11/13/2013
 
Overall: With an impressively effective pick and spike for an otherwise all-aluminum ultralight ice axe, the CAMP Corsa Nanotech ice axe definitely rates Five Stars, despite a couple unimportant oddities. Background on product familiarity: I have been using the 60cm length since 2008. I am not an ice climber or technical “alpinist” by any means, but I have used this piolet on very firm snow up to just over 50 degrees. First, the first impressions out of the box: The weight penalty relative to CAMP’s l...
11/13/2013
 
Overall: Despite some inconveniences and fit limitations, the CAMP Alp harness definitely rates Five Stars for its intended purposes. Background on product familiarity: I have been using the predecessor Alp 95 harness (http://www.camp-usa.com/products/harnesses/alp-95.asp) since it became available in March 2009 (and before that its two predecessor models in turn). I’ve used it for some race towing, but mainly for glacier travel and (practice!) crevasse rescue. The new 2013 Alp Racing sold here has th...
11/13/2013
 
Overall: Five Stars for sitting nearly weightlessly in your pack to meet IMSF race regs (Section 9, Appendix 2). But as an avalanche safety instructor for AIARE and NSP (as well as an American Avalanche Associate governing board member), I feel compelled to subtract two stars for backcountry companion avalanche rescue as assembly is a bit difficult with an overly flexible feel, so Three Stars overall. The very similar ARVA Carbon 240 Light probe is a better choice for backcountry rescue. Background on p...
11/13/2013
 
Overall: Five Stars for sitting nearly weightlessly in your pack to meet IMSF race regs (Section 9, Appendix 2). But as an avalanche safety instructor for AIARE and NSP (as well as an American Avalanche Associate governing board member), I feel compelled to subtract a star for backcountry companion avalanche rescue as assembly is potentially less easy than for more mainstream models, so Four Stars overall. Background on product familiarity: I bought the ARVA Carbon 240 Light probe during the 2013 ski se...
11/13/2013
 
Overall: As the lightest available full-size metal-bladed shovel for backcountry companion avalanche rescue, the ARVA Plume definitely rates Five Stars. Might not be a good choice though for snowpit work in “firm” conditions given possible durability concerns. And the relatively long single-section shaft might not fit inside many packs. Background on product familiarity: I bought the Plume toward the end of the 2013 season, so I haven’t used it much, but regardless, I think it should be reserved for em...