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About BGardner

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  • Birthday 03/04/1979
  1. Cell Phone GPS navigation on volcano?

    I've been playing with the GPS apps for the Iphone for a few years. I carried a traditional GPS for awhile also as a "backup" but it was just dead weight in the pack. Fully stopped carrying my stand alone gps awhile ago. My observation is that most of my peers in the guiding community have switched to using the phone too. At least the ones I work around here in the PNW. I've found that the phone is just as reliable an electronic as the stand alone GPS and possibly more so since I use it all the time and can actually catch a glitch before I'm out there, vs the old gps that I only turned on every now and then. My current favorite is the Gaia GPS app. Way better then any stand alone gps I ever used. I really like that I can download multiple different maps for the same are. Lots of other good ones out there too. Get a waterproof case such as Lifeproof, and a backup battery that you keep charged. The battery issues could be the biggest downside to the phone, but regardless of what device you use you need to bring extra batteries so maybe its a wash. Having a pair of gloves with the special touch pads on the finger tips is nice too. Keeps you from having to take your gloves off all the time.
  2. New to Backcountry Skiing

    For the all-round backcountry ski I'm a big fan of the 105ish waist. Fat enough for some fun in powder but any fatter and the ski starts to really stick out from the sides of your boot making it a lot harder to lock in those edges on hardpack/ice. Modern designs are light enough that you won't be totally pissed off if you have to carry them on your pack for 5 miles to get to your summer skiing. Eamples: K2 coomback (102mm) Does everything fine and nothing great. The classic all-rounder. Very easy to ski and especially nice for the less advanced/aggressive skier. Advanced skiers can ski this ski all day and still have fresh legs for tomorrow. G3 Zenoxide; Stiffer and straighter then the Coomback. Does surprisingly well on hardpack, ice even moguls. Needs a little bit of speed to get on top of the powder. Awesome in open terrain, a bit exciting when its deep in the trees. (I have about 150 days on my set) BD Convert: Gives up a little of the Zenoxide's hardpack ability in trade for more surf in powder. Lots of other options out there too. 105ish is a great starting point if your really want the all-rounder. That said you may want to start with or eventually add a 110-120mm for serious powder adventures, especially in the PNW. For summer a 85-95mm will lighten your load and give you even more edge control, might even go skinnier if your adventures involve more pack time then actual skiing. Boots: The Maestrale RS is a great boot. Stiff enough to drive any ski. If you end up going with a softer ski like the Coomback I'd recommend going with the regular Maestrale. You just don't need the full beef of the RS so you might as well have the better touring boot of the orange Maestrale.
  3. Whats the best soft shell pant for BC skiing?

    OR Trailbreakers are great. They have a bunch of big pockets and some great vents so they may be heavier and more complicated then some want. I actually use mine more for climbing then skiing but they work for both. I also had a pair of Patagonia backcountry guides that held up for 4 seasons of skiing and guiding. Again on the heavy and featured side. Definitely baggier then the Trailbreakers. To baggy for me to use them as climbing pants. I was also on the search for softshell bibs and picked up a pair of BD Dawn Patrol hybrid bibs. http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/pants-bibs/dawn-patrol-hybrid-bib-APGDB2_cfg.html?dwvar_APGDB2__cfg_color=Azurite#start=1 I've put about 25 days on them so far and am very happy. When I first tried them on they felt very snug, euro tight, but they quickly stretched out a bit on the first day and now they fit great. Not tight and not baggy. Only durability issue so far is that the little diamond logo on the pocket is pealing off. Since I'm not sponsored I figure that is more BD's problem then mine. I think any pair of pants is going to need a little bit of added armor to deal with the TLT buckle.
  4. WTB AT Boots mondo 28

    I've got a pair of Garmont Megarides I'd be happy to sell. Mondo 28. Used two seasons so they have some scratches but everything works fine. Liner was only molded once so should be easy to mold again if needed. I'm in Seattle, Fremont area. Price? Make me a descent offer.
  5. West Buttress - Boot & Sock Combo Question

    I've done 4 trips on the West Buttress in the last 2 years. The Olympus Mons might be the most popular boot on the mountain. As long as you get the fit right for your feet they are a great boot for that route. You could even call them overkill if you have generally warm feet. Personally, I've used the La Sportiva Bruntse and found them more then warm enough. I've summited with overboots and without, just depends on the exact weather of the day and how fast your moving. If you have the money get a modern double boot. Yes, we all used to climb these mountains in plastic boots (and were even happy about it at the time) but there is a reason they are disappearing from the market place. The comfort of these newer boots is outstanding and no more shin bang! Your feet take a beating on Denali so getting the best boots for you is money well spent. You can use vapor barrier socks to add some warmth but personally I hate the things. I just use a thin liner and a thicker wool sock. Bring two sets for the lower mountain so that you can rotate socks ever day and they will dry just fine in your sleeping bag. No need to put them on your belly. I just throw the things in the bottom of my sleeping bag and after two nights they are always fully dried out. I also bring a third set that I keep in a zip-lock and save for summit day so that I have a fresh set that isn't covered in dry sweat. Not a bad idea to bring a thin set of dedicated sleeping socks too. 4 pairs of socks might sound like a lot to some people but the West Buttress is not fast and light alpinism. It's expedition mountaineering. Take care of your feet, bring the Gold-Bond. Get yourself to 14,000' camp happy and healthy. You can then cut weight and get your suffering in for the move to high camp and summit day.
  6. Denali tents, 3p or 4p? (for 3 people)

    4 person. You'll spend a lot of time in your tent. Three people plus all the gear is a lot of crap. It won't cost you more then a 1/2 pound per person to bring the bigger tent and will be well worth it. I'd say the standard tent is the Mountain Hardwear Trango. Heavy but decent size and a very proven design. If you can afford it I'd highly recommend Hilleberg tents. I used the http://www.hilleberg.com/home/products/keron/keron4gt.php on two West Buttress trips last year. Really nice tent, a real 4 person with a huge vestibule, and really not that heavy. Extremely storm worthy too.
  7. FS- Ice axes and screws

    Omega Pacific Screws are 22cm and 17cm. Grivel 360 screws are 17cm and 12cm.
  8. FS- Ice axes and screws

    Cleaning out the closet. All gear is used, but not abused. All the gear has plenty of usable life left, I just find myself using other stuff. I'm located in Durango, CO. I take Paypal (or cash) and will ship if buyer pays actual shipping costs. I prefer to use USPS priority mail with insurance. Feel free to email me for any questions. I can send other photos if you wish. Best way to contact me is: ben dot gardner at gmail dot com Grivel Alp Wings Sold Grivel Tech Wings $190 Omega Pacific Ice Screws SOLD Grivel 360 Ice Screws SOLD