August 28, 2011

The Vaporlock

The Vaporlock

While I’m thinking about carabiners, let’s take a quick look at Black Diamond’s Vaporlock, which Black Diamond says is the world’s lightest full-function “pear” locker. That means the Vaporlock is an HMS-stamped carabiner, with a larger, offset shape specially designed for belay use, and of course a screwgate to lock the gate shut while in use (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

August 25, 2011

Telescope Peak Trail

Telescope Peak Trail

Telescope Peak, California — monsoon moisture pops thunderheads to the south, while drier air pushes down from the north. Forecast: indeterminate. It’s seven miles from the trailhead at Mahogany Flat to Telescope Peak’s summit, and the majority traverse a broad, airy ridge offering not a hint of storm protection (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 8 Comments

August 24, 2011

Canon XA10

Canon XA10

I am revising my opinion of Canon’s XA10 professional HD camcorder—upward. Interestingly enough, I’ve revisited test footage of the XA10 as part of a comparison with a newer camcorder, and…I have to say I like the XA10′s footage a lot better. Why the change of heart? In part, it’s because I initially mis-processed XA10 footage in my editing software. That’s an easy mistake to make: the XA10 shoots progressive footage (more…)

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August 24, 2011

Black Diamond Nitron

Black Diamond Nitron

How does Black Diamond’s new Nitron screwgate compare to their Vaporlock carabiner? While they appear similar, there is at least one notable difference. But first, the similarities: on my scale the Nitron weighs 1.8 ounces. The Vaporlock weighs 1.8 ounces also. According to Black Diamond’s spec, the Nitron is actually two grams lighter than the Vaporlock (more…)

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August 14, 2011

Telescope Panorama

Telescope Panorama

Like its prominent neighbor to the south, San Jacinto Peak, Death Valley National Park’s Telescope Peak is a desert summit offering nothing less than a mindblowing vertical rise. Yes, of the two SJP offers the steeper facade, but in terms of total vertical, 11,043′ Telescope Peak reigns supreme, rising an astonishing 11,331′ feet above nearby Badwater, Death Valley, elevation -282 (more…)

Posted in video | 2 Comments

August 10, 2011

Laying Down the Laws (Museum)

Laying Down the Laws (Museum)

Every time I drive through Bishop I’m always curious about the Laws Railroad Museum, which is nearby on Highway 6. Traveling with my family this past week, I finally got a chance to stop by and check it out.

The place is interesting. I’d say it’s not so much a ‘train’ museum (like CSR in Sacramento) as an Old West museum (more…)

Posted in Highway 395 | 2 Comments





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