July 11, 2012 North Face Verto S4K Gear

North Face Verto S4K

The North Face was tired of seeing their elite athletes in other makers’ boots, so they decided to make a boot of their own. The result of that effort is the Verto S4K GTX. The Verto is a technical/mountaineering boot very much in the class of La Sportiva’s popular Trango S Evo. In-hand the Verto (more...)...

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November 30, 2011 The Malache Jacket Gear

The Malache Jacket

I’m a big fan of non-fleecy fleece. Yes, we all know the performance advantages of fleece, and we’ve all got at least one fleece jacket lurking somewhere in our closets—but does anyone actually like the stuff? Given the choice of fleece versus a cotton sweatshirt, I’ll take cotton every time, except those times which require (more...)...

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September 22, 2011 North Face Verto Gear

North Face Verto

You’ve got to hold one of these to believe it. The North Face’s ultralight Verto Jacket feels like a less-crinkly version of your average grocery store plastic bag—and I’m not talking about the heavy-duty variety. On my scale, a men’s medium weighs 2.8 ounces, including a full zipper! And if that’s not enough to astonish (more...)...

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February 21, 2011 TNF Freedom Pant Gear

TNF Freedom Pant

I wouldn’t call North Face’s ski and snowboard-oriented Freedom pant perfect, but it does get a lot right, making it quite appealing for this price point. You’ll have no trouble finding things to like about the Freedom pant, starting with its very economical price tag, and continuing with its vibrant color choices, relaxed fit options, (more...)...

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November 8, 2008 TNF Apex Bionic Gear

TNF Apex Bionic

North Face’s Apex Bionic Jacket combines the best qualities of Windstopper™ fleece and a stretchy soft shell in one trim package. The Apex Bionic practically jumps out of the box when it comes to applications like downhill skiing, snowboarding, or cold-weather backcountry skiing, hiking, and climbing. This is a performance blockbuster and a Windstopper-killer. North (more...)...

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October 10, 2008 North Face NSE Tent Bootie??? Gear

North Face NSE Tent Bootie???

Really the big disadvantage with these is all the taunting you’ll have to endure from your friends. If you can take it, however, the North Face’s 700-fill down NSE Tent Bootie offers several tempting advantages. For a long time, I’ve struggled with the issue of what to wear around camp while ski mountaineering. Basically, you’ve (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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