that this would be a perfect "fringe" season Tetons boot. Approach in flexible boots that are actually kind on your feet to walk in, throw on crampons to get to the base of the route (or the route itself), climb the route in the boots or switch to rock shoes and then back to the boots for the summit.  Looking forward to my next trip out there!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Marmot Essence Jacket review

Biking at 10,000+ feet in RMNP.
This day I only got to  41 MPH,
 three days before 52...

First off from Marmot;
The Essence is featherweight, hooded rain protection, mountain-tested by guides--ideal for ultra-light hiking, adventure races and multi-pitch alpine climbs.
  § Superlight 12 Denier Marmot MemBrain® 2.5 Waterproof/Breathable Fabric,
      §  Micro-Stitched and 100% Seam Taped - for maximum waterproof protection
§  Attached Adjustable Hood with Laminated Wire Brim
§  Water Resistant Front Zippers
§  Chest Pocket with Water-Resistant Zipper - Chest Pocket with W/R Zipper
§  Integrated Cooling Vents
§  Asymmetric Cuffs with Velcro Adjustment
§  Reflective Logos
§  Elastic Draw Cord Hem - For Adjustability in Serious Weather
§  Angel-Wing Movement™ - Allows Full Range of Motion in Arms so Jacket Doesn't Ride Up
§  28" Center Back Length for Size Medium

Weight is 6oz/170grams for a Medium and it is made out of MemBrain Strata 100% nylon ripstop 1.6 oz/rd

About Strata;

MemBrain® Strata™

Marmot’s own lightweight waterproof / breathable technology. A lamination technology that rates a whopping 20,000mm in waterproof performance and 20,000 gr in breathability.
Requiring neither lining nor 3-layer construction like many similar lamination processes, MemBrain® Strata™ products are by far the lightest, most breathable garments in their categories.
Marmot’s proprietary 2.5 layer MemBrain® Strata uses micro non-organic particles on the inside of the lamination to increase durability and provide a dry touch instead of that clammy feeling you get from some other products.
The back print pattern is carefully designed to achieve the maximum durability and breathability. Abrasion tests rate 4-5 times better than regular MemBrain® (which is why regular MemBrain, as well as all 2-layer laminates require a separate lining).
Compared to 2.5 layer coatings in the market, our 2.5 layer lamination is about 100% more breathable. In addition, laminated stretch fabrics stretch more and have a softer hand than 2.5 layer coated fabrics.

This is my go to piece for cold weather biking and lightweight packing.  First for the biking.  It is super light weight and very compactable to fit in the back pocket pocket of my jersey.  There are no pockets or pit zips to add weight as these features aren't needed on this jacket.  It also has a hood, which for biking isn't appropriate, but it has a nice roll top feature that tucks it away nicely behind my neck and out of the catching wind.  It also breaths really well to not collect much moisture underneath.  I have the Orange color, which is High Vis, as I don't really want to get hit...again...ugh

I have also used this for super light backpacking trips into the desert Southwest and a climbing trip into the Tetons last summer.  Like above, it packs down to nothing and is hardly noticeable in the bottom of my pack until I needed it. In the Tetons I used it to keep the chill of the wind off me while we were waiting for the sun to heat up the rock just a bit more that early morning and it worked perfectly!  I did take it off when we started climbing though, as it is a very thin material.  If it did rip, the ripstop properties would keep it minor, but I still didn't want that to happen, as I actually really like this Jacket.

I like this Jacket and would recommend it to anyone for lightweight adventures. It sells for $175.00.


Cam slings

I have had the new C4's since they came to market and LOVE them. The only thing I didn't love was their nylon slings. They were short, too short.  So, from day one I got them reslung with a double length nylon runner from Forrest.  It was cheep and they offered colored slings to to match the cam and the anodized Nutrino biners to boot!  So, my whole rack from .5 to number 4 are all doubled.  It is about time to get them reslung and I can't find Forrest on the internet in my 5 minutes to searching to see if they will do it again. Any help???

BUT, note BD doesn't double sling them for a reason.  As they are doubled, the nylon rubs over itself on the thumb loop. When you fall the nylon will rub over itself in the extended position and possibly melt if enough force/friction is generated. I don't believe that it is a real issue for smaller, lower factor falls, but the 1.5 and up and you will have some issues.  I have take a fall on my .5 and have retired it to the wall until I get them reslung, hopefully soon.  Correct me if I am wrong.

The new DMM Dragon cams addressed this issue but putting the double length slings through separate holes on the stem.  In their original release of the cam at OR a year ago or so the double sling was around the thumb loop. (like the C4, but changed for production; http://www.dmmclimbing.com/news.asp?nid=216&ngroup=1)  I personally hate the non thumb looped stem of the dragons and older C4's, as I believe for a gloved hand they suck.  So, DMM must have smartened up, as going to production with that potential talking point/issues for many more climbers then just I would open up a huge nest of problems/people on the internet bitching...Or, they got a drop tower and did a few Factor 2's and melted through their skinny little spectra cord that they currently use.

So, what do I win for that trade off in potentially melting some nylon???  I carry less alpine slings=less overall weight to climb up a mountain with. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hallet's Chimney June 1st

Yesterday Bryan and I attempted Hallet's Chimney in RMNP for the second time in two years.  Last year we made it 1/2 way up before it was just too warm and the rocks started falling.  This year we made it 3/4 the way up to just below the crux pitch.  I decided to not bring any ice gear with us as to go with a bit lighter of a rack...bad mistake. I should have had boughten a stubbie or two. Not that the "ice" was all that good, it was more of Snice consistency where we bailed, but I needed something for some "mental" protection to keep going.  My last piece of gear was 10 meters below me, and I didn't want to commit to the moves in front of me without any gear in sight....ugh.  And this year there was actually some ice on the crux pitch!  So, needless to say, it was another learning experience up high in the mountains.  As I am looking out the window as I write this, thinking about whats next and wondering if I will push it out a bit further next time I am happy and disappointed all at the same time.

The Emerald Lake area, yes there is a lake below all that snow, meters of snow.  

A closer look at the North Face of Hallet.  Our route follow the snow line center left. 

 One of the many piles of shit you find in the alpine and use! Three of the Pins were a bit lose and I gave them a few taps back in, and the 4th piece was a wire burred in snow and ice and I couldn't inspect it with my eyes, but it passed the old pull test...             

Bryan on rappel from that pile of shit.

 Our high point, you can see the crux chock stone above.                    

Self portrait time!

 So, maybe this weekend we will go back, or maybe next season will be the time we finally finish this route.