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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Magazine fashion shoots, gear whores and reality?

The idea of the "Real Weight" post back on 5/2/10 was to get you to think about your own gear and the options available. The dumbest thing anyone can do is copy what you see in the magazines or what the "pros" are using in the ads. Trust me, I've done it myself. (again and again) Generally it is gear given to them. It may or may NOT be the best available. Or the best for what they are using it for. Free gear means more money for the next airline tickets. These days most any of the gear available will work. Think about that before you buy the next, best, "anything".

It is obvious from the blog I go through a lot of gear. Very few things I write about are given to me. Only one item in the entire blog to date has been free. I had asked to buy that piece of gear on a pro deal first. I only write about things I really like. So if you think the reviews about the "good gear" I like are harsh, imagine what I would write about things I think are shite?

The blog is here to make you aware of things you might not have seen. I'll tell you what does or doesn't work for me and why generally. But for heaven's sake (and your own) don't take my words as gospel. They are just one guy's opinion and observations.

Why am I telling you this?

I look at pictures in the magazines and on the Internet just like everyone else.
I also have a very cool network of friends and close associates, all exceptional climbers, that I can ask about specific gear. And just as importantly I ask questions on the same blogs you likely do.

I get suckered into buying gear that may well be state of the art but doesn't actually work very well or has an obvious design flaw . Two very recent examples have sorta stumped me on how the design flaws made it into production. I've mentioned that in the reviews but may be not harshly enough. I'll leave it up to you to figure out what the gear was and what was fubar imo. Pays to be aware, educate yourself, and always buy with the doctrine of caveat emptor in mind.


pcooke said...

There's more than 2 Dane!

1. Spantik lacing system
2. Spantik inner boot
3. Scarpa 6000 inner boot
4. New Nomic hammer position
5. New Nomic cord hole too small
6. Baruntse sole - should be lower profile/warmer
7. Grivel crampons front bail

Dane said...

Hey Patrick...that is hilarious. Guess my memory is failing! At least there is a fix for most of those! Good catch either way. I was thinking about two you have yet to Nomic pommel movement and the new Scarpa Ultra and 6000 front sole profile.

pcooke said...

I was thinking of the Sole Profile on the 6000 as well and almost put it up, but I figured that was maybe more to do with the crampon design? Have you found that any of the crampon frontbails currently in production fit it? or is it actually a bad design in terms of what's available?

I noticed you also ditched your Spantiks, are you going to rock the Baruntse hybrid and the 6000s then?

Dane said...

A foot injury last summer has forced me to go up a 1/2 size in all my boots this winter.

So while I hate to admit it, asking me what dbl boot I am currently using is like asking a teenage girl what clothes she plans on wearing to school today :)

I've spent the last 3 days laced into a pair of stock Spantiks...not because I like them mind you. But they do fit my feet for length and choosen crampons perfectly. I haven't had the time to mold a new pair of Baruntse liners for them yet. I'll try to mold a Spantik liner again as well.

I've asked Scarpa, Petzl NA, Petzl France, Ueli Steck and Caroline George about what everyone else is doing with the super thin toe sole profile on the Ultra and 6000.

Pictures don't tell the entire story as neither Steck (full custom prototypes) or George (Guide) climb in the Ultra so no answers there.

6000 fits my converted BD 'pons with Petzl bails. But BD to their credit is on the bail issue and will have a new bail in prototype form at least, later this winter.

Petzl was unaware of the problem for the most part from what I could tell. But they are looking into it. The Phantom Guide, which seems to be the boot most sold doesn't have a huge issue...and I suspect it might be size specific. The bigger the boot the worse the fit of any crampon and the Ultra.

The one pair of crampons that I have that do fit the Ultra very well is the G12 with a Petzl bail. But it is one of the heaviest crampons I own! Kinda negates the whole idea of the Ultra.