February 4, 2011 Dynastar Course Ti Gear

Dynastar Course Ti

Immediately following a much-too-few blazing runs on Dynastar’s Speed Course Ti ski, the entirety of my written notes consisted of two words: “I’m Sold.” The Course Ti, part of Dynastar’s Speed series, is a formidable reminder that while Rocker may be the next big thing for powder skis, camber reigns supreme when it comes to (more...)...

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February 3, 2011 Atomic Crimson Ti Gear

Atomic Crimson Ti

With its blazing red graphics and its innovative ‘adaptive’ camber, Atomic’s Crimson Ti ski was poised to become the go-to All-Mountain plank in my ski quiver…and then I tried it. The Crimson Ti has made favorable impressions across the review circuit, scoring points for its fusion of huge edge grip with the sort of lift/flotation (more...)...

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January 23, 2011 The Rocket Tent! Gear

The Rocket Tent!

Let’s call Brooks Range’s Rocket Tent proof of concept—and the concept is a clever one: reduce weight to the absolute minimum by hybridizing ski gear. Instead of forcing you to carry the usual complement of dedicated tent poles for structural integrity, the Rocket Tent allows you to use your ski poles and avalanche probe instead (more...)...

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January 17, 2011 Gear

Don’t Take Mom to Surefoot

Time to update my post about taking my Mom to Surefoot. As you may recall, My mom has severe foot issues which have led her to almost completely give up skiing. Last year I think she may have skied two days the entire season. Or maybe she just stayed in the lodge and had hot (more...)...

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December 3, 2010 2010 XMAS Recommendations Gear

2010 XMAS Recommendations

It’s that time again: the holiday season is upon us. Time to start wandering overcrowded malls in the hope of finding that special something for that special someone—and maybe pick up a thing or two for ourselves. As 2010 draws to a close, and holiday decorations begin to appear, I find my thoughts dwelling on (more...)...

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December 1, 2010 Black Diamond Couloir Harness Gear

Black Diamond Couloir Harness

Black Diamond’s Couloir is not the harness I’d want to be wearing if I was going to be hanging around all day, but short of that need, you’ll have a hard time finding a better choice for ski mountaineering. That shouldn’t be too surprising: ski mountaineering is exactly what Black Diamond had in mind when (more...)...

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November 13, 2010 Gear

Take Mom to Surefoot

I haven’t written much on the subject, but the truth is I rue the day the thermofit liner was invented. For one thing, the thermofit liner and subsequent thermofitting process transfers the responsibility of boot fit from manufacturers to retail shops, which is certainly good business for the shops, but which in practice means there (more...)...

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September 28, 2010 Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter Gear

Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter

Here’s my review of Platypus’ Cleanstream Gravity Filter: as soon as I see the word “backflush” appear in the instruction manual, I’m out. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely fair. But memories of MSR’s Hyperflow Microfilter, with its mandatory but inscrutable backflushing requirement, still haunt me. Yes, the Platypus Cleanstream does require (or at least strongly (more...)...

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September 23, 2010 Deuter ACT Trail 24 Gear

Deuter ACT Trail 24

Think of Deuter’s ACT 24 Trail as a well-executed example of traditional backpack design. You don’t get anything anything particularly cutting-edge here, but what you do get is functional and well-built. The 24-liter ACT Trail sits right in the middle of the day pack spectrum, both in terms of volume and also weight. The ACT (more...)...

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September 9, 2010 Nemo Losi Gear

Nemo Losi

Nemo’s Losi 2P makes a big impression right out of the box: with a packaged weight of five pounds, fifteen ounces, this isn’t the tent I would normally carry for solo use. The Losi fits into the category of “larger” 2-man tents. If you’re traveling with a partner and you don’t want to rub shoulders (more...)...

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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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