10/6/2017
 
In the Northeast, we have no need to detune tips and tails, since a few descents on our typical "snow" during in-bounds resort skimo training will take of that. However, we aren't immune from the laws of metallurgy, or whatever science dictates how steel edges will rust if melting snow isn't immediately removed on the drive home. A gummy stone -- or gumi if you want to be more Euro about it -- is perfect for removing rust. It's essentially a super-abrasive version of a rubber eraser. So just enough abrasi...
10/6/2017
 
This is a highly unusual design -- in a good way -- for an "economy" waxing iron. Until this model came along relatively recently, all price-point waxing irons were distinguished from their pricier brethren by a very thin base plate. This meant the iron didn't hold heat very well, so once you started ironing your skis, the wax wouldn't melt very well, yet as soon as you took the iron off your skis, the iron would start smoking up your room. This model though has a base plate of the same thickness as models...
10/6/2017
 
Five stars for a very nicely designed skimo-specific softshell. Only significant drawback is that I would have preferred that the smaller third pocket not be quite as small. I have a sales sample for the 2017-18 season, but appears to be the same as the final version shown and described in this listing. (Although the Crazy Orange color scheme is a little bit crazier than the listing's picture, but then again maybe my computer monitor is just more subdued.) I've used many different soft shell jackets for s...
9/13/2017
 
Purists might scoffingly assert that any mechanical advantage raising/hauling system should be built exclusively from biners and prusik cord. But the Petzl Tibloc is so trivially small and so trivially light yet so incredibly useful for building such systems (especially for crevasse rescue) that it rates Five Stars for sure. The picture shows one caution and one tip: - As also illustrated in the user manual, be sure to clip through the body of the Tibloc and hence also through the rope, not just through t...
9/13/2017
 
I've been relying on these for many (many) years (nearly two decades by now) for all my spring & summer ski tours (plus my occasional camping or hut-based overnights). Typically I start off on an all-day (and then some...) tour with just a medium-sized externally carried water bottle (e.g., CAMP Action Bottle) then rely on quick refills and water treatment throughout the tour. A few usage notes: - The packaging is hard to open by hand, so before I take them into the field, I cut a tiny slit into the side of...