April 13, 2011 Black Diamond Quadrant Gear

Black Diamond Quadrant

Some relationships define themselves immediately. Others refuse easy explanation. That’s about where I find myself with Black Diamond’s stubbornly-ambiguous Quadrant A/T ski boot. In terms of niche the Quadrant competes directly with Garmont’s excellent Radium, seeking to offer high performance at a tour-competitive weight. It’s easy to quantify the Quadrant’s weight—seven pounds, four ounces per (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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July 11, 2008 Teeth of Steel: Sabretooth Crampon Gear

Teeth of Steel: Sabretooth Crampon

Black Diamond calls the Sabretooth their most versatile crampon, suitable for travel from Denali to Ouray and everywhere in between. The Sabretooth is an aggressive 12-point steel crampon capable of getting you across a glacier and up a mixed route. While the Sabretooth is a climbing crampon first and foremost, it is also a competent (more...)...

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July 10, 2008 Axes I Have Known: BD Venom Gear

Axes I Have Known: BD Venom

Every now and then a piece of gear comes along that changes the paradigm. Such is the case with Black Diamond’s Venom ice axe. The Venom directly addresses the dilemma of having to choose between a general mountaineering axe and a technical ice tool. An all-around mountaineering axe will be used for many tasks, including (more...)...

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April 22, 2008 Update: Quantum Love Affair Continues Gear

Update: Quantum Love Affair Continues

Just made a few quick edits to my Black Diamond Quantum review. I’ve now had the pleasure of using both 45 and 55-liter versions of the Quantum. I like the extra volume of the 55, because it makes it easier to sneak your ski boots into the pack for those oh-so-brutal dry Eastern Sierra approaches. (more...)...

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About SierraDescents

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.

Pray for snow.