Gear Review - Mammut Parinaco Jacket

I love jackets. I am a jacket connoiseur and whether it is a light wind shirt or a heavy duty down parka I love trying on jackets, feeling the fabrics fit and cut and seeing all the features. I really can't get enough of them and now that every outdoor company is throwing in outrageous colors it is even better!

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Gear Review - Black Diamond Mission 50 Backpack

This is the mother of all technical backpacks. I would describe this pack as comfortable, versatile and feature rich. Heavy loads are no problem, stripping weight is no problem, carrying a rope, ice tools, crampons and all the usual alpine/ice gear is no problem and even skis can be carried by the Black Diamond Mission 50.

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Tallahassee Rock Gym Expansion

Every climber has a similar story of their early days...driving home late after climbing with forearms burning thinking of the problem or route that shut you down go after go. I remember it like yesterday. Working at the Tallahassee Rock Gym was a privilege and climbing there was a blast.

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Gear Review - Outdoor Research Stormsensor Glove

Gloves. I don't think there is a more important piece of gear for winter activities than gloves. Your gloves need to be warm and dexterous but they also need to be comfortable and dry. The perfect glove, I have found, does not exist, but there are many good options for all around use and only a few suitable for specific activities like ice climbing or skiing.

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Longs Peak Cirque Ice Climbing - 11.5.12

Alpine climbing at its finest. High elevation, wind, little sun, cold temperatures, it all combines to make an epic day on the mountain. My first day out this season was up to the high alpine of Rocky Mountain National Park in the Longs Peak Cirque. We started at the Longs Peak Trailhead parking lot at 6:20 am and didn't return until about 4:30 that afternoon.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Gear Review - Edelrid Rage Ice Tools

Working in the outdoor industry allows for certain benefits.  As a buyer for an internet retailer it is my responsibility to know about every piece of gear in the outdoor industry I am responsible for buying.  This lets me get some great gear to play with and evaluate.  I recently got a pair of Edelrid Rage ice climbing tools for this purpose.  I wanted to try out a radically aggressive ice/mixed tool and Edelrid had a new weapon that I had seen at the most recent Outdoor Retailer show back in August.  The tool felt great in hand and the weight seemed extremely balanced and had a terrific swing weight as well.  The ergonomics are aggressive and the grip seemed to fit my hand perfectly.  I have been able to get out and use this tool a few times over the last month and I am happy to say it is a pretty good mixed tool.  Edelrid did a great job entering into the new "competition aggressive" ice tool category where the Petzl Ergo and the BD Fusion reside.  It is aggressive, weighted well and feels comfortable whether hooking or swinging.

As far as Edelrid's first foray into technical ice tools goes, they did a pretty good job.  There was good penetration on hard ice and chandelier as well.  Hooking on rock was stellar and camming into cracks was perfect.  The only real drawbacks to these tools are the relatively flimsy feel of the shaft, much like how the BD Reactor feels, and no adjustable grip like what the BD Fusion offers.  I have found this to be pretty important in high end mixed tools because of the different gloves I use and the overall size of my hands.  You can easily look past these small flaws and tweak the tool to your liking.  Splicing tape lets me adjust grips fairly well and almost any tool flexes when cammed.  I have been told the price on these is a big selling point.  They will be coming in well under competitors like the Petzl Nomic and the Black Diamond Fusion.  This should give Edelrid a competitive edge making headway into North America.
Edelrid Rage tools at Loch Vale RMNP  
Final Say:
These tools are extremely nice.  They are well balanced, aggressive and feel good in your hand.  For the money you probably won't find another pair like them.  Not in the USA or anywhere else for that matter...yet!!!