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keep_it_real

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About keep_it_real

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    stranger
  • Birthday 06/17/1990

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  • Homepage
    freerangeequipment.com
  • Occupation
    commercial fisherman, backpack manufacturer
  1. Hey I posted something similar over on Mountain Project and got a ton of good advice so I'd thought I'd see what y'all have to offer. First, the story: My name is Tosch Roy, I'm a 25 year old college dropout (hear me out here), born and raised in Bend, OR. After two years grinding through a mechanical engineering degree in Bozeman, MT at MSU, I called it quits to start working on what is now Free Range Equipment. We design and manufacture sport-specific backpacks for light and fast adventure in the mountains. Made in-house in Bend. The first pack I made was for a skimo race in Bozeman called Skin to Win at Bridger Bowl. I didn't feel like spending the money to buy a race specific pack so I made a trip to Joann's and stitched together an admittedly sketchy looking but I was stoked on it. I should have just thrown down the $100 for a race pack seeing as my entire life savings now looks like a room full of sewing machines. Though the first pack was built for a skimo race, the mission behind the business really came from the summer of 2010 and 2011, particularly this trip I posted on Cascade Climbers here: Five Peak Traverse. I wanted something simple and straightforward but purpose built for the sport, as well as the way I participated in the sport. I was using an adequately simple and light pack but it lacked the specific features for a light and fast (and long) ski day out in the mountains. So I'm posting this partly for your awareness (there are packs being made in your backyard!). And partly to ask for your help. First, I've received a ton of community support, especially in Bend, and would be nowhere without that help, but it's still going to take another leap to make this a sustainable business. Check out the line here: Free Range Equipment. And let me know what you think. The line is short and sweet but it's taken a heck of a lot of work. I'd also like to know what else you'd want to see in a US manufactured line of backpacks geared towards light and fast adventure. Cheers! Tosch.
  2. Anyone been on Broken Top lately?

    I was up there two weeks ago looking down 11 o'clock couloir from the top of it. I'd guess there is still plenty of snow all the way up. It was a bit runneled on one side and would make a, well, interesting ski but I think it would be perfect for climbing right now.
  3. Here's the deal. Paypal only. I'll take returns as long as they are only tried on for size and come back in the same condition. Buyer pays for all shipping costs. Prices don't include shipping costs so tack on shipping from Bend, OR. Alright, go wild. Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero Parka. Women's Medium. New. $130 Black Diamond Guide Glove. Size Medium. Used 15 times. No wear, good condition. $50
  4. [TR] Central Oregon - Five Peak Traverse 7/1/2011

    The non G-rated part would have involved too many naughty words to convey my feelings at that point. Skiing around in unbuckled boots, without your heels locked down over huge sun cups tends to dirty the mouth. I had also forgotten that there was more than one ridge to gain on the traverse around broken top, a big hurdle from within the murky depths of a bonk.
  5. Trip: Central Oregon - Five Peak Traverse Date: 7/1/2011 Trip Report: I got the bug in my head when Kevin Grove asked how I felt about doing the Five Peak Traverse (Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Bachelor). We left that night at 10 pm from the Bachelor parking lot in hopes of making it to North before the snow got too soft and we made four summits before reaching the Terrible Traverse when, well, the snow got too soft. After a week of recovery, I gave it another shot going in the opposite direction. I left Pole Creek at 3:25 in the morning and bush-bashed it from the PCT connector trail to Thayer Glacier. The bergschrund on Thayer was starting to widen but it was closed up enough on the sides to squeak by. The Terrible Traverse, especially on the north side of the rib that splits it in half was covered in solid neve and the the majority of the bowling alley was filled with good ice. I had a whippet and an ice axe but a second ice tool sure would have saved my wrist. You really gotta pound that whippet in when it's at all icy. Things remained fairly straightforward until the North Ridge of South Sister which was something I had not done before and didn't entirely know what to expect. Up through the steepest bit, the snow was softer than I would have liked but someone's boot tracks remained from a previous day making for some solid front pointing. A beautiful ski off South Sister on ripened corn brought me to the boot up the west facing snow slopes of Broken Top. This was the most mentally demanding part of the whole ordeal with the sun raging overhead against my dark shirt. My forehead met up with the snow a few times and I wondered why the summit looked just as far away. My dromedary was reportedly empty. On the summit of Broken Top, I sat down a while and stared across the void at Bachelor. I wasn't sure if I had enough GU to make it that far. Anyway, the distance didn't seem to be getting any closer so I downclimbed the traverse which was nearly free of snow and skied off to the south staying as high as possible. **In order to keep this trip report's G rating, I shall fast forward to the summit of Bachelor** The sun was setting just as I topped out on Bachelor. Fitting I suppose, after reaching the real climbing on North just as the sun started its daily the light show. I skied with relief off of Bachelor into the imposing darkness to reach the parking lot at 9:18 for a total time of 17 hours and 52 minutes. Sheesh. Gear Notes:
  6. Broken Top .... Sparks lake

    If you're taking the NE ridge you don't need crampons and an ice axe. The ridge is clear of snow as well as the traverse underneath the summit.
  7. Broken Top info?

    I did 11 o'clock couloir on friday. It was definitely full of snow so no issues there and it was perfect neve all the way up. The closest you could get in a truck would be the Todd Lake turn off on Century. The road into Todd Lake isn't plowed yet.
  8. Mount Jeffy

    I was on Jefferson maybe 3 weeks ago so the info is a little old. The summit pinnacle was still hiding under rime. I found a good route up behind some rime mushrooms most of the way across the traverse coming from the south. I got about 20 feet from the top before getting stopped by a small (8ft?) step of rime. It looked like it would be possible to get around the step by traversing out onto the east face but the snow was to thin to do it safely. One option would be to just dig yourself a ramp up the step. Again that was 3 weeks ago but seeing the still rime covered summits of the rest of the cascades, I doubt the conditions have changed that much on Jefferson. Good luck!
  9. North sister conditions/trailhead access

    Originally I was planning on climbing to the saddle between Prouty and Glisan and would ski from there without summitting. I'd heard that last slope up prouty from the saddle was filled in with some sketchy sugar. Unfortunately, the sun looked like it would be hiding out behind some clouds for a while making the ski rather icy so I changed plans and decided to try for the summit through the bowling alley. By the time I got off the traverse though the sun had come out so I skied down thayer just south of prouty, not from that upper saddle. KirkW: The traverse was covered in a soft crust with sugar underneath. You could get a good self belay for most of it but it took some searching for a placement. And the skis rock! The fish scales are no substitute for skins but on the flats and slight uphills, they're awesome.
  10. North sister conditions/trailhead access

    Turn your head sideways for this one. The bowling alley is still layered in rime. I took the ramp on the right side and it lead up and underneath a good size rime mushroom From below Skiing back down Thayer from the south ridge just below prouty. It was all beautiful corn until I hit some deep runnels in the choke.
  11. Insulating Ice Ax Head to Keep Hands Warmer

    Road Bike Handlebar Tape... Grippy, Sticky, Warm.
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