/ Your climbing product of the year - 2012
The items don't have to be new products that hit the shops in 2012 just what you have bought and impressed with this year.
2011 for me was the Mammut Serenity rope, light, handles beautifully, knots easily, remains kink-free and water tight. It still does, great single rope, not cheap but quality never is. I've not bought much rock gear during 2012 but I have got some Vipers, BD seem to have hit the axe sweet spot with the Vipers. Nothing new in terms on innovation but they encompass all the features everyone wants - top and bottom rests, different adze/hammer size options and B or T rated picks, have em leashed - clipper or standard, with springers or just leashless, and for the weight savers and super rich they have a carbon shafted version - the Cobra Even though DMM have revamped the Fly I think we'll see Vipers dominate the tool market for a few years. Impressive kit but an axe is an axe right? and with no innovative features it can hardly be called 'new'.
So, my product of the year are the Grivel G20 crampons. Only worn them once so far but I'm mightly impressed. At first they seemed like they'd fall to bits as they seemed too light and not beefy enough to do the job but I was wrong, very wrong. These are super light mono pointed, mono railed, true climbing cramps and they front point up steep ice brilliantly. I'm convinced they made my feet feel warmer with no straps over the upper foot to restrict blood flow. They clip in with a toe bail and heel clip and remained rock sold on the boot. Walking was I found easier than traditional designs as the traditional types can unbalance you if you step awkwardly on a stone/edge with the side of the foot, the mono rails keep the centre of balance in the centre of the foot. Best crampons I've ever owned bar none. Only downside is that a full front end is needed if you wear the mono point away but there has to be a price to pay to make the weight savings.
Over to the floor then....
Can't wait to play with my Christmas present of belay glasses. No more neck pain for me at the local walls.
And I think that I will look quite dashing while wearing them.
I had a good chat with the distributor last month and if you are considering getting any, then he'd be more than happy to give you a Test-run with a pair.
Evolvs do however stink in a quite hellish fashion!
For winter - Petzl Quarks and Spring leashes - A revelation of free faffless climbing
Mountain Hardwear Drystein jacket.
Finally a material that actually breathes to the level that the marketeers claim. A few howlers in the design, but still the most impressive thing I've seen in years.
It's been worn for climbing, fixing the car, walking to the shops, sitting in the house when I forgot to set the heating, as a mid layer or outer, and today it got tested in pouring rain where it kept me dry and warm all but a damp sleeve.
My most worn bit of kit this year for sure. My mate asked what I've been doing in it (because it's already filthy, scuffed, repaired). I just said "wearing it". For everything!
Was looking for the Patagonia version of this and tried them both on. The Patagonia hung like a sack. The OR fits like a glove.
Works great in single figure temperatures.
Like this one http://bit.ly/UsE9Md but paid only £80.00
I've been wondering about a pair of these after favourable reports from informed UKCers (ice.solo and Dane1 especially) - have you noticed any trouble with the lack of an anti-balling palte on the front section?
As for the original subject, I'm going to say my Nano Puff Hoody - amazingly warming for something that packs away so small. Though I do wish it was a bit easier to put on over wet stuff.
Chuffed with my whites and velcros.
Did you get out before the thaw?
Re: red chilis.
Ive had a couple of pairs and wont have another. The rubbers just not sticky. Tbh i found them harder wearing than the 5.10s but only due to the hard rubber compound which is nowhere near the quality of stealth rubber imo.
on my second pair of G20s and 3rd season and still am yet to use anything else, so good to hear others liking them too. me i like knowing its all i need - every other crampon feels like overkill now.
i really like how un-jangly they are as well.
so, if G20s were my choice for 2010/11 winter, this year its a choice between
BD fusions - all the failings of bloody nomics solved
the elelrid folding helmet - should have got one years ago
the soto muka stove - will never leave the jetboil sumo, but for long haul trips a thing of beauty
exped down mattress - i laugh at people with thermorests now. comparing fiat to rolls-royce.
BD rope bag - over several days a rope bag in winter makes so much sense, especially when you just chuck a belay jacket in it and leave the pack behind
and most smugly of all - the polartec alpha insulation ive been given to test. its even better than the hype and i think finally something that MIGHT work in britain
oh and my new powershield trousers and baselayer that have corresponding thru zips so i can take a dump without risking my life or tender bits to frost nip.
its been a great year for gear!
they ball a bit but no more than any other crampon - note they dont have a row of 'back teeth' behind the front cluster, so theres not a lot of protrusion to catch snow in.
you wont regret getting a pair.
They never seem to have taken off in a big way despite a clever design, so why do you like yours so much?
mainly because it fits into a pack or large pocket so well, but also because as a helmet regardless of the folding element its a nice design: the light clips work well and the way it adjusts is really smart (and part of the folding process) and negates the usual adjuster at the back. instead you just kind of squeeze it to get it to fit.
as a helmet it fits close too which i like.
and i wont deny the novelty value it has amongst the japanese when pulled out and 'deployed'.
only dislike is you cant leave a torch on it when its folded (without home mods) and cant put wanky stickers on the sides.
a minor thing is that when collapsed it leaves a small space inside thats perfect for storing my sun or ballistic glasses.
DMM Torque Nuts. The rest of my kit is 15+ years old and I upgraded from Camp Hexes (the first generation). How so little aluminium can perform so well is beyond me.
My Mountain Technology C3 crampons. I haven't used them yet because I have no B3 boots, but they were a bargain brand new on eBay :-)
I haven't got anything that's an innovative design this year so I'll have to just say Lowe Alpine Alpine Attack 35:45. I'm still not 100% convinced by the "headlock" thing but I think I just need to get used to it.
Ice.solo - what preference do you have for the position of the G20 front bail? I've started off in the middle holes but feel the mono is too far out for me, may shift the bail up to the first holes to bring the spike in a little. I like stubbies really, how does the stubbie setting fair of ice anyone?
I just got a set of original HB brass nuts, unused and unracked for £15.
Purchase of the year right there.
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