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Arcteryx Alpha FL Pack review by Dave Burdick

It’s not often that a truly category-changing product comes along. Products like single wall tents, Nomic ice tools and LED headlamps were so innovative that they radically changed the landscape of their categories. Light weight climbing packs though are all relatively the same: some nylon cloth, a couple shoulder straps and not too many extra bells and whistles. What differentiates Arcteryx’s new Alpha FL climbing packs is that they are waterproof while still being tough and light weight. They are [...]

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Patagonia M10 Shell Jacket Review by Dave Burdick

The Patagonia M10 jacket is their lightest waterproof/breathable hardshell. My production version of the jacket, in size Medium, weighs in at just under 8 ounces (221g) and packs down into its own pocket making it about the size of a softball. While the M10 is mainly marketed as a streamlined alpine climbing jacket, I think the light weight and versatility of the piece should make it popular for a variety of uses. With such a small and light shell, it [...]

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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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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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eClimb Cryo Pro Ice Tool Review by Dave Burdick

eClimb is a company that has been around for a few decades, but has not penetrated the US market as much as other European manufacturers. I remember seein their radical looking tools online and in Haffner a decade ago, and always wondered how well they climbed. As online retailing has matured, getting your hands on a pair of these tools while paying in US dollars has become easy. First off, eClimb has an entire lineup of tools, built with similar technology, [...]

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Cassin C14 Crampon Review by Dave Burdick

The C14 is a technical climbing oriented crampon with a variety of configurations, similar to the Black Diamond Cyborg or the Petzl M12. If you haven’t already, read the Black Diamond Cyborg vs Petzl Dartwin Comparison for comparison. Cassin C14 offers the ability to run with dual points, a centered monopoint and front and back antibot plates either on or off. This style of configurable crampon is great if you’re ice cragging one day and mixed climbing the next. Just [...]

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Cassin X-All Mountain Ice Axe Review by Dave Burdick

CAMP and its sub-brand Cassin have offered a steady line of nice tools over the past decade (and beyond of course). While these tools didn’t get the same hype and adoption in North America that other large brands have, the designs were solid and innovative. One of these tools, the CAMP Awax, came out as a light alternative to the heavier clearance shaft tools that were becoming mainstream. Good clearance, light weight and a solid pick design made it a [...]

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Black Diamond Cyborg vs Petzl Dartwin Comparison by Dave Burdick

Black Diamond and Petzl offer several styles of crampons for different uses. The Cyborg and the Dartwin fall into the technical category where the crampons are designed to excel on steep ice, rock and in the alpine. In the past, crampon designs have generally varied significantly between manufacturers. As ice gear has become more refined there has been a trend towards the best new features being adopted into fairly similar designs across companies. It is again in the details where [...]

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2010 Petzl Ergo Ice Tool Review by Dave Burdick

The 2010 Petzl Ergo marks a significant step forwards in the design of ice tools. The Ergo expands upon the Petzl Nomic design by adding an extremely high clearance shaft and another handle option. The Ergo is unabashedly designed to perform in steep drytooling but retains many of the ice and alpine oriented features that have made the Nomic such a popular tool. Could this be the future direction that tools are headed for both rock and ice climbing? If [...]

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