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Everything posted by johndavidjr

  1. Gearheads: 90+ liter packs for 2-3 week excursions

    The fabric on mine is a little stiff with age, but thing will almost certainly outlast me. Perhaps some sort of pack basket would be of interest to original poster? Or Chounard (sp?) brief revival (70s) of the tump line? Carrying a s&%tload of weight.. I've just mostly avoided it. A pack, deluxe or otherwise, simply doesn't make stuff any lighter. On the other hand, cramming a lot of stuff into a very small space creates difficulty that is often pointless.
  2. getting rid of the softshell

    I love my ultralight cotton golfing jacket, a 1977 Olympia thrift-store purchase, & much like the famous British Anoraks of 1950s, though with a handy steel zipper, which adds versatility. Given its design, it doesn't interfere with my climbing harness and when fully iced-up, is 100% windproof. It goes with my Icelandic balaclava, knitted by certified Viking retards, and my Korean War-era poncho, still going strong until a few years ago & useful for hiding valued trash in back seat of junker car.
  3. Gearheads: 90+ liter packs for 2-3 week excursions

    For the record, my old Frostfire's listed max capacity is about 6100 ci or 82L, which is as large a pack as I can imagine. Therefore, I do NOT believe that larger packs actually exist, other than as mere theory. Is NOT a good pack, but pack quality is topic of over-rated importance. On the other hand, the few times I've topped 30-pound loads, I've nearly decided to it give up. This generally with frameless packs, possibly of wrong brand. Fact remains that I am a weakling of low moral character and intelligence. The real solution is probably Sherpas, helicopters or livestock or boats.
  4. Gearheads: 90+ liter packs for 2-3 week excursions

    I have a 1990ish FrostFire Big-Ass pack. It's pretty poor but works okay. A big dufflebag with straps & waistbelt would work pretty good too; especially for strong folks (I am weak). I forgot how big the thing is, but is close to biggest I could find. It was pretty cheap, too. At the time I wanted something to handle a synthetic deep-winter sleeping bag and mattresses, etc. Very light stuff. It was perfect size for overnights. Probably FrostFire stuff got better, but I'd never particularly recommend the brand, if they are even still available. I have a couple of 50L-ish packs that I've used much more often over the years. But you know something? lately I get damned tired of struggling to cram a lot of junk into these tiny packs just to look cool for my increasingly minor hikes (on which I often also end up with stuff for girlfriend and her dogs). Certainly for bushwacking and climbing it makes sense, but taking the giant old dinosaur pack is otherwise damned convenient. Having twice the space you need makes packing a lot less fussy and time-consuming.
  5. Advice for how to spend the week in February???

    A handful of truly advanced & expert back country skiers in NE specialize in descending very steep and narrow hiking trails that are lined by dense and unskiable brush and which are partly covered in water ice and rocks and frequently pass over minor cliffs. Apparently, the relevant technique is, to point ski downhill. It may or may NOT be possible to survive both NE and PNW back country skiing, if appropriate consideration and techniques are applied to whatever project is at hand. However, members of the Appalachian Mountain Club tell me that survival on Mount Washington, New Hampshire, is unlikely without at least a full down suit and Korean-style Boots... and even then, AMC hiker members often risk their lives rescuing many stupid experts. Also, they tell me, is dangerous to listen to Hindu-style music prior to visiting. Avoid this. Probably less of a problem on Mt Hood.
  6. Good beginner solo climbs?

    I thought I posted this already. Gene's suggestion is for Boston Basin side of Sahale. This is steep snow and/or ice (moderate adjective being subjective) and is what? 2.000 feet gain? Not a "big" glacier, but with significant number of slots which may or may not be visible. A poor suggestion for average person seeking solo climb and whose experience is limited to getting dragged up easiest route of Baker by guide and large group. "Normal" Sahale Arm route to Sahale is good for somebody who can lead and manage rope on very low 5th class..which can be tad freaky... especially if they have a partner, or at minimum can rig rope. Typically, such a person's experience would not be limited to a single guided climb on Easton Glacier or whatever. This guy needs some good answers and so far some of what is offered here is very dubious.
  7. Nylon Pack - Repairing a Hole

    Shoe repair shop workers on average, are highly skilled and work for reasonably low rates and will give any job their best shot. They (whoever they are) have satisfactorily repaired my OR gaiters at least twice. I would consult with a shoe repair business and then add glue-like material ON TOP of what ever work they perform. Clean surfaces diligently before adding whatever goop you purchase. Duct tape, it seems to me at least, has very limited life-span and is probably best avoided as basis for any long-term repair.
  8. [TR] Mt. Deception - Standard 7/2/2011

    yep.... like the guidebook says... class two....
  9. Boots for Bugs...

    I brought some rock shoes in which I don't/can't wear socks...weather turned very cool for this.
  10. Rainier Trail Food

    easy on the pepperoni and such stuff. Slight indigestion can be complicated by fatique.
  11. Early summer jacket recommendations?

    Consider four thrift-store sweaters of varying thickness (carefully sized), a large cotton (or similar) golfing jacket (for wind), plus (just in case) some sort of non-plastic poncho secured by string or perhaps a belt. You'll probably be fine.
  12. I have an REI Schoeller fabric jacket that is going on ten years old. The wrist-tightening thingies came de-glued almost immediately, the zipper sometimes comes off the rails, and fabric has a couple of burns from cigar ashes. I still like it okay, though am thinking of getting my money back. Otherwise, can't afford to replace it & if I wanted to, would probably look to MEC (and be disappointed). As for the tent you mentioned, my last REI tent was made of cotton (nylon floor). The more moderne Wenzel pup tent is of similar design, but with updated materials and sophistication.
  13. Kelty Redwing for weekend mountaineering?

    Weird they have a line of "vintage" packs, though includes nothing they were actually known for back in the day. "They" of course having nothing to do with current company I suppose. Was gonna say ALL Kelty branded stuff is no good at all, but I guess they're semi-okay for the mid-priced stuff. Wenzel tents are much better, of course. I've always assumed non-top-loading packs were designed partly for show-room appeal. On the other hand top loaders with zipper access are quite practical, until/unless zipper breaks.
  14. Good beginner solo climbs?

    Sez: "If you think that you are not physically prepared for baker, then sahale quien sabe glacier would be a good choice." I imagine he means with a guide; not as a first solo trip following Baker, as is dunno, got some cracks... Am not well-qualified to advise but, you could try Cascadia Couloir on Stuart..That'd be realistic....uhh...There are some remote hiking peaks in Pasayten I've never been near. Mount Stone in SW Olympics is probably realistic....Ellinor in that area probably is same and perhaps shorter....These are relatively close to SEA-Tac airport and quite worthy. There is (was) rather formidable crevasse on the normal route to Silver Star...is modestly steep....You MIGHT make it up to Cache Col and see what's there....Possible a similar crack & similar steepness..? but have never visited.... Interesting potential hike is from basin below Torment to Cascade Pass...cross-country via Boston Basin... No peaks but definitely some adventure....Views stunning. There are a vast number of other suggestions.....St. Helens? I haven't been there since 1978....What's all those "little" peaks next to Rainier????? One or two of those could be very very good..or not.....Never been there (except half-way up somewhere there to sleep in February in 70s) like many places....Like for example, is Mt Maude a possibility??? I've never been to the gunite range.... Whatzit called again? East of Baker? Could a real beginner solo there??? The term isn't necessarily informative.
  15. Durable Convenient Stove

    Is question "last a lifetime?" This question implies an early start and an equally stupid, blowhard digression: A "Primus" brand stove acquired in 1971 in steel box and not dissimilar to the Svea-type models of era, lasted me 12 years. Nozzle threads became stripped, and following its replacement, thing didn't quite work properly. A newer Svea seemed overly fussy with weird self-cleaning crap: a Bluet left me cooking for hours following midnight hike in Alpine autumn; I nearly ruined Whisperlight in Mexico with regular gasoline. An MSR canister stove acquired in Olympia a dozen years ago is my best bet these days (the Widger? the Bugger? the Schnooter?? something). Am sure this will outlast me, but is that lasting "a lifetime?" Is not so long a time. For ten years, I extensively used Trangia mini. Recently with my minimalist (minimal) camping, I've returned to this. Fuel is universally available and cheap & trips to idiot backpacking stores avoided, and due to design, it will never, EVER cease functioning. Archeologists from outer galaxy will discover it in working condition in fossilized junkyard, & make careers trying to figure out what it's for. All that said (so far), is only good for minor & at least slightly sheltered cooking in 20F+ temps.
  16. Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

    More like $6.50 Which is why Black Diamond is going to go heavy into the tee shirt market and why Mountain Hardwear already has a line of ladies' dresses...... The real money is in "softgoods" leveraged with brand equity...(think North Face here).
  17. Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

    Long way coming to Wal-Mart.... "Fast & Light" backpacking tents like Wenzel, have been there, improving over long period. Dirt Cheap LED headlamps from mass merchandize stores are now pretty good and near dirt cheap over A SHORT PERIOD. In a couple of years the big little brands like Black Diamond etc.....and crap brands will completely converge....YOU CAN BUY THIS CRAP AT YOUR LOCAL SUPERMARKET.
  18. Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

    LED headlights are becoming a cheap commodity product. Black Diamond's policy on repairing headlights is "F*ck You!!!" which illustrates my point, analogous to my notion that the Wenzel puptent is reasonable and desirable deal. You can't even PAY Black Diamond to fix their own G*d d*mned headlamps. Lesson here: DO buy your BD (& other) lamps from REI. If you want, REI at least, will cover it. If you buy from usual nickle-&-dime boutique, you will be out of luck. PrincetonTec seems to have had BEST designs by far over time..(dunno bout their service nor current models)..though BD always looked good..Petzl third on my list. They are at least fairly close in quality. PrincetonTec is only one that that didn't acutally for me f**k up, but I used this item the least of three brands. Actually over the years, I sort of liked an REI branded item that was fairly light, as well as something made in 1970s, for the US Forest Service with four BIG D Cell batteries. Man that was bright and nice... Weighed way more than a pound... and god know what it cost per hour..... or what the hell I tossed into landfills over the years. My next headlight will probably be purchased from horrible Home Depot at a giant discount from "name brands." If it doesn't work, I will intelligently toss it in the trash, without waste of my time. As to whether headlamp in question would work on a glacier, I'd read instructions on this, but my guess would be that yes, it will work on a glacier.
  19. MH EV2 Direct

    Regarding the "Rocket" I'd be very skeptical of a non-breathable single-wall tent with floor under certain conditions, in particular on snow in high humidity around freezing. (My Wenzel in those circumstances would be undesirable). The bit of snow you inevitably drag in, plus copious condensation, will accumulate as significant amount of liquid on the damnable floor, & you will miss not having a large sponge or bailing device, or pair of scissors. Come to think of slightly different circumstance, the only time I left a snow camp set up all day under a fairly hot sun, we returned to find waterproof floors covered with a quarter inch of water. My tentage was sufficiently minimal that this proved managable; less so for those near by whose massive amount of gear was piled in a large and well-branded dome. Further, it might be at least noted, the old-fashioned double-wall design for winter tents is MUCH warmer, though obviously heavier and more troublesome than "mid" or Goretex-type designs which are by consensus adequate.
  20. MH EV2 Direct

    Yeah it kept me dry: so would the inside of a Volkswagen but that doesn't mean I want to carry one around.... Mine was a one-person tent of unremarkable design used by several manufacturers, now or in the past (am not up on it). I think I acquired it second hand. Its niche in my closet is currently occupied by the Wenzel 22-ounce job (much more roomy!) My vague impression was that as of some years ago, tents by MH (unit of Columbia Sportswear Inc.) were most impressive in the winter mountain end of its line...Same philosophy applied to its 3-season tents was less successful. Similar story for VF Corp.'s North Face. Come to think of it, I also have a tarp/puptent floorless thing that MH briefly manufactured. It's got a plastic window and aluminum hoop in the rear, netting & no storm flaps on the front, and is pretty much twice as heavy as it needs to be. And btw, I got very damp using it in a long series of thunderstorms over a period of very tolerable days. Looking over their line currently, it seems rather less interesting than what they offered a number of years ago. Maybe is just me. I notice a nice ladies dress and several different skirts for mostly less than $100 each. I'm good with the winter end of things currently with a "Hex" pyramid & won't personally be needing anything heavier or stronger than this.
  21. MH EV2 Direct

    I had a Mountain Hardwear tent. It was too heavy and overbuilt for purpose for which it was designed. On the other hand it worked good and kept me dry in a long series of intensely bad weather fronts. I gave it away.
  22. new single wall mountaineering tent: Assault 2

    Speaking very obliquely to the true topic at hand..... I recently bought via Internet (not Wal-Mart) a new, cheap (not quite the cheapest) single-speed bike made in China to replace stolen, 30-yr-old custom-made frame from very fine, highly obscure and long-since defunct English shop. Stolen bike had 100% super-duper Vincenza-made components plus super-deluxe Brooks saddle.... a crappy version of which currently retails for a very significant fraction of price that I paid for the entire China bike ($280) Honestly there is little difference in actual performance between the old, exquisitely handmade English bike, and the new piece of absolute crap from China, though this latest bike helpfully (???) does away with the very slim (lovely Italian) gear selection available on the old road bike. It does, I might add, have a freewheel..& added clipless pedals..and also, there are no hills to speak of, here in lower Michigan....... Regarding Wal-Mart, one of the older female heiresses to its founder, recently acquired at great cost, from the NY Public Library, a unique and stunning "Hudson River School" painting of Millbrook, a remarkable cliff in the Shawangunks. This will be displayed in Bentonville, Ark., at a soon-to-open "major" art museum, sorta like I hear they got in Seattle, and I recommend a visit.... While ya'll are there, pick up a $24 Wenzel puptent. A great value and only 22 ounces without poles or stakes....
  23. Yes am sure that 5.12 is considered "moderate," which has quite a variety possible implications.....
  24. Gu

    Seals provided welcome nutrition for a number of the British expeditions prior to their Everest series.
  25. new single wall mountaineering tent: Assault 2

    Suss ist vune's Sowul bei der Vahlmartz desshthrouy-ed!!!! Diz but aber veer als der reihne Bergsteigern alle HATEzn!!!!... OOunt ahlzo vhy ist der Builder's Plas\SCHticK fghrom der Oyel des Zaudi Arapia, whatz de wazz der Kilz unz Ahl, Unt day uhtz ahl de time fur de NYLON stuff, is der werry werry Beste furh der high altitude Deathz Kampz der ve ahl vanten zeehen konnen jah unsoweider...