May 26, 2012

Black Diamond Mission

Black Diamond Mission

The big news with the climbing-oriented Mission 50 pack is that it employs Black Diamond’s patent-pending ‘reACTIV’ suspension system. ReACTIV suspensions, and the more aggressive ‘ErgoACTIV’, are designed to allow the pack to move naturally while you’re walking by adding a mechanical pivot to the frame-hip belt interface. In other words, the load is allowed to swivel (more…)

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May 25, 2012

Salomon Speedcross 3

Salomon Speedcross 3

Salomon inarguably makes some of the most popular trail running shoes on the planet, but for my taste their lasts have tended to offer too much rigidity and/or support. Happily, the Speedcross 3 offers a fresh take. Unlike the high-pronation control of Salomon’s XT Wings, the Speedcross is noticeably softer—some might say cushier. Frankly you don’t expect a racing shoe to be this comfortable (more…)

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May 23, 2012

False White

False White

Chances of Memorial Day snow notwithstanding, this is probably going to be the last hurrah this year for my Sierra backcountry season—a ski descent of False White Mountain via the southeast face. With Tioga Pass open, False White is certainly within the day trip realm, though it did take a little longer than expected to get back there. Coverage on the face is getting a little thin, but if you don’t mind a few sun cups (more…)

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May 7, 2012

Leavitt Peak Groove

Leavitt Peak Groove

I had so much fun a week ago Skiing Conness’ Y-Couloir I decided Y not do another? And so Trevor Benedict and I headed all the way north to Sonora Pass to ski Leavitt Peak’s Y-Couloir. I have to say, the Sonora Pass area completely exceeded my expectations. The skiable terrain in the area is diverse, abundant, and outstanding—and ridiculously easy to access now that Highway 108 is open (more…)

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May 3, 2012

Smith Parallel

Smith Parallel

Smith’s Parallel replaces the discontinued Factor as their go-to performance multisport sunglasses. Smith says the Parallel’s styling is a little more contemporary, which is true. But more importantly, the Parallel is a better-performing sunglass, nicely addressing the Factor’s so-so wind protection without resorting to excessive lens coverage (more…)

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