August 29, 2013

Look Pivot

Look Pivot

Where Alpine equipment is concerned, I generally believe nearly all modern bindings are safe and effective. That said, there is still variation in performance and durability. Look’s Pivot has a reputation for excellence even in the relatively homogeneous realm of Alpine bindings, thanks to its outstanding durability and its remarkable 40mm lateral travel (toe) and 28mm elastic travel (more…)

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August 19, 2013

A Very Cool August

A Very Cool August

I do like to check in on the weather now and then for the archives, and 2103 has been an unusually cool August for us here in the Los Angeles basin. I can’t find any hard sources to link to, but I did overhear a weathercaster saying we had the coolest first half of August on record. For us, it’s been obviously cool, as this is the time of year when my apartment typically turns into an oven at 5p.m. (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments

August 16, 2013

House of Pain

House of Pain

Olancha Peak has long commanded my attention. First of the Southern Sierra’s big mountains, Olancha can be thought of as the range’s regional ambassador. Drive Highway 395 north just past Little Lake, and there it is: a looming outline that fills the horizon. Scrappy high desert ranges are instantly forgotten in that first glance; here it seems as if the whole of the Sierra has suddenly sprung into view (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 0 Comments

August 13, 2013

La Sportiva Xplorer Mid

La Sportiva Xplorer Mid

La Sportiva’s lightweight Xplorer Mid is not at all the shoe I was expecting. In terms of weight, stiffness, and structure, the Xplorer is almost an anti-boot. The Xplorer Mid is minimalist to the point of being primitive. In fact, the shoe reminds me most of my Pearl Izumi Peak XC trail runners—they both have the same natural, almost ‘barefoot’ feel. That’s going to be highly appealing to some hikers, and, admittedly, (more…)

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August 3, 2013

What The Heck Happened to Windsurfing?

What The Heck Happened to Windsurfing?

At one time I was a windsurfer first and a skier, believe it or not, a very distant second. My dad and I caught the leading edge of the windsurfing phenomenon way back in the 80′s when Ken Winner first started doing flared jibes on his longboard, and soon we too were fanatics, learning how to tack, waterstart, and jibe, soon ditching daggerboards for shortboards, chasing wind and speed and waves and always that elusive (more…)

Posted in video | 6 Comments

August 1, 2013

Between Me and Gu

Between Me and Gu

Sports drinks have been making various claims of superiority to plain water for a long time, and I’ve been generally skeptical of the whole lot of them. Still, if you’re chasing someone who’s got a pocketfull of Gu gels (and you don’t have any), you do tend to wonder how much of a benefit there is to the various energy-boosting and/or electrolyte-replacing products available today (more…)

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