Monthly Archives: January 2012

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Ski Binding Tool and Heli Ski Straps

January 31, 2012  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Brooks-Range Ski Binding Tool

Brooks-Range Ski Binding Tool
$10, 6 oz.
Brooks-Range Heli Ski Straps
$7/pair, 2 oz.

I’ve seen ski bindings blow out in the backcountry, and the result ranges from truly not fun (a buddy hiked two miles back to our car on one ski) to potentially dangerous if you’re not prepared (another friend had a repair kit and remounted a busted binding two days into a weeklong ski traverse in Yellowstone). This lightweight kit comes with eight bits—two Philips, a PZ3, standard #6 and #4 flathead screwdrivers, ¼ and 1/8 Allen, and a Torx T-20. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Therm-A-Rest NeoAir All Season mattress

January 31, 2012  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Therm-A-Rest NeoAir All Season air mattress

Insulated Winter Air Mattress
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir All Season mattress
$150, 1 lb. 3 oz. (reg)
Sizes: M 20x66x2.5 inches, regular 20x72x2.5 inches, L 20x77x2.5 inches

I spent three January nights sleeping under the stars in the Boise Mountains on this air mattress (in a 0° bag) and stayed perfectly warm in temps down to the low teens, thanks in part to the NeoAir’s high R-value, or ability to insulate against the frozen ground. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Cabela’s Thermal Zone ¼ Zip Mock T-neck

January 31, 2012  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Cabela’s Thermal Zone ¼ Zip Mock T-neck

Winter Top
Cabela’s Thermal Zone ¼ Zip Mock T-neck
$85 M-XL, $90 XXL, 8 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: M-XXL

I took a five-mile December trail run wearing this long-sleeve top with nothing over it on the day I got it, and since then, I have hardly spent an active day outside without it. I’ve also worn it (with layers over it as needed) skate-skiing, backcountry skiing, and for four straight days on a January ski trip to a backcountry yurt in Idaho’s Boise Mountains. Continue reading →

January 31, 2012

Into the Mystic: Sea Kayaking Doubtful Sound In New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park

In International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

A light mist falls as our small adventure armada of nine sea kayaks cruises along the shore of Deep Cove, the farthest inland extremity of Doubtful Sound in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. Around us, cliffs rise straight up out of the sea to 4,000-foot summits—sheer, Yosemite-like granite walls improbably sprouting a vertical jungle of podocarp trees and other indigenous vegetation that make these forests look like something from another planet. Continue reading →

January 11, 2012

Bottomless Powder, Big Ski Lines in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains

In Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

We reach a high saddle between two peaks, where the wind has sculpted the snow into stationary, perpetually cresting waves several feet high. Treeless slopes of clean, untracked powder fall away beneath us. Our group of several friends and a few guides have been climbing uphill in this remote corner of northeast Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains for more than two hours, ascending some 3,000 vertical feet under a clear, ice-blue winter sky, amid scenery that looks like a post card from an Alpine resort, but without the ski lifts and quaint villages. Continue reading →

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