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Everything posted by DanO

  1. Ice axe recommendation

    I like the old school style of axes of the newer short length. Go for steel head type. Light is nice on the trail, though you may crap your pants on steep ice, frenching with a nasty drop below you. I look at the lighter axes but the above situation in mind keeps my old trusty steel axe, guide weight on my pack. The old school axes have the straight point on the bottom end, I prefer it to the newer style for frenching. Dan
  2. Stealth Training Suggestions

    Get a stepper machine at home or a membership at the gym, the least to do is 30 minutes a day, working up using a pack while on the stepper. Do this at least 3 days a week up to 5 days a week, then hiking and climbing on the weekends. There is no covert way to get him to train unless you tell him you want to train for some type of hiking or climbing trip together. You could train with him and both have fun, 30 minutes a day at a hard pace will help you both get in shape, lose weight.
  3. Design input on new sleeping bag

    Market? Here is what me and my wife would strongly consider to buy real soon if it was on the market. I have a stephenson's she the big agnes. If they made a modular system so that we could take the down tops off of both and put on a single top we would buy it. Currently only my stephenson's has the correct design to do this. The only pause is the cost of the stephenson's system, well worth the money but hard to scrape up the cash. Buy another stephenson's and put on a single top over both bottom pads. That would be a nice system. Also still have two single bags. How much market for such a modular bag system? Don't know. Dan
  4. Looking for one to two day moderate snow climbs good for this time of the year until summer, in the north cascades. Any ideas? Thanks Dan
  5. Design input on new sleeping bag

    Hello, After a little more thought, people like light weight, comfort, and features and of course low cost. As a matter of the real world something has to give, rarely can have it all. If you must shell out the cash then you want at least low weight, features and a little comfort. What would I want? I am of a rare few I bet but I find it really hard to give up my air mattress neither my wife, of course we are not of the hard woman or hard man type, doing the hard routes, but in reality of all the hikers or climbers how many fit this mold? Once you go to a insulated air matt it can be difficult to go back. We talked about either getting another big agnes or another stephenson's and zipping them together, not the lightest but practical. I can imagine a possible modular system where components can be bought and fit together as needed. How? buy a single bag with matt, air or foam. Later on get a oposite sex partner or hard person partner add to your system. buy another pad with down cloth and surround material. Buy a single top for both pads. Also can buy single "bags" for both pads. could be so modular to have two tops. So on, so on. I can see it my mind but hard to discribe I think you can get it. Lots of features, mabey not the lightest but fairly light. Dan
  6. Design input on new sleeping bag

    Hello, Me and my wife are probally of the few partners who could actually use such a system. We have in the past used a single 20 degree down (campmor brand sleeping bag) single square sleeping bag for summer mountaineering. We used it as a blanket and ware all of our clothes. Worked well for us as long not too cold. Used it with single foam pads. Now we both have air matts, mine from stephenson's her's from big agnes-we use these now under the single square sleeping bag. The future is air matts with insulation in them, or use a foam pad of some sort in the bottom of the sleeping bag. The down under you in a sleeping bag is a waste, of weight, money etc. I much prefer a air matt over a foam pad. Here is how I would make the system your talking about. I would make a square bag so that one person could use it. Of course it would zip together as a normal sleeping bag. Then I would make special sleeping pads most likly foam, that could zip together and to the outside edges of the square sleeping bag. This way you have min weight and max benifit. I would design it for summer mountaineering and mild fall and spring useage. Of course a second "top" or "bag" could be used for colder conditions. Under colder conditions so far me and my wife use two single 0 degree bags, a stephenson's and a big agnes both with air matts. I have a down filled air matt, she has a sinthetic filled air matt, so we use our sit pads under her air matt for more winter insulation under her. Dan
  7. Blowing up my knee and back

    Hello, Why are you straining yourself so hard? No sport is worth destroying your health. I have a shoulder injury since high school days that has stayed with me for 21 years. Find another way to train, swimming will do wonders for your recovery. I suggest you find a pool and a hot tub and swim and gently use your sore limbs. There are suppliments in health food stores that also will help.
  8. photo your ice climb

    Hello, After watching the shows on Discover Channel , survivor man and so on. I think the time is right to do a how to show, something on the lines of learning channel and discovery channel stuff. How to rock climb, how to ice climb, how to get gear, low buck dirt bag gear collection or big buck expedition gear collection and so on, the number of shows and settings could be endless, sea kayaking to rock climbing wherever. If can't get a discover to air it you could put it on the web with sponsers. I think it would go. It would be filming not stills. The people who run these channels are gumbys, I think the response would be huge on such a show, why hasn't it been done yet?
  9. Help -- I smoked a cigarette

    Nicotine is probably the most addictive drug on the market. First look at the cause of you smoking, the cause was stress, the stress allowed you to break your healthy regimen. It is not the end of the world, it is a time to reflect and become more aware as you have indicated by this thread. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. To be healthy there are three keys as I see it. First, healthy diet and environment. 2nd, exercise on a regular basis. 3rd low stress, happy in personal life and work. In life you always can improve on any of these three. How to do so? by study, learning and self reflection. Your way will not be my way and our way won't be someone else's way but we all can learn from other people wanting to be more happy and healthy. Why to train, to exercise? If it is just a chore and hard work it will be hard to keep up, you will quit someday and be fat and out of shape, smoking and hitting the big macks. For me, I like to vari my workouts, not the same thing week after week, year after year. It is good to have goals, a big trip to Rainer for example. I like to have a goal, it helps to motivate you to be in shape. I am thinking about joining a SAR group, great motivator to be in shape, and of course try to have fun doing it. This is for the long haul, a person's whole lifestyle has to be involved to stay healthy. Holistic, this term helps.
  10. Lighter pack weight.

    I used a alloy head ice axe, not good on hard ice to say the least(bounces off like a rubber ball). Alloy crampons will dull very fast on rock. Keep to summer ice with this gear, & keep fingers crossed. I use steel gear. I have a go light pack that I only used for bigger trips, save a lot of weight, I took a long foam pad and cut it up to fit the back of my pack I then took duck tape to make my own "Z" rest that fits my pack. I reduced the size of my home made Z rest to two sections. This gives you a short sit pad or bivy pad fitted to your pack to double as padding for your light weight backpack. The go-light pack is very light and can be floppy at times, but it works. I have the largest one made for mountaineering. It is hard to keep weight down, seems like you always need to be lighter. Go on a diet and use the stepper machine 5 days a week, this is my plan. Hardmen need less stuff
  11. I have been thinking about buying one, Pros they are light weight and made in the USA. Cons, I wonder how warmlite tents do in mountaineering conditions, and they are expensive.
  12. Snow Cave question

    Hello, I am not really a newbee, but never had to actually use a snowcave. Can one use a down sleeping bag without a cover sack? Will the bag get soaking wet and how long it will take? Thanks Dan
  13. Any one been on any Leavenworth ice recently?

    Hello, Didn't need the snowshoes as much this weekend. Ice is still to be found but you have to work to find it, at least I did find it. Some harder stuff I seen to hard for me to lead yet, harder to find top rop ice. I did find a couple of easy leads, took a short fall to near the ground. The top out was pure snow and puting the axes in bottom shaft down into it doesn't hold much, feet popped off and so did I. This flow was only about 8 feet tall. Found a interesting and easy ice gully on sunday, nice. It was cold around 5 to 10 degrees on sunday a little warmer Sat.
  14. Smugglers Notch, VT

    Good or bad the military mind and agressive thinking does not mix well with polite interaction with civilians. I am shocked the ice is not in at smuggler's.
  15. I never used these tents or warmlite tents. I would for the same price choose the stephenson's warmlite tent. They are the first to make this style (as far as I know) and also the warmlite tents are made in the USA, all for about the same price. I hate it when they use slave labor and make the extra profit on such goods. I don't know where "Light is Right" is made? A cheaper alternative is the Big agnes seedhouse SL. Not quite as light but a sturdy little tent and free standing. It is good for mild mountaineering conditions. I have experience with this tent and consider it a good value for the money. Dan
  16. Any one been on any Leavenworth ice recently?

    My wife and I went out this weekend. Got the camper loaded and drove out as quick as we could on Friday, still it took too long and got caught in the start of the storm over the pass, still made it to leavenworth at 4:30pm. It wasn't that bad except most people want to drive too fast, all is great untill you hit the brakes!! Sat late morning we drove out Icicle road. Deep snows, nothing much around snow lakes trailhead. Drove out to the end of the Icicle road seen some ice along the way nothing great and I wonder how to park to avoid the snow plow. Parked at the end of the road and using the Mark Shipman, Kyle Flick report on www.wenatcheeoutdoors.com. I walked about 5 min up the road there I found some climber's trails heading up hill to the right. According to the report ice is only 30 min up hill. But we didn't bring snow shoes, BIG mistake after a exhausting wallow for a long time we found some small flows and I did a couple of easy leads around 2 to 3 grade. When you top out there is no ice or frozen sod so be warned. So we managed to get in a decent day, up higher there is more ice, not too far away but without snowshoes I figured a 2 two hour slog if lucky!! We were in Leavenworth before Xmas and found ice on millennium wall, I bet ice is still there. Bring snowshoes, ice can be found but you have to work for it. Dan
  17. Snow Cave question

    So from the info you guys gave me I can use a regular down bag in a snow cave, that is if I am careful. This is good as I like to save weight. I wonder if you guys have tips on building snowcaves? I have read about various ways to build one. I suppose I should go out and practice one weekend. I have been eyeing those igloo building tools for some time I think they are neat, would bring one for a denali trip. I am not planing a denali trip anytime soon. Thanks Dan
  18. Snow Cave question

    Hello, I have a down bag, I have tried the synthetic bags and found I didn't like them near as much as down for packablity and warmth. I am thinking more of using a snow cave in a emergency situation. Something like a summit attempt while carrying a shovel, stove and sleeping bag. Maybe better off carrying knothing and committing to getting down no matter what, this is what I normally do. Thinking about raineer or denali the slightly taller peaks where chances of getting caught out are slightly greater. I hate the weight and wondered if I could get away with only a sleeping bag, hence the question. By the way I use a stephenson's warmlite sleeping bag which has a built in down filled air mattress, it helps keep the bag dry bottom up as well more comfortable, like bed at home, spoiled rotten I am. Dan
  19. Cheap Rack

    Well, You have had plenty of advice, my cheap rack was a set of hexs and nothing else, even led a 5.8 with them. Learned later after seeing them sliding down my rope(rope tension pulling them out) numerious times that I hated them. I gave them away. I suggest a good set of nuts then smaller tri cams, with this you can do alpine, then start building up a set of cams. I like BD's because you can buy the trigger kits for them and fix them yourself. Dan
  20. Sleeping bag on Denali

    I would consider how much you may sweat in your clothes and how much mosture you may put into your parka if you must use it on the move. The only thing that you have to dry out your clothes and keep you warm in the worst case is your sleeping bag/tent combo. I also froze my butt off with the darkstar, climbing in the north east, on mount washington etc. It is rated down to -40f degrees. I gave up on it and bought the best bag(expensive) I could find, to my knowledge. Stevenson's warmlite. It is a down bag, I had a light down belay jacket on a another trip on the washington range, got the down jacket soaking wet from body sweat. Also my clothes wet, this down bag being way over rated for the temp enabled me to dry my clothes out in about 30min but not my down belay jacket, it wouldn't dry out. Opinion, I would rather have the warmest bag possible and a good tent and not have bivy sack. The sack will hold mosture in the bag and slowly kill warmth, if your like me and sweat a lot this could kill you on a long trip. If you don't sweat then your case is different. If I used a bivy sack I wouldn't want to have to use it for too long as my sleeping bag would get wet. Note, if you need to dry out your clothes you need to move the mosture out of your skin and clothes, to the bag and then out of the bag into the air inside of the tent. Breathablity is really important, and if your dehydrated, AND frozen AND all your clothes are soaking wet. Then a extra amount of down in a breathable sleeping bag system is what you need to dry yourself out and after to get warm. Hope this helps. Dan
  21. Non-Plastic Mountaineering Boots

    I would suggest trying on the La sportiva nepal extreme boots, put them on, I have them and I had my wife try on boots this summer and she decided they are the best. We went on about 5 trips and she had no blisters. I have had them for some time now with very little problem, took a 10 day trip early last summer with no blisters that I can remember of. They hike well and you can scramble with them and do vertical ice, best all around boot I know and they are comfortable out of the box with NO break in time. The final word though is what fits your feet so try on as many types you can. This will save you a lot of greif. Dan
  22. Death at the Coulee

    This news is a shocker to me, I am a year older than Goran, this could be any climber on any weekend. I know we all have been above pro too far, no gear, no placements, nut fall out, etc. Still, I have a burning desire to know what went wrong if possible. I myself suspect the rope, I noticed that in the last few years that the fall forces of some newer ropes being sold are going back up from previous years, am I wrong? I also remember that Goran was a big guy, a little person may have survived, (I am a bigger guy myself close to 190 geared out) Big guys, and/or heavy packs need more pro. Take care Dan