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Jason Griffith

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Backcountry Skiing Intro

Sunrise on the prime ski terrain of Mt Baker’s east side Backcountry skiing is a broad sport. Even seasoned veterans obsess over what might be the best gear for a particular endeavor. When selecting equipment, it’s important to ask: Where and when will I be using this? The answer could be: mostly at the resort with a little sidecountry; riding lifts through the winter, then big spring volcano-corn; skiing powder yoyo style through the winter, then spring corn; long, rolling [...]

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Ice Climbing Gear Intro

This article is intended to inform you of the features and uses of modern ice climbing gear. The focus is on technical waterfall ice and mixed climbing, as well as alpine routes in the mountains. For specifics on how to ice climb and the details of how to safely and correctly use the gear that I will discuss, please be sure to consult a qualified teaching source and use this article only as a reference of my personal experience and [...]

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Colin Haley Alpinism – Equipment for Alpinism in the ‘Greater Ranges’

Editors note:  This article is a little dated (it was written in 2007), so you can trust that Colin’s equipment has evolved a bit from when this was written.  The article may no longer reflect Colin’s recommendations, so keep that in mind.  We still think there are things to learn from it, so we’ll keep the around as long as that is true.  Introduction For better or worse, climbing is an extremely gear-intensive activity, and alpinism is the most gear-intensive [...]

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Jetboil Sol – A Major Upgrade Gets it Right by Blake Herrington

When the Jetboil Personal Cooking System first came onto the market in 2004, it was truly a “game changer” for climbers. The system (originally around 15oz before fuel) wasn’t any lighter than a small cannister stove and cookpot, but its genius was the integration of stove, lighter, burner, and 1liter cookpot that would al click together into a single unit. For climbers rapidly breaking out the stove on a snowy belay ledge, or squeezing it into a cramped Firstlight or [...]

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Arcteryx Nuclei Hoody Review by Dave Burdick

The moment I picked up the Arc’teryx Nuclei hoody, I realized that Arcteryx had made my other belay jackets obsolete. And I have a lot of belay jackets. For my uses, which are mainly alpine climbing and backcountry skiing, the value of a belay jacket primarily comes down to the numbers: how warm it is, and how much it weighs. To cut to the chase, what is special about this jacket is that Arcteryx put an 80g/m2 insulated body and 60g/m2 insulated [...]

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La Sportiva Spantik Review by Dave Burdick

La Sportiva Spantik Review by Dave Burdick

The La Sportiva Spantik is one of the very best cold weather technical climbing boots currently made. It is built with a combination of the latest technology and innovation in design features. In this review I tested its performance and took a close look at the details of the boot and how it compares to the main competitor in its category.   Double boots are often the best choice for high altitude and super cold weather climbing for two reasons: [...]

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Synthetic Insulated Jacket Layering Review by Dane Burns

The typical question: “I will climb Rainer this summer…next Orizaba, Kili, then Aconcagua! What do I need for clothes?” Here are some thoughts on a well proven “systems approach” that you may have not had. It is a multilayer and multi use cold weather system based at least two garments. One garment with 60g insulation (part of your “action suit”) and the another with 100g insulation. (your “belay jacket”) The bench mark Patagonia DAS belay jacket is 170g insulation by [...]

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eClimb Klau Ice Screws Review

When I first saw these screws I remember thinking that their design intuitively made sense. Where other screws use a heavy steel tube in the shaft of the ice screw, eClimb has used light weight aluminum. As all screws tend to wear out on the points of the teeth, they have made the Klaus’s teeth steel and replaceable. They also have an extra long coffee-grinder style handle on the hanger for quick placement and come in lengths and colors similar [...]

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Jetboil Alpine Cuisine by Blake Herrington

There is no denying the convenience of dinner in a bag. The makers of pre-packaged “backpacker” meals know this, and make ease-of-use a primary selling point. But Snickers or meal-replacement bars are convenient as well, yet we don’t see those being labeled as “diner for two” despite often having nearly as many calories. An accepted rule of thumb for maximizing backcountry food efficiency is to stick with products that contain at least 100 calories per ounce, yet many of the [...]

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