Samaya ULTRA35 Review: Minimalist Dyneema Pack Worth Maximalist Price
GearJunkie | Ice Climbing
by Seiji Ishii
2M ago
The Samaya ULTRA35 is an ultralight minimalist alpine pack with the added bling of Dyneema. On paper, it checks all the boxes for a high-performance alpinist. But it comes at a price — an MSRP of $440 for a pack of this volume is a big ask. I tested the pack over a week of backcountry, multipitch ice climbing in Alaska in February. Our team approached by skiing to the approach slope, and then cramponing or kick-stepping up to reach the route. Each mission was a day mission, so overnight gear was never necessary. In short: The Samaya ULTRA35 is a high-end pack for alpine missions when every gr ..read more
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Edelrid Rage Ice Axe Review: Solid Tool in Steep Terrain
GearJunkie | Ice Climbing
by Seiji Ishii
3M ago
The Edelrid Rage ice axe got a much-awaited makeover after more than a decade on European shelves. I was keen to try the new version, which is available in the U.S., on a recent trip to Alaska. The tools certainly look the part, with eye-catching green anodization and very ergonomic-looking handles. But looks don’t matter when you’re high above terra firma, gripped out of your mind, with forearms ablaze. Ice axes need to perform as expected while climbing. There is little room for unexpected or sub-par performance, especially on the sharp end. So, I’m very particular about how ice axes feel a ..read more
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My Favorite Ice Climbing Gear for Alaskan Epics
GearJunkie | Ice Climbing
by Seiji Ishii
3M ago
I’ve been chasing frozen formations to climb for decades. I started making forays into the 49th state in the ’90s. Ropes were fat, and ice climbers tethered straight-shafted axes to their wrists. Since then, the gear used to scratch lines up the ephemeral routes has changed immensely. As the GearJunkie climbing editor, I’ve been fortunate enough to sample much of it. Alaska is home to big, tall, multipitch routes I target on my yearly pilgrimage to the northernmost state. Some trips resulted in first ascents for my team. Others produced second ascents or success on rarely forming and climbed ..read more
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Hut Trip Capacity, Ski Touring Size: Blue Ice Kume 40L Review
GearJunkie | Ice Climbing
by Bergen Tjossem
4M ago
Winter backcountry gear is bulky. As the season progresses and the snowpack stabilizes, the outings only get longer, the routes get techier, and the gear list grows. And over the last decade, I’ve learned a few packing lessons the hard way — you won’t find me skimping on my first-aid kit, repair tools, emergency tow rope, extra insulating layers, or a minimalist insulating pad. As I’ve fine-tuned my kit for longer days in the backcountry, my 30L ski packs, the ones that ski so well, just haven’t been cutting it, especially when more technical objectives are on the menu. It looks like 38-45 L ..read more
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Ice Climbing Is the Best Example of Accessible Outdoor Adventure — Here’s Why
GearJunkie | Ice Climbing
by Mary Murphy
5M ago
Mo the Gatherer sounds like a character name straight out of a Tolkien fantasy. It’s not. But the real “Mo” is just as cool — Maureen “Mo” Beck is an adaptive climber with a lower limb difference, a sponsored Petzl and The North Face athlete, a fierce sport climbing competitor, and recently, one of the hosts of the new Outside Show. At the end of the day, she’s also someone who’s changed the scene in terms of accessibility and representation in climbing. “The limitations that we set for ourselves often fall short of our true potential. How do we transcend limitations? How do we take these per ..read more
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‘Searching for Christmas Tree’: An Ice Climbing Alternative to ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Home Alone’
GearJunkie | Ice Climbing
by Andrew McLemore
6M ago
Tired of the same old Christmas classics? I know I am. Yet we can’t seem to shake these cinematic standbys any more than we can avoid Mariah Carey’s voice every time we hit up the grocery store for egg nog. Are we really interested in The New York Times’ deep dive into how the McCallister family was part of the 1%? Count me out. Instead, I’ll be enjoying the holidays with a rewatch of 2017’s Searching for Christmas Tree. In all honesty, this film is even less about Christmas than Die Hard. But as much as I love me some John McClane, I’m ready for something different. In this case, it’s two Ch ..read more
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Not Quite Ready for Everest: Reddit Users Reveal Homemade ‘Crampons’ — And It’s Hilarious
GearJunkie | Ice Climbing
by Andrew McLemore
7M ago
If they’ve got spikes on the end, you can basically use any pair of shoes to climb Mount Everest, right? Not exactly. But that didn’t stop Reddit users this weekend from posting imaginative shoe choices for ice climbing. To be clear, their creative ideas probably don’t meet American Mountain Guides Association standards. My guess is that these tongue-in-cheek climbers were bored with the Thanksgiving festivities and daydreaming about alpine summits to avoid awkward family politics. And what better place to escape than the wilderness of Reddit? In this case, it’s the Mountaineering subreddit ..read more
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Winter Gloves So Good, I Bought 3 Pairs: Hestra Ergo Active Gloves Review
GearJunkie | Ice Climbing
by Bergen Tjossem
7M ago
There aren’t many winter tasks that require as much glove sensitivity as placing ice screws, especially when you add in cold, wetness, arm pump, and fear. While balancing on 2-inch-long steel teeth, high above the ground with one hand gripped to an ice tool high above your head, you’ve got to fish around for the right length screw on your harness with your free hand, get it out of the racking carabiner, spin it around without dropping it, get it started in the ice, pop the handle and spin it in, fold the handle back, find a quickdraw on your harness and clip it to the hanger’s eye — and then ..read more
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The Rescue That Changed the Future of Prosthetics: Arc’teryx Teases ‘109 Below’
GearJunkie | Ice Climbing
by Will Brendza
8M ago
Hugh Herr and Jeff Batzer had just finished ascending a technical ice-climbing route on Mount Washington when the blizzard rolled in that would change their lives forever. They became disoriented. They got lost. And they had to spend three nights in -20-degree weather. Herr, who, at the time, was one of the best climbers in the world, lost his legs to frostbite. But the worst was yet to come. ‘109 Below’ tells the harrowing story of the 1982 Mount Washington rescue that ended one life, changed three others, and altered the future of prosthetics forever. As a postdoctoral fellow at MIT, Herr d ..read more
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Maximum Versatility for All Your Alpine Objectives: Black Diamond Venom LT Review
GearJunkie | Ice Climbing
by Bergen Tjossem
8M ago
My hand was gripped to my ice axe as I reached the top of one of the Sawatch Range’s classic couloirs with skis on my back. The wind was howling as the weather devolved into whiteout conditions. Visibility was minimal. As I stepped over a perched wind lip to the summit, a small slab broke underneath my boots and I dropped to the snow. I immediately self-arrested with Black Diamond’s new Venom LT classic piolet, halting a slip before it became a fall. Relief. Ice axe innovations are so infrequent that I almost sprayed my coffee when I saw Black Diamond’s new ice and alpine offerings for the fi ..read more
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