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smiley j

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About smiley j

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  1. Boots

    Update: after trying on boots at a few different shops, I settled on the Mammut Magic High GTX. Took them on a six mile break-in and they were fantastic. Hopefully they'll be solid for my purposes. Now for some crampons......
  2. Boots

    The Charmoz was only big as far as the actual length (Bellingham REI didn't have my exact size) and not width or any nuanced aspect of the boot. I'm gonna check out Ascent Outdoors (when did they change their name? I only moved from Seattle a couple years ago!) and Backcountry Essentials in Bham and see what I can come up with. I've had a few people tell me to just throw down on something like a LS Nepal Evo or Arc'teryx Acrux AR but as a beginning climber I'm not sure I'd need a boot like that for a few seasons....... Especially with the skiing addiction occupying my winters.
  3. Boots

    Hi all. After over a decade of lurking and life (and excuses) getting in the way I'm taking a club course in the Spring. I have a lot of the required gear already from backpacking and scrambling, but the boot thing is starting to give me paralysis by analysis! For reasons of personal bias I'm leaning towards a leather boot like the LS Makalu, but I've also tried on a pair of Scarpa Charmoz that was unfortunately too big, but it seemed like a good boot in spite of being mostly synthetic. Just not sure what I should be looking for as far as a 3-season North Cascades boot. Any tips, wisdom, etc.. would be greatly appreciated 'cause my brain is fried from online boot research.
  4. Cell Phone GPS navigation on volcano?

    I've been really happy with BackCountry Navigator GPS PRO. I use it on my Galaxy S4 and it's been really useful. Obviously it's not going to pinpoint your location to within a few feet, and the map you choose to use has it's own limitations, but overall I see no need to buy a standalone GPS with the advances in smartphone technology. Especially with a rugged case.
  5. Self-Taught Mountaineers

    Just curious as to how many of you out there are self-taught mountaineers? By self-taught I mean you never took a course with one of the local climbing clubs, or with a guide service. I'm an experienced hiker, have a very good fitness level, and have good off-trail/scrambling skills. I'd like to take things to the next level, but my profession doesn't offer me the flexibility of schedule to take a course with one of the local climbing clubs, and though I could piece my gear together, I don't have the funds to just plunk down a grand+ on a guide service course. So if you went it on your own, how did you do it? Yes, I have a copy of "Freedom of the Hills". I'm hesitant to start begging on the "Partners Needed" forum, but I've entertained the thought...... And yes, I joined a long time ago for this to be my first post! Long Time Lurker here!