August 28, 2011 The Vaporlock Gear

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 (more...)...

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August 25, 2011 Telescope Peak Trail Hiking

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…) (more...)...

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August 24, 2011 Canon XA10 Gear

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 (more...)...

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August 24, 2011 Black Diamond Nitron Gear

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 (more...)...

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August 14, 2011 Telescope Panorama Video

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 (more...)...

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August 10, 2011 Laying Down the Laws (Museum) California

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 (more...)...

Posted in California | 2 Comments

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When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

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